4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 28, 2013 5:53 AM by John Cogdell
gtrclimb Level 1 (0 points)

If I make a video on my iPhone, import it into iPhoto, and then open it in iMovie by clicking on the iPhoto video folder, does iMovie copy the video from iPhoto or does it make a shortcut/alias for that video file? In other words, do I end up having two full-size files of that video or does iMovie simply make a shortcut to the original iPhoto file?

iMovie '11, iOS 6.1.4
  • gtrclimb Level 1 (0 points)

    I ask this because my hard drive is filling up quicker than I thought it would, and I was wondering if I had duplicate video files for iPhoto and iMovie.


    I suspect that iMovie does in fact make a copy of the original file. The reason I think this is because I can delete the video file from the "iPhoto movies" folder found in iMovie, but when I open iPhoto up, the movie is still present...and so this makes me assume that the deleted iMovie file had no affect on the "same" iPhoto video file.


    If this is the case, is there a way to make iMovie either (1) move the video file or (2) make a shortcut to the iPhoto file?

  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 (19,450 points)



    Both !


    Most often iMovie just points to where Audio and Photos and Video are stored = if material then is moved all links are broken and hard to impossibly to mend.


    So I do use one external hard disk - and makes copies of all (Not Aliases) material just in case.


    While doing so (as iMovie usually does) it doesn't take up any more space and this is VERY IMPORTANT regarding iMovie projects - as Here NOTHING is stored or copied - so if original material in iPhoto, iTunes or wherever is deleted - project too are gone - most often forever.


    So Safety Copies are to me very important !


    Sometime material is stored in iMovie (somewhere) and I think that if You Finalize a movie project - a real movie file is made (I never use that function as it more often gives problems and this takes lot's of space)


    Yours Bengt W

  • John Cogdell Level 5 (4,605 points)

    If you right-click (or control-click) on a clip in the iPhoto Videos Event in iMovie's Event Library, then select "Reveal in Finder" from the pop-up menu, you will be taken to the actual video clip in the iPhoto Library. The clip will be in one of the folders in the Masters folder within the iPhoto Library folder.


    So, in answer to your question, iMovie doesn't copy the clip but simply references (point to) the clip in your iPhoto Library - there is no duplication. If you delete the clip from iPhoto it will no longer appear in iMovies Event Library in the iPhoto Videos Event. Any projects that you had created from that clip will no longer work, as they in turn reference the clips in the Event.



  • John Cogdell Level 5 (4,605 points)

    Also meant to add: You can import the clip from your iPhone directly into an Event in iMovie, bypassing iPhoto altogether.


    Connect the iPhone by USB to your Mac (using the standard charger cable) and select File>Import from Camera from iMovie's menu. iMovie will treat your iPhone as a camera.