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

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Chapter 8. Titles, Subtitles, 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, one telltale sign that you’re watching an amateur video is the absence of superimposed text.

In iMovie, the term title refers to any kind of text: credits, titles, subtitles, copyright notices, and so on. You don’t need to be nearly as economical in your use of titles as you are with, say, transitions. Transitional effects interfere with something that stands perfectly well on its own—the footage. When you superimpose text, on the other hand, the audience is much more likely to accept your intrusion. You’re introducing this new element for its benefit, to convey information you couldn’t transmit otherwise.

Moreover, as you’ll see, most of iMovie’s text effects are far more focused in purpose than its transition 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.

Setting Up a Title

Adding some text to your movie requires several setup steps:

  1. Choose a title style (centered, scrolling credits, or whatever).

  2. Drag the title into position in the storyboard.

  3. Type the text.

  4. Choose a font, color, and type size.

Here are these steps in more detail.

Choose a Title ...

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