Transferring Footage to the Camcorder or VCR

The actual steps of transferring the project from iMovie back to the camcorder are fairly simple. The results are almost always satisfying, especially if you’ve had to look at your footage in its relatively coarse Mac rendition for hours or days. Finally, you get to see your masterpiece at full digital quality. iMovie’s transitions and titles look especially good when viewed on an actual TV (or camcorder LCD panel).

You can either transfer the movie to a camcorder tape as a first step, or you can play it directly from the Mac to a VCR, using the camcorder only as a passthrough adapter that doesn’t actually record anything. The following discussions cover both methods.

First to DV Tape, Then to VCR

If you’d like your finished movie on DV tape, preserving 100 percent of its original quality, proceed like this:

  1. Insert a blank cassette into your camcorder.

    Confirm that the tape is unlocked (see Section 11.3.4), and—this is important—that it’s cued up to a part of the tape you’re willing to record over.

    This may sound like an obvious step, but complacency on this point has led camcorder owners to the accidental erasure of many a precious piece of footage. Sooner or later, everyone finds out: A camcorder has no Undo command.

  2. Put the camcorder into VTR or VCR mode (refer back to Figure 2-1).

    Confirm that its FireWire cable is plugged into your Mac. Unless you’re willing to risk running out of battery power in midtransfer, plug your camcorder into ...

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