Please help, guys. I'm a total newb who knows in my head what kind of video documentary I want to produce and needs to make the right software choice. It will be a 90-minute WWII documentary with DV interviews, other video, stills, narration and music. I have it all scripted and storyboarded and I need a easy-to-use package (I hate non-intuitive software) to put it all together. This is a non-commercial project I'm doing in my spare time, so no need for professional packages.
I've narrowed the choices based on reviews and features to Studio 9+ (gotta have the pan-zoom feature) and Adobe Elements. 9+ wins the ease battle, but in previous versions, boy did they have stability and rendering issues! Thousands of bitter customer complaints that the damn thing didn't work. Has this been fixed?
Also, as this needs to be as professional looking as possible, maybe it makes more sense to go with Adobe and get more features, even with a trickier interface? Adobe seems to have a good reputation for quality products overall, and at 90 minutes in length, the software needs to be robust.
I don't need a million wacky transitions and effects -- just the classic fades and stuff you'd see in a historical documentary. But it would be nice to be able to produce both NTSC and PAL for friends in the UK, and it must have good clip-trimming and matching capabilities, multiple sound tracks, etc. And both seem to have weak menu options -- I don't need motion, but I want a photo background on the menu that pertains to my subject, not some random stock background of flowers or balloons. Can either do this?
So are these equally good for a clueless newbie like me, or is one a much better choice? Many thanks for your advice.