Chapter 2. The Lay of the Land

If you’re coming to iMovie ’11 from iMovie HD (also known as iMovie 6), you’re likely to be a bit confused; the design of ’11 is completely different from HD. If you’re coming to iMovie ’11 from any other video-editing program, you’ll be equally baffled. And if you’ve never used a video-editing program at all, well, you probably have no clue what’s going on.

Before you delve into the actual experience of chopping and rearranging your video into a finished masterwork, therefore, it’s worth sampling this brief chapter on what, exactly, iMovie is up to. Here’s where you’ll learn what’s where on the screen, where iMovie actually stores your videos, and how to tailor the setup to your work habits.

The Concept of Movie Projects

A project, in iMovie lingo, is a movie you’re editing. The reason you’re learning iMovie in the first place is to create these projects.

In old versions of iMovie, projects showed up as icons on your desktop. They were really cleverly disguised folders, and inside, you’d find all the gigantic movie clips you used in your movie. This was convenient in one way: It made projects fully self-contained. So you could, for example, easily back up a project or move the whole thing to another computer.

But in another way, it wasn’t ideal. If you wanted to use a particular piece of video in more than one project, you had to duplicate the clip (by pasting it into the second project), which ate up a lot more of your hard drive space.

iMovie ’11 operates ...

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