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Using iMovie’s Trailer Templates for Business and Education

Lara and I have been experimenting with the concept of an entirely mobile production studio using our iPhones and iPad. So, when we went to The Diefenbunker - Canada’s Cold War Museum, the other day, I decided to try out iMovie’s new movie trailer templates on my iPhone 4S.

Using iMovie’s Trailer Templates

Apple’s iMovie trailer templates are, in my opinion, AWESOME. They provide genres from romantic to scary flicks and within each template the pacing, transition, title effects, and music are all provided. This is great for people who are new to video because it teaches you how all the pieces of a video work together to form a specific emotion and effect. It does this by providing  a Storyboard view that shows you the number and length of video clips to use and even suggests the type of shot - wide, middle, close up, action, group, and/or landscape - to insert. Here is a screenshot of the Storyboard view on the iPad (screenshots from the iPhone are a little cramped)

iMovie Storyboard on iPad marked up

iMovie Storyboard on iPad marked up

Since the templates create the pacing for the video, you are limited to what you can add from the number of video clips, the length of each video clip, transitions, to the audio, unless of course if you render out your video and re-edit it. Knowing ahead of time which template you intend to use will save you a lot of shooting and editing time. As for me, when we went to the Diefenbunker, I wasn’t planning to use our visit as a test run for iMovie and that resulted in the making of the short video that much harder. My biggest hurdle was that we only took one clip of video, walking down the tunnel, and the rest of our visit was captured as photos. The iMovie trailer template that I used only allows you to use video clips. This meant that that I had to convert my pictures to videos before I could use them. I used a variety of photo and video apps to do this. They are all listed below.

Editing on the iPhone



The edit took me a few hours for a few reasons. I wanted to do it all on my iPhone,  I didn’t know the requirements for the template ahead of time, I added effects to my photos and then had to turn them into video clips, the workspace on the iPhone for video editing is pretty limited, and I had no idea what story I wanted to tell. As for the last point, that’s what I get for not listening to Lara’s advice to have a strategy before I make a video. For me, editing on the iPhone is somewhat tedious and time consuming, especially when compared to editing video on my desktop.

All that said, what I love about editing on the iPhone is that “I’m editing on my mobile phone!” Come on, that has to give me some Geek Cred. Seriously though, I believe that editing on mobile devices will soon advance enough to make up a certain portion of the videomaking industry. Getting in on the ground floor and honing one’s mobile video production skills, in my opinion, is good training. We are already using our mobile video production experience for some clients at their events. The ability to be truly mobile meant that I didn’t have to sit at my desk to complete the project. I was literally editing while having a coffee at a local cafe, while walking around in our living room , while reclining on the couch, and sitting at the kitchen table. Limiting my colour palette of video tools meant that I had to get a lot more creative in order to achieve the desired result.  I look forward to creating more mobile productions and editing on the iPad!

For Business and Education

A movie trailer type of video is a great tool for businesses and nonprofits to promote specific events, exhibits, and campaigns. Of course, you will need other sales and education assets to support your video, but you should be doing that anyway for all your videos.

The iMovie trailer templates are so easy to use that beginners can start editing video right away. The Storyboard view for each template is excellent. Not only is it intuitive enough to get you started editing it also provides a great way to learn about video pacing, different video shots, transitions, and storytelling. This type of knowledge will certainly help aspiring videomakers take the next step of creating effective videos outside of iMovie’s trailer templates.

Apps used:

Photo apps:

Video Effects apps:

Video editing apps:

I would love to see any videos you have created or favorited that were shot and edited on a mobile device, so please share. Until my next post, happy shooting and editing!


How to Do More Video Without Shooting Any Video - Part 3

Welcome to the final instalment of our three part series on how to create more videos without shooting a single frame. The goal of this series is to help remove the technical barriers to shooting and editing video so that you can make video even if you don’t have the gear and editing know-how. In Part 1, we discussed how to make animated videos from just a written script, in Part 2 we introduced you to Animoto, an easy to use tool that makes professional looking videos from your photos. Today, is all about curating video by building YouTube Playlists.

YouTube Playlists

When you make a YouTube playlist, you create a collection of videos made up of existing YouTube videos. A playlist can be easily shared via URL link or by embedding the player into a webpage.

Instead of making your own videos, you are curating or choosing the best videos for your audience and packaging them together into playlists. Did you know that every minute 48 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube? That’s a lot of video. So, sifting through and finding the helpful ones for your customers is of tremendous value to them.

At first, you may think it will take a lot of time to find and review all the relevant YouTube videos. But, think about how long it would take to produce an original video of your own. Also, by locating and reviewing existing video in your sector is great market research that all businesses and organizations should undertake before building their own product.

Benefits of being a curator

Here are the top reasons why I like the video curator strategy:

Quick video content: Finding and using existing YouTube video will generally take much less time than shooting and editing one original video.

Valuable market research: Sifting through current video content enables you to see what is already out there on the topic and how others have presented it.

Increase your value: As you review all the existing video content on your topic, you update your knowledge and become even more of an expert on your subject. You are now a more valuable resource for both your industry and your customers.

Create better content: Being aware of what video content already exists enables you to more accurately assess what information and service gaps exists in the specific topic area. Now you know what content to make next: i.e. content that fills the gap and satisfies the need for information on that subject.

These benefits of curating apply to any content strategy from video to seminars to print.

YouTube Playlist Tips:

Length: I suggest that your playlist comprise of about 5 videos at most with a total playing time of no more than 8-10 minutes. You don’t want to overwhelm your viewers. If you have a lot of videos, consider breaking them up into more than one playlist.

Set the context: Use the description box for the playlist and the notes tool for each video to give your viewers an idea of what the playlist and each video is about. You should highlight in each video points of interest to viewers, or in other words, why you created the playlist and included that video. In the description box you can add hyper-links to additional resources and your call to action, which is discussed in the next tip. I strongly suggest that whenever you compile any type of resource list that you provide a brief summary of each resource. It makes your list more useful and user friendly for your customers. It also increases your credibility because it shows that you actually gave each resource some thought.

Call to action: Use your playlist to help support a blog post or other social media post and provide a call to action in the post and the playlist’s description to enable viewers to take the next step to either more information or apply the knowledge they just soaked up.

You Still Need to Make Your Own Content

Curating does not replace the need to make your own original content. It is however an easy way to publish initial content, supplement and support your own content, and provide you with guidance as to what original content you should create (remember the benefits to being a curator above?). Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series to learn how you can create original video content without shooting or editing a single frame.

Putting it into action

We’re doing some research for a possible Financial Literacy project on Good Debt vs. Bad Debt. One of the topics we are considering is what Canadians should know about Payday Loans. So, as an example of what I have just blogged about, I quickly put together this YouTube Playlist: Payday Loans - what you should know.

I realize that my playlist is longer than the suggested length, but I really didn’t find many releveant videos on the topic. I used the notes to advise viewers that one of the videos is longer than the others.

Just from making this quick playlist I have learned that: 1. The number of videos promoting payday loans far outnumber the videos warning people about the pitfalls. 2. Of the few videos out there about what one should know about payday loans, none were Canadian focused.

Based on the lessons learned above, it initially seems that there is a need to make Canadian and perhaps even provincially-based video content, about the things that people should know about payday loans. In setting up my annotations, I will also look at the style and keywords used by the popular videos that promote payday loans in an attempt to have our videos show up as related videos so to balance the message of the promotional industry videos.

Thanks for checking out our series on how to Do More Video Without Shooting Video. If you have any feedback about the series or examples of any of the methods that you have tried for your own business, please share. We would also love suggestions on other topics that would help you to develop your capacity to make video. Feel free to drop us a line with suggestions anytime!