Windows Movie Maker Help Sheet
Before you begin to edit your film, be sure to save your collections to the server folder. This folder is
located on Maroon/MS Group Work/7th grade movie project. When editing your film, please keep all of
your collections, projects, and movies saved to your group’s folder. Please do not change the file names
of collections, projects, or movies, as this may prevent you from accessing them. If your film editor
needs to take the project home to work on it, he/she should copy your group’s entire folder from the
server onto his/her hard drive and then upload the folder the next day.
Improving the Quality of Your Video
• Background. If possible, use a still background when recording video. If you need to record
against a moving background, try reducing the depth of field to help reduce the amount of detail
in the background. Reducing the depth of field or shortening the area in focus softens the
background and helps reduce the amount of data that changes from frame to frame. To reduce
the depth of field and make the background go out of focus, use a lower level of light and move
the subject closer to the lens, or move the subject farther away from the lens and use a telephoto
lens to zoom in.
• Lighting. Provide adequate lighting; use soft light, diffuse light, and consistent light levels. A
certain amount of contrast is necessary for lighting a subject, but avoid direct high-contrast
lighting. For example, when recording a face lit by strong sunlight from the side, the facial
features in the shadow can be lost on video.
• Clothing. Have your subjects wear clothing colors that complement their skin tone and are
sufficiently different from the background and other overlapping objects. Avoid bright colors,
which tend to bleed or spread outside an object, and stripes, which may create moiré patterns,
especially when the subject is moving slowly.
• Tripod. When possible, use a tripod when recording video. A tripod will help to keep the video
camera still and improve the overall quality of the recorded video. This prevents your recorded
video from being jittery and improves the source material that you plan to use in your movies.
Ambient noise. Sound reflects off hard surfaces, such as walls and windows. Computers, air
conditioning, and street traffic can create additional ambient noise. Use the following tips to reduce the
amount of ambient noise in your audio:
• Soften hard surfaces by hanging curtains or tapestries on the walls. Large rugs make excellent
• Turn off computers, fans, and other machines in the room. If you can, also turn off the heating or
air conditioning system.
• Use an interior room that is isolated from street noise. If the room has a persistent low rumble,
you can reduce it to some extent by using equalization on an audio mixer. You can also use the
roll-off switch, if your microphone has one.
Microphone usage. If you use a microphone, the following tips may be helpful:
• Point the microphone facing out, away from the person’s clothing. Make sure clothing does not
cover the front of the microphone and it isn't too close to the speaker’s mouth. High-velocity air
from a person exhaling can cause loud pops in microphones that do not have pop filters built into
them. Small lavaliere microphones are designed to be clipped to a tie and have little or no
protection against pops and wind.
• Eliminate microphone noise. Microphone noise is an artificial sound that is introduced when an
object touches the microphone. When placing a microphone, make sure that it will not be
bumped. Remind speakers who will be holding a microphone not to tap pencils and rings against
it or play with the cable. Leave the front of the microphone exposed. Holding the head of a
microphone introduces noise and can cause feedback if the microphone is used in a public
Editing Your Film
Organizing Your Collections
When you import your video, Movie Maker will automatically create clips or it will give you one large
clip. In both instances, it can be difficult to manipulate and edit very short and very long clips. So, as an
editor, your first task will be to organize your collections. To organize, you should view the clips, choose
whether you need them, and then combine them with other clips or split them.
To view all of the collections that you’ve saved to the server folder, select OPEN and follow the path to
the server folder.
To combine clips: Select CONTROL and use your mouse to click the clips that you would like to
combine. Then, choose CLIP on the file menu and select COMBINE (or use CONTROL M).
To split clips: Play the clip you’d like to split. Pause it where you would like to split it, and then choose
CLIP from the file menu and select SPLIT (use can also use the split icon below the viewing window).
Putting Your Film Together
Now that you’ve organized your collections, you can start dragging your clips down to the storyboard.
The storyboard gives you a nice outline view of your film. When you’ve put a few clips on the
storyboard, be sure to save your file as a project (to the server folder). You can also use the timeline
view. The timeline view helps you view your movie along with its audio files, transitions track, and so
on. You can zoom in and out on the timeline by selecting the +/- magnifying glass on the task bar above
To cut a clip when it’s on the timeline, put your cursor over the clip until you see the red arrows. Drag
the cursor to select what you’d like to delete, and then delete it.
To edit your film, choose TASKS on the toolbar. A window will pop up that will include an EDIT
MOVIE option. This will direct you how to choose transitions, adjust film quality, and add credits. Have
fun with this.
To add music to your film, you will need to import an audio clip. Directions for this are under the
TASKS menu. You can then simply drag the audio clip down to the time line. In some cases, you might
want to mute the original audio track. To do this, select what you would like to mute, choose CLIP from
the menu bar, select AUDIO and MUTE.