iMovie Tutorial

This tutorial provides you steps for using iMovie to create a digital story.

1. The best way to start an iMovie project is to collect all the elements you plan to use beforehand (images, videos and music) and putting them into a folder.

 Desktop with stars wallpaper

2. Once you have all of your information ready in your digital story in a folder, you can now open Once opened under “File” select “New Movie.

 iMovie tool

3. The first option you have is to select a theme for your movie, you can choose one of the several default options or choose no theme. The themes are very good for beginners who want to add an extra flare to their project. Any of the themes are good to use for a digital story, another perk is that transitions are automatically added for you. This tutorial is going through iMovie with a theme.



4. After you’ve created your theme, you will be asked to name your project.

 Name a theme


5. After you name your project, a movie timeline is created. This is when you will import all of your information for the digital story by selecting “Import Media

 Import Media


6. After selecting “Import Media” you will browse your computer for the digital story folder. Once the folder is located, select it and press “Import Selected”.

 List of media


7. Once imported, you can see all of your media for the story on the left hand side in the “Library

  Media Library  


8. Now you are ready to begin dragging and dropping your media onto the timeline to create a digital story. To start choose the photo you would like for your title screen and drag it to the storyboard. A title will already be created for you based on what you named your project. If you want to change it, click the text on the preview of your movie.

 Dogs images

9. Continue to drag and drop the images you want in your digital story. Automatic transitions from the theme will appear. Drag the photos and videos in the order you want them to appear, then worry about personalizing the transitions later.

Note:  if you want to see how your video looks so far simply press the space button on your keyboard.

Text on dogs images 

10. After you’ve finished previewing your movie, you can work on customizing and enhancing the photos. If you want to work on one specific photo, hover over the photo on your time and press the adjust button on the top right hand side. A menu will show allowing you to crop, enhance and even add filters to your photos

 Dog with blanket


11. When you are finished with personalizing each picture, you can now customize the transitions. Click the “Transitions” block on the bottom left hand side. This will allow you to explore all of the transition options and those specific to the current theme being used.

Note: to preview the transition, simply drag your cursor over the icon

list of content library


12. To change a transition on your timeline with another, simply drag the transition you like directly over the old one you want to replace.

 Dogs image and different themes



13. To add text, select the “Title” block on the bottom right hand side under “Transitions” To preview text styles, simply hover your cursor over them. Just like transitions there are titles for specific themes as well as general designs.

 Adding title


14. Once you choose a text you like, drag it to the clip you want it to correspond to. To edit the text, click on the preview on the right side and delete the “TEXT HERE” to put your own text.

 Dog with blanket


15. There are several ways to add music, on the bottom left hand side you can select either iTunes or Garageband and your music files within those programs will be available. (Hint- use the search bar on the bottom to easily search for the song you want). Once you choose a song simply drag onto the timeline
Note: **If you use a song from iTunes you must only use it for school projects not to be publicized elsewhere AND you must cite the song and artist**



You can also add music directly from your folder, in the library where all of your files are located. Simply drag the music file onto the timeline.

 Dog images and iTunes music


Note: You can manually drag where you want the music to begin and stop by simply extending the sides or moving the song block from side to side.

The following steps are for those who want to import a video into their digital story, if you don’t need to import a video, skip over to step 20.


16. To import a video into your library, have all of the video clip(s) in one place or folder. Then go to “File” and select “New Event

 File tab


17. Once the new event is created, rename it to “Digital Story Clips” so it is easy to identify. After you’ve named your event you can select the “Import Media” button as you did to import your media earlier.

 Import Media tab


18. If you already uploaded your videos with the other media in the folder, simply drag the video from the library onto the timeline like you did for the other photos and music.


Note: The clip will show up in your event, or library and you will be able to choose the part of the clip you want to use. (You can explore the clip simple by hovering your mouse over it). Once you find the part you want to use, drag and select it, and move it to your storyboard. 


19. You can customize a video, the same way you customized a photo by selecting the adjust button on the top right hand side. When you click “Video Effect” you can change the color scheme of the clip (black and white, sepia, etc.). You can adjust the “Speed”, if you go towards the turtle the clip will go in slow motion, if you go towards the rabbit the clip will speed up. If you check “Reverse” the clip will go backwards (i.e. if the clip is someone running or swimming they will be doing it backwards).

Applying filter on dogs image

To add text and transitions to your video clip, review steps 11-14.


20. To add credits (or a bibliography) go back to the text browser, and find the type of credits you would like to use. Note: for bibliographies or long credits the “Scrolling Credits” is the best choice. Once you drag it to the end of your project, you will be able to choose the background theme for your credits (preview them by hovering your mouse over them). To edit the text, click on the text bubble above the credit block or the preview on the right side.

 Add credits

Note: You can easily copy and paste your bibliography from Word.


21. When you finish your digital story, you must export it using the “Share” button on the top right.

 Sharing the work

You can export it to iTunes, and it will show up in your iTunes library, if you click YouTube, it will export the video automatically to YouTube, if you click File it will export it as a file to your finder. You must choose one of these options in order to finalize your project and make it into a file.