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How to Create a Movie From Start to Finish With iMovie

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Shooting and editing a movie is now easier than ever, and you no longer need expensive equipment and software to create a flick that the whole family can enjoy.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create and edit a short movie with iMovie and then share it with your friends and family via social media.


iMovie Explained

iMovie is a video editing application developed by Apple. With iMovie, you can import images, video and audio to create professional-looking movies at a fraction of the cost of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Marketed as part of iLife ’13 along with iPhoto and GarageBand, the latest iteration of iMovie is currently available to purchase for £10.49 in the App Store, and comes free of charge with every Mac purchased after 1st October 2013.


Create a New Project

First, I'll show you how to create a new iMovie project and help you choose a theme.

Click Create
Click Create.

Click Create.

Click Movie
Click Movie.

Click Movie.

Choose a theme
Choose a theme.

Choose a theme. Every Apple-designed theme includes an opening title, end title and a transition between each clip to give your movie a professional finish. For the purpose of this tutorial, however, I have chosen No Theme in order to demonstrate exactly what iMovie is capable of.


Import Media

Next, I will show you how to import image, audio and video into iMovie.

Click Import Media
Click Import Media.

Click Import Media.

Click Import Selected
Click Import Selected.

Highlight the file(s) you wish to import and then click Import Selected. Importing may take several minutes depending on the size of each file.

Caption
Imported media is stored in your iMovie library.

Imported media is stored in your iMovie library, ready to be inserted into your timeline.


Add Media to Timeline

Your iMovie timeline is where you will piece together your movie, clip by clip. Once you have decided on a basic premise for your movie, you can begin to insert your imported media into your timeline in the correct sequence.

I am going to create a movie about Archie, a scruffy-looking terrier cooling off on a hot summer's day at the animal shelter where he resides.

Consult the Preview window
Consult the Preview window.

Consult the Preview window located in the right-hand corner of the screen to preview imported media and the movie that you are creating.

Highlight media
Highlight media.

Select and highlight the media you would like to insert into your movie.

Drag and drop your chosen media
Drag and drop your chosen media.

Drag and drop your chosen media into your timeline.

Inserted media is identified by an orange line
Inserted media is identified by an orange line.

Media inserted into your timeline is identified by an orange line running along the bottom of each clip in your library.


Add Audio to Timeline

Here, I will demonstrate how to remove pre-existing audio from your movie and then mask it with a soundtrack of your own.

Select Detach Audio
Select Detach Audio.

Right-click the clip and then select Detach Audio.

Detached audio
Detached audio.

As you can see, the detached audio is now displayed directly below your inserted media.

Press Delete
Press Delete.

Highlight the detached audio and then press the Delete key on your keyboard.

Click iTunes
Click iTunes.

Click iTunes to display the contents of your iTunes library.

Drag and drop your chosen audio
Drag and drop your chosen audio.

Drag and drop your chosen audio into your timeline and adjust the length of the track to suit your movie.


Give Your Movie an Opening Title

Introduce your creation to your audience by adding an opening title. An opening title can be placed directly over a video clip or background of your choice.

Click Maps  Backgrounds
Click Maps & Backgrounds.

Click Maps & Backgrounds.

Select a background
Select a background.

Select and highlight a background. I have chosen Curtain.

Drag and drop
Drag and drop your chosen background.

Drag and drop your chosen background into your timeline.

Click Titles
Click Titles.

Click Titles.

Select a title
Select a title.

Select and highlight a title style. I have chosen Drifting.

Drag and drop your chosen title style
Drag and drop your chosen title style.

Drag and drop your chosen title style into the beginning of your timeline.

Double-click to edit
Double-click to edit.

Double-click the title element to edit the text, font and size.


Add a Transition Between Each Clip

Adding a transition between clips ensures that each one merges seamlessly into the next to avoid appearing choppy.

Click Transistions
Click Transitions.

Click Transitions.

Select a transition
Select a transition.

Select and highlight a transition. I have chosen Cross Dissolve, Spin In, Circle Open, Ripple and Cross Blur.

Caption
Drag and drop your chosen transition.

Drag and drop your chosen transition into your timeline and then repeat for each additional transition.


Add an End Title

Close your creation with an end title listing the cast of people starring in your movie. Like opening titles, an end title can be placed directly over a video clip or background of your choice.

Select a background
Select a background.

Click Maps & Backgrounds and then select and highlight a background. I have chosen Black.

Caption
Drag and drop your chosen background.

Drag and drop your chosen background into the end of your timeline.

Select and highlight a title
Select and highlight a title.

Click Titles and then select and highlight a title style. I have chosen Scrolling Credits. Drag and drop your chosen title style into the end of your timeline.

Caption
Double-click to edit.

Double-click the title element to edit the text, font and size.


Add a Sound Effect

iMovie includes a whole host of sound effects for you to choose from, such as Dogs Barking, Door Squeak, Pinball Machine and more.

Click Sound Effects
Click Sound Effects.

Click Sound Effects.

Select a sound effect
Select a sound effect.

Select and highlight a sound effect. I have chosen Bubbles.

Drag and drop your chosen sound effect
Drag and drop your chosen sound effect.

Drag and drop your chosen sound effect into your timeline. Gradually fade out your sound effect and accompanying audio by dragging the Fade Handle to the point in the clip where you want the fade to begin.

Adjust the volume
Adjust the volume.

Click the Volume icon to adjust the volume of your sound effect and then move the slider until satisfied.


Finishing Touches

iMovie includes a number of features designed to automatically improve the appearance of your movie.

Click Enhance
Click Enhance.

Click Enhance to enhance the Colour Correction, Colour Balance and Volume of your movie.

Click Stabilisation
Click Stabilisation.

Highlight a video clip, click Adjust and then Stabilisation to stabilise shaky video. Move the slider up or down to adjust the amount of stabilisation needed.


Share Your Creation

Once you have finished editing your movie, you are ready to share it with friends and family.

Click Share
Click Share.

Click Share.

Select an option
Select an option.

Select an option from the menu and then follow the on-screen instructions. I have chosen to share my movie via YouTube.


It's a Wrap!


How to Create a Movie From Start to Finish With iMovie

In this tutorial, I have shown you how to create a short movie with iMovie and share it with your friends and family. Are you unsure about anything in particular? If so, leave a comment below.

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