Chapter 16. Titles, Captions, and Credits

Text superimposed over footage is incredibly common in the film and video worlds. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single movie, TV show, or commercial that doesn’t have titles, captions, or credits. In fact, it’s the absence of superimposed text that helps identify most camcorder videos as amateur efforts.

In iMovie, the term title refers to any kind of text: credits, titles, subtitles, copyright notices, and so on. You use them almost exactly the way you use the transitions or effects described in Chapter 15: by choosing a text-animation style from a list, adjusting its duration using a slider, dragging it into your Movie Track, and waiting while iMovie renders the effect.

Most of iMovie’s text effects are far more focused in purpose than its transition and effect selections, so you’ll have little trouble choosing the optimum text effect for a particular editing situation. For example, the Scrolling Credits effect rolls a list of names slowly up the screen—an obvious candidate for the close of your movie. Another puts several consecutive lines of text in a little block at the lower-left corner of the screen—exactly the way the text in MTV music videos appears.


Using a graphics program like AppleWorks or Photoshop Elements, you can create text “slides” with far more flexibility than you can in the Titles feature. For example, using a “title card” that you import as a graphic, you’re free to use any text color and any font size. You can ...

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