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What’s the Easiest Way To Get Videos From Photos Into iMovie?

I want to import a selection of videos from Photos into a new iMovie project and find it far more complicated than expected. If I select the Photos Libraries under Project Media, I only find a slimmed down selection of albums and images. The search doesn’t seem to search on Album Names either. The other way that Apple suggests is to select and drag from Photos into the iMovie timeline. But that only seems to work for photos, not videos.

Either way, getting videos from Photos into iMovie seems like it should be a much easier process and I can’t help thinking that I’m just missing something. On the iPhone, it’s very simple to open a video in iMovie.

I’m trying to quickly get a “How-to” video assembled for upload to the web. I shoot several clips on the iPhone and then want to combine them in iMovie and export/upload to WordPress without a lot of exports/saves/imports/exports, etc.
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Paul Einarsen

Comments: 5 Responses to “What’s the Easiest Way To Get Videos From Photos Into iMovie?”

    4 months ago

    The way I would do it is your second method. I simply view the “Videos” album in Photos, or my whole Library, and drag and drop any videos I have in Photos directly into the iMovie timeline. Are you dragging into the timeline? That works for me, every time.

    You can also use your first method, and for that I click the Photos item in the left sidebar under Libraries. Then I go to Albums, then Videos. Or, you could create an album in Photos specifically for this iMovie project and go to that.

    Either way seems pretty easy to me and works without problems.

    Paul Einarsen
    4 months ago

    Those are what I was expecting but didn’t happen. When I drag and drop videos into the timeline they become still photos. When I use the Media browser I don’t get the complete contents of the album. This is on a brand new M1 Mac mini with a clean install. I did find that forcing a download on optimized videos showed up a few more (but not all) videos in the album. I reset the iMovie preferences and repaired the Photos Library. I’m downloading Originals to see if that helps.

    4 months ago

    Paul: Are maybe you using iCloud Photos, with the Optimize feature turned on, and those particular items aren’t local to your machine?

    Ken Vignona
    4 months ago

    If we drag our video clips and photos from the Photo App and create our movie (either FXP or iMovie), then can we just move the project to an external hard drive or do we need to move the video clips/photos along with it?

    4 months ago

    Ken: I’m pretty sure a copy is imported. But test it and see. Create a new library. Create a sample project. Add a short throw-away video to Photos. Then add it from Photos to your FCP project. Then quit FCP and move the library. Delete the video from Photos. Now try to open the FCP project from the new location.

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