Years ago, when chairing a leadership symposium at my son’s school, I had the opportunity to interview local leaders. I used iMovie to edit and compile the footage we shot. I’m here to tell you, iMovie has come a long way in a few short years. I recently ventured back to the software program with the goal in mind of creating a short clip to promote my upcoming launch of Boots and Bedlam. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. The end product—a minute and twenty-two second book trailer. 

I won’t lie to you. There is definitely a learning curve associated with iMovie. But prepare yourself to get sucked into the fun. I thought I’d give you a head’s start by showing you around the program. It is all about dragging and dropping. 

When you first open iMovie, a screen will appear alerting you to create a new project—either a Movie or Trailer. The trailer offers 29  different preinstalled templates. You simply plug in your media to create your own Hollywood movie trailer. In theory anyway. I found the template complicated and not suited to my purposes. The Movie option allows you to start from scratch.

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The three main areas of iMovie are the library—the orange arrow in the screenshot below—the timeline, the yellow arrow, and the editor, the pink arrow. To add music, video, or photographs to your library, simply click the file dropdown menu, the blue arrow, and select import media.

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Looking more closely at the library . . . The yellow arrow below is highlighting the other libraries available within the program. The audio is music stored on your computer, including in your iTunes library. Preloaded media is available for you to use in the forms of titles, backgrounds, and transitions. Before we go any further, open your iMovie program, create a project, and explore all the creative options.

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Below is a screen shot from the timeline of my book trailer. I simply dragged these elements from my library and dropped them into the timeline in the sequence I wanted them to appear in my video. Orange arrow is a transition. Yellow is the title. Blue is a background. The titles are above the images and the background because they appear on top of those elements in the video. Coincidentally, the number to the left of both titles documents the time. The Cooking . . . appears in the video for 2.4 seconds.

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Clicking on the element will highlight the perimeter and allow you to make adjustments to the length of time the video or image appears. The white vertical line marks your spot in the video. To play your video, simply tap your space bar. Tap it again to pause play.

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Last but certainly not least is the editor. When you click on an element in the timeline, the specifics of that element appear in the editor. My screenshot below highlights that background and title. You can make all kinds of niffy adjustments to the title. Selecting a photograph in the timeline will allow you to make the appropriate adjustments to that element in the editor. The same is true for a segment of video.

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I have a monthly subscription to Adobe Stock where I downloaded all my royalty free images. I paid extra for three segments of video. I bought them from Adobe Stock as well. I purchased the music from AudioBlocks. If you are creating a video for your own personal enjoyment, or to share with friends, you can use any music in your iTunes library. For me, because I plan to use my book trailer to advertise my new release, I needed royalty free music.

Once you’ve finished your video, click the file dropdown menu again and select share. You can upload your video to sites like YouTube or Vimeo or download it to a file. Other options include . . .

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My Finished Product . . . 

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