Making Movies

Students can create movies on both Windows and Macintosh platforms with applications that come with the operating systems. Other movie-making applications with more features can be purchased. Instructions on this page are for Windows XP Movie Maker and Mac X iMovie 9.

Project Idea: Student Narration Over Video Clip

Although students can use camcorders and digital cameras to capture video, access to these devices can be limited at some schools. One project that can be modified for grade levels, computer access, differentiated instruction and more, is for students to take a prepared video clip (legal use), mute the sound, and then write and narrate a new script.
  1. Take a video clip from a source that permits editing. Be sure to attribute the source.
  2. Bring the video clip/s into MovieMaker or iMovie. (You may need to process the video slightly first -- directions below.)
  3. Mute the sound. If you want the sound on the video clip already muted, you will need to make a muted movie to share with students.
  4. Add a title slide at the beginning and a slide at the end with the citation information.
  5. Create the script and narrate.
  6. Save the movie in a format to share.
Please see the bottom of this page for more detailed instructions, tutorials and presentation for the Mass Day of Discovery, May 22, 2010..

Good Sources for Video Clips

The first step for video production is to have video. Students can film their own video or they can use video clips as long as legally permissible.
Discovery Education This is a subscription service. All Connecticut middle school science teachers currently have the Discovery Education Science for Middle Schools subscriptions.
  1. Sign in to Discovery Education and search on a keyword.
  2. Scroll down the left frame, Continue Narrowing By, and under By Video Detail, select "Editable."
  3. Continue Narrowing by as needed.
  4. Select your clip and click on the movie film icon to download.
  5. Windows XP users, skip to step 9. Mac X, iMovie 9 users: Open the application, MPEG Streamclip. The older version of iMovie does not require this step.
  6. Under File, Open Files and select the movie.
  7. Under File, Export to Quicktime and at top select the Compression type, Apple Intermediate Codec.
  8. Now click on Make Movie at the lower right, rename and save the movie.
  9. Windows XP: Open Movie Maker and Import the video. Mac X: Open iMovie and use the File menu to Import --> Movies.

Teacher's Domain
  1. Teacher's Domain is from WGBH that offers a free account.
  2. Register, sign in and go to advanced search.
  3. Select Permitted Use and choose Download, Share, & Remix.
  4. Use the keyword search to find video.
  5. Downloads as .zip type.
  6. The movie will be in a folder that was unzipped.
  7. Windows XP: Open Movie Maker and Import the video. Mac X: Open iMovie and use the File menu to Import --> Movies.

YouTube
  1. In FireFox, download the Easy YouTube Video Download 3.1. This is an add-in that will let you download to .mp4 so you can bring it into iMovie.
  2. Search and find the video you want.
  3. Below the video and Embed code, click to download as .mp4.
  4. Windows XP: Movie will need to be converted. Mac X: Open iMovie and use the File menu to Import --> Movies.

Project Procedure

  1. Take a video clip from a source that permits editing. Be sure to attribute the source. Keep the video segments short -- no more than 3 minutes. Start small with just a 1 min. to 1 min. 30 sec.
  2. Bring the video clip/s into MovieMaker or iMovie. (Mac users may need to process the video slightly first -- directions above.) Students can listen to the clip if you wish so they can hear the original narration. If you want the sound on the video clip already muted, you will need to make a muted movie to share with students.
  3. Windows XP: Mute the sound in MovieMaker by going to the Timeline, pressing the + symbol next to the Video and the audio files will be displayed. Right-click and Mute the audio. Mac: select just the audio files and delete them.
  4. Add a title slide at the beginning and a slide at the end with the citation information. You might want to add transitions after the title and before the citation. Windows XP: To add the citation information at the end, select the last slide and add the Title After the Segment. If you choose at the End, you'll get the default rolling credits and the citation information won't easily fit.
  5. Create the script and narrate. Make sure you are in the Timeline view and the playhead is where you want it as you narrate. You can crop and move the audio and make fine adjustments as needed. Redo and edit until satisfied with the result. Mac: 2 audio tracks are available, one for music and one for narration. Windows XP: Only 1 audio track available so if you want music, you will need to share the track with the narration, perhaps at the beginning and end.
  6. Save the movie in a format to share.

How To Make Movies

iMovie 9 Tutorials from Apple

Windows Movie Maker Tutorials

Create Home Movies with Movie Maker from Microsoft
Movie Maker Tutorials
Movie Maker Resources from eMints
from Scott Firenza
from the Manchester City College, UK

Presentation

Giving Voice to Their Vision: Student Script and Narrate a DE Video Segment
Movie Maker integrated with Discovery Education, PowerPoint presentation for Massachusetts Day of Discovery, May 22, 2010