Monday, September 24, 2007

Windows Movie Flaker

This week at the Diner, we're discussing anything and everything under the sun, so brace yourselves for some out-there topics. For example, I'm going to be talking about a program called Windows Movie Maker (WMM) that some writer types are rumored to have used to produce "book videos". Under my penname Ellie Marvel, I sold 2 novellas to Red Sage Publishing for their line of Secrets anthologies. One of the authors in Secrets 21, Cynthia Eden, created a spiffy book video for her anthology, and the response to it inspired me to try my hand at one for Secrets 22.

Don't worry, this isn't going to be a "buy my book" entry. (You can't, it's not out until December!) It's going to be an "arrrrrgh, technology!" entry.

Under the influence of 6 different cold, allergy and nausea medications -- because you can never have enough germs -- I undertook my WMM video project on Friday, September 21, and produced a rough draft of a one minute and ten second clip the night of Sunday, September 23. That might seem reasonable, but from my perspective the week-end was drawn out, torturous, and surreal. It didn't help matters that I'm not artistic, musical or an aspiring film director.

But it was educational. I learned that I hate Windows Movie Maker, that I really REALLY am not an aspiring film director, and most royalty free music is too expensive for my generous budget of three dollars and eighty seven cents. I learned that my children resent the heck out of my computer. (Ok, I already knew that part.) I learned that sick children resent the computer even more than healthy children. And I learned that blaminig my foul mood on illness only covers me when I'm in bed, not when I'm bent obsessively over the laptop, struggling not to pound it into submission when WMM froze AGAIN at a critical juncture.

Here are some interesting statistics from my week-end with WMM:

73 -- times Windows Movie Maker crashed right before I could click the "Save" button (bastard!)
50 -- hours that passed from beginning of the project to the end
46 -- times the baby (DD #2) crawled into my lap and screeched in an attempt to get my attention (it worked)
21 -- times I checked my temperature to see if my fever had broken yet
20 -- times my fever had not broken
14 -- times per day my husband encouraged me to step AWAY from the laptop
12 -- photos downloaded from a stock photo site
11 -- photos that didn't quite work for the video in question, no matter how I edited them
8 -- hours per day the baby cried, or so it seemed
7 -- hours per day DD #1 watched Scooby Doo on the TV (my desk is in the tv room)
6 -- cans of ginger ale consumed
4 -- boxes of tissues used by the snotty mommy and equally snotty baby
3 -- birthday parties DD #1 was scheduled to attend during the timeframe of my master creation
1 -- birthday parties I personally took her to
1 -- terrible movies watched when I could have been video editing
1 -- generic, imitative, utilitarian, uninspired video product of my drugged up, frustrating, fever inducing weekend

And it still needs fixing, but not tonight. Maybe not tomorrow. I'll be damned if I hurt my already sore throat screaming when WMM crashes right before I can click "Save."

Hope you all have more luck if you ever try book videos! Word of advice: don't do it when you are sick, have children at home, or might want to take time off to eat, sleep or be merry.

Jody W.


  1. Jody, you REALLY need to lay off the cold meds. You're scaring me. Actually, Windows Movie Maker is scaring me. I just looked and I have it on my laptop, though I've never used it. From your post, I don't think I ever will. *shiver*

  2. See, this is why I fear technology. I always lose! And I still bet your rough, utilitarian, imitative video is a thousand times better than whatever I would manage to put together. There's a reason I named my computer Hal, ya know. Hope you feel better!

  3. Wow, this video stuff sounds scary! Morbid curiosity makes me what to visit your site and at the same time I want to pat you on the back for trying to do something that seems akin to walking on the moon to me.

  4. Oh, it's not available for public consumption yet. My site is still a safe place to visit :)

    Jody W.

  5. Are you sure this wasn't a plot to make you surrender your salmon to mean kitty?

    I smell a conspiracy.

    (or maybe bad fish)

    Hugs hon,


  6. It may be safe, but will I end up on candid camera?-debralee