Sunday, May 8, 2016

Apple iMovie Book Trailers

Use Apple iMovie to create dramatic trailers to promote movies, events, and books.

iMovie trailers

Movie theaters always play several preview of upcoming movies prior to show the actual movie you paid for. Most of these trailers are fast paced, with exciting music that builds over the course of the 1-2 minutes, several clips of the movie, and often dramatic narration. Apple created an app just for movie trailers.

The purpose of movie trailers is to create a desire in viewers to return for another movie. Back in the day of movie rentals, most DVDs or video cassettes included previews. The idea of creating a compelling preview trailer is now used for other purposes including book and event promotion. The Epic Reads channel on YouTube is a create source for ideas.

While it is possible to cobble several video clips together, add text-based clips, and add dramatic music, the iMovie app (available for Mac, iPhone, and iPad) will do much of the work for you.


iMovie has two choices for creating movies.
  1. You can create movies, in which you basically start with a blank canvas and add video clips and images.
  2. You can create trailers, in which you select from one of several available templates and insert several brief clips and fill in a template for text.
The two limitations of using the trailers option are that you cannot delete or add additional clips and you cannot do any type of voice-over narration. However, the idea of the trailers is that they are based on generally accepted formulas for what is effective. There are also workarounds for both of these limitations (see below).

The video below shows four of the trailer templates available for iOS (iPad and iPhone). These are the templates I believe are best suited to book trailers. The Mac version of iMovie contains more templates.


In order to make the process go as quickly as possible, it is a good idea to spend some time planning your trailer.
  1. The first step is to select a trailer. Each trailer includes a planning section with an outline, studio information, and scene list.
  2. Once you select a specific trailer, make a list of clips and write out the text to include in the appropriate sections. 
  3. Import the video clips into your media library (Mac) or camera roll (iOS). You can create videos, buy videos from stock sites, and/or search for free content online (Creative Commons, public domain, or free). Most of the clip lengths in the trailer templates are 2 seconds or less. You need around 20 clips for the majority of templates.


Once you have created your trailer, you can save it to the camera roll or publish it to YouTube and other sites directly from iMovie. However, if you need to customize the trailer further by adding narration, cutting scenes, or add additional clips and photos, you will definitely want to save it to the camera roll and import it back into iMovie in order to create a movie.

I recently created a trailer for a book. In the trailer I selected were a couple of extra clip placeholders that I did not need to use. Thus, after saving the trailer as a movie (to my camera roll) I imported it back in as a movie, split the clip into sections, and deleted unwanted scenes. While the iPad is fairly good, you can edit clips with much more precision using the Mac version.

1 comment:

  1. Apple iMovie Book Trailers, wow what a great move by Apple company. This is super amazing and good to see such great innovative achievement.