jimmy duranteIn the 1950s, comedian and singer Jimmy Durante used to snap back at hecklers by saying “Everybody wants to get into the act.” Now, practically everybody is. Some shows are home produced, some get public funding, some copy well-known movies and TV shows. Thousands of people are out there on camera, and then they’re all is the leading site for people looking for funding to make new products, inventions and, yes, shows. Right now, this very real-life minute, 52,168 videos are still seeking or have already been funded by Kickstarter contributions. It’s happening all over the world: Bulgarians have put on an “Eat Me” song and dance show to get people to eat more vegetables. “The World of Tomorrow” is in America about a girl who clones herself – and it won the grand prize this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Durante was not only right, but prophetic: Everybody does want to get into the

Where do we go from here? Well, most videos are funded by no one. If you search for homemade videos on and, you will find thousands. We found a TV series being made by a 7-year-old and professional-quality series made by people who want to star in their own sci-fi and police detective shows. If it looks like an episode of “Star Trek,” that’s not accidental; apparently you can copy anything as long as you’re not doing it.

What do you need? A camera, a video editing program and a box of ideas. You can even skip the camera sometimes and just pull all your images off the Web. You don’t need much; we’re thinking of filming our next vacation on Mars, with a side trip to Saturn. Not wanting to actually go into space – which could be dangerous – we decided to remain in a comfortable office chair and have tea.

To put it together, we tried the new $60 Pinnacle Studios 19, which has a 30-day free trial period. We could have used Adobe After Effects or Premiere Pro, the choice of many experts, but Pinnacle is $100 cheaper (and so are we) and it comes with 30 days of free training. The training is from, and it’s excellent. After the 30 days, if you still need more, it’s $6 a month (less than a movie ticket).

One of the new features in Pinnacle 19 is the “multicamera editor.” If Mom and Dad, Grandma, Grandpa and Junior all take photos of the same event, the multicamera editor will weave them together and adjust the lighting so they look like they came from one camera. It helps if no one was shooting into the sun. Another new feature is what’s called “Audio Ducking.” This automatically lowers the background sounds so that the narrator or music can be heard.

Most video editing programs also have live screen captures: Whatever you see on your computer can be added to your video. This is especially helpful if you want to make your own training videos, showing people exactly where to click.

If you just want to make a photo slideshow, consider the free Google Picasa. It makes it easy to assemble music and photos, and then click to create movie. Click another on-screen button and you can upload it to YouTube. If you Google “Creating a Movie with Photos and Music using Picasa,” you’ll see a YouTube video that shows you how to do it. Everybody not only wants to, but can get into the act.

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