Digital General

How to Make Vertical Video with iMovie?

The combination of iPhone and Mac is genuinely perfect for aspiring web stars! You record with your mobile phone and AirDrop the movie in a few seconds to Mac, where you can edit it for free with iMovie and make it even better.

The problem, however, is that if you shot with the phone upright and not in landscape mode, as soon as you import, you will see that the format has changed, and there is a lot of black space on the sides. Even if you spend hours looking at the options, it is impossible to change them, but don’t despair! Because the solution is there, and today we show you two simple ways to shoot vertical video with iMovie.

Although you can only edit videos in landscape mode, i.e., horizontally, you can use Mac’s functionality to rotate them and get around this hurdle. This is a very easy-to-do but handy trick we’ve used in all my movies shot on the iPhone since we discovered it. Now let’s see how to make a vertical video with iMovie!

Shoot a Video with Finder

Actually, it is impossible to edit vertical movies or export them to iMovie. When you load them into the software, they automatically adapt to the landscape format, leaving a lot of black space on the sides.

This free video editor allows you to edit in only two formats, 16:9 and 4:3, both of which are landscape. So we have to use a Finder trick to shoot the video directly on the preview screen. This is an effortless operation that you can do with one tap.

You actually have the option to rotate left just below the preview window. Click on it and see that the file will be rotated 90 degrees to the left in a few seconds. Clicking on it one more time, flips it upside down (180 degrees).

What if you want to flip the images to the right? There is no button, but you have to turn it three times to the left, so it looks like you turned it 270 and 90 degrees to the right.

Pro tip: If you want to make it even faster, you can use the ‘Command + L’ keyboard shortcut.

You can rotate and edit the video you want to edit before importing it into iMovie or directly inside the program (we will show you how in a moment). After making all changes, you need to export it as a file, even if it is horizontal. Once the export is complete, find it in Finder and use the preview feature again to rotate it vertically.

Shoot a Video with Finder

Rotate Videos with iMovie

Now that we know it’s okay to rotate the movie in any direction in Finder, we continue to see a handy feature in iMovie that lets you turn the video.

You can use this function when you combine several horizontal and vertical videos and rotate them directly within the program without wasting time searching and flipping them in the Finder.

All you have to do is select the movie or clip you want to rotate, select the crop icon you find in the upper right corner of the preview screen, and you can choose to turn 90 degrees right or left. You can also reverse it by clicking the same button twice.

Rotate Videos with iMovie

Change iMovie Aspect Ratio

Before we finish, we would like to show you another feature of iMovie that will be very useful for creating videos suitable for different platforms if your movies and original files are in other formats, i.e., different aspect ratios of the video.

TikTok, Youtube shorts and videos on Instagram or Facebook have a ratio of 9:16. This is great if your original iPhone movies are in the same format, but you have a 4:3 (horizontal) or a 3:4 (vertical) file. For example, we recommend changing it, so there is no black border when uploading to social media.

iMovie for Mac only supports a 16:9 aspect ratio, and if you import files with different proportions, some black areas will always be left outside. To remove it, you must use the crop function on each file and thus make them all the same.

Although no button does this automatically, it isn’t a complex process. Here’s what you need to do to crop the aspect ratio of an iMovie video and change it to 16:9:

  • Select the movie you want to edit
  • Click on the crop function
  • Select ‘Crop and Fill’
  • Click on ‘Fit footage to the movie.’
  • Press enter to crop

In short, you want to be a star on TikTok or create unique stories for Facebook and Instagram. Or do you prefer to reach millions of views with Youtube Shorts? All you need is really good, funny, or useful videos, but definitely engaging and eye-catching.

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