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How to make trailers in iMovie on Mac and iOS

Written by Hassan Abbas

Make trailers in iMovie on Mac and iOS: When you create a new project in iMovie, you have two options. You can make a trailer or a movie. While most times movies are the way to go because you’ll create magic from scratch, trailers have their advantages too.

With a trailer, you’ll begin with a template and work with a shot list,  storyboard, outline. This structure gives you a way to create a professional-looking movie trailer.

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

Make Your Movie Trailer in iMovie

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

  • Create and edit trailers on Mac
    • Just pick your trailer
    • Edit and create your trailer
    • Play your trailer
  • Create and edit trailers on iOS
    • Pick your trailer
    • Edit and create your trailer
    • Play your trailer

Create and Edit trailers on Mac

Add-New-Trailer-iMovie-Mac (1)

Pick your trailer

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

Step 1:

Click the plus sign for Create New and pick Trailer.

Step 2:

When the (Trailers template) window opens, simply browse the collection. Each template shows the number of cast members you’ll need and the length of the trailer. You can also preview one by selecting it and clicking the Play button.

Step 3:

Select the template you want and click Create.

Create And Edit Your Trailer

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


Click each line in the Outline tab for the movie name, date, studio, and credits.

iMovie-Trailer-Outline-Mac (1)

You can have some fun with this area by creating a movie studio with your family name on it. Selecting the logo style for the studio, making yourself the director, and much more.


In the Storyboard area, you’ll enter the media and text clips for each of the sections. You can see how long each photo you add will seem on the screen and its layout for each section, which makes it easier to sketch out the storyboard.

iMovie-Trailer-Storyboard-Mac (1)

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

To add images, either click the shot at the bottom in the section you want it and double-click an image from the top. Or drag from the top and drop at the bottom where you want it.

Shot List

The Shot List holds all of the images that you put into your trailer. So, as you add images and such, you can move to the Shot List and see them all categorized. You’ll see action shots, closeups, landscapes and more.

iMovie-Trailer-Shot-List-Mac (1)

If you want to add images to the Shot List you can create your trailer that way too. The images in the Shot List will show up in your Storyboard in the trailer’s designated spots.

Play Your Trailer

You can play your trailer throughout its creation to see the progress and make adjustments. Tap the Play button in the Viewer or hit the Play Full-Screen button to see it larger.

Play-iMovie-Trailer-Mac (1)

To start playing your trailer from a particular spot, move your cursor to the location in the Storyboard. Then, play the trailer.

Create And Edit Trailers on iOS

Pick your trailer

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

Step 1:

Tap the plus sign and pick Trailer.

Step 2:

When the Trailers template window opens, browse the collection. You can preview one by selecting it and tapping the Play button.

Step 3:

Choose the template you want and tap Create.

Create-New-Trailer-iMovie-iPhone-768x678 (1)

Create and Edit your Trailer 

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

  • Click Outline and give your movie a name, pick the studio logo, and add the credits.
  • Tap Storyboard and then type in what you want for the text clips. Tap an image spot and then select a photo and it will pop right in.
  • You can make adjustments to the photos if you need to in the Storyboard section. Tap a photo to edit it by dragging or pinching to zoom, adding the Ken Burns Effect, or removing the photo

Play Your Trailer

To see your trailer as you’re working on it, you can tap the Play button on the right. This will play your trailer in the Viewer at the top.

iMovie-Trailer-Outline-Storyboard-iPhone-768x678 (1)

To see a full-screen view, tap the Play button on the left.


Creating a trailer in iMovie is the best way to enjoy your images. And with the help of templates for family, romance, scary, and more you should be able to find one that fits your photos.

Are you going to give a try creating a trailer in iMovie? Let us know what type of trailer you’ll make!

Also Read: Guide to Install macOS Catalina on an Unsupported Macs

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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