creating/editing your own videos

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Video Editing Software

Here are some basic video editing programs for beginners:

iMovie (Mac)!
Free and included with all Apple computers. App version available for iPhones and iPads for $4.99. (Warning: App versions are simplified and may not provide as many options.) Apple computers on campus should come with iMovie. Warning: You will need to set aside space to store iMovie video projects. Anticipate that you might need 5-10GB of space.

Movie Maker (Windows… sortof) – Recommended? Maybe?
Up until very recently, MovieMaker was a standard part of Microsoft’s free “Windows Essentials” software package. Essentially, it was seen as the Windows version of iMovie. For many Windows users, MovieMaker came standard on their machine or it could be installed for free. All of that was fine and dandy… until Windows 10. Now, Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows Essentials and is no longer updating MovieMaker.

Having said that, MovieMaker is still available online and still works for many people. If you want to install it, here is a website where it is still available: You can also do a websearch and find it available for download several other places. However, use these links with care and run your virus checker. Many of my students have used the link I just supplied without issues, but this is not an official source for this software.

WeVideo (Windows & Macs, Webbrowser/cloud based) –!
Low-cost and web-based video editing program. Comes with cloud storage. (Yay, no need for extra computer memory!) The cloud storage option makes WeVideo really useful if you’re moving between different computers or different computer labs. A premium WeVideo account costs $25-39 for a year. However, for a short 1 time project, you can often make due with the free service. Warning: The free version is great for a trial run, but it doesn’t allow for significant storage and export time per month. Be careful if you go with this option. Minimize your exports and keep an eye on your numbers.

Movie Maker (Windows 10+, app)
Low-cost video editing program for Windows 10. Limited features, but it seems to work and it’s free. (This is not a new version of Windows Movie Maker, it’s an application with the same name.)

HitFilm Express (Windows, Macs) –
(Direct link to download:
Free video and video effects editor with paid add-on options. If you’re interested in progressing to using Adobe Premiere, you might want to try this software out. Some students have reported to me that HitFilm helped them advance to Adobe Premiere more easily. They found that the HitFilm interface paralleled Premiere in certain ways and made it easier for them to figure out Premiere on their own

Pitivi (Linux) –
Free and popular video editing tool for Linux.

VEGAS Movie Studio (Windows) –
A suite of video, image, and audio editing software. As of 2016, the cost of the basic version averages $50.

Camtasia (Windows, Macs) –
Video editing and screen recording software. As of 2016, the cost of the basic version averages $169.

Video editing expert? If you’re experienced with video editing you may prefer to use a program like Adobe Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro.


Cloud Storage Recommendations

If you are working on your project across different computers, you’ll need to make sure your files are accessible from multiple locations. You could try an external drive, but many prefer to use cloud storage. Here are some popular cloud storage options.

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Check Your School’s Online Storage Options – Popular online courseware often includes a “locker” or digital storage feature. For example on D2L/MyCourses, you can use the Locker feature to store and transfer files. Check with your teacher or tech support to investigate your options.


Video Editing Tips!

  • For WeVideo Users: Get Out of Basic Mode!
    Are you using WeVideo in Storyboard mode? Are you ready for more options? Look at the top left of the page. Just below the WeVideo logo is a button that says “Storyboard.” Click on the small triangle just to the right of it and look at the options on the dropdown menu. Timeline (S) mode gives you more options and Timeline (A) gives you the most options.
  • For iMovie Users Who Need to Access Their Files on Multiple Computers:
    Here are the steps you need to consolidate your iMovie files and make them portable.

    • Go to File –> Open Library
    • Choose “New” or “Other” (depending on whether the library already exists) and access the library’s location.
    • Now that you’ve opened the library, it will now appear in the iMovie Library Browser
    • Create and/or access the new folder or “Library” in the backup location.
    • In the original library, Consolidate Event Media. This will gather everything into the original library. (You may already be storing your files/clips in one place, but do this step anyway. Just in case.)
    • Now, you’re ready to move the project or “Event” to the new location.
      • Select the correct Event in the project browser.
      • Drag/drop the Event to the new library location.
    • Check on and save everything you’ve just done.
      • Right-click the new library location and choose “Reveal in Finder.”
      • Make sure all the files you need now appear in this new location.

Any additional tips? Do you have another tool you like? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!