You want to know why home video's gotten a bad name? It's because nobody bothers to edit it. A video involving the baby and an upturned bowl of spaghetti? A laugh riot—for about 30 seconds. But 25 minutes of it? Chinese Water Torture, dude.
But this is the amateur-video era. Web sites like YouTube and Google Video have made short, tightly crafted videos an essential form of self-expression (and sometimes, instant celebrity).
Fortunately, Windows Vista comes equipped with the tools—basic, but real—for editing the video from a camcorder or digital camera, trimming out the boring parts, and dressing it up with credits, music, and so on.
Vista even includes a basic DVD menu-design program, so you can burn your own DVDs, complete with scene-selection screens. Let the creativity begin.
Movie Maker comes only with the Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista, and DVD Maker comes only with Home Premium and Ultimate. Apparently, people in companies don't have cameras.
You open Movie Maker by choosing Start→All Programs→Windows Movie Maker. (If you're using the Business or Enterprise version of Vista, you're out of luck. You're obviously far too busy with big corporate projects to be mucking around with movies.)
The Movie Maker screen appears, as shown in Figure 15-1. Its left-side Tasks pane indicates the three major steps you'll take to put a movie together: ...