Why would you want to do this?
The way iMovie seems you to want to work is;
- Create an Event
- Import clips
- Create Project
- Move clips to Project
This workflow is fine for modern cameras that split each recording into a separate file. But in the days of old analogue, most people with home camcorders had no way of defining the points where the camera was stopped and started.
So, when importing your old analogue videos into iMovie, you probably have one massive 2-3hr clip and this clip probably covers several events. Likely hood is you want to split this clip, inside the event, into several clips, so you can organise your home movie collection easier.
But it turns out you cant do this, you have 2 options for splitting events and clips.
When you have an clip in a project you can can highlight a point in the clip and click “Clip > Split Clip” (Command+Shift+S) and this will slice the file down to the millisecond. If you try to do this to a clip in an event, the option to split clip is greyed out.
You can split an event using “File > Split Event Before Selected Clip”, but this only works when your event has multiple clips. Yours doesn’t, that’s why your’e reading this.
Splitting a clip inside an event did not seem possible, which is kind of silly, I called Apple.
So, after speaking with Apple support, I was finally advised that I’m trying to do something that the program doesn’t support! and I’d need some kind of pro app to do it, well that’s just fucking dumb!
I found numerous people having this issue, most seem to agree with the analysis above as to how clever it is, not including this as an option. but there are 2 ways to get around this.
Method 1, Use Quicktime and trim it to save several videos. (I’ve not tried this, so i’m just paraphrasing someone else, if it doesn’t work say so in the comments)
- Export the movie from iMovie (or just use the main file you made when creating the copy of your analogue video)
- Open in Quicktime
- Click “Edit > Trim” and trim the movie to contain just the clip you want.
- Click “File > Save As….” and save it (make sure you choose a new file name, or you are overwriting the whole clip, which you will need again
- Re-open the full movie and use the trim option to create and save the next clip
- When you are done all your clips. Import them into iMovie
- Click on your even so that you can see the movie thumbnails in the edit view
- Click on the Clip where you want to put a break, you will see the yellow selection box appear.
- Drag the leftmost part of the box to the point right where you want to split the clip.
- Drag the rightmost part of the box to somewhere about a mili/micro/nano second after this (I think the smallest area you can select is a fill second)
- Then click “Edit > Reject Selection” this is also in the menu if you alt-click (right click) the yellow selection box, or just press backspace. (NOTE: Please be aware anything in this selection box you will lose and will be part of neither resulting clips, its quite likely that this is the point where the tape was stopped and started again anyway, so you probably have scan lines anyway. Just make it as small as possible and select an area you are happy with sacrificing)
- Now if you see the at the bottom, the drop down menu next to “Show:” Probably says “All Clips”, if you click this and select “Favourites and Unmarked”, you will already see the gaps as if these were separate clips. but they aren’t still. if you tray to drag one of these sections to a new event the whole piece will go as it is still one clip!
- Now, the Pièce de résistance, Click on “File > Move Rejected Clips to Trash. This will literally bin those rejected clips from earlier, (bye, bye, they are gone no coming back. I warned you in the note above, also you can still restore them from your Trash Bin until you empty it).
What you are left with is the parts between those rejected areas. But, what has been left is now split into separate clips! you can do whatever you like with these and treat them as they were always meant to be treated.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this useful. If you know a better method, please advise in the comments