How to Use iMovie, Video Recording Tips, and More

How to Use iMovie for Mac, Tips and More

During birthday celebrations, vacations, or any special occasions, we usually take a lot of video clips for us to have something to look back to and reminisce with family and friends. However, video clips are typically short that is why most people turn these clips into a fun movie, an amalgamation of amazing clips. If you want to create a movie out of these clips on your Mac, we have good news for you. Your Mac comes with a video-editing tool you can use to make professional-looking videos. It’s called the iMovie.

In this article, we will teach you how to use iMovie, starting with the basics and then some tips that will help you create movies that are worth re-watching.

Prepare to Get Some Good Video Materials

Before you can proceed with creating a movie, you will need a quality video footage. After all, you can’t edit anything without a video clip.

To take a good quality video, you will need the following:

  1. A Video Camera – If you want to capture high-quality clips, you will need a reliable video camera. This could be your iPhone or any phone with quality camera specs. The newer the phone model, the better the resulting clips you take because of more advanced camera features.

Of course, you can also record videos using an iPad. The device is ideal for you if you prefer looking at a larger screen. Take note that the quality might not be as good as what you can get with a new iPhone or a video camera. It’s also a bit bulky and you’d need your two hands to hold it while filming.

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  1. Enough Storage storage space is one of the make or break factors. A limited amount of storage space will result in unsatisfactory filming experience. Imagine going around and recording a video only to find that, after a few minutes of filming, you already ran out of storage space.

If you are using a mobile device, storage space can be an issue. But, you can do something about it. Free up some storage space by getting rid of applications you no longer need. You can also upload old videos to the cloud or an external hard drive.

  1. An Excellent-Quality Video ClipYou might be wondering, why is there a need for a high-definition video clip? Higher quality videos can be cut and edited without compromising resolution or quality. But since they are a bit heavier, it may take time to upload. To make editing easier, it is best that you take short clips. If you have already taken longer videos, you can just cut the unimportant parts.

How to Take Quality Videos

So, how do we take quality videos? Consider the following:

1. Take advantage of the built-in camera features of your iPhone.

These days, taking quality videos is easier than we think. That is because most video cameras on your phone already come with awesome features such as optical image stabilization, which allows you to continue recording while on the move without making the video jumpy. But, even with such feature, we suggest you keep your camera still while filming. If you need to pan around, do it slowly.

2. Avoid zooming.

Avoid zooming a lot especially if your video recording device can digitally zoom. Video quality usually ends up poor when using digital zoom. But if you really need to zoom in a subject, be sure you use a tripod or simply lean against the wall.

Now, if you are using newer versions of the iPhone, you can take advantage of its optical zoom. It is specifically designed for video recording. Still, you have to be careful because, at some point, it will switch to a digital zoom.

3. Consider the audio environment.

When filming, make sure you don’t talk a lot when you don’t need to. Your voice will be heard in the video and could overpower the sounds you might want to record. It is also a great idea to avoid filming on a windy day unless you want to hear all the rustling sound of the wind.

4. Check your lighting.

You can take better quality videos if you shoot outdoors on a sunny day. If you will be filming indoors, find a location that has enough light. However, do not place your subject directly in front of the window, particularly if the room is darker than the outside. Outside light will overshadow your subject, so your subject might not be visible in the video.

How to Use the iMovie

We’ve come to the most exciting part, which is to learn how to use the iMovie. Assuming you already have your raw clips, let’s add them to the iMovie app on your Mac.

Adding Movie Clips

Here is how you add movie clips in iMovie:

  1. Open the iMovie app on your Mac.
  2. If the video clip is on your iPhone, connect it to your Mac using a Firewire to USB cable.
  3. You will then be asked to confirm if you allow your Mac to access your iPhone’s information. If you do, click on
  4. Next, check your iPhone. There should be a message asking if you trust the computer. If you do, enter your passcode.
  5. Back on your Mac, click on the tiny arrow beside the minimize/maximize/close buttons. Select Import Media and wait for your Mac and iPhone to sync. If you have a lot of clips on your iPhone, this could take a while.
  6. Once the two devices have successfully synced, select your iPhone in the Camera You will now see thumbnails of the videos you have on your iPhone. Select the clips that you want to import. Tip: When importing several random clips, press the CMD or Command button as you click on them.
  7. After selecting the clips, choose where you want to import them. To do this, click on the drop-down arrow beside Import To. Choose Import Selected.
  8. Later on, if you want to add more clips, go to Project Media > Import Media. It should open up the Import window again.
  9. All your imported clips can be seen in the My Movie

Editing Videos

Congratulations! You have already imported the videos from your iPhone. Now, let’s start editing them.

  1. At the top of the iMovie window, you should see three tabs – Media, Projects, and Theatre. Select Projects > Create New.
  2. You can choose to create a Movie or a Trailer. The Trailer option already comes with a ready-made template, so if you choose it, you simply need to add clips to your Storyboard. The result is a short yet fun video. The Movie option, on the other hand, allows you to be more imaginative, creative, and flexible. You’ve all the freedom to do what you want with your video.
  3. If you choose to make a Movie, a new screen will pop up to let you view the video you created. There will also be a small area below where you can conveniently drag and drop clips.
  4. On the leftmost corner of the window, you can see the clips you have imported earlier. If you are not seeing any, check if you have selected My Media from the options found at the top of the window.
  5. Before you begin editing, check the clips that you have. If there is anything important you want to easily find, click on the heart located at the bottom left portion of your viewer.
  6. Now, if you already have a clip in mind that you want to add or edit, review it first by clicking on it and pressing the Space Bar to play. To pause, press the spacebar again.
  7. At this point, you can drag clips into your timeline. You don’t have to follow the same order of the clips as they were when imported. Feel free to arrange them according to your liking or preference. If you dragged the wrong clip into the timeline, delete it directly by clicking on it and then pressing the Delete
  8. If you notice, there are gaps between the clips you added. This is where transitions can be added. We’ll discuss how to add transitions in the next section.

Adding Transitions

By adding transitions, your video clips progress naturally.

  1. Click on You can see it along with the other tabs – My Media, Titles, and Audio.
  2. Check the transitions available on your iMovie for Mac. Click on each one of them to have a better idea of how they would appear. If you have chosen a transition, just drag and drop it into the timeline.

Changing the Length of the Transitions

You might feel that the transition is making your movie long or you think that your movie will look much better if the transition you chose was a bit slower. Don’t worry. You can edit the transition length. Here’s how:

  1. Double click on the Transition icon you placed between two clips. This icon looks like two triangles that are pointing inwards.
  2. Enter the duration you prefer. Click
  3. Be careful when changing the duration of the transition. If you click Apply to All, then all other transitions will have the same effect.

Changing the Speed of the Clips

There are certain clips that you might want to fast forward or slow down. Change their speed by doing the following:

  1. In the tools section of your movie maker, click on
  2. A drop-down list of options will then show. The default clip speed should be normal. But, you can choose to slow it down, fast forward, freeze frame, or input a custom speed.

Rotating a Video

What if you’ve taken a great video only to find out that its orientation is in portrait view? Relax. You can still fix it with iMovie.

  1. Click on the video clip you want to rotate.
  2. In the menu bar, click the Crop A rotate clip icon will appear.
  3. Use the icon to rotate the video clip to the direction or orientation you prefer.
  4. You can now use the clip and add it to your timeline.

Adding Effects and Filters

iMovie has plenty of effects and filters you can choose from. Use them in your videos to make your movie more interesting to watch.

  1. Select the clip on your timeline you want to add effects or filters.
  2. In the Clip Inspector window, you can find the Clip Filter Click the drop-down arrow beside it to see iMovie’s filter collection.
  3. Hover the mouse over any of the filters to see how it looks.
  4. Click on the filter you want and it will be applied to your selected clip.

Exporting an iMovie

Great job! You have made your first blockbuster using iMovie. It’s time for you to export it.

  1. In the right corner of your screen, there should be a Share Click on it to see the following sharing options – email, iTunes, Theatre, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, image, and file.
  2. To save a copy of the movie, select To send it to a friend via email, select the Email option, and so on.

Create More Awesome Videos with iMovie

We’ve only covered the basics of how to use iMovie. You can do a lot more. Do not be afraid to explore the features. However, before you start using this amazing app, check your Mac first. Make sure it is running at its optimal condition by using 3rd party cleaning tools like Mac repair app. You don’t want anything to distract you while making your movie.

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