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How to Use iMovie
Steps to make your own homemade movie
Gather all your visual material that you want to include in your film:
- Video tapes (Tip: when you’re on vacation, get lots of clips with everyone dancing – this will go great with music later…)
- Photos (the higher the resolution, the better)
- Awards/certificates/ribbons/trophy photos
- Theater tickets
- Traffic tickets for humor if you wish (you can record your voice and explain your side of the story and insert it into iMovie along with your image)
- Recipes from special places you’ve been
- Stories that you or your children have written
Scan any unscanned document
- If you don’t have a scanner, they’re pretty cheap (we just bought a scanner/printer/copier for $30 on sale at Wally World)
- Kinkos or a local copy store (yes, even WalMart) can scan items for you to store on a flash drive (500M or more), CD or for downloading from the web
- Store in a special movie folder created for that special project on your computer (make sure you have enough space to store AND work with – iMovie will tell you how many you need if you run out)
- Tip: 10 Gig stores about an hour of unedited video and audio
Edit all your still images/scans in iphoto and/or printshop
- Double-click desired images in iphoto and use editing tools to remove red-eye, enhance dark photos/images, create soft edges, retouch parts of images, and more.
- In the print shop, you can create special edges, soft edges, collages from multiple images, different backgrounds, decorative lines and borders, reduce red-eye, remove facial blemishes, reduce eye animals, remove scratches, etc.
Open iMovie on your Mac computer
- Tip: iMovie 6 is better in my opinion than later versions – they still have several quirks to iron out and you need a huge hard drive to run it
- Connect your camcorder to your computer with a firewire cable (USB if you must, but firewire has better quality)
- Watch your videos on your computer from your camcorder and import the clips you want
- Import any other stills you’ve gathered from your special movie folder in the media/photo section of iMovie
- Drag and drop all the video clips and images you want onto the timeline part in iMovie in any order you want
- Trim video clips to the selected parts you want in the timeline viewer by clicking on the clip and selecting the split video clip at the playhead (or apple key and T) at the points you want to trim
Add transitions, Ken Burns, chapters and titles if desired
- Click on the image/clip you want to add transitions or title to and select the edit button, then transitions or titles and scroll through the different choices until you have what you want and press on add
- Click on the still image you want to add Ken Burns (motion or pan and zoom) when the media/photos pane is open, then click “Show photo settings” – drag to where you want it speed and how far and how far you want to start and end of each frame
- Continue your movie until the end
- Add at least one start and end title
- Tip: Keep the transitions the same throughout the movie for consistency (the crossfade is best).
- Tip: Make sure you have all the videos and images you want before add music and sound!
- Add chapter markers by clicking on the clip/frame you want the chapter marker to begin with and selecting markers/add chapter marker (you can also view them by selecting the chapter marker button)
- Look at your pictures and videos and decide which songs would be suitable
- Tip: Google summer songs, holiday music, sports music, etc. for the type of music you want (www.stillreminiscing.com also has a list of music ideas)
- Tip: iLife has great background music choices (select iLife Media/Audio/Sound Effects and scroll until you find what you want)
- If you want to make your movie “move” with the music, you can see the sound waves in the sound clip and cut out still images at the points where the beat changes – this takes time and patience, so brew a cup of coffee fresh !
- Tip: Make sure your movie is less than 20 minutes if you want to share it with other people, any longer than that and people start to get bored and distracted.
Export to iDVD
- Click Share/iDVD
- The movie will open in iDVD
- If you have additional unedited raw footage that you want to include, you can click on media/movies and select the movie you want to add from a Bonus Features menu.
- You can also add a slideshow to your menu that you create in iphoto as an album by selecting the “%2B” in the lower left corner and dragging and dropping photos there
- iDVD has preset music that it plays with each theme, but you can change it to your own sound clip from any of your itunes movies, sound clips or music
Burn your DVD
- When you’re happy with your project, click File/Burn DVD…insert a blank DVD and you’re done! You have a movie yourself!
- Place it in a DVD case to keep when finished – you can even print on printable DVDs these days and get fancy cases to add some class!
- Point: It’s enormous-instead of just burning directly to a disc, select “save as disc image” and take the time (it takes me 3 hours to burn an edited 20 minute movie) to burn an image to your hard drive. That way if there’s a hiccup in your burn you don’t have to start over and it also checks each disc so you don’t have to watch it to see if it works.
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