Chapter 3. Making Movies with Your PC

In This Chapter

  • Adding and importing clips and photos

  • Assembling a movie

  • Adding transitions

  • Using special effects

  • Adding a soundtrack

  • Using titles

  • Previewing your movie

  • Saving and recording the finished film

Have you long harbored the urge to make your own film? You pick the subject — from your kid's kindergarten graduation to a science fiction action flick worthy of James Cameron himself. You edit your footage, add professional-looking transitions and special effects, and even set the mood with a custom soundtrack recorded on your aunt's antique Hammond organ. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the definition of sweet — and it's all made possible by your PC. (For the full effect, buy a canvas director's chair and a megaphone.)

In this chapter, I demonstrate how you can use footage from your digital video (DV) camcorder — or, with the right equipment, even the footage you recorded on tape — to produce your own film. Your finished work of visual art can be saved to a recordable DVD or stored on your hard drive for use on your Web pages.

Getting the Lowdown on Windows Live Movie Maker

My filmmaking tool of choice is Windows Live Movie Maker, as shown in Figure 3-1. The program is available for free as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite, which you can download at Live Movie Maker runs like a well-oiled machine under XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

Figure 3.1. It's easy to edit and enhance your movies in Windows Live Movie Maker.

After you ...

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