|There is a correct way to save your Movie Maker projects, and you should know
how before you start editing for the first time … especially if you ever want to back up your
video project, transfer it to another computer, or re-edit your project in the future.
When you first save a project in Movie Maker 2, the program generates a “movie maker project
file” on your computer’s hard-drive. You can name and save this project file anywhere you want,
though Movie Maker will attempt to place it within your “My Movies folder.”
But what exactly IS this project file??
The project file is a “linking file“ that keeps track of every item in your home movie. This
includes every video clip, music song, picture, and voice track … the project file knows where
each of these items are located on your computer, how they are laid out on the movie timeline,
and what effects and transitions should be applied to each.
However, these video objects are not actually “embedded” within the project file. If you examine
the project file itself, you’ll see that it is only 1 meg in size … while your movie may contain
several gigabytes worth of video files. That’s because the project file only “links” to the actual
multimedia files. Because of this, you really need to organize all your files if you ever want
to re-edit your project.
Why is this?
Suppose that sometime in the future you decide to give your computer a “spring cleaning” and
reorganize some of your media files. You can damage a project if you inadvertently move or delete
a file that is used in one of your videos. The next time you open up your video project, Movie
Maker won’t find the media file “where it expected to find it” and your project will be forever
To avoid this
problem and keep your project intact, I recommend creating a new folder for each of your video
projects. You should then save every movie element into this folder before you
import them into Movie Maker. This folder should include your captured video, background music,
pictures, voice narration, and the project file itself. With all your files together like this,
there is no chance of a file being inadvertently deleted or moved. Plus, this method allows you
to easily transfer your entire project to another computer (or backup onto an external hard drive)
… all you have to do is copy and paste this single folder.
Don’t underestimate the importance of organization when it comes to editing video. Unless
you stay on top of things, your hard drive can quickly become cluttered with random video clips
and pictures, and you won’t know what’s safe to delete. Organizing each of your movies into its
own folder will save you a lot of trouble and heartache down the line.
Next: Editing Video with Movie Maker
You can find more
useful home-video "tips and tricks" like this one at Mighty Coach
- they even have an online-video course that teaches you to edit
video on your home computer!