From iMovie 08 to 11 - an editor's journey.

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Mavimao, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. Mavimao macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2005
    Lyon, France
    So in the past year, I have had the "honor" to use iMovie 08, 09 and 11 on several different projects and just wanted to quickly rant about my feelings on Apple's consumer oriented video editing program. Just as a sidenote, I have a film school background, and have edited most of my video/ film projetcs with FCP in the past, so my approach to video editing is highly influenced by Apple's pro offering.

    I have used pre 08 imovie in the past but had always hated certain quirks about how it deals with media, but more specifically, hated its destructive approach to media in your media bin. Why do I have to split up a shot into smaller shots in my bin before editing them? Or I make a cut in the timeline and have to remember to put the rest of the unused clip back in the bin lest I lose it forever if I delete it!? That said I never used it any more.

    A year ago, I decided to dust off my copy of imovie 08 I had lying in my hard drive because I just needed to paste together a few clips from a trip to the Alps which were all in my iphoto library and figured imove would be ideal for the particular situation. Looking back most of my frustrations were due to the radically new UI and editing paradigm which took me a while to wrap my brain around, but once I got it, I thought that it wasn't so bad after all. I especially enjoyed the new approach to media and the bars that would designate used, favorite or rejected clips. Finally! True nondestructive editing! Unfortunately, the program wasn't really good for anything else than pasting a few clips together. Sound editing was non existent, precise editing was frustrating to say the least.

    Fastforward to a couple weeks ago. My mac is in the corner with a fried motherboard and I don't have the money to fix or replace the machine and I have a video to put together for my 8th grade English class who wanted to send a video to their German pen pals. I borrowed a friend's computer who had installed Premiere and I opened it initially thinking I was going to use it since it was the closest thing to FCP on the machine, but after opening it, I realized I didn't have the time to learn a whole new program and switched to iMovie 09. By this time I had learned about switching the position of the media bin and timeline, which was something I did immediately. First thing I loved was the precision editor and the clip editor. Finally! Some fine tuning controls! The stabilization filter was also a welcomed addition, especially with young teenager cinematography :) . However, there was one department in imovie 09 that was making me pull out my hair: sound editing. I couldn't believe that something so basic and detrimental to cinema was completely absent in a product with movie in its name. Sure, I could overlay a song over some dialogue but because one can not adjust the volume of a sound clip, the music was drowning out the dialogue. I sighed and figured I would have to export the audio and fine tune it in garageband and import it back into imovie. Well, my friend needed her mac back but asked her boyfriend to lend me his spare macbook to finish the video. Luckily, this decision became a lifesaver as his mac had imovie 11 installed which saved my butt in the end.

    Not only did 11 have actual sound editing, but it also had an option for a truely horizontal timeline. Oh yes, thank you! I was on a roll and editing the video with ease and speed. Not only that, but the map effects, which I would have probably written of as kitch a couple months ago, actually fit perfectly within the context of the video and I was able to create an animated video, showing where we live and where the German penpals live.

    So in conclusion, I understand why people were angry when imovie 08 came out. They should have called it a beta, it was so useless. But if you were put off by it, you should give 11 a second shot as I found it to be a very strong and stable video editor.
  2. dodge this macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2009
    You are a very patient person if you can purposely choose using iMovie after working with Final Cut Pro Studio. There are times I have to teach some film editing to my non film students, and I use iMovie for that. I have iMovie HD on most machines, but some little darlings always seem to find one of the iMovies with a star logo.

    And yes, that is why they choose it, because of the freaking logo.

    It is a very challenging thing for me to work with the newer iMovies. But then again, I like having all my options in what I feel are obvious places. It seems that what choices that iMovie 11 gives an editor are a bit hidden and not, at least to me, intuitive.

    But I agree, iMovie 11 is a vast improvement over the last two iMovies.
  3. Mavimao thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2005
    Lyon, France
    Haha, well, I started using iMovie because I literally needed to just paste 3 or 4 clips together joined with cross fades. Something deadly simple, yet I do remember cursing at the computer and wanting to throw it out the window when I tried to do anything more complicated.

    I think starting with something simple like that helped prepare me for this recent project where I didn't have FCP available, and had to make do with iMovie.

    And yes, there is a learning curve, especially when you're used to traditional non linear editing systems like pre-X FCP. But once you get the hang of it, it really isn't all that terrible... Just different.
  4. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    I never could figure out iMovie08 or 11 until I started to work with FCP X :rolleyes:
  5. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I also found iMovie '08 to be useless when it first came out. It was a major step backwards in terms of editing functionality that was previously available in iMovie HD. It wasn't until iMovie '11 that they restored that lost functionality and it became decently powerful with the new timeline and media bin UI. I've made lots of projects in '11 before FCP X and have even put together pro stuff in iMovie including a TV spot. When all you need to do it splice clips together and don't need single frame/ subframe editing or any advanced features then iMovie '11 works great! However I found it very glitchy when it comes to certain aspects such as losing saved EQ adjustments on clips, failing to save text adjustments in final exports, and crashing.

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