There were some questions about copyright and infringement last month so we’ll start with those. I believe, and after doing more reading, the only way you could cross a line here is by the totality method of misappropriation. There is also the fact that no money was gained, the “copy” of a file was not distributed or a profit gained. Finally there is the NET act amendment of the 1976 Copyright Act. It’s a gray area for some and black and white for others. I would say this, for any song you use in a presentation like this; you need to own a copy of the album of the song you are using. The artist(s) and associated companies should be paid for their work. I would say you may not take an offering of any type during the event this was presented and absolutely no copies or any gain could be made from them. To summarize, own a copy of the album you are using. If you are afraid of making a copy into the movie maker, just play the CD while the slide show is going. No offerings should be taken when this type of media is presented. Do not distribute the media created; it is a one time showing only from the copy you bought. If you absolutely want to be sure, record your praise band or local musicians playing a song you do have rights to and use it.

Moving on to instructions, begin by opening the Windows Movie Maker. Once open, you’ll see several things on the screen. At the bottom of the screen there will be an area labeled as the time line. This area is for dropping and dragging pictures, titles on clips and more. To the upper right hand side is the video screen where you can watch what you create for better editing and proofing. Finally, to the upper left hand side there will be a control/command center. The following areas or headings are the ones you want to explore and use the most; Import and Edit. 

Import: This area has four subcategories: digital camera, video, pictures and audio/music. By clicking on digital camera, the program will detect if you have a camera hooked up to your computer and will allow you to load pictures or movies from it to your collection area* (more on this later). If you click “video” you will be able to upload pre-existing videos from your documents to movie maker. Clicking “pictures” will allow you to select from all the pictures on your computer and select them for a collection in movie maker. The audio/music tab allows you to select audio clips and sound files for your video. Once the sound file is in your collection, just drag it to the audio section of timeline on the bottom of the screen. 

Edit:  This area has three subcategories you need to worry about: effect, transitions, titles and credits. Effects are exactly what they sound like; special effects you can apply to any picture or video in the time line. *Note: you can right click any picture or video in the time line to apply effects to them. Transitions is the thing you want to use to change from one picture to another in the video, from moving one picture out and a new one in, to shattering one image and fading in a new one. The title and credits area is for you to add words onto certain pictures and clips. I like to scan a black sheet of paper on my computer and save it in every collection I use for a blank title screen to write on with white font. You can use any color you wish, but picking a blank colored background helps students know when to read and when to just watch if used in repetition. 

Collection(s):  To the right of the left control panel is a small upper heading area where you should find two icons to click; the show/hide collections icon and the show/hide tasks button. If at any time you somehow reconfigure your screen to where you loose a control panel or a collection, hit these icons till it comes back to making sense for you. To make a collection click show/hide collections. If none are available, go to file in the upper left hand corner of the screen, click and drag down till you can select create new collection folder. Once you create a collection folder, name it for the project you are doing. Now go to import and start filling that collection folder with pictures and videos. Once you feel you have enough to work with begin creating the video. 

Timeline:  This is where you will do the remaining work of video once you have your files all set up to use. Using a basic color background, like the one discussed previously for an opening title screen, is a great way to start. Grab the background picture, and drag it to the front of the timeline area and release. Now right click on the picture you just moved and select “add titles and credits,” type in what you want it to say, and click “finish/ok.” Your title is set. *Note: you can use the + and buttons above the time line to increase or decrease how big or small the pictures and timeline are. This comes in handy when using a lot of special effects. If a title you added didn’t line up with the picture or clip you wanted it on, simply drag it to the proper area by moving it in the title overlay area. 

Play with each picture you add to the video by right clicking and using the special effects. If you find you don’t like an effect, just right click again and select remove or add effects. Try to match up the visual with the audio for a presentation like this. If the music is going fast, you want to try to have many images going by quickly; if the music is slow make the pictures move slowly and use gentle transitions. When you feel you have a video complete, click “file” on the upper left hand of the screen and click “create movie.” 
Published March 2009