Editing camcorder footage on a PC is nothing new. For $5,000 in circuit boards and high-end editing software, anyone can be a home-office Spielberg. But in 1999, Apple Computer made digital video editing almost as easy as using a word processor--and even less expensive. Built into each of Apple's wildly popular iMac DV computers is the circuitry needed to record pro-quality video from a digital camcorder, and then send the edited movies back to TV or tape with zero picture-quality loss. The crown jewel is the pre-installed editing software: iMovie.
Using this cleverly designed program, you can transfer DV footage from camcorder to hard drive; trim and rearrange scenes; and add crossfades, credits, and multiple sound tracks. In fact, iMovie includes almost everything you need to produce pro-quality video--except a manual.
That's where iMovie:The Missing Manual comes in. This entertaining guide takes you through every step of iMovie video production, from choosing and using a digital camcorder to burning your finished work onto CDs. The book's philosophy: giving someone iMovie without also teaching basic film technique is like giving a map to a teenager without teaching him to drive.
Far deeper and more detailed than the meager set of online help screens included with iMovie, the book helps iMovie users realize the software's potential as a breakthrough in reducing the cost, complexity, and difficulty of desktop video production. The book explains, for example, how to run iMovie on any recent Mac model (not just the iMac DV); uncovers the two secret clip-editing techniques that Apple's online help doesn't even mention; and provides a powerful workaround for iMovie's weak soundtrack-editing feature.