iMovie 2 Solutions
Book Review

iMovie 2 Solutions
Author: Erica Sadun

Publisher: Sybex
Price: $40.00
ISBN: 0782140882

Say you make a fairly great movie with the worlds greatest program: iMovie. Still, you think your newly birthed video masterpiece lacks something. Perhaps it’s a unique blend or a splashy title. At the moment of export you might stop and wonder: “Should I upgrade to Final Cut Pro?” I can answer that question for you, just follow the following formula: (Money you plan to earn from this movie)+(Money you plan to earn with next 10 movies)/(cost of Final Cut Pro)=Justification. If “justification” is greater than 1, I say buy the program. If not it is far wiser, fiscally speaking, to stick with iMovie.

Does that mean you’re stuck? Have you reached the absolute limits of iMovie? Are you forever wondering in a morass of lifeless titling and yearnings for a few special effects? Heck no, if you’re willing to mess around with a couple other programs for a bit. Of course saying you’re not stuck and showing you how to unstick yourself are two different things. So, you’ll have to trust me, you’re not stuck. That tidbit should be worth a nickel. To actually get unstuck you’ll have to pony up $40.00 for iMovie 2 Solutions . With this handy offering by Erica Sadun you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how much you can get out of iMovie if don’t mind mixing in a few other apps.

iMovie 2 Solutions is not really so much about iMovie, it’s more about extending iMovie with the careful use of a few programs. That is not to say iMovie 2 Solutions doesn’t have iMovie specific info, it does in spades (want to change the default “My Great Movie Title”? See page 4). Most of the iMovie specific tips are redundant or of little value. The value lies in combining iMovie with programs such as QuicktimePro, Adobe Photoshop Elements (nee Photoshop LE, I suspect if you have a copy of Photoshop LE most of the tricks will still work) and a few other assorted programs. It might seem strange to buy a book ostensibly about iMovie that focuses so heavily on other programs. Trust me again when I say it’s money well spent as long as you realize iMovie 2 Solutions is in no way an iMovie tutorial or reference but indispensable if you want to trick out your movies to the maximum level of Jurassic Parkness..

By now the interested reader will begin wondering: “Just what kind of stuff will this book show me how to do?” I can’t list all the tricks iMovie 2 Solutions covers (that’s a lie, I could actually list all the tricks, but this is a review not an index) but I can point out a few that seemed particularly cool to me. Ones I particularly include: the “Big Titles” trick, See through Big Title trick, Movie in Movie trick and customized QuickTime skin playback tip. and, my uber fave, use iMovie to work on a silver screen sized movie instead of the default TV sized screen (a tip worth $999 clams for those who posses nice cameras but not Final Cut Pro). The aforementioned tips just scratch the surface of iMovie 2 Solutions there is plenty more movie making goodness contained within the wraparound softcover.

So we have established the book contains useful tips and/or tricks. Hence it’s time to get down to style and presentation. After all, the world’s most clever tip isn’t worth much if it is presented in an obscure incomprehensible format. This is not a problem with iMovie 2 Solutions. The tips are presented in easy to follow steps illustrated with small thumbnail sized photos. The average number of steps seems to be about ten but range up to a still manageable twenty actions to get the desired effect. The writing is fairly comprehensible providing you know a bit about iMovie a little about Photoshop and a smidgen of QuicktimePro. If you don’t know much about those programs I strongly suggest you read the book from the very beginning, it makes the going much easier.

iMovie 2 Solutions also comes with a super nifty CD that contains every program the author asks you to use to augment iMovie and a visual tutorial of each chapter. If you’re on a 56k connection the 40-dollar price tag is worth the disc alone. If you’re a Mac user from way back the disc is reminiscent of the floppies that came with the earliest Mac Bibles. By that I mean the disc is chock full of nifty utilities and such. You can have plenty of fun with the stuff on the disc without bothering to read the book.

Summation time: This book shows you plenty of stuff you never thought you could with iMovie at a reasonable price and gives you the tools to follow through.

MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5 *Power iMovie Users
MacMice Rating: 3.5 out of 5 *Average iMovie Users

Chris Seibold

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