When you scroll back through your camera roll, what do you see? For me, it's a plethora of videos and photos of my two dogs, but for you, it could be anything. Kids, grandkids, family members, trips and hobbies; our smartphones make it so easy to capture all of life's best moments. The only problem is that most of those videos and photos are destined to collect virtual dust, stored in the alcoves of our devices.
Creative types, and those who are well versed with video editing software, often turn their photos and videos into collages and stories. I don't have the patience for all of the trimming, filtering and sound-effect layering that's required to put a quick movie together.
Recently, I discovered an app that makes it easy for amateurs like me to create movies that look like they were made by professionals. It's called Magisto Video Editor & Movie Maker, and it uses videos and photos you have on your phone to automatically create "video stories."
Note: If you're not sure what a video story is, you'll find an example at the end of this article.
Using the Magisto app is simple. You'll need to create an account, but after that, you can begin making videos. On the app's home page you'll find a + sign at the bottom of the screen. Tap that then, "Make a new movie."
The app will then open up your phone's camera roll, where you can browse through all of your photos and videos. You can even preview the videos right within the app by pressing the little triangle in the bottom left-hand corner of the video's thumbnail. (I definitely recommend previewing each video to make sure it's the one you want since this will save you extra time later.)
To get the best results, you'll need at least five photos. It's also worth noting that the free version of the app only allows you to create movies up to a minute and a half. If you'd like to create longer videos, you'll need to upgrade to either the Business or Premium version, which I'll go over in just a bit.
Once you've selected the group of photos and videos you'd like to include, hit Next. You'll then be directed to a menu of themes to choose from. From there, you'll be given a list of songs you can use in your movie.
After that, all of the work is basically done. Set the movie length you'd like, and tap "Make my movie."
Depending on how many videos the app needs to upload and configure, this part of the process may take a few minutes. But, once your movie has been rendered, you'll see it pop up as a draft, which you can preview to see if you like it.
Continue editing your movie from there, swapping out photos, videos, themes and songs as you see fit, then tap "Keep It" when you're completely happy with it. The app will create a final version of your video that you can save in your private album, or share publicly. It even gives you the option to share the video directly to Instagram, Google +, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, or send via email or text message.
After using the free version of the app, the only downside I saw was that you have to upgrade if you'd like to download your new movie to your device. However, I did find a little workaround. After sharing your video to Facebook, you can download it from there if you'd like to keep it on some other storage drive.
For more advanced features and themes, there are upgrade options as well. The Premium version costs $2.49 per month and lets you create longer videos (up to 2.30 minutes), access additional themes, download your movies directly to your device, and include more images and videos in your creations.
There's also a plan option for business owners who might need to create professional-looking videos for their customers. The Business plan costs $9.99 per month and allows for movies up to 4:00 minutes. Plus, you can add your company's logo, get more music options, and have more control over the order in which the content appears.
Curious now? If you're not already dying to give it a try, here's an example video I made in less than 10 minutes. Now I'm hooked! You'll love the fun creations this app comes up with and how easy it is to share them on social.