Putting together a compilation



I am very much a beginner in this field, so I’d appreciate any help.

A friend of mine is moving to another country, and I’d like to put together a compilation of videos and pictures for her.

What is the best program to use so that I can be creative, add writing that can come up, effects, music, and so on?

The simpler, the better, though I am naturally willing to try whatever is offered. Freeware would be absolutely brilliant. I have NERO 6 Ultra Edition and Microsoft Movie Maker (came on the PC) - is it any good? Are there any guides?

Thanks alot,