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Learn iMovie Week: Amazing interview editing techniques

In the sixth instalment of Learn iMovie Week, we look at how to film and edit a professional looking interview using iMovie’s suite of post-production tools.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - sidebar
iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - main
To make your interviewee appear more eloquent and interesting you need to cut out the boring or irrelevant sections of the interview.
By filming a mix of close-ups and mid-shots you can cut between the interviewee’s two shot sizes without creating a jarring jump cut. If you do need to remove part of an interview you can hide the edit with a cutaway shot of your subject at work. Cutaway shots also add visual variety to the programme and stop it from being a dull ‘talking head’. We’ve popped a series of interview shots and cutaways on your disc for you to experiment with. Read on for some slick interview editing tips and techniques to get you started.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step-By-Step

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step 1

Step 1: Add clips

Create a new project and import the eight clips from the Interview Source Files folder on your disc. Drag the mid-shot and close-up clips to the project window.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step 2

Step 2: Remove a section

Go to View>Playhead Info. Place the Playhead at 17:02 and right click. Chose Split Clip. Scrub to 23:29 and split the clip again. Delete the middle section.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step 3

Step 3: Add cutaway 1

Drag Cutaway01 onto the interview clip at 4:04. Choose Cutaway from the pop-up menu. Drag the cutaway’s horizontal audio line down to 25%.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step 4

Step 4: Hide a cut

Add Cutaway02 at 12:14. Drag Cutaway03 to 16:06 and insert it as a cutaway. This shot bridges the jump cut and illustrates the interviewee’s story.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step 5

Step 5: Reduce sound levels

Reduce the audio level of Cutaway03 to 22% so that it doesn’t distract too much from the interview. Place Cutaway04 at 19:16.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step 6

Step 6: Final cutaway

Add the last section of the interview to the project. Insert Cutaway05 at the end to show the interviewee’s family enjoying the local scenery.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step 7

Step 7: Add a caption

Go to the Titles browser and drag Lower Third onto the beginning of the interview. Type the interviewee’s name and role in the main viewer’s text fields.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step 8

Step 8: Add music

To complement the final scene go to the Music Browser’s Jingles folder and drag Curtain Call Short into the project window. Reduce the volume to 13%.

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Step 9

Step 9: Publish it!

Don’t let your tightly edited interviews languish unseen. Go to File>Share and export them to Facebook, YouTube or your MobileMe gallery.

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

iMovie tutorial - Interview techniques - Annotated


To complete this tutorial, you’ll need to download the Issue 99 tutorial files.

This tutorial is the sixth in our Learn iMovie Week series; for more articles just like this, visit the Learn iMovie Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to iMovie on Mac or iOS. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearniMovieWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.