New Macbook = Experimenting with iMovie

After more than four years of running my social media consultancy on a PC, I finally jumped from PC to Mac a few months ago. It changed my life and productivity levels; I am thrilled with my Macbook. This weekend, it was time to experiment with iMovie as my good friend, neighbor and fellow mom asked me to help out on a social project. The question brought to me was if I could help her out with tips/ways to promote a video for a contest she was thinking about entering. After I said I would, of course, help her with some tips, curiosity got the better of me and I had to ask what video she was planning to shoot.

Turns out the plan was to use Smartphones (you can shoot great videos with Smartphones – there’s nothing wrong with that) and have the person with the most technical ability try to ‘paste it together’ into a story. Beyond identifying the major ‘actors’, not much else was planned for the video storyline.

I probed my friend with some additional questions about equipment, storyline and contest guidelines and then offered to assist with filming of the video with our Cannon T3i and our Cannon T3. (They are DSLR cameras). Well, to be honest, I actually volunteered my summer intern for this job… My teenage daughter is interning for my social media consultancy this summer and as she is learning Photoshop, video editing and social media marketing, this was a perfect opportunity to incorporate and learn all three skills, hands-on, in one project!

Filming of the video took place on Saturday for two hours.

Editing took an additional five hours.

Here is what we produced as a ‘first try’. Watch, and then we’ll give you the ‘5 key takeaways from our two day experiment with iMovie’

Friends, many of you know our story and journey with Tobias. This is the first time we are sharing part of it publicly. We have partnered with Tutor Doctor for over 2 years to help Tobias increase his reading proficiency. Now we have an opportunity as a family to win an important contest. As soon as we post on the Tutor Doctor site, you can begin voting! More to follow…. Thank you to our friends and family who have already begun to support us!We are asking that you watch the video, like, comment and share! Most likes and shares win! Aside from this, we hope our story will inspire other families who might benefit.Thank you, Dale and Bob#ILoveTutorDoctor

Posted by Dale Andrews on Sunday, June 14, 2015

What the More In Media team learned from experimenting with iMovie for the first time:

5 key takeaways from a two day  experiment with iMovie

1. Create a storyline

My intern took two hours of video and immediately started cutting through each segment, cutting out the parts where we’d asked questions, essentially editing every single separate video segment. When I realized what she was doing, I stopped her immediately. Instead, we watched all of the video footage and then decided what the best sound bites were and how we would lay out the video, before splitting and cutting each individual clip. By doing this, we were able to reduce the amount of time we spent editing because there was quite a bit of footage, we didn’t even use at all.

2. B-roll rocks!

If you don’t know the technical term of b-roll it is “the supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot in an interview or documentary”. In iMovie, b-roll is placed on the storyboard above the main footage. We used it to cover up transitions and awkward posture on some of the interviewed subjects. It truly enhanced our video!

In our video example, b-roll is used to show the picture of Tobias’ adoption day, as his mom and dad talk about the process of adopting Tobias.

Tip: When filming for your video, take more b-roll video than you think you’ll ever need! We thought we had a lot, yet we were wishing we’d taken just a bit more! We also asked the main character, Tobias, to change clothes several times while filming b-roll, so it looked like we’d shot the video over a long period of time vs all done in two hours.

3. Add a logo

Add a logo to your video to make it appear more professional. If you are a Photoshop user, create a transparent image 1920×1080 pixels. Add in your logo and adjust the size and placement according to where you want it to appear in your video. Using a logo with a transparent background looks the best. The image created in Photoshop should be exported as a .png file or it won’t work in iMovie.

In our video example, we added our logo to the lower right side of the transparent image we created. It was shown in our video on the intro and outro.

To add your Photoshop .png image to your video, add it the same way you would add b-roll.

4. Google tutorials

Don’t be afraid to Google any topics you are confused about. Sometimes we would get (briefly) frustrated, but we quickly realized we could open a new window and Google and find any video tutorial on any iMovie subject we would need. This is how we learned how to clip videos, add b-roll, add a logo and more.

5. Use what you have!

When choosing which clips you want to use, don’t discount any footage you took! We found multiple 3-5 second gems in what we thought was junk footage. We used these short segments for b-roll and to make the video more personable and visually pleasing.

BONUS TIP: A second set of eyeballs on the footage was incredibly useful. Teaming up with someone to help you decipher the footage and create a story might be just what you need to succeed. Things my intern found, I might have missed and vice versa.

While this video was created to win a contest, it also serves as reminder to all of us to never give up, push harder for the things we want and to always look for ways to overcome obstacles.