Lab day: iMovie (Part One)

By today you should have a script/storyboard of your Truthometer and have collected several different sources for images and/or video.  This week we are pushing to get a draft of you movie together using iMovie.*

Ripping video & YouTube’s Terms of Service

Thanks to YouTube’s aggressive Terms of Service (ToS), which prohibits downloading its hosted videos (and can legally kick you off the platform for circumventing this), collecting this raw data has proved to be a real challenge for us amateurs.

You do not have to make an iMovie with ripped video, but if you do, your options seem to be as follows:

  1. Quicktime (in the lab). If you don’t need any sound, you can make screen recording using Quicktime. However, if you do need sound, then options 2 or 3 are better. Here’s a video from LinkedIn Learning about this.
  2. Third Party Software (on your own machine). If you’re using your own computer (in the lab or at home), you can download programs like 4K Video Downloader (Mac or PC) or ClipGrab (Mac), TubeMate for Android, or Documents for iPhone. See this recent article for more. Based on my experience, these programs are convenient and ideal options.
  3. Jason’s machine. If accessing a computer outside of this lab is challenging for you, you can always keep a collection of video links in a Google Doc in your WRT folder and have me convert them on my machine for you. In that case, you’ll want to let me know and bring your flash drive so I can save the videos for you. It’ll be helpful if these videos are not longer very long.
  4. Audio only. If you only need to convert audio from a YT (like if you are using ambient music in your movie) head to or use the software you downloaded in #2.

Using a flash drive with iMovie

As I mentioned a few classes ago, the best way to use iMovie in these labs is with a flash drive. If you don’t have one, get one. If you forgot it, put a reminder in your phone to bring it on Thursday. To begin working with iMovie using a flash drive do the following:

  1. Insert your flash drive and open iMovie.
  2. Choose [Open Library… > New]
  3. Find your flash drive from the navigation window.
  4. Name it “[flash] Truthometer.” (Note: Adding the term flash is important so you’ll know the file is indeed on the flash drive and not the iMac machine, which is the program’s default.)
  5. From now on, make sure you are opening up and editing the library that is stored on this flash drive. Otherwise you may lose your work.

iMovie basics

In class today I’ll begin to introduce you to several functions in iMovie (and because these are introductions, I plan to demonstrate them several times throughout the course). I’ll show you how to:

  • Add media to the iMovie library (which is separated into events)
  • Add transitions
  • Layer images, titles, and sound in the timeline pane
  • Split, trim, and edit selections in the timeline
  • Edit media in the viewer

Keep in mind that as you get better with these functions, you’ll get more creative and see the potential in the program.

Organizing your Truthometer

The narrative thread of your Truthometer — your script — is the glue that holds your iMovie together. That’s one of the reasons we’ve used the storyboard to begin the process of remediating the blog into a film. As you begin your iMovie you should thikn about what will “anchor” your script. I can think of three possibilities.

  • text overlay — use the title screens to add your script to iMovie
  • import audio — record your entire script (or chunks of it) using VoiceMemo (iPhone) or Voice Recorder (Android) and add the files to iMovie
  • record original video (vlog/YT style)

*I’ll demo aspects of iMovie in class and support your learning throughout our lab time and beyond, but it’s important to understand that learning how to use technology requires us to fail and reiterate. Troubleshooting is an inherent part of this process. If you find yourself not knowing how to do something, aside from asking me, you can also head to the web. I can think of two place you might go first:

  1. Apple’s help site for iMovie. Here you can learn the vocabulary for the program and compartmentalize help bby the task you’re trying to complete.
  2. iMovie 10.1.8 Essential Training” by LinkedIn Learning. As I’ve mentioned before, LiL offers high-quality, video-based courses and tutorials that Rowan pays a hefty fee to subscribe to. The fact that you can have a free account to it is a real perk of being a college student here. To use it, log in via the Rowan portal.