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Multimedia Production


Video Editing with iMovie

Lightweight recommendations for creating effective audio and video content.


iMovie is a free video editing software distributed with most Mac operating systems. If it is not installed on your machine, check the OS X App Store for more information. 

Import video & images

To import video files, go to File > Import > Movies. A dialog box should open that will allow you to navigate to your video file and import it into iMovie. If asked, make sure to import the full file for HD videos. The movie will be placed in the Event Library at the bottom of your screen. You can highlight potions of the video using your mouse and drag them into your project timeline in any order you choose.

For images, you should first load your files into an iPhoto album. iMovie can access the images in your iPhoto, which you can see by clicking the camera shaped icon on the right side of the screen. Drag and drop images into the project just like you would video. You can edit the image’s duration, as well as adjust cropping options or add a “Ken Burns” movement effect by clicking on the image in the project timeline and clicking the small blue square that pops up. 

Import audio

Much like with images, you’ll want to first import any audio files into iTunes. You can then access your iTunes library in iMovie by clicking the music note icon on the right side of the screen, then drag your audio file into the project window. The audio will automatically snap to the length of the project or clip it is drug onto, so you may find it easier to set the duration of one stock image to be longer than the audio track you’ve created and add in the appropriate images at the beginning of the audio, deleting the stock image when you are through. 

Titles & captions

On the right side of the screen you should see the Titles viewer, a button with a capital “T” on it. This opens a selection of titles, captions, and credits that you can add on top of any existing image or video, simply by dragging and dropping. You can type your text into the box that appears on the preview window, and edit settings by double clicking the blue bar above the clip in the Project viewer.


The Transitions Browser can be viewed by clicking the button on the right side of the screen that looks like a box with two triangles in it, to the right of the Titles Browser button. Here you will find preset animations that take place in-between clips, drag and drop these into your Project to add some visual flair. It is good practice to limit yourself to only one or two types of transitions in a single project.

Save & export video

Projects are saved automatically in the iMovie folder, and can be worked on again by going into the Project Library and selecting your project. Once you are finished with your edits and ready to turn your video in, go to the Share menu and choose the “Export Movie” option. Select the HD option on the following screen and a location to save the file. It will save with your project’s name as a .m4v file. You can also export to a .mov file using the Export using Quicktime option, if you have trouble uploading the .m4v copy.