When creating videos for a library, one must first secure video editing software. Ideally, this should be:
- Free; or
- Did I say free? Free is better.
Two serviceable free options were Windows Movie Maker Live (WMML) and iMovie. Microsoft used to bundle WMML in Windows Essentials (WE) 2012, a free download from Microsoft's website. Sadly, Microsoft discontinued supporting this software on January 10, 2017, so it is no longer available. If your library still uses Windows 7, then it's possible WE 2012 might have been included in the operating software installation, but it usually needed to be manually added in a separate download/installation. Still, it's worth checking.
Windows Movie Maker Live was reasonably easy to use and made satisfactory videos by beginners' standards. Here's an example of one of our videos using WMML.
MPL Book Trailer #302
Took, by Mary Downing Hahn
I also created library videos using iMovie software, which came installed free on the iMac. Here's an example.
MPL Book Trailer #91
Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell
iMovie was more sophisticated than the original Windows Movie Maker, but WMML added improvements that made it more comparable to iMovie. The current version is 9.0.9 and is available to download free from Apple. iMovie is reasonably easy to use, once one becomes accustomed to its functionality (I guess that could be said about any software). Of course, you need a Mac (or an Apple mobile device with a suitable app) to run it.
Eventually, my library will upgrade beyond Windows 7, and my copy of WMML will be lost. Since my iMac died a few years ago (thanks to my clumsiness, it took a three-foot plunge into cyber oblivion, scrambling its innards when it hit the floor), iMovie has not been an option. So last year I searched for an inexpensive replacement software with superior editing capabilities. I found an ideal choice in Filmora Wondershare, which is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android platforms. It cost only $59.99 for a lifetime license (for a single computer user), but other pricing options are available for one-year or for multi-users. Here is an example of one of our videos created with Filmora Wondershare.
Ukulele Checkout Promo Trailer, by Mooresville Public Library
Filmora Wondershare is considerably more robust than WMML or iMovie were, although, in fairness, I haven't seen a recent version of iMovie, which has undoubtedly been improved since my iMac's demise in 2013. Still, if you don't have a Mac, Filmora Wondershare may be an appealing alternative. It is reasonably user-friendly and can do many nice touches.
Once you have video editing software, you can begin to assemble basic videos, particularly those that use still images and text, like many simple book trailers or program trailers. Looking to create your own live-action videos? You'll need a decent digital camera with video capability. We'll cover that in a future post. Meanwhile, here's an example of live-action from our YouTube channel.
Power Up Charging Stations Promo Trailer,
by Mooresville Public Library