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How to create a movie in iMovie – beginner’s guide

Learn how to import clips, add transitions and export your finished film in iMovie - Apple's flagship video editor for Mac - with our step-by-step guide.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Featured

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Sidebar
iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Featured
Last month in iMovie 101 we covered importing your videos into iMovie ready for editing.
This issue, we’re taking the next step and creating a short, simple movie with a few transitions, then exporting it to your desired location. The interface in iMovie may be a lot simpler than professional video-editing apps like Final Cut Pro X, but it can still be a little daunting for new users with so much happening onscreen.

Here, we’ve broken down the tools you’ll need from the outset to ensure you know exactly how to make your first movie. Once you know how to use these, you’ll be creating great-looking videos in no time with our help. Once your clips are in the Event browser at the bottom of the window, you’re ready to start creating, so read on to find all the tips you need to make yourself an iMovie master.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step-by-Step

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step 1

Step 1: New Project

First of all you need to create a New Project. In the Project Library tab at the top of the window click the small ‘+’ button to get started.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step 2

Step 2: Themes

You will be prompted to select a theme from the menu that appears. Name your project in the top- right and, for now, choose no theme.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step 3

Step 3: Selecting clips

In the Event browser, scroll your mouse over your clips to see a live preview in the top-right. Click on a clip and a short section of it will be selected.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step 4

Step 4: Adding a clip

You can grab the sides of the yellow box and drag them to select more of the clip. When you’re ready, click and drag the clip up into your project.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step 5

Step 5: Trimming

When you’ve added a few clips you can trim start and end points. Hover your mouse over the clip and click the cog that appears, then select Clip Trimmer.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step 6

Step 6: Transitions

After you’ve added a couple of clips you can include a transition. Click the Transitions square in the bottom-right and roll your mouse over to preview.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step 7

Step 7: Fading

Once you’ve found a transition you want to use, click and drag it up into your project, placing it between the two clips you want to fade between.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step 8

Step 8: Sharing

When you’ve completed your project, click Share in the menubar and choose a destination. iMovie contains a range of options, including YouTube.

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Step 9

Step 9: Uploading

In the YouTube upload window you can enter details such as the quality, title and description. When you’re ready, click Next and then Upload.

(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations)

iMovie Tutorial - First movie - Annotated