Can I Use iMovie to Make Videos for My Business?
The best camera is the one you have with you. Get out and do it.
The same can be said for your video editing software. One of the most common questions from my clients is “What’s the best video editing software for X project?”
Answer, the one you have.
But is iMovie one of those options?
Most computers come with video editing software today. These can include simple tools like the old Windows MovieMaker to Apple iMovie. iMovie is unique in that Apple has been actively developing a simple video editing program into a robust content creation tool.
Features include :
- Green screen
- Text animation
- Map animations
- Picture in picture video
- Basic color correction (aka filters) and visual effects
- Basic audio effects (aka audio filters)
- Apple-provided royalty free music
- Apple-provided royalty free sound effects
- Timeline editing
- Simple template design
Now, as a program it’s certainly limited. Think of iMovie as a consumer product that can be used as a commerical product up to a certain point. In fact, in my time as an Apple employee, I saw customers create newscasts, podcasts, promo reels, wedding videos, and webinars using the simple tools of iMovie.
It’s a start. And if it’s the start that gets you creating business video, go for it.
Trailers and Templates
iMovie really has two main features. Trailers are a fun, cookie-cutter video creator that has an unchangeable template. The music is provided and each trailer template follows a central theme based on a movie trailer – be it drama, romantic comedy, action flick, etc. It’s been marketed as a way for families to share their videos and photos.
As a promotional product, its uses are limited. But who is to say that your audience won’t enjoy seeing you not taking yourself so seriously?
In its templates, though, is where iMovie shines. Using creative graphics and options, users can do a lot in a given theme. These themes can be as silly as comic book, an animated photo album or others.
Keep in mind that anyone with a Mac has this software and therefore the same templates. So what you create won’t be wholly unique. But it is way to get your foot in the door.
Those same templates can also be chosen a la carte for a more unique presentation. This can include mixing and matching template items such as green screen, the animated book cover, the map and globe features. I use iMovie’s bigger brother, the commerical program Final Cut Pro X, also developed by Apple. However, there are times when I’ve harked back to using iMovie just cuz it’s so easy to do some things.
Is iMovie Enough?
For a business? Not usually. It’s a simple package and it excels because anyone can create a video in just a few minutes. However, it’s also very limited. Green screen editing doesn’t allow for controls to reduce shadows, edges or make changes. Green screen in iMovie typically looks like it’s shot over a green screen – which is a bad thing. For a kid’s school report, it’s awesome. For a business video, it’s better to use another software, honestly.
All of the text features are likewise limited to coming on-screen in the same way every time. There aren’t options (in most cases) to choose where to put text besides where it’s been programed to go.
Does that matter?
Yes! It absolutely matters! Videos are supposed to help promote your business and your brand. Such limitations don’t let you stand out. You’ll be doing the same thing thousands of other businesses with iMovie are doing. It’s a start, but it shouldn’t be your end goal.
Additionally, since iMovie is so recognizable, your clients will instantly be able to smoke out if you’re using iMovie. They have the same default songs, effects and transitions on their Mac. In this discerning media age, where billions of hours of video is posted online every day, you can’t afford to be like everybody else or let on that you are too cheap to pay for a program that creates high-level video.
What Should I Use Instead of iMovie?
This is where it really gets down to opinion. There are a number of free programs out there. Think of iMovie as training wheels. It will handle fundamentals, but if you actually want to move, you’ll need something more robust. Free apps like DaVinci Resolve are getting there. But, then there is Apple’s Final Cut Pro X ($300) and Adobe’s Premiere Pro ($20/mo).
Or you can also hire a video editor who has the software already and save yourself the learning curve that comes from graduating to a professional software altogether. Really, your options are endless! Happy editing!
What Program Can I Use Instead of iMovie?
Consider graduating to Apple’s professional grade video editing software called Final Cut Pro X. Coming in at $300 it’s definitely more steep than iMovie’s free price tag. But for every limitation iMovie has, Final Cut Pro X makes it possible. You can even download and purchase ready-made Templates from websites like Pond 5 and Videoblocks which offer people without animation skills the options to have customized logo reveals, lower thirds (aka name tag) and effects.
We’re affiliated with Pond5 in particular because we use their services regularly and love their royalty free, music and after effects templates. We receive a small commission is you follow the link in this blog to their page and buy, but we only recommend their products because we love them so much!