Is iMovie HD okay for me to import with? at

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Old June 16th, 2007, 02:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Is iMovie HD okay for me to import with?

I'm super, super, new to all things video (please forgive my lack of insider lingo). I decided I needed a serious change recently and there was an event I thought would be perfect subject matter for a doc. I decided to take the leap, borrowed a Sony FX1, got some basic video production training, and headed off to shoot for 3 weeks. I think I got some good stuff in my 35 hours of tapes and now I'm ready to start editing. But, I know very little about editing (at this point). I've looked through DVi a bunch for an answer to this question. I apologize if it's here and I missed it.

Right now, I just have iMovie HD (5.0.2) and the person that loaned me the camera told me it'd be okay to import with it and then move it over to FCP later. Also, I wanted to get the importing done as quickly as possible so I could get him his camera back ASAP.

I just imported the first clips and they were interviews that were done with two mic's (1 lav and 1 shotgun). However, I've seen that the audio in iMovie is just one track (with the video). Will my audio show up as 2 tracks if I import these clips to FCP (or Express) later or are my two channels now permanently married into one?

Any help would be appreciated. Also, I saw lots of threads advocating for FCP over iMovie because of the lack of time code and the audio not syncing properly. Most of those posts seemed to be pre-iMovie HD. If those issues are still present in the HD version or if there are other concerns, please feel free to tell me. I don't want to waste a bunch of time so I'd rather stop now and wait til I can get FCP.

Thanks so much,
Flynn Lucas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2007, 03:03 AM   #2
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Have you committed to FCP? You would have a lot less trouble using Sony Vegas 7 which handles HDV extremely well. Vegas is superior in many aspects but if you (or your friend) as committed Mac people then most likely you'll not think outside that box. If you already have Mac computers, you can still run Vegas using bootcamp. The audio sync problem is peculiar to FCP
Serena Steuart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16th, 2007, 03:25 AM   #3
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Well, I have a Mac but...

My career has been art-direction for advertising. The industry standard (in SF at least) is Mac so, you could definitely call me a Mac person. BUT, I've been intrigued by some PC-based NLE options.

Right now we're just using a G5 iMac for our home setup. I've been wondering if we'll need to upgrade our hardware to edit this HD stuff. I've read differing opinions on that but, if I do have to upgrade, a PC will cost less than a new Mac in $$. But, I have no idea what the learning curve will be going from 15 years of Mac usage to a new platform. It may be more economical to stick with the Mac I know so well. But, if we do have to upgrade the hardware, then I could run Bootcamp and consider some other NLE's.

Thanks for giving me something to think about.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 07:17 AM   #4
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for the price, FCE is a great choice.

your audio issue is strange. if you recorded two channels, you should be getting two channels. can't explain that one.

capturing in iMovie then moving those files into FCE/FCP is possible, but they will all have to be re-rendered and transcoded. which means yes, you can use them, but it will be very time consuming, especially with 35 tapes worth of material.

this is speculation, but if you go that route, use an AIC timeline, not HDV. HDV render times are hideously long already, even without transcoding. or at least try one timeline of AIC and one HDV comparing the speed of each in working with re-rendered iMovie files.

personally, i'd capture into the NLE that i was planning to use and save several layers of headache.
Meryem Ersoz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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Follow up...

I went ahead and bought FCE. I opened the iMovie footage I'd already captured and it showed both audio channels. I'd read that a benefit of FCE was that it could open iMovie files which FCP couldn't. I don't know about that but, if you find yourself in the same situation I was in, at least you can feel confident that the audio is there and FCE at least will see it and let you work with it.

The downside to this story is that 2 days after the FCE purchase the Sony FX1 that was being used for capture started giving an error message saying reinsert cassette. PITA, but apparently very common on Sony cams. The camera owner took it back to send in for repairs since his warranty was up the following day. I've still got 22 hours of tape to get through but it wouldn't be post if it went smoothly, right?
Flynn Lucas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2007, 01:50 PM   #6
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? FCP Studio 2

Did you check into FCP St 2?

I am doing the exact same thing you are but about a week behind you. LOL.

Seems iMovie will do what I need it too...I think. Don't want to spend more money... but will if I have too. Are you happier with FCE than with iMovie?
Tobin Strickland is offline   Reply

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