Here’s the process, reduced to seven steps:
Import your video clips directly from your DV camcorder, FaceTime HD camera, iPhoto, or your hard drive.
Drag your new selection of clips from the Event pane to the Project pane and arrange them in the desired order.
Import or record audio clips (from iTunes, GarageBand, or external sources, such as audio CDs or audio files that you’ve recorded yourself) and add them to your movie.
Import your photos (directly from iPhoto or from your hard drive) and place them where needed in your movie.
Add professional niceties, such as voiceovers, transitions, effects, and text to the project.
Preview your film and edit it further if necessary.
Share your finished film with others through the web, e-mail, your Apple TV, or an iOS device (an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch).
There are two options open to you and we’ll explore them both (the latter will be quicker than the former). Start by launching iMovieand if you haven’t already done so, go to File > Import Media and bring in all the clips you need to work on (from your camera, camcorder, iPhone, videos on your hard drive, just drag all the ones you want).
Next, click on the ‘Create’ button (left of the toolbar at the top) and choose the first option: Movie. Select ‘No Theme’, name your project and you’ll be ready to begin.
If this is the first time you’ve opened iMovie, the interface might feel a little sparse and daunting, ignoring the sidebar on the left for now, you have a list of clips top left, a preview section top right and a large empty area at the bottom.
The latter is where you’ll be building your project. To do so, mouse over any clip in the upper left section.
As you move left and right, a preview of what is contained within it appears top right of the interface.
Click on a clip and a white vertical line appears on it bearing a large ‘+’. Clicking on the ‘+’ will add four seconds of that clip from the white line onwards to your project.
If you wish to be more precise, click and drag to select the exact section you wish to use. Once selected you can also resize it by dragging its edges. When done, click on ‘+’ to include it in your project.
You can also drag the selection to the project yourself – this enables you to add it anywhere in your film, not just at the end of your current build.
Once in your project, those clips are still fully editable: move the cursor to a clip’s edge and the slanted arrow will turn into two arrows pointing in either direction. When that happens, you can extend or contract your clip at that point.
You can also reorder your clips by dragging them in new locations. To get rid of a clip, select it and hit the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard.
All of this helps you build a project quickly and easily.
Transitions can be fun ways to give a definite visual break in your movie.
To add one, click on Transitions in the Sidebar. Select the one you wish from a list of 24, and drag it in between two of your clips. Adding a title is almost as easy: select Titles from the sidebar, choose your favourite and drag it in. It will rest on top of your existing clips.
The placeholder text is automatically selected so replace it and you’re done. You can lengthen or shorten it in the same way as clips (as shown in step 4).
To add a musical score, select iTunes or GarageBand to gain access to those respective libraries.
If you have the time, it’s possible to add special visual effects to your clips, or even apply a little colour correction.
To do this, select a clip and click on the toolbar’s ‘Adjust’ button (top right of the interface) to reveal a row of icons.
The filmstrip icon on the right allows you to add visual and audio filters to your chosen clip with the help of drop down menus (only one effect of each type can be added to a single clip).
To colour correct it, click on the paint palette icon on the left.
Once your film’s ready, it’s time to share it with your friends, family, and the whole online world.
Click on the ‘Share’ button, top left of the interface. You’ll be presented with a choice of eight options, most of which, like YouTube, are self explanatory.
‘Theatre’ lets you save your finished film to iCloud where any of your Apple devices can access it – great for sharing on the go.
‘File’ saves a copy to your computer, enabling you to share it to social media sites not included by default in iMovie’s list of export locations.