Movie Maker – good and free

It’s been a few years since I last touched Movie Maker. At the time, I felt it was clunky and I was still missing PhotoStory 3 as a great, easy to use product for educators.

I revisited Movie Maker a few months ago in an attempt to find a readily available, cost-effective solution for staff and students at the university for which I work to edit videos they can create in our new automated green screen rooms.

I found Movie Maker easy to use and liked its feature set. It’s not multi-layered video editing, but it is an easy cut editor and using transition animations at the start of new sections allows for softening of your cut edits. You can either bring outside video in or record video straight from your webcam. You can also add narration straight into Movie Maker and then bring in a music bed underneath.
And for those of us who remember and miss PhotoStory 3 – all those features are here too. Import still photos, set duration, choose transitions and movements, add music — and now narration too!
There are also open captioning and titling capabilities.

This is not professional software. But, it’s not trying to be. 

Here is a look at some tutorials I’ve created for staff and students on how to use Movie Maker – this should give you a sense of the user experience. Or, download it from Windows Live Essentials and have a play – it should take you about 30 minutes to get the hang of it.