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iMovie editing tricks – how to create pro movies on your Mac

Professional iMovie editing tips and tricks to get your footage to flow more effectively

iMovie editing pro

mainiMovie for Mac has some great editing tools. Thanks to the wonder of non-linear editing, you can cut unconnected clips together and fabricate a story. In our walkthrough we’ll show you how to detach sound from one clip and extend it over another to help knit the two shots together more effectively. You’ll also learn how to make the narrative flow by digitally flipping a shot horizontally to make a duck move in the same direction as the fleeing birds in a separate shot. In our narrative we captured a dog chasing the birds in a wide-angle shot. We’ll show you how to split and crop the shot to cut to a close-up of the cheeky canine. We’ll also show you how to re-time the footage to make ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ action last longer so it’s easier to digest.

iMovie pro editing step 11: Import assets

Create a new project with a widescreen aspect ratio and a 25 fps – PAL frame rate. Go to File>Import and browse to our Source Clips folder from the disc. Click Import.

iMovie pro editing step 22: Go with the flow

Drag the first three shots onto your iMovie timeline. Click on the Titles Browser. Drag the Soft Edge title onto the first shot. Edit the text in the viewer in the top-right.

iMovie pro editing step 33: Trim start point

Drag shots 04 and 05 onto the timeline. Click on shot 05. Choose Clip>Detach Audio. Drag shot 05’s yellow start point until the footage becomes more stable.

iMovie pro editing step 44: Trim to selection

Right-click inside the yellow selection window and choose the Trim to Selection option. The sound remains in sync with shot 05, but it now extends over shot 04.

iMovie pro editing step 55: Fade in

Click on the detached purple audio clip and press the A key to open the Audio Inspector. Tick the Fade In Manual box. Drag the slider to 1:13. Click Done.

iMovie pro editing step 66: Flip horizontally

The sound of the fleeing flock fades in over the duck’s close-up footage. To make him flee in the same direction, Press I. Now click on Video Effect and choose Flipped.

iMovie pro editing step 77: Slow down

Scrub across to frame 25:08. Right-click. Choose the Split Clip option. Now click on the second part of the split clip. Press I to open the Inspector. Set Speed to 50%.

iMovie pro editing step 88: Zoom in

Click on the re-timed clip. Press on the Crop icon. Hit Crop. Drag the green crop window to create a tighter mid-shot of the duck-chasing dog. Click Done.

iMovie pro editing step 99: Fill sound gap

By slowing the clip we don’t have enough sound. This is easily fixed. Click on the purple audio clip. Choose Edit>Copy and then Edit>Paste. Trim the copy to fill the gap.

Click Image to Enlarge:

iMovie pro editing annotated