There are some basic steps to creating a digital story in iMovie.

First, you need images.

  • Take your own pictures and store them on your computer (via iPhoto or in a folder on your desktop). 
  • Would you like to use the images of the Norris School for a story? Go ahead and download what you need from this folder.
  • Or how about a folder that Mike Flynn left behind? There's no real rhyme or reason for the collection but there are some pretty nifty images. Download from this folder.
  • Or use online sources to gather images (remember to cite sources if you are publishing)
  • Move images into iMovie with the "picture" icon (it looks like a camera) or (even easier) you can drag images into the project itself.
  • You can use the "Ken Burns effect" tool in iMovie, to sweep and pan across images for effect. See this tutorial for how to do that.
Second, you need to add audio narration, or your voice.
  • What's your story? (Write out your script. Try not to wing it. Use a storyboard to sequence your ideas. Using notecards for your script can be a handy tool -- each card contains the narration for each image)
  • Use the built-in microphone on your Mac or you can hook up an external microphone.
  • Click on the microphone icon and then click on the image you want to add voice to.
  • Speak. Listen. Revise.
  • You may need to adjust and re-adjust the length of the image to coordinate with the length of your narration. You do this by clicking on the image itself and adjusting the time.
Third, you need to add background music.
  • Feel free to use music from this shared folder.
  • Make your own loop track in Garageband (see tutorial)
  • Use music from your iTunes library
    • A hint: don't use a song with singing. It is too intrusive.
  • Download songs and/or sound effects from a site like Freeplay Music
    • Add the song to your iTunes library or drag the MP3 file into your project
    • You will need to sign up for an account but then choose "educational license" when you download a song and it won't cost you a penny.
  • Use the music icon in iMovie to find your song and drag it into your file. Or if the file is on your desktop, just drag the file right into iMovie.
Finally, you create the Digital Story video itself by using the "export" command. This creates your project into a video file.


Here is a great visual tutorial created by Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano, whose blog is entitled Langwitches.