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Add Clips to Your Movie with iMovie on Your MacBook

You can add clips to your movie on your MacBook by using iMovie's Project pane and the Event pane. The Dynamic Duo works like this:

  • Project pane: This displays the media you’ve added to your project so far, allowing you to rearrange the clips, titles, transitions and still images in your movie. (If the pane is titled Project Library, remember that you have to double-click the desired project to select it. After you’ve selected a project, the Project Library pane turns into the Project pane.)

  • Event pane: This displays your video clips arranged by Event (the date they were shot or the date they were imported), acting as the source repository for all your clips. Movies pulled into iMovie, imported into iPhoto, or added manually from the Finder appear here.

To add a clip to your movie, follow these steps:

  1. Move your cursor across clips in the Event pane to watch a preview of the video.

  2. When you’ve decided what to add to your project, you can either add the entire clip or a selection.

    • To select an entire clip, right-click the clip’s thumbnail and choose Select Entire Clip from the menu that appears.

    • To select a portion of a clip, drag your cursor across the thumbnail. A yellow frame appears around your selection. To change the length of the selected video, drag the handles that appear on either side. If you make a mistake while selecting video, just click any empty space within the Event pane to remove the selection frame and try again.

  3. Drag the selection from the Event pane to the spot where it belongs in the Project pane.

    Alternatively, you can press the E key or click the Add to Project button (the first button in the Editing toolbar).

Do this several times, and you have a movie, which you’ve created just as the editors of old used to by working with actual film clips.

iMovie offers two Play Full Screen buttons: one under the Event Library and one under the Project Library. Select the project or Event you want to play and then click the corresponding button (or press Command+G).

You can also choose View→Play Full Screen to watch the selection. Press the spacebar to pause, and press Esc to return to iMovie. You can also move your cursor to display a filmstrip that you can click to skip forward or backward in the project or Event.

To play a selection from the beginning, press \ (the slash that leans to the left). (If you’ve ever watched directors at work on today’s movie sets, you may have noticed that they’re constantly watching a monitor to see what things will look like for the audience. You have the same option in iMovie!)

While you’re watching video in the Event pane, you may decide that a certain clip has a favorite scene or that another clip has material you don’t want, such as Uncle Ed’s shadow puppets. (Shudder.) iMovie ’11 features Favorite and Rejected frames, allowing you to view and use your best camera work (and ignore the worst stuff).

To mark video, select a range of frames or an entire clip and then click the Mark as Favorite button in the Editing toolbar. Click the Reject button to hide the selected video or frames from view. (You can always unmark a Favorite or Rejected scene using the Unmark button in the Editing toolbar — click the Show pop-up menu at the bottom of the window if the scenes aren’t visible.)

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