iMovie '09 and iDVD
David Pogue and Aaron Miller
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Buy *iMovie '09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual* by David Pogue and Aaron Miller online

iMovie '09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual
David Pogue and Aaron Miller
Pogue Press
463 pages
May 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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When Apple released iLife '08, most legacy iMovie users were less than pleased in the radical paradigm shift in the movie editing software. iMovie used to incorporate a pretty standard linear timeline across the bottom of the program's window., not unlike most video editing software in the world. For some reason, Apple decided to shift to the method used in iMovie '09 in which the video goes from left to right in several rows rather than a single, continuous row. It's an odd shift that I may always have a problem with. I was completely unwilling to entertain the notion of iMovie '09 (in fact, I still keep iMovie '06 on the computer) until I had a look at iMovie '09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual.

iMovie '09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual is an excellent book not only on how to use the program but on how to make your own movies look more professional. Whether you're a home movie enthusiast, a budding filmmaker, or just some schlub who wants to edit together a bunch of vacation clips to make a nice-looking DVD for the family, The Missing Manual can improve your final product. The manual starts with the basics of importing your content from whatever source you have at your disposal; from there, it goes into the mechanics of editing in iMovie '09.

Combining your clips together is a snap with iMovie - it always has been. The Missing Manual reveals the advanced features and how to use them, which is not as easily evident. With iMovie '09, you can adjust your color across the duration of the movie, brightening the shadows and boosting desired colors. In the biz, this is known as color timing. Imagine you've got your shot in the can and the performances are spot-on, but you missed the golden hour (that special time of day when the lighting is magical). Just boost your warm colors to fudge it, and your perfect take is saved. Other features addressed include image stabilization, cropping, rotating, slow-motion, green screen, and picture-in-picture. The Missing Manual tells you how to use these features to make your film better.

To explicate all the intricacies of using the program is to be expected, but authors David Pogue and Aaron Miller also include some thoughts about modern editing technique. You can start paying more attention to film, television, music video, even commercials to refine your style to affect your audience the way you'd like. Next up: getting your movie out there.

Showing your film to an audience could mean YouTube, a video podcast, or burning to DVD. The Missing Manual shows you the ropes on all these forms of publishing. As you might suspect from the title, a fair amount of attention is paid to iDVD, Apple's companion piece to iMovie. iDVD is, hands-down, the best DVD-producing software made for the novice Macintosh user. If you have iMovie, you have iDVD. With iDVD, you can take the film project you just made and produce a near professional-looking product including menus, chapters, special features, and more. The Missing Manual tells you how to do this, and how to pick a duplication house to mass-produce your DVD.

Using The Missing Manual I've broken the wrapper on iMovie '09 and am willing to give it a fair shake. I'll still keep iMovie '06 on hand, however. Just in case.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Eric Renshaw, 2009

buy *iMovie '09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual* online
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