I got a call from a friend sometime back, frantically asking me if I knew anyone who could create a movie trailer for her. It was part of an assignment that was due in a couple of days. I figured the average video store MIGHT do it but they would probably charge a bomb.
I thought over it for a while and then came up with a solution my friend could use herself. The answer is the free MediaCoder, an all-in-one transcoder application. It’s like the Swiss army knife of media programs. With me giving directions over the phone, my friend was able to create the movie trailer with no hassles.
After you download and install the program, start it up. If you’re new to MediaCoder, the interface looks confusing but don’t worry, it’s easy to figure out. I’ve provided a screenshot below to help.
MediaCoder has a LOT of different configurations. I’m only going to give a bare-bones description for creating a basic movie trailer or this post will become huge. Before you start, you need to select where your file will end up. Do this by configuring the ‘Output Folder’ field at the top left-side. Then, select the original file you are using by hitting the ‘Add’ button on the right side and going to ‘Add File’.
MediaCoder is primarily a transcoder but in this case, I won’t be changing the format of my file, which makes my job easier. Click on the ‘Audio’ tab on the left side and check the box labeled ‘Copy Audio’. Switch to the ‘Video’ tab and check the box for ‘Copy Video’.
Now, click on the tab ‘Time’. Enter the start and end times of the clip you need. Then click on ‘Select’ to preview your clip. If your satisfied, proceed to the next step otherwise go back to the ‘Time’ field and input a different time. When you’re ready to go, just press the button ‘Start’, which is in the top row of buttons. A new window pops up to show the task in process. After the task is complete, go to your output folder and rename the output file to ‘part1’ or something like that.
Follow the above steps for each of the other ‘timed’ clips you need. Remember not to change any settings except for the time period selected. I had to do this for three clips of thirty seconds or so and I ended up with clips labeled part1, part2, and part3. All I had to do now was combine them, which again I could do in MediaCoder.
In the middle region of the interface (in line with the progress bar), there is a small option called ‘Task Mode’. Use the drop-down menu to select the ‘Join’ function. Then, add each of your transcoded files, in the order of joining eg. parts 1, 2, and 3. Hit the ‘Start’ button again and your output file this time will be the joined video clip.
That’s all there is to it. I realize the process sounds complicated but it’s quite easy once you try it out yourself. What do you use to make movie trailers? Would you give this method a try? Got any other questions? Ask me in the comments.
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