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Turning Your Movies into DVDs

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It is becoming easier and easier to build digital still and movie collections in your computer, but what do you do with all that content? Matthew David explains how you can effortlessly create Hollywood-style DVDs containing all your own footage. Your name may not be Spielberg, but there's no reason why you can't pretend to be him.
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If you are running Windows XP or Mac OS X, you likely have software on your computer that allows you to build movies. You might be using Movie Maker, iMovie, Picture Story, or any of the dozens of software packages that let you take your photos and home movies and add, edit, and publish more professional-looking results. The trouble is that most of the software packages you use for creating movies do not have the software that allows you to create a DVD. This article shows you how you can take your movies and add interactive menus. When you drop the disc into your DVD player, you will think you are starting up a Hollywood movie.

Where Do You Start with DVDs?

The first thing you need to do when you are creating a DVD is to have all your content in digital format, including movie sequences, photos, and any soundtrack you want. For instance, if you are creating a DVD of a wedding you will want to collect the following:

  • Edited video of the wedding ceremony
  • Edited video of the reception
  • Still photos of the wedding
  • Music from the wedding
  • "Outtakes" video

What you have here is a collection of different content types: video, audio, and still photos. You need to create an easy way for everyone in your family to view this content, which is where creating a DVD is useful. When you are creating your DVDs, you will be doing so on either a Mac or Windows computer. Unfortunately, if you are running Windows you do not have the broad range of choices that the Mac community enjoys.

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