GoPro Video Editing

iMovie Video Editing – 8 Tricks for Beginners to Create Professional Videos


iMovie Video Editing on your MacOS is an amazing free software for beginners to create videos. It features the basic tools anyone will need for editing a video clip and putting these clips together to create an entire movie project. These basic tools can be sufficient for travel vloggers to create amazing travel videos. Professional video editing softwares like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut are expensive and because iMovie Video Editing is free, itโ€™s a perfect tool for amateurs to start and to learn the basics of videography.

I use the iMovie Video Editing tools frequently to create 1-minute clips of my travels on my Instagram. Here is a recent 1-minute travel video I did up for my time in Hawaii. It was easily done up by cropping various video clips and piecing them together. As we did not plan any transitions for this video, I was able to complete it in just a couple of hours.


1. Take Clear Quality Videos

This is the very basic, and your foundation to creating a great travel video. You will need to ensure that you have stable, high quality videos so that you can piece them together to create a masterpiece. For me, I took all of my footages using my GoPro Hero 7. I have also written a full article on my travel photography gear if you would like to find out more about it here.

The Importance of Stabilisation

The GoPro Hero 7 has an amazing ‘Hypersmooth’ gimbal-like stabilisation feature inside the camera. It also takes videos of up to 4K/60fps. Taking footages with my GoPro has made life a lot easier for me. You can see how well the stabilisation works at 0.10 seconds of the video clip above. I was using my hands to hold the GoPro while the birds flew above me. Of course, I have to admit that the GoPro’s in-built stabilisation will not be able to compare to owning a gimbal. If you are looking to create action scenes with crazy motion or if you just want more stabilisation in your videos, then you should invest in getting a gimbal. My favourite is the iSteady Pro 2 3-Axis Gimbal, which is splash proof and is perfect for beginners.

Taking One Scene Footages

Another tip to take great footages is to keep your GoPro or Camera in one spot and shoot a continuous scene. For example, waves moving on the sand (0.06 seconds) or the palm trees swaying (0.03 seconds). At many times, we want to capture more in one video so we end up moving our GoPro around. But this leaves you with a bunch of clips that can’t be used for later if the clips come out shaky. Leaving your GoPro at one scene for about 10 seconds at a time can help you to capture & emphasise a moment.

2. Choose the right background music

Including background music into your videos is crucial to creating an emotion for your viewers. Think about what kind of vibe you want your video to portray – will it be a happy & upbeat video or a slow and clam one? Be sure to only select sounds which are non-copyrighted, if not, you will have problems uploading them online later on.

Free non-copyrighted music is available on Youtube. This is where I usually source for sound tracks for my videos. Selecting the right tune and beat is the longest process for me in iMovie video editing. This is because the soundtrack is going to play in a big part in how your video will turn out.

3. Editing your background music

After you have selected a soundtrack you like for your video, the next challenging part in iMovie video editing would be to crop this soundtrack. If you want this video to be just 1-minute long, you will have to crop your music such that it does not sound come to a sudden complete halt. Here’s the trick:

Fade-in / Fade-out Audio

Here is how you have create an audio fade-out effect for your music. Locate the circle as shown on the sound bar below and drag it to the point that you want your music to start fading. The fade-in effect can also be done in the way at the start of the sound bar.

iMovie Video Editing
iMovie Video Editing

4. Split clips to less than 5 seconds

After you’ve completed editing your background sound according to your intended video length, now it’s time to piece your video clips together. A rule of thumb in iMovie video editing is to keep each clip to less than 5 seconds. Any scenes longer than this would start to bore your viewers. Keeping clips to less than 5 seconds keeps your video fresh throughout the entire movie and viewers will be less likely to exit from it.

5. Follow the background song rhythm

You can easily make your iMovie Video Editing seem like a pro by editing your video clips according to your background song rhythm. Your video clips should transition based on the sound beat and rhythm. If the pace of the song is fast, then your clips should also transition accordingly. This is a useful trick to make your video seem well edited and planned out. It also ensures that your video relates to the background music and not randomly pieced together.

If you listen to my video above, you will notice that my scenes change according to the beat of the song. Whenever there is a noticeable drum beat, this is where I will split the video clip to be changed to the next.

6. Use slow-motion / fast-speed

This is another great iMovie video editing tip that you must use in your videos. Use slow-motion to emphasise a scene and create an atmosphere in your videos. iMovie also gives you the tools to reduce video clip speed by 10/25/50% depending on your preference. You can see that I reduced the waterfall scene by 10% in my video to emphasise on the water motion.

iMovie Video Editing

Creating Fast to Slow Motion Videos

You can also play around with transitioning from fast- to slow-motion in a single scene. Split the video clip apart and increase/reduce the speed to create a seamless fast to slow motion clip.

7. On/Off the Video Sound

In iMovie Video Editing, you can off/on the sound of your videos according to your preference. One tip here is to turn on the sound of your video to bring out the experience of that moment. For example, I turned on the sound at 0.06 seconds and 0.41 seconds because I wanted my viewers to be able to listen to the sound of the water.

8. Learn about Transitions

Turn up your creativity mind and learn to create transitions. If you are looking to become a videographer, transitions should be one of the core basics you have to get into. It makes a video a whole lot more interesting to a viewer. I did not create many transitions in my Hawaii video as such videos require planning (which I did not do). However, an example would be at 0.49 seconds of the Hawaii video clip above, from no gear to full on snorkelling gear.

There are tons of other transitions you can create. Transitions is what will bring your videography game to professional-grade level. So let your mind expand and dive into this amazing world of iMovie video editing.

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