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Question: imovie not exporting video to file (error 10004)

I've just finished working on a 3 minute video @720p. The video runs fine within iMovie but I can't export it no matter what setting I try to use. The error message states "video render frame failed:10004". Any ideas??


I'm running iMovie 10.1.7 on a MacBook air with Sierra 10.12.5.

MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015), macOS Sierra (10.12.5)

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This render error means there is a problem with one or more clips in your project. First thing to try is to skim slowly through the project looking for any anomalies such as flashes or othr glitches and replace the clip having the issue. If you can not find anything obvious then I would duplicate the project, open the duplicate in the timeline and delete half of the clips. Then try to share. If it works then the problem is in the other half. If it fails then the problem is in the half you have and you can split it and repeat the process until you find the bad clip. Then replace that clip in the original project. Another option to try is to copy your timeline and paste it into a new project just in case the project is corrupted. Hope this helps solve your problem.

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Oct 8, 2017 3:00 AM in response to hhwwrr In response to hhwwrr

After severe attempts I found a workaround that works for me flawlessly, even if it is not so elegant.


In my attempts I get the error every time, no matter of the number of clips that I've on my timeline. For instance, let's assume that I've two files (A and B) on my library, and I want to merge them. I place both on the timeline and I try to export them. The error may appear at the very beginning of the process, or during the transition between A and B. The simple workaround is just to cut/delete the first frames of the A and B clips. Doing so the export process runs smoothly.


In more detail, the issue appears every time you try to render the first frames of any video. If you remove them, the export process runs fine.


Hope this will help!

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Question marked as Apple recommended

Oct 2, 2017 4:36 PM in response to hhwwrr In response to hhwwrr

This render error means there is a problem with one or more clips in your project. First thing to try is to skim slowly through the project looking for any anomalies such as flashes or othr glitches and replace the clip having the issue. If you can not find anything obvious then I would duplicate the project, open the duplicate in the timeline and delete half of the clips. Then try to share. If it works then the problem is in the other half. If it fails then the problem is in the half you have and you can split it and repeat the process until you find the bad clip. Then replace that clip in the original project. Another option to try is to copy your timeline and paste it into a new project just in case the project is corrupted. Hope this helps solve your problem.

Oct 2, 2017 4:36 PM

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Oct 3, 2017 4:11 PM in response to hhwwrr In response to hhwwrr

I have the same issue since the update - I can't even export movies I have previously exported - no matter what I do with settings, edits or duration it will not export my files - used to work fine before the update. Help - I use this for work, can't get anything done.

Oct 3, 2017 4:11 PM

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Oct 5, 2017 11:55 AM in response to hhwwrr In response to hhwwrr

Same issue here. One video clip, accompanied by an mp3. the audio is placed in there 3 times with a small overlap. Exports about 10 seconds. Doesn't correlate with any transition what so ever. Those are further down the road. #iNomovie

Oct 5, 2017 11:55 AM

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Oct 5, 2017 2:15 PM in response to hhwwrr In response to hhwwrr

Update: I performed a clean install of High Sierra. Up to now, the problem seems gone. I've exported (to file) 7 videos: 2 with clips coming from only one video, and 5 with clips coming from 2 different videos.


However, compared to my previous attempts when High Sierra was installed as an upgrade of Sierra, also the following things changed:

- I didn't test yet the files that gave me error in my "upgrade-installation" (sorry, I didn't have time).

- The menu bar is always shown. In the previous attempt the manu bar on the top was set to auto-hiding.

- I'm exporting keeping the lid of my MacBook open, otherwise the creation process become very slow and the machine starts to lag while opening folders, app, etc.


Someone could test the last two points of my list, please? If nothing work, I will try to export the files that gave me error in my previous installation, but I will do it during the week-end. During the week-end I will also try to export videos with clips coming from more than 2 files.


Anyway, I will keep you informed.

Oct 5, 2017 2:15 PM

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Oct 6, 2017 1:05 AM in response to hhwwrr In response to hhwwrr

I'm having the exact same problem now after updating iMovie and upgrading to High Sierra 😒 Clips that worked well before and I had no problem exporting now encounter this problem. Some look damaged as seen on the image below:


User uploaded file

When I remove this part, it exports fine. But this still wasn't a problem before the update and it's frustrating to lose that part of the clip.

Oct 6, 2017 1:05 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Oct 8, 2017 3:00 AM in response to hhwwrr In response to hhwwrr

After severe attempts I found a workaround that works for me flawlessly, even if it is not so elegant.


In my attempts I get the error every time, no matter of the number of clips that I've on my timeline. For instance, let's assume that I've two files (A and B) on my library, and I want to merge them. I place both on the timeline and I try to export them. The error may appear at the very beginning of the process, or during the transition between A and B. The simple workaround is just to cut/delete the first frames of the A and B clips. Doing so the export process runs smoothly.


In more detail, the issue appears every time you try to render the first frames of any video. If you remove them, the export process runs fine.


Hope this will help!

Oct 8, 2017 3:00 AM

Reply Helpful (12)
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Question: imovie not exporting video to file (error 10004)