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assembling your clips

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When creating a birthday or other similar video, I try to accomplish two things. First, I try to tell a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. This helps keep the viewer's attention. Second, I try to chronicle the event, primarily by making sure I include all key shots inherent to the occasion, like a shot of everyone singing “Happy Birthday,” and all key participants, typically family and important friends. Then I chop off the rest, aggressively and relentlessly, to keep the movie as short as possible. With Premiere Elements, you'll do part of this work in the Monitor window and part on the Timeline.

If you captured with Scene Detect enabled, as described in Chapter 2, you're probably staring at a bunch of video clips in the Media Window: one for each time you started and stopped recording on your DV camera. Having these clips broken out is helpful, but to provide the necessary pace, you'll usually have to cut additional frames from these clips before using them in the final movie.

This is the Media Window in Icon view, which shows a thumbnail of the first frame of each captured video clip to help jog your memory of the contents.

Double click any icon and Premiere Elements will open the clip in the Monitor window, shown on the following page.

review your clips

After capture, you should play each clip to see how the video looks and to refamiliarize yourself with exactly what you shot. Then you can start shaping the raw captured clips into a polished video production.

When you double click a clip in the Media window Premiere Elements automatically enters Clip view with your clip open. This view contains a different set of tools than Timeline view, discussed in on page 34.

You can tell which view you're in by noticing which button is depressed atop the Monitor and change views by clicking the other button.

Premiere Elements offers several ways to move through your clip in the Monitor. Start by dragging the Current Time Indicator slider through the clip, and then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to locate exact frames.

Then try the shuttle. Notice how it increases speed as you drag it away from the center, which can be very useful with longer clips.

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