Editing Family Videos and Movies for your Family Website

Your family videos don’t need to look amateurish. Your computer probably has a video editing program (like Windows Movie Maker) included and it is designed to be ease to use. These video editing programs allow you to import multiple videos, clips, place the clips in a sequence, adjust the length of each clip, create transitions between clips and modify the sound. When you are finished you "publish" the end results as a "movie".


The first stage in the editing process is to import all the video footage from your camcorder to your computer – a process known as "Capturing". Video footage takes up a lot of disk space on your hard drive. Create multiple folders to separate video clips. Capturing from a digital camera is easy, just connect via USB and drag the files into the folder. If you have a video camera that uses tape your FireWire® interface will enable you to start and stop your camcorder’s control buttons via the editing software on your computer.

Choosing Clips

After loading the family video clips into the computer select which clips you’re going to keep and what aspects of the clips you want to use. With most editing programs you can drag and drop the clip, which is usually indicated by a thumbnail image, into the main editing window. Mark the start of the good sections (in editing terms is called the‘inpoint’). and set the "out point' By creating inpoints and outpoints, you’re only choosing footage that you want to keep in your final version and all the rest will be 'lost on the cutting room floor'. Follow this trimming process with all of your clips.


After trimming all of your clips put the remaining video clips in the proper order as you tell your ‘story’ from beginning to end. Your editing program should represent this on the menu as a 'timeline'. Now play all of the clips in sequence and decide if its too long or if there are video clips that are not necessary. If you created a storyboard does it match up to the timeline?

Special Effects and Transitions

With all of your video clips strung together and with all the boring bits gone, you’re not done. Each clips should flow into the next so you’ll want to use transition effects to achieve this. Instead of jumping from one clip to another you might want to 'dissolve' between scenes or morphing from one clip into another. These effects will have a duration (less than second is usually good). Captions and credits can also be added in the
same manner.


Add a voiceover to the film by recording your narration with a microphone connected to your computer and using Windows Sound Recorder on a PC to capture your voiceover as a .WAV file. Music can also be imported into a relevant place on the timeline.

Save and Publish

Save, save and save. Making a good family video takes time and uses a lot of storage space. Save your progress often. When your family video is ready use your editing software to 'publish' your video. Publishing takes all different files and makes a single movie fie. This file is usually in a format such as .mov, .wmv, .avi or .mpg. This final file is what you will upload to the Family Video area in Family Crossings™. Our video software takes your video and converts to .flv (adobe flash) and creates a thumbnail image of the movie. When your family members click on the video clip the movie starts streaming instantly.

Setting up a family website to share your family videos is fast.