How to Create a Movie Trailer in iMovie

If you own an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or any combination of these items, you’re probably familiar with some of the built in applications Apple provides you with, such as Keynote, Pages, Find my Friends, iMovie, and more. While it can seem like these applications take up valuable storage space, that you could otherwise use for your own personal needs, the fact of the matter is, many, if not all, of these applications are actually quire useful and innovative when it comes to carrying out your everyday tasks.

If you’re a video enthusiast, in particular, then you truly need to take advantage of all that the iMovie application can give you. This application, contrary to popular belief, can provide your videos, with top-notch effects, and Hollywood like editing tools. Your friends and family will watch all of your videos in disbelief, as they remain mesmerized by the effects and content you created, using iMovie.

iMovie was initially released in 2010, and in this day and age, can be found on any Apple device. You can easily begin editing a video on your iPhone, only to then finish the process on your Mac, if you wish. Apple allows you to easily sync projects and save your progress accordingly. The best part about using iMovie is that it’s absolutely free.

Apple also continues to update the application, allowing you access to brand new features, every so often. One of the new features in iMovie 11 is the ability to create Hollywood-looking movie trailers. This is an especially useful feature if you create videos for entertainment, as the trailer effect will allow you to attract viewers, gain followers, and put to use the best parts of the video you recorded, if a large part of it didn’t turn out as you initially intended.

Believe it or not, there’s not much you need to do in order to create your perfect movie trailer. All you need to do is select one of the 15 movie genres offered by iMovie, complete an easy outline, and select what clips you would like in your movie trailer. The hardest part of all this is probably figuring out what footage to use in your trailer, but beyond that, there’s not too much effort you need to put in, when it comes to creating your Hollywood-style movie trailer. If you’re just learning how to use this feature, try not to worry too much about which footage to use, and instead just have a good time experimenting with the feature.

Though, as stated above, creating a movie trailer is fairly easy using the iMovie 11 software, this article has divided the steps you need to take in sections, for purposes of ease. You may feel free to skip some of the sections, as you see fit. For example, if you’ve already imported your movie into iMovie, or already know how to do so, you can skip the first section, and begin the creating process right away. In order to get started, and create your Hollywood style movie trailer, follow the instructions below.

Import Movie into iMovie

Follow the instructions below if you haven’t yet imported your movie into iMovie. You have the option to import the movie from your camera, or from your computer. The process is very simple, and can be done in a matter of seconds. To get started, follow along below.

1. Launch iMovie.

2. From the File menu, select either Import from Camera, if your movie is still in your camera, or Import, if your movie is on your computer or local network.

Though the above steps can be done in a matter of seconds, please note that it may take some time for your movie to be imported, depending on how large or small it is. Please be patient as the movie is imported. After the import process has completed, your movie will be available in your Event Library. Continue following the steps below, in order to create your trailer project.

1. Select your movie from the Event Library.

2. From the File menu, click on New Project.

3. In the Name text field, enter your preferred name for your movie.

4. Enter your desired Aspect Ratio and Frame Rate.

Once you’ve adjusted the initial settings for your project, you’re ready to select a template for your trailer. To find out more, continue to the section below.

Choose a Trailer Template

Believe it or not, you have the option to choose from 15 different templates for your trailer. The options are as follows: Action, Adventure, Blockbuster, Documentary, Drama, Film Noir, Friendship, Holiday, Love Story, Pets, Romantic Comedy, Sports, Spy, Supernatural, and Travel. Feel free to select the option that most suits your needs. If you’re a film enthusiast, you may be rather disappointed at the list, as you’ll notice that there’s no comedy or horror option. Luckily, this application is constantly being updated, so maybe after some time, you’ll have more options available. For now, follow the instructions below, to begin creating your movie trailer.

1. Click on the template that best suits your needs.

2. After you choose a template, you’ll notice the right side of the dialog box displaying a stock trailer. This serves to give you a preview for the template you chose. Underneath this, you’ll see a number that indicates the number of cast numbers the trailer was made for, along with the length of the trailer. For the most part, trailers will run for about one to two minutes. If you’re satisfied with the preview of your selected template, click on Create.

Please note that since each template uses different specs, once you choose a certain template and begin working with it, you can’t change to another template. If you do wish to see your movie using a different template, you’ll have to recreate the project again from scratch, which isn’t too hard, as seen from the instructions above.

Bring Your Trailer to Life

You’ll notice that towards the left of the Project area, there will be three tabs, as follows: Outline, Storyboard, and Shot List. The contents on these tabs will vary depending on the template you chose. You’ll have to enter some information on these tabs, otherwise, default information will be stored.

On the Outline tab, enter the title of your movie, release date, cast members, studio name, and credits. If you leave any of the placeholder’s empty, then default information will be inserted instead. After choosing a studio name, you’ll have the option to select a logo style. However, you don’t have the option to customize the logo.

On the Storyboard tab, you’ll see that some elements of the storyboard have already been preset. You have the option to change the onscreen text, and select clips from your movie that fit the storyboard. You’ll build your trailer by adding footage to the placeholders in the storyboard. Even if a certain clip doesn’t fit the time listed, iMovie will automatically adjust the clip to fit the required time slot. If you change your mind about inserting a certain clip, you have the option to delete it or simply drag another clip in its place, as iMovie will automatically replace the prior clip.

On the Shot List tab, you’ll be able to see the video clips that you’ve added to your trailer, labeled by Type. You have the option to change any of your clip choices, from this tab as well, the same way you would in the Storyboard tab, as instructed above.

Watch and Share the Magic You Created

In order to watch your self-made Hollywood-style trailer, click on the Play button towards the top right corner of the Project area. If you click on the Play button on the left, the trailer will play using full screen, whereas the right Play button will play the trailer at its current size.

If you’re satisfied with the movie trailer that you’ve created, you have the option to share it to different platforms. Use the Share menu in order to share your trailer using either (the options will vary depending on your system) Youtube, MobileMe, Facebook, Vimeo, CNN iReport, or Podcast Producer. You also have the option (by using the same Share menu) to export your newly-created movie trailer, in order to view it on a computer, Apple TV, iPod, iPad, or an iPhone.

That’s all there is to it. Share your movie trailer with friends and family, as they watch in disbelief at your personalized creation. With the press of a buttons, you created a Hollywood-like trailer that you could once only imagine making with your homemade videos. Feel free to explore the other templates iMovie has to offer, as you create more projects, and be sure the videos you record fit the template you choose, or you can always choose a mismatched template, if you want to make a movie trailer for laughs. You can turn videos of your friends hanging out or videos of family holidays, into movie trailers, that you’ll continue to watch for years to come.