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iMovie by Jennifer Falk and Brittany Carter

Page history last edited by Brittany Yukiko Carter 10 years, 8 months ago


iMovie Mini Teach



Here are step-by-step directions to help get you on your way to creating your own film:


Importing your videos into iMovie

1)      If you want to begin a project in iMovie, open iMovie and then plug your camera into the computer.  Make sure the camera is on the correct mode, usually PC or computer.

2)      As soon as your camera is connected to your computer, click the “camera import” button (picture of video camera on the far left of the screen in the middle), and iMovie will automatically pull up an import screen that shows all of the video clips.  If you want to import only some of the clips, choose the manual setting, uncheck the clips you don’t want imported, and then click on “import checked”.  iMovie will then begin importing the video clips.  If you want to import all of the clips, just hit import.

3)      After you select “import”, iMovie will ask you to name the event.  You can type in a name for your clips and also choose a storage size.  The large storage size reduces the file size with little quality loss, so this is a good option.  Then hit import and iMovie will import your video clips. 

4)      iMovie will sort the clips by date and you can scroll through the lower half of the iMovie screen, called the “event browser”, to access the clips, or access them where they are listed on the left side of the screen under the title you gave them. 


Editing your video clips

1)      Once the clips have been imported and titled, you should be able to view the thumbnails in the event browser.  Now you can begin editing your video and selecting the clips you want to use.

2)      In the event browser, you can run the cursor over a video clip and it will show the part of the clip as you scroll over it in the upper right hand corner of the iMovie screen, called the “viewer”.  This is called “skimming”.  If you want to play a clip in the viewer, just click on it and tap the spacebar to start and stop the clip.

3)       To begin selecting the clips you want to use, skim the clips until you find a section you want to use and click on it.  When you click on it, a yellow box will appear where you clicked that automatically selects four seconds of the clip from where you clicked.  If you want to choose more of the clip or less, you can click on either side of the yellow box and drag the edge of the box to include or cut out part of the clip. 

4)      Once you have the piece of video you want selected in the yellow box, you can click in the yellow box and drag it into the gray area at the top left side of the iMovie screen, called the “project window”.  The video clip will then show up in the project window.  You can then continue to select clips and drag them into this area.  If you want to change the order, you can simply drag the clips and place them in the order you want.

Combining and Splitting Events

1)      If you want to combine two events into one so that you can use both sets of clips at once, you simply have to drag one event onto the other.  iMovie will ask you to rename the new combined event.

2)      If you want to split an event into two events, click on the clip that you want to be the first clip in the second event.  Then go to file, choose “split event before selected clip”, and the event will be split into two.

3)      To rename an event, just click on the event title in the event library and retype the title.

Marking Your Favorites

1)      If you want to mark a video as a “favorite” that you want to use, select the clip and then hit the “favorite” button which is the button with the filled in star on it.  The clip will have a green line at the top to show that it is a favorite.

2)      You can mark the video you don’t want to use in an event with the “reject” button by selecting the video clip and hitting the button with the “x” on it.  The “reject” clips will have a red line above them.

3)      Once the videos are marked, you can use the show menu at the bottom to choose which clips you want to be displayed.  This way you can un-clutter the event browser and just see the thumbnails you want or don’t want.

4)      You can unmark a clip by selecting it and then clicking the start button with the hollow star on it.

5)      If you want to move the rejected clips to the trash, you can go to File, “Move Rejected Clips to Trash”, and then the clips will be deleted the next time you empty the trash on your computer.

    Stabilizing Shaky Video

          1)      To stabilize a shaky clip, select the clip you want to use by clicking on it, or you can stabilize an entire event that is in the event browser.

          2)      Then go to File, “Analyze for Stabilization”.  This can take some time because it is a highly advanced process, so be patient.  A wavy red line will appear on clips that iMovie suggests you don’t use since they are too shaky.  In order to hide the clips with the red wavy lines on them, you can click the button with the wavy line on it under the event browser.  This does not delete the clips.

          3)      Now when you add the clips to the project window, they will automatically be corrected.

          4)      Once you have stabilized a video, you can adjust it by double clicking on the circle on the bottom left of the clip and dragging the slider at the bottom of the window or you can remove the stabilization.

Trimming two clips together

          1)      If you want to create a smooth transition between two clips so that they flow together, you can use trimming.

          2)      First, you must move the pointer over the second clip, click on the star at the bottom left of the clip and choose precision editor from the pop-up menu.

          3)      The precision editor pane will now show in the bottom half of the iMovie window, and you can view the magnified transition.

          4)      If you move the pointer on the gray area between the two clips, you see the cut point where one ends and the other begins.  The shaded parts of the clips are the parts that were recorded, but that you did not include in the initial cut.

          5)      You can preview around the edit by clicking the play button.

          6)      If you move the pointer over the first clip, you can choose where you want it to stop and click on it.  Then move the pointer over the second clip and click on where you want it to start.

          7)      The audio tracks button is the button with the fluctuating line on it in the top right of the precision editor pane.  A blue audio edit line will appear over the clips.  Move the pointer over the audio edit line until the crosshair symbol appears.  Then click and drag until all of the audio you want is selected.  Then click done and the changes will be applied to the video.

Adding Music

1)      If you want to add music to your movie, click the music and sound effects button at the top right of the event browser.  It is the button with the music notes on it.

2)      When you click on this, it will pull up links to itunes, garage band, and sound effects.  If you click on itunes, it will open your itunes right there.  You can search for a song at the bottom and it will pull it up.  Double clicking on the song allows you to preview it.

3)      Once you have selected a song, drag it into the gray area of the project window.  Do not drop it onto a clip. The song will appear as a green highlight behind the video thumbnails.  If the song is longer than the video, the song will fade out at the end.  You can add another song in the same way if the song is shorter than the video.

4)      If you want to choose where the song starts and stops, drag the green highlight behind the thumbnails to where you would like it to start.  The music area turns purple and is then attached to a certain clip.  If you move that clip, the music moves with it. 

5)      To change the volume of the song, double click on it in the project window and drag the volume slider at the top.

Adding a Voiceover

1)      If you want to add a voiceover, click on the microphone button.  You can attach a microphone through the USB or you can use the computer’s built in microphone.

2)      A little screen will pop up.  Begin talking into the microphone and adjust the input volume until the meters are bouncing a little more than halfway.  Make sure that the meters aren’t showing yellow or red.  You can also choose the voice enhancement option.

3)      If you want to hear the audio in the clips while recording your voiceover, click “play project audio while recording” and plug in headphones so that the microphone doesn’t pick up the sound while recording.

4)      Click the point on the clip where you want to record, wait for the countdown, and then start speaking.  Press the spacebar to stop the recording.

5)      A purple marker shows where your voiceover is, and you can drag it and move it to a different spot in your video.

6)      You can also delete the voiceover by selecting it and hitting delete.

7)      You can continue following this process and add as many voiceovers as you want. 




What Do the Buttons Do???:

(located on the grey toolbar starting at the very left...)



Camera Button: If you have a web cam, you can automatically record yourself from your monitor. This will have a window pop up with futher directions.


"Switch" Button: This will switch the top left window with the bottom window. This can be switched for your convenience.


"Slider":This will make the Thumnails smaller or larger.


Arrow: In 'standard' position to help you drag thumnails and move on with your iMovie.


Star with paper: Add selection to project- if you don't want to drag your clip to your project.


Green Star, or Green Star with plus sign: By clicking on a piece of the video clip, then clicking this button, it will mark the clip as a "favorite" for easy navigating later.


Outline of a Star, or Blank Star with plus sign: By clicking on an already marked video clip, then clicking this button, it will unmark the clip.


Red "X" with plus sign, or Red "X": By clicking on a piece of the video clip, then clicking this button, it will mark the clip as "rejected" for easy navigating later. By doing this, it WILL NOT DELETE the clip, you will have to manually delete it. This is just for marking the clip as 'rejected'.


Key: By clicking on a piece of the video clip, then clicking this button, it will mark the clip with a keyword. You will then have to apply a keyword to this piece.


Microphone: This will open a new window telling you how to use the voiceover feature.


Square Shape: This will be able to set your images to be "cropped", "fit to screen", or "Ken Burns". You can choose what works best for you.


"i", Inspector Button: By clicking on a video clip, then clicking this button, it will tell you the settings for this clip and allow you to change them if wanted.

     (duration of clip, video effect, speed, direction, Stablization, etc)


Squiggly Lines: Turns audio skimming on and off. This will allow or not allow sound toplay when hovering over the clips.


Sound Waves: These will show how loud certain parts of the iMovie are. This can help sustain a moderate volume while creating your movie. It is useful in both voiceovers and adjusting imovie audio.


Music Note: This will enable you to add music and sound effects to your movie.


Camera: This will allow you to bring in digital images. If you have a camera USB plugged in, then it will pull up a window of how to import these video clips. If there is no USB for a camera plugged in, then if a Web cam is attached, it will pull up that and you can start recording.


"T":This will allow you to import Text into your video, Title pages, and end credits.


"Envelope" looking rectange: This will allow you to put transitions into your iMovie.


iMovie Uses for the:


Everyday User: Business presentations, family or friends projects/ gifts, anytime you want to make a picture/video movie with all the details that make it look professional!



Teacher: Teachers can use iMovie in many different ways. They can create movies for their class to present new material. This is a great way to turn "boring", hard to teach lessons into more interesting and exciting lessons that will catch the attention of the students. They can put the class's progress together to show his or her students progress from the beginning of the year to the end of the year (with the student's permission of course!). The teacher could also use this to video record herself or himself and put together a movie of teaching experiences for job applications.



Student:  Using iMovie, students are able to break down some boundaries when it comes to expressing themselves.  Using the technology, students are able to find their voice and better express their ideas than they could using poster board or powerpoint presentations.  Students also are able to use iMovie to express more abstract ideas in a clearer way so that teachers can more accurately asssess their knowledge. This is also a tool that can be used by students to make learning more fun.  Students may be more motivated if they are working on creating a video that they have creative control over rather than just doing standard paper and pencil work.




1.) Youtube Clip (Older iMovie Program Tutorial)

2.) Apple iMovie Support Page

3.) Apple iMovie Tutorial

     --- This link has multiple video clips describing each step and how to apply them to your movie

4.) Article: Ken Stone 'How To'

5.) iMovie "HELP" tab located at the top of the screen. This will bring forth windows with useful information regarding your concern.


Teacher References:


6.) How to use iMovie in the classroom

7.) iMovie in Teacher Education (science examples)

8.) Article: Using iMovie in the Classroom

9.) Article: iMovie and Science in the Classroom

10.) Digital Stories used in the Elementary Classroom

11.) Special Needs and Technology Resources (SERI)

12.) Magnatune: Available music to use legally

13.) Royalty Free Music: just what it says... royalty free music that one can use legally

















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