iMovie Might Be Quirky, but Gosh Can You Work Fast

by Derrick Story


I had a rush video job this weekend and used iMovie and iDVD to get the project out the door. The upshot? I completed the entire job in less than 6 hours.

I've been an iMovie fan since its early days. And yes, I've endured its quirks along the way. Even with the latest version (that's part of iLife '06), there are a few gremlins that leave me scratching my head. But when I need to finish a simple video project *right now*, iMovie is the racehorse I want to ride.

My client wanted a 4-minute video demonstrating a craft project using their materials. I shot the movie with a Canon Optura 40, SV hot lights, and an Audio Technica shotgun mic. We finished the filming in just a couple hours. They were very well prepared and familiar with this craft project.

I opted to use iMovie on my MacBook Pro 17" because I knew that there wasn't going to be much editing. The video recording was clean, so I didn't have to apply any corrections. The audio was good too, just a little bit of ambient noise. The Audio FX panel in iMovie has some excellent controls, including a very nice noise reducer filter (click on the Editing tab, then click on Audio FX and choose Noise Reducer). I selected my audio tracks, applied the filter, and like magic, no more ambient noise.

We reviewed the rushes right there on the MacBook Pro. I made a few adjustments based on client feedback, then sent the job to iDVD. Twenty minutes later I had a final product to hand over.

We watched the DVD on 3 different TV monitors, and it looked great on all of them. The disc went out via FedEx Monday morning. The client liked the finished product so much she's already ordered duplicate discs.

iMovie and its brethren in the iLife '06 suite take the notion of "easy to use" and transcend it to "work real fast and make good stuff." It sure saved my bacon this time.


Small Paul
2006-06-19 15:03:46
Lucky you didn't have any PAL audio fades to do:�

2006-06-19 15:42:25
Might want to change "your" to "you" :-)
2006-06-19 15:42:59
Not to sound like an O'Reilly shill, but David Pogue's Missing Manual for iMovie HD & iDVD (v5) was very helpful and inspiring for me to learn more about those apps. Same with the GarageBand MM.

Which reminds me (off topic) ...

I think it would be great if Apple gave Mac buyers credit coupons towards purchasing MM books (and/or other selected educational material). I've never found any use for those coupons that came with several Macs I've bought since 2001. I still hear people complain about not getting enough hardcopy documentation with their systems. A "credit bonus" might help negate that a bit and give people more incentive to buy what's specifically useful for them.

2006-06-19 16:04:41
Yes, audio fades can be exciting in iMovie. My minor headache surfaced when I tried to apply noise suppression during a cross dissolve transition. Fortunately, I tamed the beast after about 5 minutes of dinking around with it.

BTW: Thanks Matt for the heads up on the Your/You thing :)

Ganesan Subramaniam
2006-06-19 19:09:05
Hi fellow Mac-folks,

Is it possible for one to create custom themes for iMovie and iDVD?