These video editing programs are free for anyone to use. I recommend starting with one of these before moving on to something more complicated.
Windows Movie Maker (Windows Computers Only)
This is the first video editing program that I want to talk about because I have a lot of experience with it and it’s really simple. When I first started editing my own videos I used Windows Movie Maker and I still use it to this day. I do have a fancier program that I use now called Camtasia Studio which I will talk about in the paid programs section. But a lot of times I will use Movie Maker for simple things. Windows Movie Maker allows you to do all the basic things when it comes to video editing like using transitions, zoom and pan, cutting clips, adding music, and adding basic effects (black and white, sepia, etc).
This is what Movie Maker looks like. You have a storyboard where you add all of your video clips in which is to the right. Then you have the preview monitor which is where you can watch the clips. At the top is the menu with all of the different tools. As you can see, the Home tab lets you add videos and music, copy and paste, record narration, and add text (titles, captions, credits). The Animations tab lets you add transitions, and the Visual Effects tab lets you add basic visual effects. There are lots of other little features on this program. You can see a complete guide on how to use Windows Movie Maker here: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-use-windows-movie-maker/
I highly recommend using this program first if you have Windows, it’s really easy to use and gives you a lot of options for being a free program.
iMovie (For Mac Computers Only)
iMovie is like the Windows Movie Maker of Apple. It’s really the basic version of Final Cut Pro, which is Apple’s other video editing program that costs money. I’ll talk about Final Cut Pro in the paid program section. I haven’t really used iMovie as I don’t own a Mac but it is pretty simple to understand like Movie Maker. iMovie has all of the same types of features as Windows Movie Maker, but it does have a few extra features.
iMovie has an Adjust toolbar where you can do a couple different things. There is the Color Balance tool which lets you change the tone of your clip, match colors, and has skin tone balance options. Then there is Color Correction which lets you adjust brightness, contrast, shadows, and highlights. With iMovie you can also crop video clips, meaning you can change the framing of a video clip. Like Windows Movie Maker, you can zoom and pan video clips. iMovie calls this “Ken Burns” named after the documentary director who used the zoom and pan technique on still pictures. iMovie also has templates you can use, which sort of edit the video for you. The storyboard for iMovie is a little bit different than Windows Movie Maker as you can see from the picture. The clips go in order on a timeline. You can see a complete guide to iMovie here: http://beebom.com/how-to-use-imovie/
I definitely recommend using iMovie if you have a Mac before moving on to something more professional like Final Cut Pro.
These are the programs that you should start with if you’re a beginner at video editing. Obviously if you have a Windows computer you should use Windows Movie Maker, and if you have a Mac computer you should use iMovie. If you are thinking about buying a more advanced video editing program, then check out the paid software page!