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iLife Tutorial: Create a seamless multi-camera sequence in iMovie ’11

Edit with iMovie’s cutaway-inserting and clip-trimming tools

When we watch a stage play, we see the action unfold as a single ‘shot’. However, one long wide shot would make a boring video. When viewing video, the shots’ different durations, angles and sizes help to tell the story. You could shoot with multiple cameras to capture different angles of a single take. However, as you probably only have one camera, it makes more sense to emulate Hollywood filmmakers. They tend to shoot with one camera and then repeat the action while filming from another angle. We filmed a man feeding horses. As his actions were repetitive we were able to capture different shot sizes and angles. We’ll show you how to cut the footage together as if there were several camera operators recording the action.

1: Import assets
Create a new 16:9 project. Choose File>Import>Movies. Import the clips from the MultiCamera Clips folder and add them to a new Event. Choose View>Playhead Info.

2: Add a cutaway
Drag the first shot into the Project window. Drag the second shot onto the first clip at 1:26. Choose Cutaway from the pop-up menu. The clips will run parallel.

3: Trim the cutaway
Click the cutaway clip’s gear icon. Choose Clip Trimmer. Drag the clip’s end so its duration is 2:08. Click Done. Slide the cutaway five frames right to fine-tune timing.

4: New cutaway
Select the last second of the third clip in the Event browser (hay landing alternative angle) and add it as a Cutaway at 5:00. Trim the first clip to end at 6:00.

5: Split and trim
Add clip four to the project. Scrub to 7:27. Right-click. Choose Split Clip. Drag the last clip’s yellow selection handle to 10:10. Right-click. Choose Trim to Selection.

6: Playback
Play back the sequence. We’ve turned four source clips into six flowing shots. We’ve removed a wobbly zoom in the last clip and the man looking at the camera.

7: Different angles
Add clips five, six and seven to the sequence. These show the horses eating from different angles, as if we had three camera operators filming the action.

8: Add last clip
Add the last low-angle clip, which pans from the horses to the man. This contrasts from the previous high-angle view of the feeding horses and adds visual variety.

9: Musical merge
The action flows, but we can knit the shots together even more effectively using a music track. Add Tour Bus Medium from the iLife Sound Effects Jingles folder.

Click Image to Enlarge