Poetry 2.0


Movie Maker Poetry Assignment

Assignment: For this assignment you will be required to create a short Theme movie using still images that are carefully timed to a music track. Please read everything carefully, as there are detailed assignment requirements that follow. Visit linked sites, and follow directions closely to achieve the best results.


There are three terms commonly used to describe the various steps in the movie making process: pre-production, production, and post production.

Step 1. Pre-production is the “getting ready” step, and includes all of the planning required for a successful movie. This can include: script breakdown, storyboarding*, designing costumes, creating props, finalizing set locations, preparing camera equipment, arranging finances, and other logistics.

*a storyboard usually consists of a series of drawings to help plan the look of individual shots – like a comic book. Not to confuse you, there is a “storyboard” option in Movie Maker that helps you to see where you’ve placed different images or video on the timeline.

Step 2. Production is the actual “shooting,” filming or video-taping, of the movie.

Step 3. Post-production is everything that happens after the movie has been filmed or video-recorded. This includes inserting missing shots, adding additional dialogue recording (ADR), adding music, inserting transitions and titling.

You may be asking, “Why do I need to know this?” For this first assignment you won’t actually be video-recording any material, however, you won’t skip entirely to the post production step. Instead, your post-production will consist of carefully considering what theme you are going to use, and what images and music will best suit that theme.

In viewing your movie, it must be evident that neither the music nor any images are randomly chosen. Instead, images, music, and titles must all work together to convey your specific purpose.

For a full explanation of how Windows Movie Maker works, visit the site link below. IMPORTANT: the site uses flash video. It takes a short time for each video to load, and works best if no other video or sound program is operating at the same time. You may choose to have the Movie Maker program open at the same time, and switch back and forth between the two. Just save your work often, and be prepared for things to take a little longer…

There are 17 videos in total, but RELAX. They’re short. Also with the browser window maximized, you have the ability to start, stop or pause at anytime by using the Flash video control bar at the bottom of the screen. It should look like this:

It is recommended that you watch all of the videos first, before starting your own movie. It’s not against the law to flip back and forth between the two. Just be aware that you may encounter a difficulty that is addressed in the tutorial video – usually mere seconds after you have just spent half-an-hour wrestling with the program.

So watch the Free Windows Movie Maker 2.1 Training Videos! by clicking on the link below, then come back and get the details for your assignment.


Detailed Assignment Steps:

Make a new folder called YourName’s Movie (John’s Movie) and keep all your images and music in this folder so you will have it when you start to create your movie.

  1. Brainstorm and identify a theme you would like to explore through images and sound. A theme can be a moral, a message, or a point of view, and can include any number of topics. For example, a simple topic might be “sports.” Your theme might be “the danger of sports.” Your theme could be more complex, and explore issues such as classism or racism.
  1. Listen to a variety of songs, or musical performances and choose one that is appropriate for your theme. As you are listening, be aware of changes in the tempo, beat, and melody. In your movie you will want to time images to these changes so that they are synchronized. For more music terms, visit: http://www.contracosta.edu/music/terms.html
  1. Import a song into the Windows Movie Maker using Capture Video>Import audio or music
    • If you are using a music CD you will have to access it using your computer’s Real Player program. Select the track, right click, and save it as an MP3 in your home folder before importing to Movie Maker.
  1. Drag the music onto your timeline. If you are in storyboard mode, it will automatically switch to the timeline mode. If reading this doesn’t make sense, it will when you actually do it.
  1. Scan pictures from books or magazines, or use an internet search engine to find images that will suit your theme. The image tab is useful, but sometimes more limiting than searching for websites that will automatically have useful images incorporated into their pages. Hint: brainstorm and experiment with as many “associated” words as possible. I recommend Visual Thesaurus to find related words.
  1. Save your images for importing into Window Movie Maker.
  1. It’s a good idea to keep all of your music and image files in a single, safe space. If you move files around or delete them, it will create problems when you reopen Movie Maker and it goes to look for the source files. (See above)
  1. It’s important to collect images that have a decent resolution so that they can fit the entire screen without appearing bitty, or pixilated. Higher resolution images allow you to use video effects, like zoom, without losing image quality. Another very important note: most screens use an aspect ratio of 4:3. That means if the image is 800 pixels wide, it should be 600 pixels high to maintain the proper ratio. Otherwise you will end up with black bands on either side (or top and bottom) of the image. Use a photo-editing program to resize images to conform to the 4:3 aspect ratio (1600 x 1200, 1200 x 900, 640 x 480, etc).
  1. Import your images into Windows Movie Maker, using Capture Video>Import pictures.
    • Tip: you can import all of them at once by using shift>click, or Ctrl>a
  1. Drag individual pictures onto your timeline, or into the storyboard spaces.
  1. You will have to carefully adjust the duration each image plays for in order to time the specific images with specific lyrics in your soundtrack, or synchronize a change in image with a change in the music. Transitions between images will also affect the timing of images.
  1. Include at least two titles in your movie: One at the beginning to display the title of your theme, and one at the end to give credit to the musical artist. These credits must appear while the music is playing, therefore it is important to include the theme title before you fine-tune the timings of various images. If wait until the end of the editing process to include your title, all of your other images will get “pushed” out of place and will no longer be in sync with changes in the music.
  1. As you are working on your movie, remember to save your PROJECT regularly. Once your movie is completely finished, you must save your MOVIE FILE. This is an important distinction, since the project file is like a master-set of instructions. This set of instructions tells Windows Movie Maker where to find all of the little “bits” of image and audio so you can continue to re-arrange it.
A saved movie file, on the other hand, is a WMV movie file that has essentially been exported. It is a finished file and cannot be modified or edited any more.

This is a link to a sample video. The song is When You're Smiling by Nat King Cole.

See the RUBRIC to evaluate your assignment.