Microsoft outs Movie Creator as a powerful app wizard for Windows and Lumias

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that Movie Creator is for Lumia Windows Phones only

In 2014, taking a photo, quickly editing and sharing it across various social networks is a common as the smartphones they are created on. There are no barriers to entry any longer. Video, however, is a different story. Sure, there is the odd looping Vine or a straight up video on YouTube, but the idea of creating more artistic creations on phones is something users struggle with these days.

Today, Microsoft is looking to fix that with the release of Movie Creator BETA as a universal app for all Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 devices.

Movie Creator is just one of a few video-creation apps released on Windows Phone in the last year. Movie Creator builds off of Video Tuner and Movie Moments, sitting in between as a sort of "Goldilocks", at least according to Microsoft's Matt Collins.

Features and options galore

What makes Movie Creator interesting is the ability to mix and match different media types, including videos, photos, music, cinemagraphs and location data. Additionally, the user-interface is meant to walk you through the process, let users re-edit creations, and output the MP4 file at various quality-levels for ease of sharing.

Key features of Movie Creator as listed by Microsoft include:

  • Blend up to 25 different individual videos, photos or Cinemagraph content files together with no length limitations.
  • Rearrange clips, Add text titles & captions, Adjust trim & duration, Rotate, control volume, and pan & zoom.
  • Change themes and music (using your own music), adjust volume for both music and the featured videos, and even get more themes from the in-app Theme Store.
  • Branded themes, including several special DreamWorks-inspired options featuring lovable characters from films like, "Kung Fu Panda" and "Madagascar."
  • Output Quality Options: low, medium or high resolution depending on preferences
  • The Movie Creator BETA app is available for all devices including the Lumia 530 and other entry-level Windows Phones or tablets

Finally, files can be shared using the new social sharing capabilities found in Windows Phone 8.1. Videos can be pushed to Facebook, Bluetooth, OneDrive, Email, Messaging and all third-party apps that support the native sharing picker found in the OS.

Ease of use

Microsoft sees Movie Creator as a way to let users create high-quality video designs without needing to know how advanced video-editing features necessary work. Through the use of what Microsoft calls 'contextual help', their new app just walks users through the process in four steps:

  • Add footage: Video, Photo, Places
  • Add text: Captions, Sub-captions, beginning and ending text
  • Select theme
  • Select music through your music library

Each of the video clips can be sub-edited for captions, filter, rotation, pan & zoom, trim and volume. Likewise, by holding down on the individual bits of footage, users can drag and move around the clips in the order that they want.

Under Movie Creator's settings, users can control image quality, pick specific video resolutions, and even adjust the outputs frames per second, all with a few button taps.

In using the app for the last couple of days, I have to admit that it is not only easy to use, but quite fun as well. Microsoft is primarily giving Windows and Windows Phone users a free, high-quality video editing app, but without being overwhelmed.


Movie Creator BETA is available for Lumia Windows Phone 8.1 devices, including those with 512 MB of RAM and all Windows 8.1 tablets, PCs and laptops. Movie Creator is only planned as a Windows release, and it is not currently slated to go to Android or iOS.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.