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How To Edit a Movie in iMovie

Wouldn't it be nice if you could shoot footage from your life and dramatize it, set it to music, and make it all look seamless? Go ahead and shoot; the rest is a snap -- and a click, drag and drop.


  • Step 1: Click on Audio and choose music from your iTunes library. Use the drop-down menu at the top to find others, such as Skywalker sound effects that professionalize the feel of the movie.
  • TIP: Enlarge or shrink the time line to see it all or amplify an edit point by sliding the bead on the Zoom bar at the lower left portion of the window.
  • Step 2: Position the playhead within a clip and paste, splitting your movie at the playhead, inserting new video and sound. Paste over footage in the time line by going to Advanced, and clicking Paste Over Playhead.
  • Step 3: Apply transitions last, because any changes after this will require removing them each time a clip is moved, re-edited, or removed. Experiment with the samples and their duration by clicking on each.
  • FACT: The independent film _Tarnation_, which cost less than $300 to make, was the first film accepted to Sundance that had been edited on iMovie.
  • Step 4: Design your titles by clicking the Titles button and choosing from a list, which can be previewed. Set the title duration and choose to run the titles over your footage or a black clip. iMovie will put it into the time line and render it.
  • Step 5: Add effects by clicking on Effects. An array of available effects will appear in list form. Choose adjustable time variants, color, hue, light, and options for intensity, and preview before applying the effect.
  • Step 6: Slide your cursor over the "Scrubber Bar" under the viewer and two razor points appear to the left. Drag the inside one to set your out point, and the outer to set the in, identifying chosen footage in gold. Choose "Crop" under Edit.
  • TIP: You can either view the time line as the imported clips alone by clicking on the film strip on the left icon, or as a full movie by clicking on the clock icon next to it.
  • Step 7: Highlight the cropped clip and copy and paste it into the time line. You can manually pull the whole clip down to the time line and other clips will slide over to admit the new one.
  • TIP: To edit in the time line, copy an original clip and drag it in. Position the playhead at the cut, look under the Edit option, and click on Split Video Clip at Playhead. Highlight what will be removed, and then delete it.
  • Step 8: Play your video footage in the iMovie clips pallet by clicking on a clip. The clip will appear in the viewer window, or screen, on the left. Decide on a general plan for the movie's story and rhythm.

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