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Importing into iMovie

It’s possible you may have dabbled with video editing in iMovie, that it was your first introduction into video editing. If so, then you can easily bring those iMovie gems to a whole new luster by importing the events and projects you created in iMovie directly into Final Cut Pro. Once there, you can take advantage of all the high-end new features that iMovie could only aspire to have.

There are two ways to import iMovie assets into Final Cut Pro, either import just the iMovie Events, or import the iMovie projects. This tutorial explains how to do both.

Note:  To Import iMovie projects and events into Final Cut Pro you need to be using iMovie 8.x or higher.

Importing the iMovie Event Library 

Just as Final Cut Pro Events are the holding areas for video and other assets imported into FCP, iMovie events contain all the video that you imported into iMovie. If you only use iMovie video assets and start new projects from scratch, then importing just the iMovie Event Library is the way to go.

1. Launch Final Cut Pro.

2. In Final Cut Pro, click the Event Library making it the active window.


The Event Library should be active whenever you want to import assets.

3. From the Menu choose File > Import > iMovie Event Library.


A sheet will drop down to confirm that you want to import the iMovie Event Library and also indicate that if you have previously imported iMovie Events, only new Events will be imported this time.


4. In the confirmation sheet click Okay.

A new sheet appears displaying the status of the import, including the name of the iMovie Event being imported and a progress bar. Once the import is complete the Event Library is active again.


5. In the Event Library click on the newly imported Event (or events) to examine its contents.


All the video from you iMovie Event is now available for your Final Cut projects.

Importing iMovie Projects

You make and change your editing decisions in Final Cut Pro Projects, and you do the same in iMovie Projects. You can use the editing choices made in iMovie as a springboard to launch your video to the next level by leveraging the many new features in Final Cut Pro. Importing iMovie Projects not only brings those projects into Final Cut Pro, it also automatically imports the iMovie Events and media files related to those projects.

1. In Final Cut Pro click the Event Library to make it the active window. 

Note: Either the Event Library or the Project Library can be active when importing assets, events or projects.

2. From the Menu bar choose File > Import > iMovie Project.


The Import iMovie Project Dialog box will appear.

3. In the Import iMovie Project dialog, navigate to the folder that contains your iMovie projects (usually the Movies folder in your Home folder), click to select the project you want to import, then click Import.


Note:  You can import several projects at once by pressing the Command or Shift keys to add additional projects to the selection.

In Final Cut Pro a sheet drops down indicating that iMovie events needed by the iMovie Projects are being imported.


After that a new sheet will drop down indicating that the iMovie Project is being imported. The sheets will disappear once the import has completed.


4. In the Project Library, double-click on the newly imported project (or projects) to view it in the Final Cut Pro Timeline for further edits and adjustments.


As you can see, Final Cut Pro makes it simple to import and then enhance your iMovie Projects and give them new life wherever you choose to exhibit them.