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iMovie: The Missing Manual by Aaron Miller, David Pogue

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Chapter 14. Advanced Editing

Stumble around in iMovie long enough, and you’ll be able to figure out most of its inner workings. But in this chapter, you’ll read about another level of capability, another realm of power and professionalism, that would never occur to most people.

This brief chapter covers advanced editing theory. Where the preceding chapters covered the technical aspects of editing video in iMovie—what keys to press, where to click, and so on—this chapter is about the artistic aspects of video editing. It covers when to cut, what to cut to, and how to create the emotional impact you want.

The Power of Editing

The editing process is crucial to any kind of movie, from home videos to Hollywood thrillers. Clever editing can turn a troubled movie into a successful one, or a boring home movie into one that, for the first time, family members don’t interrupt every 3 minutes by lapsing into conversation.

You, the editor, are free to jump from camera to camera, angle to angle, from one location or time to another, and so on. Today’s audiences accept that you’re telling a story. They don’t stomp out in confusion because one minute James Bond is in his London office, and then shows up in Venice a split second later.

You can also compress time, which is one of editing’s most common duties. (That’s fortunate, because most movies tell stories that, in real life, would take days, weeks, or years to unfold.) You can also expand time, making 10 seconds stretch out to 6 minutes—a technique ...

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