Chapter 5. Building the Movie

Whether 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.

At its simplest, iMovie editing works like this:

  1. Trim your clips until they contain exactly the footage you want.

  2. Drag your clips from the Clips pane to the storyboard area at the bottom of the screen, where iMovie plays them in one seamless pass, from left to right.

  3. Rearrange the scenes by dragging them around.

  4. Add crossfades, titles (credits), effects, music, and sound effects.

This chapter is dedicated to showing you the mechanics of the first three tasks. The following chapters cover the fourth step.

Navigating Your Clips

As you’re building your movie, you can store your clips in either of two places: the Clips pane or the strip at the bottom of the window. You put clips on the Clips pane before deciding what to do with them, and drag them down to the storyboard area once you’ve decided where they fit into your movie.

This clip-assembly area at the bottom of the iMovie screen can appear in either of two ways:

  • Clip Viewer. In this view, each clip appears as an icon, as though it’s a slide on a slide viewer. Each is sized identically, even ...

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