4 video tools to help bring your community story to life

A man getting interviewed and videotaped Animated media offers a break from text and stills. You can create a video from photos you took at an event, or you can use a video camera to take some action shots and interviews of participants. If you’re interested in putting together a video, these tools can help you:

1. Free software

Based on what type of computer you’re using, it’s likely it came with free movie editing software. Macs come with iMovie pre-installed and some versions of Windows offer Movie Maker. If the version of Windows you’re using came without Movie Maker you can download it for free.


2. Animoto

This easy-to-use webite lets you create a polished video from your own pictures, short video clips and/or text.  Use their simple tools to upload and arrange your media files and choose from their extensive music selection or your own to bring your video to life. You can share your videos on various external websites for free, but if you want to download the videos you’ll have to pay a small fee. Animoto lets you create 30-second videos for free. For $5/month you can create videos up to 10 minutes long. Animoto offers support for non-profits where you can apply for a free upgrade. Here's an example of a video created using Animoto:

3. Magisto

This software enhances videos via simple editing options. You choose your own picture and video files, a pre-made theme and then add a soundtrack. Magisto automatically takes out the “boring” aspects of your videos so you don’t have to spend hours editing them. There is a limit of 16 videos and 5 images and can be up to 25 minutes per upload. It lets you share your video to other social networks but costs a fee of $17.99 for the year to download it.


4. Adobe Premiere Elements

If you're looking to take the next step, this is a more advanced video editing tool. If you are a nonprofit and a member of TechSoup, you can get both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements for only $22. These photo and video editing software programs offer some of the most popular advanced editing tools from the full versions. We use Adobe Premiere Elements to edit our videos - see an example:

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Connecticut Civic Ambassadors are everyday people who care about and engage others in their communities by creating opportunities for civic participation that strengthens our state’s "civic health."

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