If you’re all caught up on our VidCon blog posts, you’ll know how much of a blast we had meeting creators and having discussions over everything YouTube. Over that weekend, it seemed like the question: “what software do you use to edit your videos?” was almost a greeting among creators.
There are camps of people who rave about Final Cut Pro X and those who are fans of Adobe Premiere Pro CC, but who said you have to spend a fortune to edit your videos? It may look like our friend iMovie (sorry PC folks) is losing its popularity to its flashier, more professional competitors, but is it really totally inferior in comparison?
Before you jump ship looking for an upgrade, there are HUGE pros to using iMovie. Some of the top creators on the platform still edit using iMovie - Emma Chamberlain’s distinctive and trendsetting editing style is all thanks to this software. So here’s our plea to not overlook iMovie and why it can be your best friend for editing especially if you’re just starting out on YouTube!
1. Ease of Use
There’s a good reason that most people start editing using iMovie - it’s the simplest tool to use by a very long mile! In iMovie, there are only 10 key buttons that you need to know, and they’re all clearly placed above the video playback window. Also, iMovie does a great job of keeping the feature names simple and accessible so that you’re not held back by having to learn all the technical terms straight away.
Whether you’ve been creating for a while or you’re new to the game, sometimes editing just isn’t your top priority and you simply want to get your content out into the world quickly. iMovie comes with a huge library of preset templates, auto-filters, easy on-screen text designs and even a royalty-free music library, meaning you don’t have to search the internet to find some fancy Premier Pro LUT or a copyright free background track off of some shady corner of the internet.
We can’t avoid talking about the software’s top selling point - the price, or should we say, the absence fo it! iMovie is free for all Mac users and contains no paywall or monthly subscription to access additional features. Compared to Final Cut Pro X at £299 and Adobe Premiere Pro from £19.97/month (or from £49.97/month for the entire Creative Cloud set), the free software holds up well against the competition.
Creating content can be very expensive when you take into account the price of equipment (cameras, microphones, tripods, lights) and the amount of time it takes in filming and editing, so a free software is an ideal way to keep costs down! If you’re just starting out with content creation, iMovie is a great way to familiarise yourself with the basic functions any video editor should know. That is, as long as you have an iOS device 🤷
3. Technique over Tool
If you’ve been creating content for a while and are thinking of upgrading, take some time to consider what limitations are you currently facing. Often the reason that your videos aren’t ‘professional looking enough’ is more to do with technique rather than the software itself. iMovie has all the capabilities to produce professional-quality videos, as long as you know how to use it well! Before you invest in a more expensive software that requires you to spend a lot of time learning the new interface and functions, try improving your editing skills and knowledge (I hear YouTube is great place for learning this kind of thing 😉)
We’ve talked a lot about how easy it is to use, but the biggest misconception with iMovie is that it’s too simplistic. Unless your videos require a whole lot of complex edits, have 360 degree shots or require intricate animation work, the features that come with iMovie should be enough! It has two video tracks meaning you can insert B-roll film. You can also use green screens and graphic overlays. It even has multiple audio tracks that are easy and intuitive to control using the waveform and a colour coding system. You can use ‘ducking’ which allows you to choose individual sound clips and lower the rest of the audio in relation to that selected clip. All of these features really elevate the quality of your YouTube content and remove the pain of other, more technical, softwares.
Last year I happened to be witness to Adobe’s unveiling of their latest creation- Rush and my first thoughts were: ‘oh my goodness, this looks and feels just like iMovie.’ The main pain point that Adobe Rush was meant to solve, was not being able to edit videos on the go, but have we completely forgotten that iMovie is actually available on all Apple devices including iPhones and and iPads?
I hope we’ve convinced you that editing great videos doesn’t always require super fancy or expensive software. The best advice we can give is to work on improving your knowledge of the software you use and keep experimenting with your creativity! Ultimately, the content that does well on YouTube isn’t always polished and professional but the time and commitment spent building your channel is more important than ever. Hopefully at next year’s VidCon, we’ll meet more creators that champion team iMovie!