• Hollyn Gayle

How to Edit Reels and TikToks in iMovie

Updated: Feb 1

If you work in social media, you probably already spend a ton of time on your phone. A great way to give yourself a break from your cell phone is to try and edit your videos on a computer. Whenever I create Reels or TikToks for Media A La Carte, I like to cut them together in iMovie. I feel like I can get more precise transitions, I have a bigger screen to work on, and it gives my thumbs a break. I'm going to take you through a step - by - step guide of how to edit your Reels in iMovie without them turning into a horizontal video and keeping them as vertical videos that perform well on Reels and TikToks.


1. Record all of your footage using the camera app on your phone - not the Instagram or TikTok app. Then Airdrop all of the footage to your Mac, and open up iMovie.


2. Click on "Create New" and then select "Movie".

3. Drag the clips you want to use into the timeline of iMovie.

4. Now drag around your clips to get them in the order you want. Then adjust the length of your clips, trimming the beginnings and ends off so no one sees you starting or ending the recordings on your phone.


5. Now adjust the speed of any clips you want to make faster or slower.


6. You can add in your voiceovers on iMovie as well. Use your cursor to click where you want the voiceover to start. Then click the microphone in the bottom left of the preview window. Click the red record button, and iMovie will give you a 3,2,1 countdown. When you're done with your recording, click the red record button again to stop recording. You can adjust the length of your audio clip when you're done recording as well.

7. At this point you can drag music down from your audio tab to add to the background of the video. Make sure to adjust the music volume by dragging the volume level bar on the audio clips so we can clearly hear you talking over the music.

BONUS TIP🔥: Instead of adding music now, try adding in a trending sound when you upload your video to Reels or TikTok from their music libraries. This can help your video get more views.


8. When you're happy with your audio and clips, highlight every single video clips. Then click on the crop symbol in the preview window. Then rotate all of your clips to the right. This is going to make sure that the video will still take up the full phone screen.


9. At this point you could export your video by clicking the share button in the top right corner, but we're going to take it one step further by adding in our captions.


10. Head over to Canva and open a blank Instagram Reels template. Type in your caption with any fonts and colors that match your brand. Then download as a PNG with a transparent background.


11. Open the PNG in Preview (default app most Macs will use when you open an image file), click "Tools", and click "Rotate Right" - just like we did with the video clips in step 8.


12. Now drag the PNG into iMove (just like we did with the video clips in step 3). Drag it on top of the video clip it corresponds to.


13. While still having the PNG selected, click the crop button in the preview window, and select "Fit".


14. Then select the Video Overlay Setting tab in the preview window. In the drop down menu on the right - select "Picture in Picture". Then make sure the Dissolve is set to 0.

15. Now use the small blue corners of the PNG to adjust the PNG until it's the size you want. Then drag it to where you want it on the video. If you hate adjusting when your captions pop up on a constantly looping Reel in Instagram's editing features - these extra steps will be a game changer for you.


16. Repeat steps 10 - 15 for as many captions as you need to add.


17. Now click the export button in the top right corner, and select the file option. Label it and export it to a place you know you can find it. Exporting to my Desktop works well for me because I always know where to find the video for the next step.


19. When it's done exporting, open up your video in Quicktime (most Macs default to this when you open a video). Click the edit tab, and select "Rotate Left". Begin exiting out of the video, and Quicktime will prompt you to re-save the video now that you've rotated it. Give it a new title and save it.

And you're all done. This video is ready to upload into Reels or TikTok as is. You don't have to add in your captions or adjust any clips with Instagram or TikToks editing features. This method certainly isn't for everyone, but if you're looking to break away from your cellphone during content creation - this is definitely something you want to try.


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