My good friend and I purchased a Hi8 Sony Handycam in 2000. For the next 5 years and 3 cameras later we had recorded ~40 tapes worth of footage. We said we’d eventually get around to putting it all together into some sort of movie. Unfortunately we never got around to it, we both went our ways to college and I didn’t see him for 2 years or so. A few weeks ago we caught up and he gave me all the tapes so I could put something together.

My first idea was to use Final Cut Express HD but after toying around with it for a few days I knew it just wasn’t possible to create a movie in a very short amount of time. I would have had to have spent at least 2 weeks learning how Final Cut Express HD works. Had I not been in a bit of a rush I would have learned it, as it looks like it’s an excellent application! I decided to go with iMovie HD instead. The only time I’d ever used iMovie was when I had a G3 color-bubble iMac (blueberry I think…) so it had been some time! Fortunately iMovie is a lot simpler then Final Cut Express, and would work fine for my purposes.

Tools of the project:
MacPro 2.66GHz, 3GBs RAM, 250GB HDD, GeForce 7300 256MB video card
23inch Apple Cinema Display
Lacie 250GB D2 Triple Interface external drive
Sony CCD-TRV138 Hi8 camera
Sony DCR-TRV280 Digital8 camera
EyeTV 250
iMovie HD 6
DVD Studio Pro 5
QuickTime Pro 7

It was a bit difficult finding any Hi8 cameras in the state of Vermont. I eventually just went to Amazon.com and bought from them. Unfortunately I didn’t have a DV cable for the camera so I couldn’t import directly into iMovie HD, I had to use my increasingly useful EyeTV 250. After importing all the good quality clips into EyeTV’s application I exported them to a DV format since that’s what iMovie HD works best with. 200+ clips later I had them all imported into iMovie HD, time to start editing and putting it all together!

iMovie HD is very easy to use. I mostly spent a lot of time cutting off the ends and beginnings to clips. When I had imported I started and ended the clips a few seconds before the actual clip I wanted, just so I made sure I got the entire clip. iMovie makes this very simple with the markers. You just mark the area you want to cut off and then cut it! One thing I really enjoy about Apple applications is how they integrate with each other. For example I could easily insert a song from my iTunes library into my movie.

After working from 8am to 3am (the next day) on Saturday and 8am to to 5pm on Sunday the video was done. I used DVD Studio Pro 5 instead of iDVD to give the DVD a bit more of a professional look. I will now be shipping the DVD out to my friends! I couldn’t have done it with that MacPro and all the other tools I used. It all made the whole process, quick, easy and fun.

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