Step 3: Time to edit

This practical guide will show you how to use basic editing skills within Windows Movie Maker.

TIP: When it comes to the editing of your film keep it simple. Sometimes using effects and transitions in your film can make it look cheesy. For the best results simply trim the start and end of your film, and let the interview speak for itself. If you are going to use any effects or transitions, only use the ‘Crossfade’ effect as this is the one that looks the most professional.

Once you have finished your recording, retrieve the film file from your phone/laptop/PC. The process for doing this will vary between devices.

Now you have your film file, open Windows Movie Maker.

Setting up your project

Screen grab of windows movie maker

Click the ‘Click here to browse for videos and photos’, select the film you wish to edit, and click ‘Open’

Screen grab showing how to open your film file

The film will now open in Windows Movie Maker like below. If like my film yours comes in the wrong way around, you can simply rotate your film using the rotate tool in the top bar of Movie Maker.

Screen grab showing how to rotate your film

You will also need to set the film's aspect ratio within the project. To do this click ‘Project’ at the top of Movie Maker, and select ‘Widescreen 16:9’.

Screen grab Showing how to make your file 16:9

To play back your film you can press the ‘Play’ button which is located just below your film.

Screen grab showing how to play your film


You can also scroll through your film using either of the two examples below…

You can click and hold the toggle bar and drag this forward and back

Screen grab showing the toggle button

You can use the black vertical bar located on your films timeline to the right of the screen. Clicking and holding the black vertical bar and dragging left or right allows you to scroll through your film.

Screen grab showing the second toggle option

Editing your film

Now you know the basics, you need to work on making the start and the end of your recording look tidy and smooth by removing the bits in the film where you physically press record and stop. So when you play your film it should just start with you sat back and relaxed, ready to talk.

To do this click ‘Edit’ at the top of the Movie Maker screen. The following options will appear.

Screen grab showing the edit option

To trim the start of your film, drag the toggle bar back to the start of your film. Press ‘Play’ and find the point in the film after you have pressed record and settled down, but before you start speaking. Once you have found the point in which you want to start your film, press ‘Pause’ (this is the same as the play button).

Screen grab showing the toggle button

Now you have found the point at which you want to start your film, click ‘Set Start Point’ which is located at the top of the screen within your ‘Edit’ tools. Once you have clicked this, this will make where you have selected the new start point for the film. So when you press ‘play now, it has removed the rough you originally had, and it should just start smoothly with you ready to talk.

Screen grab showing how to add your start point

Now do the same for your ending. Drag the toggle bar to the end of your film and find the point after you stop speaking, but before you move and press stop on the camera. When you have found this point click ‘Set end point’ which is located at the top of the screen within your ‘Edit’ tools. This has now set your end point for your film, so when you watch your film through, it now plays without the rough start and the rough end.

Screen grab showing how to add the end point

Saving your project

Now that your film is complete you need to save your project. To do this click the blue icon in the top left hand corner of the screen, and click ‘Save Project’.

Screen grab showing how to save your project

Choose the folder where you want your project to be saved and click ‘Save’. You can save your project throughout the process of editing just to be safe.

Screen grab showing how to have your project

Saving your project is different to saving your film. Saving your project will only save your editing process, which is good if you want to come back to old projects at a later date.

Exporting your finished film

You now need to export your film from your project. Doing this will provide you with a finished film file which you can then use to play back on laptops, or for upload to YouTube or Vimeo.

To do this click the blue icon in the top left hand corner of the screen, click ‘Save Movie’, and select ‘Recommended for this project’. Choose where you would like to save your film file and click ‘Save’. A WMV version of your film will now be available for you to either playback in Windows Media Player, or for upload to You Tube or Vimeo.

Screen grab showing how to export and save your film

Once you have uploaded your film file to YouTube you can then embed your YouTube link into your webpage.

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