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How to create trailers in iMovie on Mac and iOS

When creating a new project in iMovie, you have two options. You can make a movie or a trailer. Although most of the time movies are the way to go, because you create magic from scratch, trailers also have their advantages.

With a trailer, you’ll start with a template and work with a storyboard, outline and photo list. This structure offers a cool way to create a professional looking movie trailer.

If you’re new to the trailer feature, we’re here to help. See how to create and edit trailers in iMovie.

Make your movie trailer on iMovie

We’ll show you how to make a trailer on Mac and iOS. But you can skip to a certain section, if you want.

Create and edit trailers on Mac

Choose your trailer

Open iMovie on the Mac and select Projects at the top of the main screen. Then do the following to get started.

  1. Click the plus sign to create a new one and choose Trailer
  1. When the Trailers model window opens, look for the collection. Each model displays the number of cast members you need and the duration of the trailer. You can view one by selecting it and clicking on the Touch button
  2. Choose the model you want and click Create

Create and edit your trailer

When the project window opens to the trailer, you’ll see the three sections at the bottom, where the movie’s Timeline would normally be. You will go through each guide to create your trailer.


Click on each line on the Outline tab for the movie name, date (when applicable), studio and credits.

You can have fun with this area by creating a movie studio with your family’s name, selecting the style of the studio’s logo, becoming the director and more.


In the Storyboard area, you will insert the text clips and the media from each of the sections. You can see how long each added photo will appear on the screen and its layout for each section, which makes it easy to sketch the storyboard.

Select My Media in the browser at the top and then Photos in Libraries on the left. You can click on the drop-down box to display your album and select your photos.

To add photos, click on the photo at the bottom of the desired section and double-click an image from the top. Or drag from the top and drop at the bottom where you want.

List of shots

The Shooting List contains all the images you put in your trailer. So, when adding photos and other items, you can go to the Photo List and see them all categorized. You’ll see action scenes, landscapes, close-up and more.

If you want to add images to the Photo List before completing the Storyboard section, you can also create your trailer this way. The images in the Photo List will be displayed on your Storyboard at designated points in the trailer.

Play your trailer

You can play your trailer throughout the creation to see progress and make adjustments. Click the Play button in the viewer or press the Play button in full screen to see it bigger.

To start playing the trailer from a specific location, move the cursor to the location on the Storyboard. So, play the trailer.

Create and edit trailers on iOS

Choose your trailer

Open iMovie on your iPhone or iPad and get ready to make your trailer.

  1. Tap the plus sign and choose Trailer
  2. When the Trailers model window opens, look for the collection. You can view one by selecting it and tapping the Touch button
  3. Choose the desired model and tap Create

Create and edit your trailer

Similar to the Mac, you have the Outline and Storyboard sections on iOS.

Tap Sketch and give your movie a name, choose the studio logo and add credits.

Touch Storyboard and enter what you want for the text clips. Touch a point on the image, select a photo and it will appear.

You can make adjustments to the photos, if necessary, in the Storyboard section. Touch a photo to edit it by dragging or pinching to zoom in, adding the Ken Burns Effect or removing the photo.

Play your trailer

To see your trailer while you work on it, touch the Play button on the right. This will display your trailer in the Viewer at the top.

To see a full screen, touch the Play Button on the left.

It’s a package!

Creating a trailer in iMovie is a fun way to enjoy your photos. And with templates for scary, family, romance and more, you’ll be able to find one that fits your photos.

Will you give the creation of a trailer in iMovie a try? Let us know what kind of trailer you will make!

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A benign tech savvy. I love everything about tech. Just call me the Techie guy :).


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