Windows Movie Maker

What it It?

Windows MovieMaker is a digital video editing software program for Windows that is available as a free download from Microsoft’s website. With MovieMaker, you can import video from several sources (such as a miniDV tape, VHS recording or DVD) or record directly into the application using a Web cam. Once you have imported your video you can trim content, combine clips, insert images and add audio tracks, special effects and transitions to create a finished movie.

Key Features
  • Easy to use for short, basic projects
  • Connect a digital video camera or a Web camera to import video
  • Library of special effects and transitions you can apply to portions of your movie project
  • Export to a variety of video formats, including iPod video, streaming or DVD
Who Uses It?

Windows MovieMaker is available for free to anyone using a Windows PC. It is broadly used in the educational setting from elementary schools to colleges and universities for creating and adapting digital video content.

How Does it Work?

The user is presented with a screen that includes: a project time-line, a “bin” for unedited clips and a preview window that displays video from an attached camcorder or other video. A video clip is captured (digitized) by pressing an “import” button on the screen; the clip is transferred to the bin where it can be trimmed and then dragged to an appropriate point on the timeline. Other menus in the program allow you to add titles, still images, sound tracks, special effects and transitions between clips.

Once the editing process is complete, the user can export the contents of the timeline to a variety of digital video file formats for playback online, on a computer or cd-rom or to create a DVD.

Things to Consider Before Using Windows MovieMaker
  • While MovieMaker offers a wide range of features, it is designed for educational and home users and does not include more advanced features such as color control or some of the advanced editing capabilities available in professional video editing applications.
  • You need to have a basic understanding of the difference between an MovieMaker project file and an exported movie file, since the project file cannot be uploaded to a course Web space or distributed for playback by others.
  • Short film projects typically require several gigabytes of storage space during the editing process, which can take place over several days. You should plan for this need before you begin your project.
  • Third party applications may be needed to convert digital video files created with MovieMaker into other video formats, such as Real or Quicktime.
  • Additional hardware may be needed to import video from a VHS tape or DVD; copy-protection may be present on commercial videos, preventing digitization of these materials.

Uses as an Instructional Technology

Preparation of Short Clips for Streaming or Download

Instructors can use MovieMaker to select excerpts or clips of video content for in-depth analysis or to illustrate key points. These clips can be exported in streaming or downloadable formats, then uploaded to a course Web space, such as woodle, for viewing by members of the class.

Editing Platform for Original Student Films

Individual students or collaborative groups can use MovieMaker to digitize footage, edit their films, and export the final product to iPod, streaming or DVD format. MovieMaker’s easy-to-use features make it an ideal application for students who have not had formal training in video editing.

Digitizing Classroom Video Footage

Instructors who use a digital video camera to record classroom activities such as lectures, student presentations and performances can use MovieMaker to process the video, add introductory titles and export to iPod, streaming or DVD format.

Resources at Wooster

  • MovieMaker is available for use in the Taylor 205 lab.
  • Support for MovieMaker and other video editing projects is offerred by Instructional Technology.

The content on this page was derived from webpages maintained by the Duke University Center for Instructional Technology