MacMost Now 718: Archiving iMovie Projects and Events

After you have made many iMovie projects, you may want to remove them from your projects and events lists. This can be as easy as just moving the folders and files from your movies folder. If you want to go back to that project, simply move the files and folders back to their original locations.

Comments: 32 Responses to “MacMost Now 718: Archiving iMovie Projects and Events”

    weirdsci
    8 years ago

    Does this also work for FCP X?

      8 years ago

      More or less, yes. Save the project file, and the event and you should be able to re-create it. Give it a try.

    Greg
    8 years ago

    Hi Gary,

    I haven’t used iMovie for a while now, but seem to remember movies could be moved from within iMovie. If you have an external drive connected, it’ll show up in iMovie, along with any projects on it. To move a project from your local drive to your external, you just drag and drop your movie from your local drive to the external drive and this will move it from within iMovie (again, from memory, I think it asks you if you wish to move or copy it).
    If you then work on it, changes will be saved to the external drive. If you want it back on your local drive, you can just drag it back from your usb to local drive from within iMovie.

    Just a thought, something else you may want to explore.

    Regards,
    Greg.

      8 years ago

      Right. That will move the projects or events to another drive, but they are still part of your iMovie collection. That’s different than archiving them as I am suggesting — which will remove them from iMove. Anyone who has 50+ iMovie projects and events knows how it can get cluttered.

        Greg
        8 years ago

        aahh…thanks for the clarification .

    Jay
    7 years ago

    i really wish to move the projects and events to another external drive but be able to access them from within iMovie ’11. However everything I have read says simply drag from one drive to another. Every time I do that, i get this annoying error:

    This file could not be copied:

    /Volumes/BigDisk 1/jaywasack/Movies/iMovie Events.localized/Tiger Tennis 6-11-12 Full/iMovie Thumbnails/week2-1_backview

    (File not found)

    Yet they work perfectly on the main drive. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      7 years ago

      That’s odd. Looks like something is wrong with that one file. You’ll have to tinker with it or have an expert help first-hand.

    Stuart
    7 years ago

    Excellent – solved a major problem for me!! I have hard drive space again!

    Kirk
    7 years ago

    Hey Gary ~ Your podcasts are great and very educational. I have a question about #718, Archiving iMovie Projects. By doing this does this help my Mac w/ more memory and in my New Event folder I find quite a few of MOV’s that I created, do I throw those out also or just what’s in Cache? Thanks in advance for the reply.

      7 years ago

      It doesn’t help with memory at all. But it does clear out some hard drive space. If your hard drive is almost full, it can slow down your Mac. But if you have 10% or more free, then it probably won’t make a different.
      Don’t try to manage the contents of those folders unless you know what you are doing — manage the content from inside iMovie. Just use this technique to archive the folders if that is what you want to do.

    April Greenlaw Chand
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary,
    Your tutorials are a great resource. However when I tried to move my new imovie archive folder into a portable drive (my passport) I got the error message “can’t complete the operation because some data in “imovie archive” can’t be read or written (error code -36). Any thoughts are appreciated!

    April Greenlaw Chang
    7 years ago

    Me again, I have just realized the portable hard drive I was trying to use is also my ‘time machine’ device; could that be the issue — I’m guessing I should get a dedicated hard drive for video projects??

      7 years ago

      You definitely do not want to manually put anything on (or take anything off) your Time Machine drive. Doing so will ruin Time Machine’s ability to properly manage the drive. You should only be using that drive for TM and letting TM manage it completely.
      I recommend using your internal drive from video — it is much much faster than an external drive which would have to send data across USB. Do you work on the internal, then archive the project to an external when you are done to make space.

        April Greenlaw Chang
        7 years ago

        Got it, I think!

          April Greenlaw Chang
          7 years ago

          I will add that I’m using a Mac Air, so space is an issue and it’s really useful to get video out off the hard drive.

    Norman Moxey
    7 years ago

    Very interesting Videos. So easy to follow, hope I can remember it all

    Austin
    7 years ago

    Gary,
    Very helpful tutorials! I assume that projects do not stand on their own. They require the event file from which they were created. Therefore, you can save an event file by itself but a project file is useless unless the corresponding event is filed with it. Correct?

      7 years ago

      Right, more or less. A project could use clips from zero to several events. It is possible to have a project that uses no events, just photos, titles, music, and other non-video items.

    Lil
    7 years ago

    Just want to thank you so much for your very clear description of how to archive iMovie projects. This tutorial helped me figure it out! Clearer than any other explanation I came across.

    Nic
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary,

    You consistently great content and I would like to thank you. Question regarding this topic:

    If I export only the Project (without the corresponding events), does the Project file contain the video clips from the selected events such that it can stand-alone without the Events. Put another way, if at a later date I wanted to re-export my Project as a movie file (and I only have the Project file without Events), will the Project file alone be able to create the movie file or does it depend on the Event files with the raw footage to create this?

    Hope that is understandable. Thanks again!

      7 years ago

      No. You need the events too. They are separate from the project.

    David
    7 years ago

    Do you need to drag it back onto the mac or can you play the video from the external hard drive?
    Also, I have 8hrs of video from my go pro to load and edit.
    How can I do this without filling all my mac hard drive?
    Any thoughts?

    David

      7 years ago

      As long as you have access to the files, you can play back a video file. Try it. You’ll see.
      If you have 8 hours of video to edit, then you have to edit it right? If you don’t have enough space on your hard drive, then use another drive. Most video software (iMovie, Final Cut, etc) let you use any attached drive as storage.

    Ole Magne
    7 years ago

    Hi,
    I have 2 questions vs archiving:

    – If you archive a lot of projects/events, how to keep track of which events belonging to which projects, if “restore” is required?

    – Are archived events/projects likely to be compatible with future versions of iMovie (experiences so far..)?

      7 years ago

      I simply name them so I remember. Project “MacMost809” and event “MacMost809.” But that isn’t always possible if you use videos from multiple source. So many a text file with some notes?
      Impossible to say about “the future.” Probably, to a point. At least events use standard video codecs, so you can always convert them.

    Flo
    7 years ago

    Hey Gary, my question doesn’t really match the topic but when I export a project, iMovie creates like a copy of it and stores it (somewhere) so I can export it faster the next time, right? Now where exactly are these files located? They take huge amounts of space and I have some projects that I just need to export once to let’s say, burn them to a DVD and then I would just archive them because I probably don’t need to export them again, ever.

      7 years ago

      I think you are talking about the project cache. Look in the event folder and you’ll see various cache files. You can get rid of them when you archive. But I think it also stores a cached version of the movie so you can export a second time — I can’t remember exactly. But if that is the case, don’t worry about it. iMovie will dispose of it. Probably when you quit.

        Flo
        7 years ago

        I think I have finally found the location. When you go to the iMovie projects folder -> right klick on show content; you get the copy of the output file (apart from the one you have extracted to a location you where asked to choose) which is used to extract it a second time if needed. It will be automatically deleted by iMovie when you change something in the project in iMovie, otherwise it will stay there and take HD space. Thnx all tough.

    Karen Simpson
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary,

    I am back doing my family video. I followed the steps to doing professional looking end credits. I haven’t finished inserting all of my videos using picture in picture as you describe. Now, when I insert a video the sound gets lost (but it is not lost in my library).

    Can you help me?

    Thanks!

      7 years ago

      Not sure what you mean. Hard to help without seeing it first-hand. So you’ll need to play around with it and try to determine why the sound is “lost” and try something else.

    Kara
    7 years ago

    I am just trying to change the font colors that are listed on the iMovie Preferences. Is there any way to do that? I think I have seen it done before.

      7 years ago

      You can use any color you want. You just need to switch modes in the text inspector from the basic one that gives you limited options, to the regular text options. Click the System Font Panel button you will see there.

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