iMovie on iOS- better than you might think

If you’re like me chances are you are always taking photos of videos of different things/events/ people for script/story ideas.  maybe you like the way a certain street is laid out or the light is hitting through a stained glass window. Whatever the situation, chances are you are not always carrying a whole film rig with you, but instead carrying a cellphone.

I know what your thinking- “Is he seriously saying  that we can get decent results putting together edited pieces from a cellphone?”  

To answer your question, here’s a piece that I shot with an iPhone 6+ and was put together and edited by Kenneth Kornacki of Kenko here in Milwaukee, WI

While there is no comparison between a full production camera recording at 4k with manual settings and an iPhone; for quick stories/ previs/ and with a little tweaking the iPhone 6(or 6+,6s etc) have proven to be extremely versatile B-roll, secondary angle etc camera. I find that its something that Im always using either to test shots or compositions, or just record short stories.

In fact- I even recorded my review on the Atomos Assassin entirely with it.

Editing on an iPhone?

You may not realize it but there are more than a few different apps out

Premiere clip just felt sub par

there for editingvideo and audio on iOS.  A while ago Adobe, when struggling to find their voice in the mobile scene, released a version of Premiere called Premiere Clip.  I was not a fan– and feel like it was a half baked demo at the time.

Since that time Apple has released a mobile version of iMovie exclusively for iOS.

And while it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a full fledged editing system, it seamlessly works, and can be refined with the desktop version of iMovie and even transferred to FCPX all from your device.

Just imagine that for a second.

You can shoot a project on your phone, edit it, and then send the entire package to your home machine, with all the media, and continue to edit it with all the features of Final Cut Pro X.

Heres a tutorial I put together covering all the features in iMovie on iOS.


Heres the completed videos I made in this quick demo.

Here are some sample videos I put together using only my iphone while traveling to Thailand.



Bonus tip!

Are you using a camera that can “send to smartphone?”

On my a7s I have a feature where I can send proxy video and photos from my sony a7s to my iPhone.  What this means is that I can shoot on my main camera and still put together an edit- while on a plane or bus or wherever and then once I get back to my main editing station replace all my proxy versions with full resolution and continue to put things together.

Or another situation is you may be working with another editor somewhere else in the world and you can start editing or putting selects of clips together while you send them the original media or drives etc.

Final thoughts-

As I mentioned at the start, an iMovie project isn’t going to win you any oscars for its amazing feature set, nor is the iPhone (currently) currently capable of replacing production cameras in studios, but being able to put stories together with audio mixing, titles, footage from other cameras from a device in your pocket?  It’s something I’m using more and more of.


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