Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Jul 20, 2014 5:32 PM by betholson
CMBP Level 1 (30 points)

I  have been working on a project for several weeks, but on booting up this morning i find the named project missing although all the other projects and event clips were there. I looked in the trash, I looked back over several days in Time Machine which backs up every hour, I searched in Finder under the project name.  Nothing ! Yet everything else was there on a day by day basis.  I find this totally weird as nothing else is missing, just all the many week's work in putting all this together. I can not recall doing anything untoward and have worked steadily on a repetitive process daily.  How can something just vanish even in the external hard drive backup ? Does anyone have any suggestions ?   I can obviously start the whole project again, but the weeks of work that went into it will be frustrating, and surely it must be somewhere.

iMac (20-inch Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), imovie 11
  • greenblue1144 Level 2 (155 points)

    Um, recheck throughly in Tim-Machine. It should be there. Did someone use your computer? Things don't usually just happen like that. Try calling Apple Support. Hope you get it resolved!

  • John Cogdell Level 5 (4,605 points)

    Unfortunately I can't help you solve this problem, but just wanted to let you know that I recently experienced a similar issue.


    Oddly enough, my project appears in the Finder in the folder <my user name>/Movies/iMovie Projects but does not show up in the iMovie app in the Project Library. The clips were originally imported to Final Cut Pro X in ProRes 422 format. This format can also be edited with iMovie, and I chose to do the editing in iMovie as it was a reasonably straightforward project. Therefore, I imported the clips to an Event in iMovie as ProRes 422.


    My attempt to open the project from the Finder (Open with > did not work. iMovie opened but the project did not appear. Attempting to import and open it in Final Cut Pro X caused this app to crash. So, I'm assuming the project is corrupted. As I mentioned, the project is NOT listed in the Project Library in iMovie, although it is listed in the Finder in the iMovie Projects folder (weird)!


    This is the only time I've imported ProRess 422 clips into iMovie. The editing was progressing well - spread over a few days, off and on, and nothing very complex was involved. Unfortunately I had turned off Time Machine while editing (that's another story), something I normally wouldn't do. So I don't have a backup.


    My thinking has been that the problem may have been caused by using ProRes 422 clips in iMovie, as I had not used that format previously in iMovie. But it may have been a pure coincidence. Usually, when using iMovie, I import as Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) and have not seen the "disappearing project" problem before (and I've edited dozens of projects with all versions of iMovie).


    Just curious - what format did your project use? Was it AIC?


    As I already have all the clips imported as ProRes 422, I'm going to re-edit the project in Final Cut Pro X. When next using iMovie I will stick with the AIC format as I've always had succes with that.


    I tried various "fixes", such as deleting iMovie's preference file, repairing permissions, etc. but to no avail. Hope you have better luck, and sorry to hear that you seem to have lost weeks of work. Hopefully someone here can help you.



  • CMBP Level 1 (30 points)

    Thanks for that John.  Sorry about the delay in getting back to you, I have been somewhat distracted by the cyclonic weather here in sunny(?) Queensland.  You are getting a tad esoteric for me talking about codecs. I have a Sony handy cam which produces video in AVCHD format (HQ). Codecs and file names have always confused me and I would like to get my head around them a little better as there are so many of them. I had never heard of ProRes 422 and on looking it up, was no wiser as there are several kinds I discover. In fact I had never heard of AIC and found that it either stood for Advanced Image Coding or alternatively, Apple Intermediate Codec......... You can see why I am confused !  I just download (with difficulty sometimes as I have discovered that I must close down iphoto otherwise the whole lot can finish in the wrong place ! ) the video from my camera into imovie 11  OS Snow Leopard.  What the computer then does with it has always been a mystery as presumably it converts the material into MOV. Is that similar to MPEG?    I don't quite know why video has to be "finalised" before it can be shared either.  I just wish I could find a good article that explains some of these things. It a bit like driving car. The operation is straightforward, but it always helps to know how the engine and gear box works.........Anyway, I do thank you for your help and sympathy and am now in the process of starting the whole project again. It might not be as bad as it first seemed as I am familiar with this particular editing procedure although finding all the event clips is proving a headache as they are scattered everywhere on my computer !

  • John Cogdell Level 5 (4,605 points)

    Just a quick reply as I have to go out shortly.


    I hope that you are not too badly affected by the Queensland weather. It's a real disaster for many people there.


    When your AVCHD clips from your Sony camera are imported, iMovie converts them to the Apple Intermediate Codec (referred to as the AIC format). This process converts the clips to a more suitable format for editing, as the compressed video is expanded to full frames. See this User Tip by AppleMan1958 for a full explanation of the AVCHD format and AIC:



    The ProRes 422 format is the main format used in Apple's Final Cut Pro X application (far more advanced than iMovie). iMovie can also edit this format, provided the codec is installed on the Mac.


    Projects don't have to be finalised before sharing. Finalising simply publishes a movie in each of the supported sizes for the media (clips) you are editing. For example, Medium, Large, HD 720p, HD 1080p. Just share in the size you want - no need to finalise unless you want all the available sizes. It will be much quicker just sharing at the one size.


    I will get back to you later with some more information, particularly regarding some articles and Help topics that you may find useful. Have to go now!



  • CMBP Level 1 (30 points)

    Thanks for that John.   The sun is out up here now...Just a bit of sweeping up to do.  I looked at Apple Man's link and found it useful together with your explanation. I always thought that every project had to be finalised before I could export it anywhere. Presumably NOT finalising saves a lot of time ?  There is so much taken fror granted in this field and it is so hard to find simple straight forward details that seem to be essential in understanding and knowing all the ins and outs. I created and emailed two video clips to a friend of mine recently and I edited and compressed them in what I thought was exactly the same way, but they turned out in very different ways.  Who knows what I did that created different file sizes. Anyway I look forward to hearing from you again should you have anything further to say on the subject.

  • John Cogdell Level 5 (4,605 points)

    Back again!


    See the following forum discussion, where AppleMan1958 provides a number of links to iMovie Tutorials. Some relate to earlier versions of iMovie, but are mostly still relevant to the current version - iMovie '11 (the latest update being 9.0.8).



    Earlier you said "finding all the event clips is proving a headache as they are scattered everywhere on my computer". So, aren't the event clips in the Event Library? From your original post I understood that you had lost the project (as has happened to me). Are you now saying that the event clips have also disappeared from the Library? In my case, all the event clips are intact in the Event Library - it's just the project which does not appear in the Project Library (although it is shown in the Finder as I described earlier).


    Good luck with your re-edit - hope it all goes well. Enjoy the reading (and viewing of video tutorials)!



  • CMBP Level 1 (30 points)

    In my effort to find my original project I went to the extreme of trying to organise my files better and I made a mess of the whole lot trying to put different files in different places to make things easier to find. I made a mess of it. so it is entirely my fault, but a steep learning curve ! Everything is there. It is just a case of remembering where I had put it !

  • John Cogdell Level 5 (4,605 points)

    OK - fully understand now! The important thing is to ensure that all the files are placed in your user folder Movies/iMovie Events. When iMovie is next opened it should see these files and they will be listed in the Event Library. Otherwise you will need to import them into a new event or events - that's probably a better option (in iMovie select File > Import ⇒ Movies)


    Let us know if you have further problems wiith any of this.



  • CMBP Level 1 (30 points)

    Thanks for that.  I have found that I have to put the file I want into import from either the movie/project/events file, into a separate file because for some reason it won't allow me to get it direct from the project/events file for some reason. It only became a problem when I had to started re-editing. I started trying to file "favourites" etc in different places to make retrieval "easier".....It was a mug's game and when I got myself confused.   My own stupid fault.  A trap for young players.  Incidentally You mentioned that you used Final Cut.  How do you like this because I am told it is quite hard to get your head around unless you work on it constantly or professionally. I was talking to the guy in the camera store and he prefers Adobe Premier.  Says it is easier to use than imovie. I guess it's all personal prejudice in the end and what one is used to.  I am already finding imovie 11 is not able to do some of the things I want it to do, but I'm not sure I am quite ready to get into another learning curve just yet.

  • CMBP Level 1 (30 points)

    I seem to be back to square one again. I can't import  my projects or my events.  They are either  all greyed out or I try to import and all they do is duplicate themselves in the  respective files !  I tried to drag and drop into another file which worked once but doesn't now. I tried  Camera archive and all I get is my Sony camera which I don't understand. I tried imovie iOS project and imovie HD project. What is the difference because none of them enabled me to import anything either from projects or events. I have spent the last 3 hours trying to import something trying every combination of methods, all to no avail, so I need more help

  • John Cogdell Level 5 (4,605 points)

    Hi CMBP,


    Sorry it's taken a few days to get back to you. I've been busy re-editing and exporting the project I had "lost", among other things. All is well now. I did most of the work in Final Cut Pro X but then had trouble with the background rendering and FCP X freezing. So, had to remove some effects, titles and transitions, then finish the job in iMovie. My "client" (family friend) is very happy with the final product (a 50th wedding anniversary). So all's well that ends well.


    Earlier you asked about Final Cut Pro X and mentioned Adobe Premiere as the preferred choice of a camera store guy. As you appear to be fairly new to video editing, my advice would be to persevere with iMovie. It's quite an easy program to use once you get the hang of how things work. Your earlier reading of information in the links I provided should help with this. Final Cut Pro X is an amazing piece of work, but there is quite a learning curve, being far more complex than iMovie. You can move up to this once you feel comfortable with iMovie. FCP X has a similar interface to iMovie '11, but there is lots more going on under the hood! I can't comment on Adobe Premiere as I've never used it.


    I'm still confused as to what you've done with your iMovie Events (not to mention Projects!). If you have moved them out of the iMovie Events folder in the Finder, they must be returned there, otherwise iMovie will not recognize them. One way of doing this is to drag Event clips into iMovie's Drop Box. When iMovie is next opened, you will be given the opportunity to import these clips into an iMovie Event (either a new one or an existing one). I've inserted below the Help article from iMovie Help (italicised and in quotes):


    "Import video from iMovie Drop Box

    When you import video into iMovie the first time, iMovie creates a folder on your hard disk called iMovie Drop Box.

    You can copy or save video files to this drop box without opening iMovie. To find the drop box folder on your hard disk, go to your home folder/Movies/iMovie Events. In the Finder window, the home folder has the house icon to the left of its name.

    Every time you launch iMovie, it checks if there are new files in the drop box and if so, it asks you if you want to import them into iMovie. The drop box is a convenient way to save files to your computer quickly without having to import them into iMovie right away.

    To import files from iMovie Drop Box:

    1. Open iMovie.iMovie detects if you have new items in the drop box that haven’t yet been imported.
    2. In the dialog that opens, do any of the following:
      • To add the files to an existing Event, select “Add to existing Event” and then choose an options from the pop-up menu.
      • To create a new Event with the files, select “Create new Event” and then type a name in the text field.
      • If you’re importing HD video, select “Optimize video,” and then choose Full or Large from the pop-up menu.
    3. Click Import.


    The files now appear in iMovie, within the Event you specified at the time the files were imported."


    You said in your last post: "I tried  Camera archive and all I get is my Sony camera which I don't understand. I tried imovie iOS project and imovie HD project. What is the difference because none of them enabled me to import anything either from projects or events."


    Camera Archive is a very important feature in iMovie that allows you to archive the original footage from your camera. It's essential to do this so that you can always go back to the archive if things go amiss with the Events in iMovie and you no longer have the clips on your camera. The clips are stored in an Archive folder in their original AVCHD format. These can be imported at any time to an iMovie Event and will be converted to the AIC format, ready for editing in a Project (as I described in an earlier post here). To import from a Camera Archive, from iMovie's menu select File > Import ⇒ Camera Archive then navigate to the Archive folder to select the clips for import. You can get more information from iMovie Help - search for "Make a back-up copy (archive) of the contents of your camcorder".


    Regarding iMovie iOS projects - these relate to clips taken with an iPhone or iPad that have been edited in those devices using the iMovie for iOS app. The edited project can be imported to iMovie on your Mac for further work if desired. An iMovie HD project is a project that has been edited on an earlier version of iMovie (either iMovie HD - version 5, or iMovie HD - version 6). Both these versions work quite differently, and have a completely different interface, to the later versions (iMovie '08 through iMovie '11). The earlier versions (up to iMovie HD 6) are no longer supported by Apple, but Apple had the foresight to allow the earlier projects to be imported to the current version (although in a limited form).


    Hope all this helps to clarify things for you. Please post back if you need more information or help.



  • CMBP Level 1 (30 points)

    Thanks for that long and detailed reply. I shall examine more closely in due course and get back to you. I think you are absolutely right about sticking with imovie. I should get conversant and happy with one application before moving onwards and upwards to something else which, by the sound of it, would be beyond me at the moment.  How did you guess I'm pretty new to all this !!! You may see a further post that I submitted today regarding formats. Apart from the total mess I have made of my filing system, formats also confuse me and I have foolishly tried to solve my problems by converting. I think this must be a mistake, but I won't repeat myself here if you care to look at what I have written. You have kindly given me something to work on but after another very frustrating day, I am having a rest and will tackle it all again termorra.    cheers  Chris

  • John Cogdell Level 5 (4,605 points)

    Thanks Chris. I did see your other post just after I had posted my reply above. Sorry it was a bit long, but there was quite a bit of ground to cover!


    I'm considering a response to your other post about formats, but just a bit caught up with things at the moment (also have to collect my thoughts). Possibly someone else here will respond before I get to it, and explain it better than I'm able to (c'mon AppleMan)! It is quite a complicated and confusing area. In the good old days we only had to worry about DV and HDV (using miniDV tapes).




  • CMBP Level 1 (30 points)

    I do thank you for your detailed replies and patience.   I am learning a lot that just doesn't get discussed in books and I have to know where to where to look for it.   I presume that it is really essential to import all video clips from the camera initially into the archive first and then import them from there into events.  I tried this and noticed that after archiving, I still had the opportunity of selecting the clips i wanted in the same way as I am able to direct from the camera.  Incidentally, whenever I connect my camera (Sony XR350VE) to my computer it always boots up and wants to import into iphoto, but this is a minor irritation I am used to now.  I still don't know what AVF info, DCIM, Model CFC, IND (greyed out) and PRIVATE are in the archive.  There is a whole lot of esoteric stuff isn't there ?..... The bit about FCP X freezing went over my head too !  Although I have had trouble myself trying to co-ordinate and "tickle" sound tracks, only to have to start again.    I now understand the use of the drop-box.   Actually i confused it with an existing "drop-box" application that I also have on my imac which didn't help.  Anyway I have dragged some of my clips into imovie drop box which is the first move in cleaning up my filing system.  Being of an acquisitive nature and a hoarder, hating to throw anything away in case I want it in the future, I have a dedicated external hard drive on which I am now placing a lot of the rubbish not being used in current projects to enable a bit more space on the Mac HD. Hopefully I should be able to virtually start again with a clean slate.  I anticipate buying another desk top computer sometime this year, which is why I haven't updated to Mountain Lion, apart from the fact that several apps including my accounting programme would be lost... It depends how full the money box is.  If you have the time to look at my further question about formats and file types, I should be very appreciative, as I am with everything you have advanced so far.  Cheers  Chris

Previous 1 2 Next