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How To Turn Home Movies Into DVDs

DVD-R, TechnologyNancy Woo22 July 2012

One of the best things about modern technology is using it to suit your personal needs. Making your own movies has been on the top priorities list of homegrown American families since the VHS recorder was invented, but these days technology has allowed for so many grassroots movies to sprout. Just look to YouTube for evidence. Yet, the Internet isn’t the only place to store those precious homemade movies. It’s a great idea to have personal movies stored on DVD, not only for safekeeping but also to showcase proudly in your physical library.

So, how can this be accomplished?

First of all, most movies recorded on mobile phones, camcorders or handheld cameras will appear on your computer as .AVI or .MOV files. We’re going to go through the basic process of converting .AVI files to DVD.

1)    Connect your video source (camera, camcorder or phone) into your computer using the appropriate USB cable.

2)    Download the files to your computer. Depending on the quality, length and speed of your transfer, this can take anywhere from minutes to a couple hours. Be patient, and try not to use the computer for other purposes while the transfer is taking place.

3)    Once the .AVI files are successfully stored on your computer’s hard drive, you’ll need video editing software to touch up the movie and then burn it to disc. Using your choice of editing software, open your .AVI files with the software and import them into the library. Make sure to save the file with a unique name you will remember.

4)    Here comes the fun part! Using your editing software, you can tweak the footage to your liking, removing unwanted scenes, fixing shaky images and even adding special effects, transitions and title scenes. This is a far stretch from your mom’s home movies of the 80s.

5)    Save your new edited footage with a different file name than the original, so that you can always have the raw footage to return to should you ever wish to return to original scenes or start anew. You can save it as a .AVI file or as a DVD project.

6)    Next, you will need DVD authoring software and a high quality blank DVD. Using the DVD authoring software, import your edited file into the program and save as a new file.

7)    You can then create a DVD menu page and add scenes, creating a professional looking DVD file just like the ones you buy off the shelves. Except, this time, the movie is about you!

8)    Once you have the project finalized to your liking, burn the movie to a blank DVD.

9)    If you want to go all out, you can use professional DVD printing to print a customized color label to the surface of the DVD, imprinting your own title and images.

10) Store it in a case and put it on your shelf, ready to show any wayfarer who enters your home!

This process is so easy and fun, and all you need to create your own professional looking movies and DVDs is to invest in editing software (some computer come with basic programs, like Apple iMovie), DVD authoring software, and a stack of reliable blank DVDs. Once you have these in your bag, you’re ready to go. Happy movie-making!

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