Do your videotape transfers need a little tweaking? Perhaps, you stupidly recorded an episode of Corrie over your cousin's wedding? Or, notice your lying ex-boyfriend is in one of the shots? Maybe you need to add subtitles, so others understand your extremely Scottish friend?

Thankfully, you can edit your videos for free with iMovie if you own a Mac. If you do not have iMovie on your computer, you can download the app from the App Store. (Alternatively, you can find out how to edit videos on Windows 10 by clicking here.)

Once downloaded, open the app and click on "Import Media" to insert the videotape transfer you want to tweak. Then, drag and drop your video to the storyboard to begin editing:


GIF showing how to add a video to the storyboard
How to drag and drop a video to your storyboard.

1. How do I remove the beginning and end of my video?


First, expand your video by dragging the slider next to "Settings". Expanding the video will make it easier to see what part of the video you are trimming. Next, move the white cursor bar to choose where you want to trim the video, double click and select "Trim to Playhead".


GIF of trimming a video
Example of how I removed television footage at the beginning of my video.

If you want to trim the start and end of the video, double-click the clip in the storyboard and select "Show Clip Trimmer". Then drag the white bar cursor to where you want the video to start and end. Once happy, click the down arrow.


2. How do I add two videos together?


Import all the media you want to use. Then, drag the videos onto your storyboard. You can change the chronology of the videos by dragging and dropping.


Example of adding multiple videos
Example of how to drag and drop your second video.

Sometimes, the cut between two videos can be jarring. To soften the transition, you can add an effect by selecting "Transition" on the top bar and dragging the effect in between the two clips:


Example of adding a transition between two clips.
Example of adding a transition between two clips.

3. How do I remove unwanted footage in the middle of my video?


We forget how strange recording on a videotape was. Sometimes, a video jumps forward in time halfway through a wedding, or a television recording is placed slap bang in the middle of two family events. To delete unwanted footage, you will want to use the split function. Split is the digital version of splicing film.

To begin, place the white bar cursor to where the section you want to delete begins. Then, double-click and select "Split Clip". Next, place the white bar cursor where the area you want to delete ends and split the clip again. Now, you can double click on the unwanted footage and select "Delete".


GIF of how to slice
Quick example of how to remove unwanted footage.

4. How do I change the sounds?


You can separate the audio from your videos by double-clicking the clip and selecting "Detach Audio". By separating the audio, you can delete the audio track or fix any sound out of synch by stretching and dragging the audio left or right.

Another way you can change the audio is by adding music and sound effects. If you click on "Audio" on the top bar, you can use Apple's sound effects or import your music. Below, I have shown an example of how you can add your own imported music to the video.


GIF of adding sound.
Drag and drop below the video's storyboard.

5. How do I add text to my video?


You can add titles or additional captions to your video on iMovie. Click on "Titles" on the top bar; drag and drop your chosen title; then edit the text on the preview window.


GIF of adding titles
Notice the preview pane shows the text when you add a title?

The text will appear over your video if you drop the text above your video's storyboard. If you want the text separate, drag the title to the video's storyboard and add the title before or after the clip.


6. How do I enhance the video quality?


Above the preview pane are multiple options to change the video's visual quality, add filters, reduce background noise and stabilise the video. These effects are pretty basic but useful for reducing static noise and improving any shaky-cam filming in videotape transfers. You can play around with the effects before confirming changes.


GIF of effects above the preview pane
Lots of effects to play with!

7. How do I save my video?


To save your film, click on "<Project" at the top of the app and give your project a name. Then, hover over your project and click on the three dots (...), select "Share Project" and "File". From there, you can choose where you want to save your video.


Screenshot of how to save a video
You can also share your video straight to Facebook and Youtube.

Once saved, you can share your videos with friends, family, and social media (don't forget to tag Digital Converters too!)


Do you want your video to have more of a professional touch? Check out our article on the best video editing software.