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Get shooting advice from place holders

Discover framing and content suggestions for a smooth-flowing video sequence

Although you may be new to editing video, you’ll have spent a lifetime consuming the moving image onscreen. This means that you’ll instinctively be able to read the language of film, even if you’re unsure how to ‘write’ it during the editing process. For example, a novice film-maker might cut two similarly framed wide shots together, creating a jarring jump cut.

A more experienced film-maker will cut from a wide shot to a close-up, so that the variety of shot sizes creates a smoother sequence. iMovie’s Trailers feature has a helpful Storyboard pane with animated place holders. These suggest what shots will cut together more effectively, so you can produce a more professional sequence.


1. Choose a trailer

Go to File>New Trailer. Click on a trailer template and click Create. Label the trailer and click OK. Go to the Timeline and click the Storyboard tab to see the drop zones.


2. Preview suggestions

Tap the spacebar to play. The animated place holders will suggest subjects (such as Landscapes), actions and composition (such as Close-up or Group shot).


3. Add a clip

Click to target a place holder. Scrub over an Event’s clip to preview it then click to add it to the place holder. The clip will be automatically trimmed to the holder’s suggested duration.


4. Change shot size

The next empty place holder will be selected automatically, though you can click on any in the suggested sequence to select them manually. Here we’ve added a Medium shot.

Take control

Discover how you can finetune the results that are produced by the suggestions from an iMovie Trailer’s animated place holder.


1. Trim the clip

After clicking a clip to add it to a drop zone, click the Clip Trimmer icon at the bottom-left of the thumbnail. The Clip Trimmer will appear, allowing you to choose a different section.


2. Restore audio

By default your clip’s audio is muted when it’s added to a place holder, so that only the trailer’s music is audible. Click a clip’s audio icon to turn audio on or off.