How to create a video on iMovie

 26 June 2017

Photographer and filmmaker Denzil Browne explains how to make a video on iMovie. He also explains more about his role and offers advice on how to get into the industry,

"My name’s Denzil Browne and I work as a photographer and sometimes filmmaker.

"I got involved in the industry by starting off in the arts. I worked in several galleries in town, doing graphic design and photography work. In general, I now work from home."

What do you do?

"As I’ve been taking on more film work, I’ve been working on short films which I put into festivals but more recently I’ve been getting commissioned work.

"So a recent example was working for a local Derry company called In Your Space. They wanted a film to go alongside some productions of plays and performances that they were putting together.

"So they came to me because they liked the particular style that I have."

How has technology affected your job?

"One thing that technology has done is it’s democratised things. Anyone can pick up a phone, pick up a camera and start to shoot and make things, which wasn’t possible maybe 10 years ago.

"The other side of that then is, that there’s more competition in the marketplace.

"As the creative industries move on and more technologies get interlinked with each other, such as filmmaking, augmented reality, 3D etc, I’d say for anyone entering the industry in 10 years time, it would be a certain jump ahead to know a little bit about coding.

"How these things actually work inside your phone and inside your computer, are what the creative industry leaders of tomorrow are going to need."

Get a mentor and experience

"As a young person, you’ll be better off if you have someone to use as a mentor.

"Someone who works in the industry and has been for a while and knows what they’re doing. Then you can pick up lots of great advice from them.

"What you need to do really, is simply to get involved. Start taking photographs, start making films, start coding and gaming.

"Whatever stream of the creative industry you wish to join, you simply need to get as much experience as possible."

Creating a video on iMovie

"Okay, so today I’m going to show you how to edit a film together using iMovie. So as soon as we have iMovie open, the first thing we need to do is import our footage.

"So we can just click import media and go and find the folders and files that we’re looking for.

"I can simply hit import all because I know these are the files that I want to use.

"The stuff that we’ve imported is up in our clips screen here. So I can see each separate clip and if I run over them with the mouse, I can see that the footage comes up on the other side of the screen. This is my preview window."

1) Editing the footage

"So to start building the movie together, I take my clips from the clips window on the left and I drag them down into the timeline.

"I have extra footage here at the start, before the person actually enters the frame so what I can do is grab the edge and I can simply drag that in to the point where she enters.

Whatever stream of the creative industry you wish to join, you simply need to get as much experience as possible

"You can see now we have the bit that we want highlighted in yellow and if we just click and drag it down into the timeline, we can only bring in the bit of footage that I wanted.

"We can edit things on the timeline as well, I can take the whole thing into the timeline and it automatically lines up beside the last one.

"So you can see there is a bit of dead time before the camera starts to zoom, so what I want to do is select the left edge and drag that in until the point where the camera starts to zoom.

"I can hit the play key, which is just our space bar and that will run through the two scenes that I’ve now put together.

"It’s very easy to rearrange things in any of these video software programmes.  All I need to do is just grab the piece that I want, drag it over, line it up and once again iMovie just moves the second piece of footage out of the way."

2) Adding sound to the video

"Okay, so I’ve built up a few more scenes in this movie and now it’s time to start thinking about the sound.

"We can either use royalty free, non-copyrighted music and there are plenty of good sources out there. I often use a site called Another option of course is to make your own.

"So I have imported my audio alongside the video files and if I want to drag in the audio, I can just drag it down and drop it in underneath.

"Now when I hit play, I can hear my nice creepy fairy-tale soundtrack over the top."

3) Adding in titles and text

"If we need to add any text to our film for any reason, we may need to put a title at the start, we may need to put captions in to explain an action that is happening on screen in a kind of comic book style, we have the option of adding titles in iMovie.

"So if I click on titles, that replaces my clips with pre-set options for different titles.

"So there are many different animated titles that will come in from the screen or suddenly appear or move around but I’m just going to go with a fairly standard reveal of text.

For anyone entering the industry in 10 years time, it would be a certain jump ahead to know a little bit about coding

"If I double click on it, it places it in my movie, wherever my cursor was.  I can remove that so it doesn’t really matter where it ends up to begin with.

"As soon as I double click, I get the option here in my preview window to now put in my own text.

"I have options for different fonts, I can change the size if things are a little too big on the screen and I can also change the colour.

"So instead of white I can pick on the colour picker and then I can drag this around to choose any shade that I like.

"Okay so I have just clicked off of the screen and onto the grey to set those changes and I can see here if I run the cursor along, it shows me the title.

"But it’s a simple job to grab that, just like we did with the footage earlier and put it back to the start and drop it into the right place."

3) Exporting the finished film

"I’m happy with that so now we need to finish off. This is still within iMovie, so we need to export the video. If I go up to the top, I’ll find we have file and then share.

"We can go straight from share into YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook or if we simply want to make it a video file that is good quality and we can then use for different things, file, share and then choose file as an option.

"So click where it says my movie and retitle it, make sure the format is video and audio as we have a soundtrack on here, the resolution should be 1080p as iMovie recognises this is what the footage was when it first came in, quality high and then we can simply press next which will save it into your documents folder.

"Click on save and then sit back as it will probably take a few minutes, if you’ve got a lot of footage in there."

Re-capping the steps

"So just to recap as we are done here, we shoot our footage on our phones, cameras, or whatever that might be.

"We import it all into the computer. Then we do our filing and we name things and make sure that we have just the footage that we want/

"In iMovie we then build things up. So we start with our video clips, we drop them all on to the timeline one by one. Then we get our audio that is a track that goes right underneath and any titles are going on the layer above that. With all of that done, that’s the movie complete.

"I then hit export to share the video and make it into another file. Let’s go and have a look at the finished piece!

"There we go, this is what I’ve created in quite a short time and now it’s up to you. Pick up your cameras and get busy!"

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