I was just revisiting this question. A few years back, I decided to import all movie files directly into iMovie - based on a simplistic reasoning that that is where movies belong! Today, I realized that I can't see the meta-data for the clip files in iMovie. So, years from now, the when and where will be lost. But, in iPhoto, the data is there! Unless someone tells me I'm sacrificing quality of video, I think I'll always import to iPhoto. I can also view the clips easily on my Apple TV - directly from my shared iPhoto Library, without any editing necessary. What say ye?
I'm going to have to test this after the holidays. But I'm in the same boat and I see the family using iPhoto to manage it all. iMovie for production. If I can't get it out of iPhoto ( a problem in the past ) directly into iMovie, I can see this as an issue. I imported it into iMovie, and then added it to iPhoto (a lot of work) just to get around this issue. Now it seems like I can always go from iPhoto to iMovie even if originally imported by iPhoto.
I plan on importing all the upcoming holiday footage both ways and see:
1. Can everything be brought into iMovie directly from iPhoto?
2. Do I lose any quality?
3. Total disk space used
4. Finding clips: People, places, etc.
5. Speed of edit/production in iMovie
I'll post a follow up with the results.
If you create a movie using data from iPhoto, DO NOT EVER delete, move, or modify the data in iPhoto. iMovie uses the data in iPhoto and does not copy it. Once you share the movie as a separate file you should be OK, but whilst it is in an Event or Project in iMovie it is still using the one source of data.