Understanding iMovie Projects and Events

It is easy to get confused between iMovie Projects and Events. Events can be used to store video clips which can then be used in multiple Projects. Clips can also be stored directly in a project.

Comments: 19 Responses to “Understanding iMovie Projects and Events”

    Antrim
    3 years ago

    Super useful. I find iMovie very confusing, and this was really helpful, and helped me understand finally the basic structural model of the app.

    Your tutorials on iMovie and Kenote are always excellent and some of your best ones.

    Mr. Luigi
    3 years ago

    Putting clips in My Movie reminds me how files are managed in iOS apps. There is no finder and files used in an app reside in that app. iMovie Events reminds me of how applications access files using the finder in OS X. Different applications can access the same files via the finder. I’m sure that made things much clearer. :-)

    Tony
    3 years ago

    Gary – I spent HOURS trying to figure this out. Wish I had wait a few weeks to see this. When did this change happen? I was searching all over to try to find where my 2016 “events” went! And, if you Import clips to a Project from Photos, do they actually go into iMove (I want to delete the clips from my iPhone). Finally, what about old Projects? How does this change impact them? (Still trying to figure this out.)

    Tony
    3 years ago

    Sorry, forgot to thank you for the video rather than complaining about the change in iMovie. Thank you!

    3 years ago

    Tony: Yes, it appears that the photos ARE imported into iMovie. Know how I know? Select the photo or video clip in the project, then choose File, Reveal in Finder. That shows you where it is. In this case, it was in the iMovie Library, not the Photos Library.
    As for old projects — depends on lots of factors. Not sure what you mean by “this change” — iMovie has been this way for a long time. So it depends on what you mean by “old” I guess. Either way, you have what you have now — so just look and see.

    Janice
    3 years ago

    Hi Gary, Thanks again for an excellent learning video!

    I am one who had been using iMovie and like things to be organized. However, I found that all my iMovies were taking up way too much space on my MacBook Pro. Does dropping the video clips into an event folder help with the storage space issue?

    3 years ago

    Janice: No. It doesn’t matter if you put them in an event or in a project, the video will be there just once in either case. Videos do use a lot of space. A big mistake people make when buying Macs is getting one with too little hard drive space when they plan on editing and keeping a lot of digital video. Maybe time to get an external drive and offload some of the older stuff you no longer need daily access to.

    Ron
    3 years ago

    I, too, am grateful for this one, Gary.
    For my pics there is no doubt that I import everything into Photos and use the Photos Library as my main storage site. That always makes me feel rather dependent, but it works so nice. I’m wondering about movie clips … the short ones I take with my photo camera I just import into photos as well. But longer ones … do you import them into iMovie for Organization? Or, do you leave them in Stacked Folders in your “Movies” part of Finder?

    3 years ago

    Ron: Personally, I put all my video files into a folder and give them good names. I like them separate from my photos. I don’t use iMovie for these personal videos too much. But with iCloud Photo Library being so awesome (having all my photos on all my devices) I may soon be rethinking this and putting my videos in the Photo library.

    Paddy Zoller
    3 years ago

    Gary, totally appreciate this in-depth but concise explanation for a version of iMovie that has challenged me more than the previous. Just one question tho. Can you let us know how you import photos into iMove. i.e.. Where are you dragging and dropping from? Photos app, desktop, or ? Keep up your exceptional work

    3 years ago

    You can drag and drop from the Finder. But I usually use the Photos Library option listed on the left sidebar. Then I can browse my Photos library by album, etc.

    Phil
    3 years ago

    Thanks for explaining this. I have found this particularly confusing–one of Apple’s worse UIs IMHO. I don’t use iMovie that often and each time I do I have to struggle figuring out the differences. Now I know, never to bother with events and only work with projects. Thanks again.

    John Riddle
    3 years ago

    Been using iMovie for about 4 years and was alway a little confused between Events and Projects. This was an extra awesome explanation Gary. I’ve though of upgrading to Final Cut Pro. Is the file structure similar? Is there a way to convert/Import iMovie Projects and Events to FCP? (Disregard if too far off topic)
    Many Thanks

    3 years ago

    John: Yes, the structure is similar. But there’s also the ability to use multiple Libraries (which contain projects and events) and have them open at the same time. Yes, there is a way to “send” from iMovie to Final Cut Pro (it is in iMovie you do it).

    Paddy Zoller
    3 years ago

    Gary, on the iMovie subject, is there a keyboard shortcut (didn’t see one on your pdf list) that will move through the time line and select the next “slide” – I know the down arrow will move to the next slide, but I need it to highlight/select the next slide. Looking for ease of editing and long time line. Thanks in advance

    3 years ago

    Paddy: Well, X is the shortcut for “select entire clip.” So if you use up and down arrows followed by an X you can get what you want.

    Paddy Zoller
    3 years ago

    Thanks for responding Gary. You’re the best. Works perfectly and will speed up my editing considerably. Hope it helps someone else also.

    Steve Bragg
    3 years ago

    Finally, an explanation of the iMovie logic that makes sense! Sorry a little late in reacting–having to go back in archives to view videos. GladI did. This information will change the way I organize latest trip videos and pictures. Thank you.

    Tony
    3 years ago

    “Not sure what you mean by “this change” — iMovie has been this way for a long time. So it depends on what you mean by “old” I guess.” ~ Gary.

    Well, in the past, when you connected your iPhone up to your Mac with iMovie open, wasn’t it that when we imported the clips, it imported directly into an Event only? I don’t remember being allowed to import clips directly into a Project–i.e. I thought it used to be that they always imported _only_ into Events. Thanks!

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