Cinematic film look iMovie tutorial

This is how I achieve a somewhat professional look using iMovie alone.

I forgot to mention to add a vignette to your shots! Double click your clips, click video effects, and choose vignette.

Also, when you create the letterbox in Photoshop, the aspect ratio is width: 940 pixels, height: 540 pixels.

This letterbox method does not work in iMovie ’11! This link will show you how to get the letterbox effect in iMovie ’11:

Music by JeJuin:


jay martinez says:

yea it covers my clip to lol let me know whats the new way around it

Bnicetv says:

Can you send the latter box to my email silverlordfilms

sham8723 says:

Oh…. also. I have no Idea about imovie… but in just about any other video editing program you could crop the shot to a different aspect ratio but you wouldn’t have to crop it in the middle, cutting off heads etc. you could crop it anywhere and it would be centered, but inclusive of what’s important. Then just import and use as is.

Kash Gaming says:

Can u do this on iPad??

Ta Thanh Hai says:

Excuse me but I dont seem to have the option “Green Screen”. I only have insert, replace and cancel.

I am using iMovie 11.

Please help. Thanks

Ollie Metzger says:


claireandmatt1 says:

Nice tutorial, but I thought Cinematic looks appear at 510×200 pixels (or 2040×800 blown up 4x larger). I’m talking CinemaScope. 🙂

Louis Evans says:

@Ta Tanh Hai

Erin LYREL says:

thank you so much!!!

TheOakridgeSchool says:

well constructed video with thorough information to help achieve the cinematic look my students are looking for

Last name: Ellis says:

excuse me but everytime i try to drag it to where it needs to be dragged it won’t let me :/

MrCash845 says:

wow i didnt kno u could do that wit imovie

Macboyspro says:

Is there any way to include transitions like fade to black while still having the letterbox effect? Cause my letterbox seems to cut off my transitions in my movie :/

luiotvchannel1 says:

what program you use in this video to record the screen?

Michael Register says:

What camera do you use.. And wat lens

roachmasta says:

@Terz1c thanks sooo much bro!

Joe Moss says:

So the letterbox effect does not work on iMovie 11?

LilDiceMusic says:

does iMovie lag a lot on the Mac? I’m a singer and I want to buy a Macbook Pro Retina Display 2012 and from what I’ve heard it’s good, but if the video editing software lags on the preview or the software glitches I don’t want to waste so much money. Can anyone respond quick? Oh and can Sony Vegas run on the Mac?

ian deloney says:

@skew96 How do you add blue/green color to the letterbox in iMovie?

ian deloney says:

The letterbox you supplied me with slowly gets wider and wider (downwards) as the video goes on, I don’t know if it’s my video, or your letterbox? No problem, if it’s your letterbox, I can make my own, I just need to know.

NoctiphobiaBTS says:

i don’t get it i dragged in the letterbox photo and pressed green screen but it juts replaces the whole shot! I then press negative, it works but the letter box photo covers up the whole shot!

BreezyBreeze says:

also what dslr do you use? 🙂

pat dougherty says:

letter box affect is stupid and pointless

SoundGuyDavo says:

Any footage from an SD card or iPhone that I import goes to iPhoto. This creates an unorganized mess in my Event Library in iMovie and too much footage sitting in the main Event area slows down iMovie. Isn’t there a way to import it into easy events, INTO iMovie when importing iPhone or Memory Card footage?

Live Free says:

Awesome. Thanks so much

Zane Alexander says:

Thank you so much

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