How to Start an iMovie Video Project in iLife ’11

By Tony Bove

In iLife, to edit video scenes into a movie to share with others, you first create a project in the iMovie Project Library and edit the project in the Project Browser. The project defines a sequence of video clips (and photos, transitions, and sounds, for example). The project is simply a set of links to the imported clips (which contain the video footage). The changes you make to a project don’t affect the original clips or media.

When you create a project, you can define its aspect ratio so that it looks good on a widescreen or standard video display or TV. You can also choose an optional theme for the movie that adds effects such as video-in-a-frame, special transitions, and highly graphical titles and credits.

You can start a project in either of two ways, depending on how you want to work:

  • Create the project, name it, and define its aspect ratio and theme now. Click the plus-sign (+) button in the lower right corner of the Projects pane or choose File→New Project. You can then name the project (use the title you want for the movie), set the aspect ratio, and pick a theme. You can always change these settings at any time.

  • Create the project and provide its name, aspect ratio, and theme later. Drag clips to the Project pane. iMovie creates the project automatically, and you can start editing it. You can rename the new project at any time in the Project Library. You can also set the aspect ratio and theme at any time by selecting the project in the Project Library and choosing File→Project Properties.

    Start a project and set its aspect ratio (Standard selected), frame rate, and theme. (Comic Book is
    Start a project and set its aspect ratio (Standard selected), frame rate, and theme. (Comic Book is selected.)