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Learn iMovie Week: Create a dream sequence

In the seventh part of Learn iMovie Week, use iMovie’s array of digital effects to change the speed, look and sound of your video clips and create surreal dream sequences

In dreams, time appears slow, especially if you’re running from a threat. Colours can take on a psychedelic hue and sounds, like your breathing, can become incorporated into the dream. We can mimic all of these dream properties using a combination of iMovie tricks and techniques! We’ll show you how to re-time a clip to slow it down and add dream-like transitions from one scene to the next. You’ll discover how to blur the edges of the frame, which is a common film language convention for any dream sequence. We’ll also show you how to change hue to create surreal colours and modify sound effects to create a dream-like soundscape.

1: Add source clips

Create a new Widescreen project with no theme, and use File>Import>Movies to add the shots from the Dream source clips folder to a new event.

2: Slow things down

Drag shot one to the Project window. Click on the clip and press ‘I’ to open the Inspector. In the Clip Inspector, set the Speed to 50%.

3: Blur edges

Go to Video Effect and, in the Choose Video Effect window, click on the Romantic thumbnail. This gives the edges of the frame a dream-like blur.

4: Psychedelic colours

Go to the Video Inspector and drag the White Point down and left to add a surreal purple hue. Pop the Saturation up to 140%.

5: Surreal sounds

Go back to the Clip Inspector and click the Audio Effect option. Choose the Echo option to create an eerie ambient sound effect then hit Done.

6: Copy and paste

Click on the clip and choose Edit>Copy. Add the other four clips. Click on each clip and choose Edit>Paste Adjustments>All.

7: Walking backwards

Click on the last clip and press ‘I’ to open the Inspector. In the Clip Inspector, click on the Reverse box to make people walk backwards.

8: Bit of a blur

Place a Cross Blur transition after the first clip. Use the Inspector to change Duration to 2:00. Tick Applies to all transitions and then click on Done.

9: Surreal sounds

Go to the Music and Sound Effects browser and choose the Foley folder. Add the Scuba Breathing sound to your project.

Click Image to Enlarge:

This tutorial is the seventh 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.