American Masters -- PRAIRIE TO PARIS -- Exploring the Worlds of MY ANTONIA and THE SUN ALSO RISES
Prairie Paris About the Project

This tutorial is broken into basic skills, more advanced tips and a 10-step sample movie exercise. It will be most helpful for you if you print out this page and keep it with you while you play with the movie-making tool.

Click for a printable page


Add Images
* Select an image from the Photo Bank thumbnails on the left. When you roll your mouse over the top or bottom of the strip, the images will scroll. Drag your selection into the large window, or on to the video editing track at the bottom, marked with a video icon.

Create the Trailer Timeline
* Each image you select can remain on the screen for the length of time you determine. We shall refer to each image as a "scene." You can increase the time or decrease the time of a scene by simply clicking on the image and dragging it to the right or left.

Add Text
* Select the image (or "scene") where you want to add text. Click on the "Add Text" button. A text screen will appear on top of the image. Type your text. The length of time the text remains on the screen can be determined by stretching or shrinking the green "text" box in the editing track.

Add Sound
* Click on the "Choose Sound" button at the right. This will give you a choice of four tracks, all of different length. If you plan on making a long trailer, select a longer track. You may also change the sound selection once the trailer is complete if it is not sufficiently long.

Add Fade In/Out Effects
*To create a fade in or fade out effect, select the scene by clicking on it in the timeline, and then click either the "Fade In" or "Fade Out" button. You will see the triangular fade shade in your timeline.

Starting Over
* Scenes can not be deleted. If you make a mistake and want to start over, click the Refresh button on your browser. This will provide you a clean timeline.


Creating Pans and Zooms
*Each scene has a start and an end point. Your zooms and pans animate from a start to an end. To create a zooming effect, select a scene by clicking on it in the timeline. Now you can make the image large or smaller to create a "zoom" effect by dragging the Resize slider right or left. To create a "panning" effect, select the image and drag it in the large window. You may create the pan from any direction by moving the image.

Customizing Text
* Select the text you wish to modify by clicking on the text box in your timeline. Now you will be able to move your mouse into the text area in the large window. When you do so, several icons will appear above your text. You can increase the size of the text by clicking on the top icons "A->larger A" or "A-> smaller A". You can change the alignment with the two left margin and center icons. You can move the text by dragging the grey border text box around the image within the large window. You can also use the green right-hand corner to change the text width.


Step One: Select the eight images indicated in the third picture on the right and drag them into your timeline, one at a time. You may need to roll your cursor over the top or bottom to scroll. The images, in order, are: an injured Heminway on crutches, an image of someone writing, a bullfighter with cape, Hemingway with a bull, Hemingway's friends in Paris, a closeup of a bullfighter waving, THE SUN ALSO RISES manuscript and a bookstore featuring the book.

Step Two: Select the second picture, of a person writing. Slide the "resize" button to the left.

Step Three: Click on the Add text button. Type in "Exploring the World of Ernest Hemingway." Shrink the text by clicking on the small icon "A-> smaller A". Move the text to the lower right-hand corner using the grey border of the text box. To make your text stay on the screen the whole "scene", extend the Text box to cover the length of that image.

Step Four: Select picture #3 of the bullfighter. Click the "Fade In" button.

Step Five: Select picture #4 of Hemingway with a bull. Click on the "Fade Out" button.

Step Six: Select picture #5 of the group of Hemingway's friends. Select the image and move it to the left so that half of the image is outside the main window for a panning effect.

Step Seven: Select picture #6 of a bullfighter. Slide the Resize button to the far right. Click "Fade Out" button.

Step Eight: Select picture #7 of THE SUN ALSO RISES manuscript. Slide the Resize button to the far left. Click on "Fade In"

Step Nine: Select picture#8 of the book store. Click on "Fade Out"

Step Ten: Play your movie. Note where the sound track ends. You now should "shrink" or "stretch" the various scenes so that they fit the sound. You can do this by selecting the images in the timeline and moving them to the left. Your end product will be about the lenght of the movie pictured here. Feel free to change the sound and add more on your own.

Add Text

Add Text. This image illustrates the text box feature. Notice the grey border on the text box. This is how you can move the text around the image. Also, the small icons on top for manipulating the look of the text.

Add Sound

Select Sound.This image illustrates how you can select from four different sound tracks. (Or no music if you prefer.) Each track has the length of time indicated in parentheses.


Sample Movie Example

Choose eight images. This image illustrates how you have selected eight images and dragged them into the timeline. You have selected the second image, typed in text and moved it to the lower right-hand corner.

Sample Movie Example

Add Effects.This image illustrates how you have added different effects to your eight scenes. If you look closely, you will see grey triangles indicating fades in and out. However, after listening, you realize your trailer is too long for your movie trailer and now need to shrink some of the scenes.

Sample Movie Example

Adjust Scene LengthThis image reflects the fact that you have squeezed some of the scenes down to a shorter length, thus making it fit your music track.

PRAIRIE TO PARIS American Masters