iMovie Projects are too big! Need to make them smaller

mohmandm

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 9, 2004
75
0
east lansing
My buddy just got a new PB and he got into iMovie to do some promotional videos for a monthly event at his church... He made a 3 or 4 minute video using a lot of effects and it was roughly 4gb. He has just purchased an external dvd burner for his non superdrive PB and he wants to burn some of these projects onto DVD. That being said, why on earth is that iMovie project so big? Do the added effects take up that much room? How can he shrink it down to not take so much room up? I don't know a lot about video editing and what not but if you import footage off your camcorder, it seems like it shouldn't take up that much room. How are you supposed to burn these projects onto dvd if they take this much room up? Thanks for whatever help you can give my friend and I.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
mohmandm said:
My buddy just got a new PB and he got into iMovie to do some promotional videos for a monthly event at his church... He made a 3 or 4 minute video using a lot of effects and it was roughly 4gb. He has just purchased an external dvd burner for his non superdrive PB and he wants to burn some of these projects onto DVD. That being said, why on earth is that iMovie project so big? Do the added effects take up that much room? How can he shrink it down to not take so much room up? I don't know a lot about video editing and what not but if you import footage off your camcorder, it seems like it shouldn't take up that much room. How are you supposed to burn these projects onto dvd if they take this much room up? Thanks for whatever help you can give my friend and I.
You're kidding, right? If you keep adding stuff, the project will get larger. It is a simple as that. You have to understand that your buddy has clips and effects in the project in editable form. The final product will be much more compact. If the project is done, then you may archive it and delete from your computer. Or you may delete it without archiving it. If the project is not finished, then you had better leave it alone.
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
The project is so big because it contains a lot of uncompressed video frames and a lot of project data that keeps track of the effects and makes it possible to keep changing stuff. This is normal for any video editing.

When he exports to a DVD, all the project data will be removed and the video frames will be compressed, so the 4 minute video will be around 200MB or something like that.
 

ct77

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2004
84
0
From the iMovie Missing Manual book by David Pogue (highly recommended BTW):

This much video needs about this much disk space:

1 minute ~ 228 MB
15 minutes ~ 3.5 GB
30 minutes ~ 7 GB
60 minutes ~ 13 GB
2 hours ~ 28 GB
4 hours ~ 53 GB

As gekko513 correctly noted, when you use iMovie / iDVD or other software to burn a project to DVD, the movie is compressed, and you can fit about 2 hours on a standard 4.7 GB DVD. The same thing is true of Hollywood movies -- they are also compressed to fit on a DVD.

Bottom line is, your friend will need lots of available disk space to work with iMovie, but should be fine when it comes time to burn the final product.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,158
268
Phoenix, AZ
Solutions...

Here are the two solutions for dealing with large iMovie projects:
1. Use less effects and film shorter movies.
2. Buy an external hard drive.

And that's it. Video (like mentioned above, in its editable form) takes large amounts of memory. You wouldn't want it any other way, however, for if it subtracted frames (during the editing process) it would look terrible as a finished project because you can't just add all that extra stuff back in.
Fear not, the end result will be smaller than the project is.
My advice? Buy an external hard drive. It will be faster and you won't have to worry about your internal hard drive slowing down from fragmentation.
 

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