The trailers in iMovie are a quick way to make highly polished short promos. But what if you want to use and modify them in Final Cut Pro?
A few years ago, we published an article about how to move the rather excellent travel maps from iMovie into Final Cut Pro. It proved to be very popular with FCP editors being able to take advantage of these well-designed globe travel graphic plugins without having to export out of iMovie first.
In that article, I said the same couldn't be done for iMovie Trailers. Well I was wrong, and before any hard-nosed, 'I've been editing for years' editors scoff, you should really check them out. (I should also point out that I fall into this bracket!)
They look very polished, sound great and of course all the components are free and copyright free to use.
The Storyboard Editor is the default view for building Trailers. You don't even need to look at a timeline to build and export a trailer! Some Final Cut Pro plugin builders will look at this method of entering media and text with envy. Once you get in your head that there is no timeline, it's a very easy way to quickly assemble the components.
But what I missed when I looked at the globe graphics was the 'Convert Trailer to Movie' item in the File menu. You would think that this would make a flat file in iMovie, but it actually breaks down the trailer into its components.
You can still edit the items, clicking on the Titles will open up text boxes in the viewer and clicking on media will open up adjustments such as allowing the Ken Burns move to concentrate on Robin's nachos.
Then, once you are happy, this timeline can then be sent to Final Cut Pro from the File menu.
Then you will get a very familiar looking timeline in Final Cut Pro. All the media including movies, stills, graphics and music should be on the timeline.
You can still adjust the media, with stills, the Ken Burns moves are editable in Final Cut Pro.
But the titles are either rendered out flat files or embedded Quartz Compositions. Either way, you cannot edit them, but you can increase the length for timing.
So that's the way to get an iMove trailer into Final Cut Pro. One large caveat, it looks like the output frame rate is always 29.97 - even if you have dragged a clip into one of the place holders that is a different cadence. As you cannot change an FCP's Project frame rate once you have media on it, you will have to copy and paste the contents of the timeline into a new one with the correct rate.
So if you have 5 minutes to spare, check out the trailers in iMovie, one of them might get you a long way in a project one day.