Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lights! Camera! Action!



I’ve been making and re-making video trailers for the past couple of weeks, so I thought I’d talk about the process of doing same. I paid to have 3 made when I still operated on the, “Oh, I can’t do THAT,” wavelength. Moved on and decided I could and would!

What you need

First, of course,  you need pictures. I get mine from Fotolia, but there are loads of stock photo companies out there. Most of the licenses for XS pics are only $1.00, and XS is really all you need. If you want to use two or more pictures in a frame, Canva or PicMonkey is the place to go. Canva is free with a paid option. PicMonkey used to be free but now appears to offer a 7-day free trial only. Both have a learning curve, so play around and get comfortable before trying to do a final project.

The main thing you’ll need is Windows Movie Maker.  It’s a free download, but I had trouble getting it before I upgraded to Windows 10. I’d had it on another computer which wasn’t Windows 10, but the new laptop refused to operate it. Again, there’s a learning curve. I took a class offered by the local computer club--best $20 I ever spent! Google “windows movie maker online tutorial” for several options on YouTube and other sites.

You’ll probably want music to accompany your “movie”. I highly recommend Music2Hues. They have a wide variety of tracks at reasonable prices--and offer specials. I usually stock up if there’s a special going. Also, their customer service is excellent. On the two occasions I’ve had trouble downloading (and I know now what I did wrong), they made sure I got what I’d paid for without delay. They’ll be in zipped folders in your downloads--unzip and save to your music folder for handy access.

I’ve heard the ideal trailer is 90 second-2 minutes, but you can adjust.

How to do it

My trailer-making usually goes like this:

1.      Write a brief script--captions, if you will, to go with the pictures.
2.      Find photos on Fotolia to go with the captions.
3.      Once purchased and downloaded, they’re ready to be uploaded to your Windows Movie Maker.
4.      Move them around until you get the order you want.
5.      Begin adding captions to each picture. (If you want two pictures together in the same frame, go to Canva to create your own collage--use the Facebook post option.)
6.      Add a title frame at the beginning.
7.      Add ending frame (usually the book cover), a frame to tell where the book can be purchased, and a frame crediting the cover artist (unless it’s you), the photos, and the music.
8.      Preview--weak--use the “save as” option “for computer”--then move to your video     folder for easy access.
9.      The last step is uploading to YouTube. The reason I do this is because my blog and my website require the YouTube URL in order for the video to be placed on these sites. You can start your own YouTube channel to have the videos in one place. (Other sites, like           FB, let you upload direct from your computer.)

As I said, there’s a learning curve, so don’t get in a hurry, become frustrated, throw up your hands, and pay someone else big bucks to make the trailer for you. If I can do it, so can you!

To get an idea of what you can do (or maybe what NOT to do--LOL) visit my website and click on videos to see what I’ve done.

Once you get the hang of it, it’s a fun exercise--and you can always go back and edit everything at any time.

Questions? Leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you!

Here’s a sample of my latest:




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