No slo-mo in iMo '08

Reader Susan wonders about a feature that appears to be missing from iMovie ‘08. She writes:

In iMovie ‘08 I can’t seem to find the effects I had with the previous version of iMovie, specifically the slow-motion effect. What’s going on?

While iMovie HD and iMovie ‘08 share the same given name, their similarity pretty much ends there. They are two completely different applications and many of the features found in iMovie HD are missing in the latest version of iMovie (and, to be fair, there’s some vice versa here—iMovie ‘08 has some compelling features not found in the older version of the program). Regrettably, that slow-motion effect is one of the features missing in iMovie ‘08.

You have a couple of options. The first is to bid iMovie ‘08 adieu and return to the version of iMovie distributed with iLife ‘06. If the copy you had is gone, you can download a fresh copy from Apple’s website. iMovie HD and iMovie ‘08 will live in harmony in your Applications folder so you needn’t delete iMovie ‘08 when you install the older version.

The other option is to continue working in iMovie ‘08, extract the clip you want to slow down, slow it down, and then bring the sloth-like version back into iMovie. Karsten Schluter explains the process on this page. Here’s the gist:

First, locate your clip. You do this by selecting the clip in iMovie’s Event Library pane. In the clip pane to the right, Control-click (Right-click) on the clip and choose Reveal in Finder from the contextual menu. The Mac switches to the Finder to reveal the highlighted clip.

Now download a copy of Jan Schotsman’s free JES Deinterlacer. JES Deinterlacer has a few talents but the one we’re specifically interested in is its ability to slow down or speed up a movie file. To do this, open your clip in the program (just drag it to the application icon), click the Project tab, and edit the Movie Speed field. If you’d like the movie to play half as fast, for example, enter .5 in this field. A tenth as fast would merit a .1 entry. You can leave the other settings alone.

Select the Output tab, click the Put button, choose a location for your slowed-down clip, and click the OK button at the bottom of the window. JES Deinterlacer will export your clip in slo-mo.

Now simply import the edited clip into iMovie ‘08 and edit at will.

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