ADD IMAGES AND TEXT: After that I plopped images from the book into iMovie, and started adding text. It is very easy to use, but a quick orientation video on YouTube helped get me started (there are a ton of these intro videos - just search for one that matches the version of iMovie you have). To do a similar trailer to the one I made, you just need to be able to add:
- images (pan/zoom with Ken Burns tool)
- transitions (between images)
Before you add your images figure out the size image you want to use: You don't want to have too low-res of images in your video, in case anyone watches it full screen (I made that mistake a few times and it was a pain to replace those images). I used images that were around 1920 x 1080px (the size of my screen).
|General layout of iMovie - upper left will show options for images/audio/titles/transitions, upper right shows a preview of your movie, and the bottom is a timeline, where you do most of the editing. © Jen Betton|
|Closeup of upper left screen in iMovie - the menu options at the top allow you to add mages/audio/titles/transitions. I did not use any backgrounds.|
|Using the Ken Burns tool – It shows up when you click on an image in your timeline, and is found under the crop tool visual. You set start and stop points for your pan/zoom. ©Jen Betton|
|How to put titles anywhere on your video.|
You can see here for the effect I used at the end of the TWILIGHT CHANT trailer, I used three different instances of the same image. I created the middle pan/zoom effect first, then went back and created full-screen screenshots of the start and stop points and added those screenshots before and after the pan/zoom. This allowed me to 1) zoom out slowly, 2) then quickly pan/zoom to the right, 3) then slowly zoom in instead of all at one speed/direction. If you use this technique be sure NOT to put any transitions between the images you are using for a smooth, continuous shot.
AUDIO: This was by far the most difficult part for me. Finding a song that had the right feel, instrumental but not classical or new age, modern but not pop or rock, with the right tempo.... it's not my forte! But the website I used has a lot of great songs, which you can search by instrument or mood. Audio Network allows you to license the songs for a very small fee, and then you can adjust the volume level, fade in and out, trim the length, and even adjust the speed of the song in iMovie. Here is one of the tutorial videos I looked at: here.
You can view both the book trailers for my books here. I encourage you to try making your own! It was much easier than I thought it would be, and a lot of fun.
*for traditionally published authors/illustrators it's important to get permission from your editor to use more than just a few images from the book – your contract will specify how many. Luckily, my editors for both books were on board with using a larger selection of images.
Jen Betton wrote and illustrated HEDGEHOG NEEDS A HUG (Penguin-Putnam), and illustrated TWILIGHT CHANT (Clarion-HMH). You can find her here: