With the advent of cheap consumer camcorders and cheap (or even free) video editing software, it is now very easy for anyone to put together the sort of home movie that was virtually impossible only a couple of years ago.

The top of the range editing programs are now the same ones that professionals use to produce films such as ‘O Brother where Art Though’ and other similar ones.

But if it all seems too much for you and you want to just put together some simple footage from your holiday, what do you need to do?

There are three steps to creating a video (assuming you have actually gone out and shot the footage using your camcorder)

1) Get the footage onto a PC

2) Sequence the footage together to form a movie

3) Output the movie to a format it can be viewed

The following does not rely on any particular piece of software but hopefully will indicate steps that can be taken on any software

1) Get the footage on your PC.

This is otherwise known as ‘capturing’ the footage. In years gone by this meant attaching your camera to your PC through a Firewire card and playing the footage onto the computer hard drive. However there are now cameras that capture the footage onto solid state cards which can be read by a PC directly, as well as cameras that record directly onto DVD. Regardless of what method you use to capture the footage it will need to end up as a set of files on your PC for editing. Some systems allow you to name your files to make it easier to identify them later, others assign a sequential number to each clip. If at all possible make sure you gather similar clips together , say in a folder, so they can easily be identified “Family at Sea World”, “Jimmy playing on the beach” etc.