Charles Haddad, who writes the “Byte of the Apple” column for Business Week, loves iMovie 2. And his teenage son is a walking testament to the product’s ease of use.
“At age 13, he has already produced, directed, and distributed nearly a dozen movies,” Haddad writes in his latest column. “All this from a studio that’s no bigger than a tissue box and sits nearly half-buried amid desktop clutter. And he releases his movies through a nationwide network of friends and relatives strung together through the Internet.”
Haddad said that iMovie 2 is doing for desktop video what Macs initially did for desktop publishing — turning a formerly expensive and cumbersome process into one nearly anyone can figure out and afford.
“My son uses a G4 Cube, an Internet connection through America Online, and a 10-gigabyte hard drive,” he writes. “Thus equipped, he has made, to take just one example, a chronicle of the daily life of our cat, complete with narration, music, and sound effects.”
Haddad said his son is making movies up to five minutes long “with an ease unimaginable in my college filmmaking class of 25 years ago.” While admitting that you can’t make a commercial movie — or even a 30-second TV ad — with iMovie, Haddad added that you can tackle “elaborate image and sound edits” on a Mac with such tools as Apple’s own Final Cut Pro or Adobe’s Premier.
To use iMovie 2, you need a Mac with at least a G3 running at 300 MHz, Mac OS 9.04 (or higher), a minimum of 64MB of RAM, 200MB of hard-disk space, a digital camcorder and a FireWire port. If you haven’t bought a new Mac that comes with iMovie 2, you can buy it from the Apple Web site for US$49.
“If you’ve always loved to play with video and wondered whether to upgrade your Mac, iMovie2 provides just the excuse you’ve been looking for,” Haddad said.