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How to make a movie in under 30 minutes with iMovie

Use one of iMovie’s time-saving templates to produce eye-catching movies in just a few minutes

Making home movies has never been easier. Years ago you needed to make sure your video camera was charged and had a reel of tape in it. You then had to hope that all of your shots were picture-perfect, because editing tape was strictly for professionals. Now your video camera goes everywhere with you, so it’s pretty much always charged. What’s more, armed with your Mac, you have an incredibly simple editing suite at your fingertips.

The reason most people are hesitant about editing their clips is the misapprehension that the process will take hours, but nothing could be further from the truth. iMovie has a number of templates that mean all you need to do is worry about which clips will go where – and that is as simple as dragging them from one part of the interface to another. In this guide we’ll show you just how simple iMovie can be and how you can make a movie in under 30 minutes.

1: New project

Use the ‘+’ button to create a new project and then select a theme for your video. This is a great place to start. Themes add titles and effects straight away.

2: Drag and drop

Pick the parts of the clips you want to use by scrolling your mouse along them and then dragging and dropping them into the window above.

3: Top titles

As you can see, Titles are added automatically. They appear in the coloured windows above clips. Double-click them and then the actual text to edit.

4: Done it

When you are finished hit Done. As you add more clips, more titles will be added. Repeat the process until each one has your personal messages in them.

5: Add your own

Of course, you can add your own titles or transitions. Use this menu to select the transition explorer. You can pick from the available effects.

6: What a drag

Once you have picked a transition effect, you can drag and drop it between two clips in the upper- left timeline window. It should just settle into place.

7: Template warning

As you started using a template you have to now disable automatic transitions and titles. All of your work will be saved so you can continue editing.

8: Change it

Use the cog to access the contextual settings menu for the transition. You’ll find a similar cog on all clips, titles and transitions. Pick the bottom option.

9: Do the business

You can now alter the fine-tuning of the transition or pick a new one if the one you started with isn’t doing the business for you.

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