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The iMovie Paradigm

Because this is a computer book, the word paradigm has to appear in it at least once or I get in trouble with the authors' guild. So, there it is. Seriously though, although iMovie is very easy to use for a video editing application, it does have an interface and controls that might be quite different from other applications that you are used to. And yes, it might require you to do a paradigm shift (there, now I have really satisfied my guild requirements).

And Now, Some Words About Versions

The iMovie application was originally released as version 1 (hard to figure how Apple came up with that designation!). Almost a year later, Apple introduced iMovie 2. iMovie 2 has lots of new features and sports a completely new interface when compared to iMovie 1. Although much of the basic functionality is the same, the details of how the two versions look and work are quite different. This book is based on version 2, so all the steps and figures that you see use iMovie 2. If you are using version 1, I strongly recommend that you get version 2. Go to http://www.apple.com/imovie/ and download the newer version. At only around $50, it is a bargain. (Of course, because iMovie 1 was free, version 2 might not seem like such a bargain, but it is.) Even if iMovie 2 came installed on your Mac, you should check Apple's site for periodic updates. See Chapter 19, "iMovie Resources on the Net," for information on how to download updates from the Apple iMovie site.

Wherefore Paradigm?

In the context of technology, paradigm simply means a framework for the way things are done. A paradigm shift means a change in the standard way of doing things, usually caused by a breakthrough in a particular technology.

You learned about the major steps in the production of an iMovie video back in Chapter 1, "iMovie Digital Movie Magic." In a moment, you get the scoop on the iMovie interface and its tools. But before you do, it is helpful for you to have a good understanding of the general tasks that you do inside iMovie. These tasks include the following:

  • Get clips into iMovie—You assemble your movie from individual clips that you either record from a DV camcorder or import from another source.

  • Edit the clips—After you have all your clips in iMovie, you edit them for length to remove parts that you don't want, and so on.

  • String them together—Next, you place your edited clips in the order you want them to appear.

  • Add transitions and other effects—The fun really begins when you add transitions to make your video flow; you can also add special effects to your video (such as Sepia Tone) and text to your movies for titling and to take credit for your masterpiece.

  • Sound off!—Movies haven't been silent for a long time; after the video track is mostly "there," make your video sing (or laugh, cry, howl, or just about any other sound that you want it to make).

  • Edit, edit, edit—When you think your video is finished, it is time for more editing. This time, rather than editing individual video clips or sound effects, you edit the movie in total, from start to end.

  • Make it count—What good is creating a masterpiece only to have it languish on your Mac? Last, but certainly not least, you export your movie so that others can enjoy it.

Paradigm Shift, Part Two

Most applications that you use on your Mac—including word processors, spreadsheets, graphic applications, and so on—enable you to work with documents. iMovie is a little bit different in that in iMovie, you work with a project. An iMovie project consists of video clips, sound effects, music tracks, and so on. You can output an iMovie project into many different documents that other people can view. The iMovie file that you create is very small and only contains pointers to the individual pieces that you use in your movie. The main point is to realize that iMovie projects have multiple parts and exist as documents only when you export them from iMovie. You learn more about this in Chapter 9, "Producing Your iMovie Project."

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