Welcome to the forum.
When PrE is launched, one should get a Splash Screen, which will be replaced by a dialog screen, asking what one wishes to do: Create a New Project, Open and existing Project, or Exit. At this point, the editing GUI will not be present.
At that dialog screen, what have you chosen, as it sounds like you have the editing GUI?
Also I cannot open 50 GB of movies I have made over the years starting with PE1.
Are you attempting to Open existing Projects, or are you attempting to Import finished videos into a new Project?
I have an ATI graphics card and a new HP computer running Win 7. Update 8.01 installed.
Do you have the very latest video driver installed? Do you have the latest version of QuickTime Player installed?
It sounds like you're saying that the New and Open options are available under the File menu. If so, you can use them to start a new project or open an old.
Remember, these are Premiere Elements projects you are opening from this menu -- not videos. You will need open a project first and then import your videos into it using Get Media.
22,000 + replies Jeez.
My response is underlined. I figured out a bit very late last night. I started a new project the got media from my existing videos to show in it..
Thanks for the reply
I will try that method-Open a new project then import the media.
I expected to be able to import finished and raw videos from earlier versions into PE8 and then open them at my convenience.
You can Open existing Projects, or you can create a New Project and THEN Import the media files and other Assets.
The Project is the common element and there's not a lot that can be done in PrE without one. In PrPro, one can do zero, as the equivalent of Organizer, Bridge, is a stand-alone program - no Project = nothing.