Does anyone know of a good program for making audio/slideshow trailers?
I am putting together a trailer for my forthcoming book that will include a slide show, voice artists reading extracts of a dialogue from the book, and a background score. Is there a software program I can use to mix it on my own computer? I am familiar with Windows Movie Maker. I am trying to avoid paying to rent a recording studio for the dialogue since I do not have a large budget.
Any advice will be gratefully received - I don't want to let my book down with a shoddy trailer!
Alright so, I'm going to respond largely to the audio portion of this question. You say due to budget restrictions you're trying to avoid paying to rent a recording studio and that's understandable. If you are looking to capture dialogue such as an interview or even a single monologue voice-over an inexpensive option is the Snowball by Blue Microphones. On Amazon I am able to find them for around $50 and I know they work well. For even less money, your iPhone, when held really close to your mouth can actually provide surprisingly good results. Pair that with an app that can record audio in .WAV format or .aif format and you've got clean audio that maintains a high level of fidelity. The problem with the latter option is that there's no production value, it looks very...DIY very intentionally budget reducing.
I'm not familiar with Window's Movie Maker so I can't speak towards the benefit of that software however I have heard it to be rather limited when compared to things such as Apple's Final Cut or Adobe's Premier. However, if you don't need too many audio editing tools like high-pass / low pass filters, EQ filters and things such as that then Window's Movie Maker could do the trick. All it sounds like you need to be able to do is take audio files and place them where you want them, in a timeline, as images appear and transition from one to the next. This can easily be achieved.
Lastly, while I'm all for learning to accomplish all of this by yourself I strongly believe that the best thing you can do for your product is to invest in it confidently. I like to use the analogy that while you can play Mozart on a $50 violin from Wal-Mart it will not sound as good as when played on a Stradivarius from the 1700s. What I mean by this is you are in the early stages of reaching out to people and getting them interested in your product, in this case a book. The more polished, professional, and well produced your delivery method, the more refined your communication to your audience is the better their perception of it will be. If you have it in the budget to make a well produced slide-show, fantastic sounding audio, well crafted imagery, and intelligently, purpose-written background score...do it. Invest early on so as to give your product the best foundation possible.
Thanks so much for this, Steve - you've hit the nail on the head, I think. I will keep this all in mind as I go through the process - and if the results aren't what I want quality-wise, then I will have to bite the bullet and invest a little more. SInce downloading WMM (and finally managing to find it thanks to Daniel's help!) I've created a rough draft which runs at about a minute and a half - the credits look good, now its down to the imaging and the audio. It's a real learning curve, I'll say that!
Thanks again for your advice, very much appreciated!
Since you already have experience with Windows Movie Maker I would recommend using that. It may not have come with your version of Windows 8 but it is still free and can be downloaded from the official website:
Install Linux in a dual boot with your windows and use KDENLIve and audacity. Open Source software rocks
Camtasia is probably your best bet. Easy to understand right away and has everything you need to get your slideshow video done. If you want something more advanced, go with Final cut, but there's a learning curve with it.
You can try Ezvid (http://www.ezvid.com/), which is also free. I haven't tried it but seems quite easy to use.
I hope that helps.
Have you tried #Powtoon? for Ready-made 'Fun' prez?