WIndows LIve Movie Maker

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Ah video, why do I avoid thee so? You speak to so many through your words and pictures. You inform, encourage, and inspire, yet I wait for years to update you. Perhaps it’s because we live in a Latin society, where the idea of complete silence for recording purposes is ludicrous. Or perhaps it’s because the tools that are frequently used to develop you are thought to only run on certain machines, or tend to be so expensive?

Yes, I’d waited over three years to make a new video to update our website About Us page, but finally, after recording, editing and uploading, the newest release is available. You can check it out above or here if you’re receiving this via email. Now, if you’re only interested in seeing the finished product, you can stop reading, but if you’d like to know how I pieced it together, and the free tools that I used to do all of this from my PC, by all means, read on!

It’s true, there are certainly challenges when it comes to piecing together a video on the mission field. One of the biggest hurdles is acquiring the right tools. I put the above video together using free software designed for a PC. Here is the list:

Windows Live Movie Maker (Available on Windows 7 PCs)
DVDVideoSoft’s Free Video to MP3 Converter (Available from
I also had Kelly’s Sony Cybershot DSC-T90 to do the actual filming.

The actual process involved writing out the script, recording the the script via video in its entirety (around 11:00 PM to avoid the noise of dogs, buses motorcycles, etc.), and finally doing the editing, where I added in pictures in order to illustrate what was being narrated.

The bulk of the work was done in Windows Live Movie Maker, but, although it’s easy to use, it lacks some features. One such feature that I particularly needed was the ability to separate audio from the video that I had recorded. I needed that feature to be able to superimpose pictures throughout the narration instead of releasing a complete video of yours truly as a talking head. That’s where Free Video to MP3 Converter came in. I simply ran the video through this software tool, and, viola! The result was an MP3 file, which I was able to use as audio along with the pictures that I had selected to give me the exact effect that I wanted. I then spliced the live video along with the pictures and audio narration mostly via drag and drop in Windows Live Movie Maker to accomplish the finished project.

Was it entirely painless? Absolutely not! Was it quick and easy? A resounding “No” as well. (That’s the reason for this post, so that you don’t have to scrounge cyberspace in order to get the tools that you need to do this job.) Nevertheless, I got the job done on time and without breaking the bank in order to make it happen.

Of course, my experience in this field is extremely limited. I am probably just scratching the surface when it comes to the resources available to make and edit video on a budget. So I leave it open for discussion:

What do you think of our most recent video? Let us know what’s good or what could be better.

Also, if you have experience in making and editing home video, I’d invite you to comment give us some of your favorite tools to do the job. (I’m using a PC, so I’m biased toward tools that run on Windows, but I invite comments from Mac users as well.)

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