The Businessperson’s Guide To The iMovie Galaxy

guide to imovie

These days, making professional-looking movies and presentations is a necessity when marketing your business. If you have an Apple Mac, then the best pre-installed program on it by far is iMovie.

If you want your marketing to look like a million dollars, check out this business person’s guide to iMovie Galaxy. Create impressive and effective video content on iMovie today.

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Get Your Photos and Video Clips Together In a Folder

Decide which movie clips and photos are going to appear in your movie and collect them all in a unique folder on your computer. When you import these materials into iMovie, the program makes copies of all the files, but mistakes do happen. If you happen to accidentally delete something, or forget to press the “undo” button, then you will have the originals to start with again.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

Importing Into iMovie

Now that you have your pictures and movie clips ready, open iMovie. At the top of the screen, it says “New” and “Import”. Click on “Import” to begin with.

Obviously this opens up the “import” section. The first thing to do is establish a unique folder on iMovie for your photos and movie clips. So at the top of the import window, where it says “Import To”, drop the menu and choose “New Event”.

That opens a box with today’s date. You may want to change it to something memorable such as “company advertisement”, or whatever you are working on. If you end up working on multiple projects, you will need to keep everything separate.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

Make sure that the new event is showing in the “Import To” box, then on the left hand side, navigate to the location of your media folder. When you get there, you will see your files appear in the main part of the window. Highlight them all (or the ones you want) and press the “Import Selected / Import All” button. They will now be copied and brought into iMovie.

Choosing Your Theme and Title

Now it’s time to press the “New” button.

This opens up the “themes” section. If you see something that you like, then feel free to choose it. However, don’t be confined to the theme’s restrictions. For a more flexible experience, choose “No Theme” instead.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

A box will then pop up with the newly created event pre-filled. If not, drop down the menu and find the event you just made. Click OK, and you’re in.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

Take the time to look around. The black rectangle to the right of the clips is the media player, for playing back what you have made. At the bottom is the area where you will be inserting your media and editing it to make your final masterpiece. Are you starting to feel like Stanley Kubrick, yet?

There are many ways to use iMovie, but this will be a quick and easy guide to give you a general overview of the program.

The Quick and Easy Way

Highlight all of the media with your mouse and drag it into the big window below.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

At the top right of the big window is a slider. Moving it to the right will make your media bigger, so you can have finer control over what gets cut out.

In the bottom right of the iMovie window is a section called “Content Library”. Choose the “Titles” option. The titles are the screens upon which text is displayed. The text can either be placed on top of an image /piece of film, or it can be shown separately against a black background.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

You can also choose between different types of animation. You really just have to choose which one best suits your needs. Here’s an example just to give an idea what happens when you choose and what to do next.

Click on your desired title page and drag it with your mouse down to the editing window to the position where you want it. When you get closer to the images / movie footage, they should automatically jump out of the way to let you drop the title page in.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

If you want to place a title page in the middle of a piece of video footage, you will need to cut the video footage in two. This also works for images. Simply move the white thin vertical line that moves through the movie to the point where you want to cut. Then right-click and choose “Split Clip”.

The two parts should then divide, and you can then slide the title card in.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

If at any time you make a mistake, don’t freak out. You can just do CMD + Z to undo your last action.

When you have all your title pages in place, it is then time to add the text. This is easy. Simply click on the title card and you will see it in the top right-hand media player screen. You will also see the default text highlighted, which can then be deleted.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

Delete the default text and write your own. Choose your font, font size, font color, alignment, whether to use bold, italics or underlining, and so forth.

Your text is confined though by the boxes in the title cards. You are unable to make the boxes bigger, which is very frustrating.

Timing Each Sequence

When you enter an image, a piece of video footage, text, or music, it guesses how long each section should take. You can see it at the top of each part.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

Invariably, these times are wrong, so you need to decide how long each part will be. Maybe you want to time the thundering crescendo of the music with a particular part?

To change it, simply click the part until it is highlighted. Then click on the right hand side of the section, and drag it along. You will then see the number of seconds increase. To make them decrease, slide it back to the left. Or CMD + Z to undo.

Now For a Little Music….

OK, now it’s time for the music. You have to remember copyrights here, and avoid just taking whatever music you want. You either need to pay the licensing fee to have the right to use someone’s music, or you need to use free public domain music. A good place to look for that is Creative Commons.

A Google search will throw up options, such as Free Stock Music. YouTube offers a fantastic service called “Audio Library” where you can download free public domain music for your movie projects. Some have ads and some don’t.

Although YouTube obviously prefers that you eventually upload your work to its site, there is no actual requirement for you to do so.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

I would recommend that you avoid ad-supported music, because there are rules such as countries where the music can’t be played, and the copyright holder can make further rules later on, which you may not like. This would result in you having to redo everything. So play it safe and stick to the free stuff.

You can filter the selections by running time, genre, mood, instruments and duration. You can preview each one, and when you have got the one(s) you want, simply download it/them to your computer.

To get the music into your movie, just import it like you did with the images and video footage. The music will appear as green bars at the top of the software window, next to your images and video footage.

Just drag it with your mouse down below and place it at the beginning of the movie file (underneath the images and/or video footage.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

If the music file is too long, and overruns past the end of your movie, then click where on the track the music should stop, right-click, and choose “Split Clip”. You can then delete the part you don’t need.

OK, you’re almost done. The next thing is to make one small alteration to the music. When music ends, or changes to other music, does it suddenly stop abruptly? No, it fades out quietly. So with the music here at the end, grab the music bars with the mouse and slowly move them to the left. You will then see a bar going from thick to thinner. This is the music fading out. Listen to it and see.

It’s Showtime!

OK, time to publish the final product. Go to “Share” in the top right-hand corner. This gives you a possibility of different places to send to. Or you can choose “File” so the finished product can be placed in the movie file on your computer.

Guide To iMovie Galaxy

So, choose “File” and edit the title of the movie, its description, and its resolution. iMovie will then create a finished file for you. This is not a fast process, so go do something else and come back later. Perhaps you need another cup of coffee?

And that is your basic guide to making a movie on iMovie. There is so much not covered here. But if this tutorial has given you the confidence to explore further, then please do. Perhaps you can spend some of your free time exploring the other options to make high quality video of your own.

Image: Apple

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Mark O'Neill Mark O'Neill is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering software and social media. He is a freelance journalist who has been writing for over 25 years, and has successfully made the leap from newspapers and radio onto the Internet. From 2007-2013, he was the Managing Editor of

3 Reactions
  1. This is the app that lets people create easy movies without complicated programs. I have always been a Windows user so I am quite amazed when I see someone edit a video on Mac. It is like they can edit a video in a few clicks.

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