Friday, August 31

Making a trailer with iMovie

I wanted to make a new trailer for The Subterranean using the new iMovie software from Apple (version 9.0.7 that comes with Mountain Lion). I had used a previous version of iMovie (7.1.1) with my blog Thick Paint and found it to be a great video editing program. But if you haven't tried the new version you're in for a real treat.

I didn't know about the new Trailer feature until I opened up the software. There are fifteen genres to choose from including action, adventure, documentary, epic drama, film noir, friendship, holiday, love story, pets, romantic comedy, sports, spy, supernatural, and travel. The themes are self-explanatory. I used Blockbuster for the trailer above and thought it was perfect for The Subterranean.

When you start a new project with iMovie you first pick a genre. You then get a new set of tabs. One tab is labeled outline, the next storyboard, and the final one shot list. Into outline I typed in the movie name, the release date, cast member number one, cast member number two, etc. I then proceeded to the storyboard tab where I typed in the basic outline of the trailer. This is where I typed in all of the titles you see in the YouTube movie.

Because I was working with stills rather than movies the next step was the only part that got a little tricky. If you have a set of movies ready to drop into the storyboard your job will be considerably easier. To make the requisite footage I simply made a movie out of a series of stills in iMovie. It was at this point that I added the camera moves to the still shots. I then imported the newly created movie back into my trailer footage. I selected parts of the newly collaged video to drag and drop the animated selections into the storyboard.

The third tab is the shot list and this shows all the various kinds of clips you can add such as action shots, group shots, etc. Obviously you can place whatever kind of shot you prefer but the suggested layout is well thought out and is a nice guide.

The only bad thing about the trailer templates is that all the time slots are preselected. You can't change a three second shot to a six second shot, for example. This made it a little tricky because I didn't time each scene in my stock footage shots. If I had to do it over again I would make a list of all the footage I needed, then go to the shot list and write down how many scenes I had, and how many seconds each scene should fill. This would be especially important if you were doing a series of still shots and animating them using the Ken Burns effect. If you have pre-existing animation or video footage your project will go much faster because you can import your footage into iMovie and start dragging and dropping into each storyboard slot without having to time fade outs or Ken Burns effects.

To make the original footage I used imagery from The Subterranean #1 and #2 and will do another trailer as soon as I get number three published and number four finished. It's just too fun not to do more.

Please let me know what you think of the trailer and about your experience with iMovie. Thanks for your comments.

Brad Teare September 2012

Thursday, August 2

Subterranean #3 available now!

The Thanatos brothers have hatched a plan of monumental proportions. Will it unfold as planned or unravel? Time is running out and only The Subterranean can avert total chaos from striking New York City. Click here to read!

Get issue #2 here: