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How to Create a Movie Trailer with iMovie on Your MacBook

iMovie ’11 introduces a new Movie Trailer feature that can actually turn your film clips into a Hollywood-class preview, complete with genre transitions and background music.

To create a trailer project, follow these steps:

  1. Click the File menu and choose New Project (or press Command+N).

  2. Type a name for your project.

  3. Select the aspect ratio for your movie.

  4. Choose the frame rate.

  5. Click a Movie Trailer thumbnail to select it.

    iMovie displays a nifty preview of the trailer style that you’ve selected. You can click different thumbnails to preview their look before you make your decision — naturally, you’ll want to choose a trailer style that most closely matches the mood you want to project with your movie.

    Note that each trailer has a suggested number of cast members. This number reflects the number of people that will appear in the clip “placeholders” during the editing process. (More on this in a page or two.)

  6. Click Create.

iMovie replaces the Project Library pane with the Trailer pane. On the Outline tab, you can edit the titles used in the trailer, as well as pop-up lists for information such as the gender of the star(s) and the logo style you want for your “studio” at the beginning of the trailer.

To change a text field, click in it and type the new text. You’ll see the changes you make in the Trailer display appear in the monitor in real time.

After you’ve completed your edits to the titles, click the Storyboard tab. Now you can edit the text for each transition: Simply click the text to display the edit box and type. You can also drag clips from your Event Library (or from a Finder window) to fill the storyboard’s placeholders for video clips. To delete a clip from the storyboard, click it to select it and then press Delete.

To preserve the “look and feel” of the trailer storyboard, try to match your clips with the description and suggested activity indicated by the placeholder. (In other words, don’t stick a wide-angle video clip of the family dog cavorting in the yard in a placeholder marked “Closeup” — you get the idea.)

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