What Should I Use to Edit My Movie?

In our lab we have three main pieces of video editing software: iMovie, Premiere Pro, and After Effects. Each one has its own strengths.


iMovie is bundled for free as part of MacOS. For free software, it’s very impressive. It has a simple interface. It’s capable of keying (green screen), video and sound editing, and a lot more. However, if you are trying to edit a more complex video, you will eventually be frustrated by its limitations. In the lab, iMovie is only used by the Keyboarding classes.

Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is a full featured, professional video editing program. Many television shows are edited with Premiere Pro. It’s very powerful, and less straightforward than iMovie. This is our standard editing software in the lab.

After Effects

After Effects is a specialized editor. You can easily edit an entire movie with it, but that’s easier to do in Premiere. Where After Effects is most use is (surprise!) adding effects to footage. You will edit most of your movie with Premiere, and import effects scenes from After Effects.

Other Editors

There are a lot of other video editing applications, including CapCut, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve. These are useful and powerful apps, but they are not available in the lab. you may edit at home with any software you like, but I expect all Digital Media students to be able to use Premiere Pro, and to be able to edit movies in the computer lab whenever asked.

Need Help?

I will show you how the applications in the lab work, and I will give you personal assistance when I am available, but don’t rely on me for every step of learning about these programs. Experiment! Ask other learners! When I can’t figure things out, I go to YouTube. There are free tutorials for almost any trick you might want to try. The most important thing about experimenting: save copies of your work. If something doesn’t do want you want, you can use saved copies to get rid of the problem.