How to Flip Videos in iMovie

By Robert Gidley

Why would you flip a movie? Flipping lets you subtly change the impact of the visual image. If the movie shows motion, having it move from left to right makes it seem natural (since we read from left to right). Flipping the motion so it moves right to left will make the motion seem slower. Similarly, having a spokesperson on the right side of the screen is a stronger visual position than having him on the left. You can flip just sections of a movie, too, which gives you greater control over the final product.

Things You'll Need

  • iMovie 09 (part of the iLife 09 suite of applications)

Step 1

Open the project you want to work with in iMovie or create a new project.You can only flip movies when they are in projects--you cannot flip the original clip.

Step 2

Drag the clip into the project.

Step 3

Move the cursor over the clip, and a menu with a gear appears on it.

Step 4

Click on the "Gear" menu and a pull-down menu appears. Choose "Clip Adjustments" from this menu.

Step 5

An "Inspector" window appears. Click on the big button labeled "None" next to "Video Effect."

Step 6

Click on "Flip," which is the second from the left on the top row. You can move your cursor over the clip to move back and forth through the clip with the effect applied, so you can preview what it will look like.

Step 7

The "Inspector" window appears again, only now "Flipped" appears next to "Video Effect." Click on the "Done" button in the lower right corner to finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check to make sure that no words are visible in the movie. If you flip a movie that contains words, then it's very obvious that flipping has occurred.The image appears unflipped in the project window (on the left). The preview window (on the right) correctly shows the flipped image.Note that Apple updates and changes how the iLife programs work with each release, so this procedure may not apply to earlier versions of iMovie.