Intuitive interface; easy, guided editing process; high quality, polished, professional effects; easily customizable; simple uploading to Facebook, Vimeo & YouTube as well as easy exporting to iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Apple TV.


Cannot customize length of clips required or length of total trailer time; specific edits are not possible while in theme mode; cannot edit audio in theme mode; only 15 trailer themes available.

Full Review

On Wednesday, October 20th, Apple held its 'Back to the Mac' event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA. Among the many announcements made by CEO Steve Jobs was iLife '11. Apple users have grown accustomed to iLife and all it has to offer. iMovie is one of the five applications included with iLife '11 and has been given a few wonderful new features such as instant replay, flash & hold and of course, the ability to quickly and easily make your home videos into exciting movie trailers with any of 15 new themes.

As Jobs announced that iLife '11 would be available that day, I knew I had to have it and planned my trip to get it. Like many others, I was most excited for the new movie trailers feature and began working with it immediately. Within minutes, I had my first finished product. A 1 minute, 7 second movie trailer made from footage I had used to make another home video. Needless to say, my latest project was more polished and much nicer than the original.

With iMovie movie trailers, you start with an outline where you input the information about your project such as title, cast members, director and even studio. Next, you select the storyboard tab and the magic really begins. Here Apple has laid out the specific shots required like landscape, wide angle, close-up, action, etcetera along with the length of clip required. From here, you simply select the portion of your footage you want and iMovie automatically inserts it into the correct position.

Completing your project brings up a pop-up with the option to view your completed work. If you find that a specific clip does not work for you, replacing it is as simple as making a new selection, then just drag-and-drop. Should your project require fine tuning such as audio editing, or if you would like to add a different effect to a clip or replace a transition, click File > Convert to Project and it will break down the project into all individual effects, transitions, audio bits and so forth. If you do decide to fine tune your video, I suggest finalizing as much of the video as possible using the movie trailer feature before breaking the project down.

When you are ready to share your video with the world or just the family, click Share and select one of the many upload options. To export for use in iTunes or your mobile devices, click Share > Export Movie. This will allow you to select the resolution up to 1080p as well as the destination you would like to save the video to. It will even graphically show you which devices are compatible with each resolution.

From my experience, iMovie's new movie trailer feature has been absolutely amazing. It provides plenty of fun and allows you to be creative and bring your ideas to life without requiring the use of Apple's more complicated Final Cut Studio professional video editing software. The fun you will have with this feature alone is worth the upgrade price of $49 for the entire iLife '11 suite.

In Closing

Apple has always had a hit with their iLife suite of creativity applications and the latest iteration is no different. Also, Apple has increased the value of the latest iLife suite by lowering the price to a mere $49. As always, iLife is included with the purchase of every new Mac. If you purchased a new Mac on October 1st, 2010 or later, Apple is offering an iLife upgrade for just $6.99.