iMovie and iDVD Guidelines

iMovie and iDVD are sophisticated video editing and production software that empower you to create complex projects. However, because the projects are complex and require significant storage (iMovie takes up 225 megabytes of hard disk space per minute of video), planning and preparation is important to insure a successful project.

Before starting an iMovie or iDVD project, we recommend that you consult with a Help Desk multimedia specialist to determine how to organize your project and handle different media formats. Consider these questions as you plan and lay out your project.


  • Can iMovie import clips from VHS tape?
  • What are the copyright issues?
  • Can iMovie import clips from DVD’s?
  • What are the copyright issues?
  • Is it possible to import video directly from a camcorder?
  • Can I import still photos to create a slideshow?
  • Can sound be added to this slideshow?
  • Will the slideshow be combined with video in the project?
  • Can I import movies such as QuickTime, MPEG-1, and AVI?


  • Should I burn projects to CD or DVD?
  • Can my project be exported as a movie for use in a PowerPoint presentation?
  • How can I link to this movie?
  • Can my project be exported for use on the Web?
  • What is the optimal playing size and length?
Projects should be saved to the media or data drives and not to the Macintosh HD system drive, which requires substantial free space to function without startup disk errors. Please contact the Help Desk to determine which drive has adequate storage for your project.
Due to, sometimes, massive storage requirements, iMovie and iDVD projects should be deleted as soon as a project is completed. Projects that have not been modified within two weeks will automatically be deleted. You can make special arrangements to extend the length of your project.

Burning DVD projects can take up a substantial time and thus occupies the computer from being used by someone else. Please contact the Help Desk so we can schedule a time for you to burn your project when the Multimedia Resource Lab is not busy.

At this time, projects can not easily be backed up because the files are so large, and we do not have space for them on the server. However, if your iMovie project is less than 10 minutes long, then data backup to DVD is possible (this is not the same as burning an iMovie project to DVD). You may also invest in a portable hard drive, although the cost is around $100 for a 500GB drive. We can not guarantee the safety of your project, although there has been little if any loss of data on shared drives.