Only $14.99 to upgrade to iMovie ’11? Yes, please.

By Kristina Richmann, Lead Photographer

As an avid user of the iMovie software, I’m always up for learning new video editing tricks. I know I downloaded the updated version a little late (it released late October 2010), but once I found out what “personal movie trailers” meant, I could barely reach for my credit card fast enough.

Despite iMovie ’11’s mediocre reviews, I decided to test out the program for myself. Needless to say, I’m totally thrilled.

The biggest addition to the software is the high definition movie trailer options. While I would never use this feature for professional purposes, it is fun to play around with. iMovie now offers 15 different movie trailers with genres ranging from adventure to romance and everything in between.

Even though I’m not planning on using the template trailers—they are uneditable which is a downside to the new version—it did generate a feature that I will definitely utilize in future video planning. Now instead of creating my storyboard in a word document, I can put placeholders in iMovie and just add the film segments when I’m ready.

It has everything I need including a scene-setting landscape shot, action, closeup, group shots and more. I can even preset how many seconds I need for each type of shot. This new feature is going to expedite the video making process and I can say “goodbye!” to hours of stringing video segments together.

My favorite new addition: background noise reducer.

With the limited capabilities of the Flip video camera, the recorder picks up everything. The slightest wind sounds like a tornado. I’m constantly trying to find ways to reduce background noise, and it becomes extremely frustrating when the elements are out of my control. Thanks to this update and the introduction of an equalizer, I’m worry-free about background noise. 

iMovie has long offered a stabilization option for shaky videos. While the stabilization button worked great in iMovie ’09, ’11 added a rolling shutter button which reduces motion distortion and added a maximum zoom to the stabilization feature. Now when I’m caught without my tripod, I don’t have to worry about my hands shaking during filming.

Although these are just a few of the additions to iMovie ’11, these are the ones that are going to improve the videos I make for Tehama Group. The only complaint I have about the new version thus far is that the program is a little slow and I’ve seen that colorful spinning wheel one too many times.

Other than that, iMovie ’11 is definitely worth the $14.99 upgrade.

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