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iMovie '09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual by Aaron Miller, David Pogue

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Chapter 3. Building the Movie

Whether you’re working on your Mac or in a multimillion-dollar Hollywood professional studio, film editing boils down to three tiny tasks: selecting, trimming, and rearranging clips. Of course, that’s like saying that there’s nothing more to painting than mixing various amounts of red, yellow, and blue. The art of video editing lies in your decisions about which clips you select, how you trim them, and what order you put them in.

When you get right down to it, iMovie boils down to two big storage places for video clips. There’s the Event browser, usually the bottom half of the screen, where all your raw, unedited video shots live. And there’s the storyboard, usually the top half, which is where you assemble and edit your masterpiece.

At its simplest, then, iMovie editing is all about this three-step process:

  1. Review your video in the Event Browser and find the good parts.

  2. Add those chunks to the storyboard, where iMovie plays them in one seamless pass, from left to right.

  3. Add crossfades, titles (credits), music, and effects.

This chapter is dedicated to showing you the mechanics of the first two tasks: selecting raw footage, and adding it to your movie. The following chapters cover the last step.

Phase 1: Review Your Clips (Skim + Play)

Video editing always starts out with a pile of raw, unedited footage. In iMovie’s case, that’s the bunch of clips in the Event Browser. Click an Event’s name to see what video is inside.

Filmstrips

In iMovie ’09, every imported ...

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