iMovie (2013): Create a trailer

Create a trailer

iMovie includes a number of templates you can use to create Hollywood-style movie trailers, with themes that range from adventure, to romance, to friendship and drama. Each template lets you customize the movie title and credits—and add your own video clips and photos to build a visually appealing story. Each template also comes with a unique musical score that matches the theme of the trailer.

Trailers are designed to be complete projects in their own right, but you can convert any trailer to a movie, and then edit it just as you would any other movie. For more information, see Convert a trailer.

Figure. Trailer title sequence in viewer.

Create a new trailer

  1. In iMovie, click the Create button in the toolbar, and click Trailer (or choose File > New Trailer).

    Figure. Create button in the toolbar.

    The Create window appears.

    Figure. Create window showing trailer previews.
  2. To preview a trailer template, move the pointer over the template and click the Play button Figure. Play button. that appears.

    The duration of the trailer and the number of cast members appear below the template. Look for a template that matches the number of people in your footage.

    Figure. Trailer preview with active Play button.
    Note:   You can’t switch templates after you begin creating your trailer because the required elements from one template won’t fit with a different template. If you want to use a different template for your project, you need to create a new trailer from the beginning.
  3. Click the template you want to use for your trailer.

    A blue border appears around the template, indicating that it’s selected.

  4. Click Create.

  5. In the Event pop-up menu, choose the event you want to save the trailer to, and type a name for the trailer in the Name field.

  6. Click OK.

    A tabbed interface appears, and the trailer is added to the browser. You enter information about your trailer in the Outline pane. You add clips to your trailer in the Storyboard and Shot List panes.

    Figure. Trailer Outline pane.

Add titles and credits to your trailer

  1. In the Outline pane, click the placeholder text and type the required information in the text fields.

    Figure. Entering text in trailer Outline pane.

    The required information varies by template. The possible categories include:

    • Name and Date: Type the movie name, its release date (for example, “July 2013,” or “7/10/13”), and any other information required, following the model of the placeholder text.

    • Cast: Type the names of the people who are featured as main characters in the footage you plan to use in the trailer. Some templates have no cast members, and some allow you to delete or add cast members by clicking the Delete button (–) or Add button (+) to the right of a field.

    • Gender: Choose a gender for each cast member from the pop-up menu.

    • Studio: Type a fictitious studio name, and choose a logo style from the pop-up menu.

    • Credits: Type a name in each of the credits fields.

    Note:   You can’t leave any fields blank because iMovie incorporates all fields into the trailer.
  2. Click the Storyboard tab.

    Figure. Trailer Storyboard tab.

    A graphic interface representing the trailer’s storyboard appears, with text bars at the top (and at other intervals) that let you edit onscreen text. There are also placeholder wells to which you add video clips to build your project. (For instructions, see “Add clips and photos to your trailer,” next.)

    The text bars and wells are arranged in the order in which the elements appear in your trailer, but you can edit text and add clips in any order you like.

  3. To edit onscreen text, click the word or words in a text bar, type new text, and press Return.

    Figure. Entering text in trailer Storyboard pane.

    You can mimic the wording style of the placeholder text to preserve the mood and pace of the trailer.

    To revert to the placeholder text, click the Revert button Figure. Revert button in Storyboard pane. at the right end of the text bar.

Add clips and photos to your trailer

You add video to your trailer in the Storyboard and Shot List panes.

  1. In the Storyboard pane, click the placeholder well you want to fill.

    A yellow border appears around the placeholder well, indicating that it’s selected, and the pointer changes to the Add pointer (+).

    The clip you select should conform to the style of shot indicated by the placeholder image. For example, if the selected placeholder well shows a headshot, you should add a tight close-up shot of the cast member in question. If the image shows a person running, you should add footage of that character in action.

    When you fill a placeholder well with video, iMovie automatically selects the next well in the storyboard. If you want to fill wells out of order, simply click a well to select it.

    Figure. Trailer placeholders with time stamp indicating the length of video required.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the browser, click the clip you want to add to the placeholder well.

      The correct length of video is added to fill the selected placeholder well, starting from the point where you clicked. (The time stamp on the left edge of each well indicates the length of video it requires.)

      Figure. Video added to trailer placeholder wells.
    • Drag a clip from the browser to a placeholder well.

    • In the browser, select a frame range.

      The correct length of video is added, starting from the first frame of the selected range.

    After you add a clip to a well, small blue icons appear in the corners of the clip when you move the pointer over it. The curved-arrow icon in the upper right deletes the clip from the well. The speaker icon in the upper left turns the clip’s audio (not the trailer’s theme music) on and off.

    Figure. Placeholder well containing clip. Click the speaker to turn the clip's audio on and off; click the circular arrow to remove the clip from the placeholder; click the double arrows to open the clip trimmer.

    The double arrows in the lower left open the clip trimmer, a tool for adjusting the portion of the clip used in the trailer.

    Figure. Trailer clip trimmer.
  3. To view your trailer’s clips organized by type of shot (for example, landscape, medium range, or action) and by cast member, click the Shot List tab.

    The shot list is helpful for planning the types of shots you need for the trailer. In this view, you can also assess just the video in your projects. For example, you can see at a glance whether you’ve used a landscape shot in a well meant for a cast member, or whether the action shots are varied enough.

    You can add, change, and delete video clips in the shot list.

    Figure. Trailer Shot List pane.
  4. To delete a clip in the storyboard or the shot list, select the clip and press Delete.

    You can also simply click a new video clip in the browser to replace the clip in the selected placeholder well (or drag it to the well).

  5. To play your trailer at any time, position the skimmer in a clip in the storyboard or the shot list and press the Space bar, or use the J, K, and L keys. For more information, see Play video.

Published Date: Nov 3, 2013
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