How to make a movie on a Mac

Back in the long before time (2006-2009), Apple aired commercials comparing Mac users to PC users. Mac users were laid back, cool, and youthful. PC users wore suits and glasses, were a little stiff, and kinda nerdy. Creatives used a Mac, PC was for those business types (gamers notwithstanding).

Obviously, there were some flaws in those commercials that PC users are all too eager to point out. However, there is a lot of truth to that image. Macs had better resolution, a more intuitive interface for the artsy types, and the computers just looked cooler. Creative types tend to like cool.

Mobile Technology

Of course, PCs easily outsold Macs during that time. After all, there are more businesspeople than creative provocateurs. But for editing photos, making music, or making videos, the PC didn’t come close. But as laptops became smaller and more powerful and iPhones, iPads, tablets, and other mobile technology entered the fray, the numbers have changed quite a bit.

With the advent of touchscreens, stylus pens, and other accessories made for creatives at work or at play, the line between the two operating systems is becoming muddled. In 2020, filmmakers use both PC and Mac to create their movies. Nowadays, it’s less about the operating system and more about the power, speed, and storage capabilities (even though the advent of cloud storage and cheap and trusty external hard drives have made storage capacity less of a factor than it once was).

Don’t Choose a Box, Choose the Software

In a way, PCs gave up the fight in trying to compete with iMovie software that came standard with Macs. Windows Movie Maker was discontinued and their video-editing software is now hidden away inside the Microsoft Photo app. And while iMovies is still one of the industry standards, products like Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer can be used on both platforms.

Whether you want to edit video clips, add transition effects, import photos and videos, or tighten up audio clips or sound effects, either operating system will do you just fine. If you’re a Mac user, there’s no reason to suddenly switch to a PC and vice versa. Do so and in addition to learning the software, you’ll also need to learn the idiosyncrasies of a new operating system and doing so probably just isn’t worth the frustration or time suck.

Making Movies with Macs

Although generally more expensive than a Windows box, Macs usually come ready to start editing video. With iMovie already installed, the power to quickly import media files that are large, and stylish designs and interfaces that just scream “Let’s make a movie!” the draw can be downright irresistible.

Users aren’t limited to just iMovie, though. In addition to Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid, Blender, Hitfilm, and Lightbox provide plenty of options. With software designed for Macs, the same drag and drop, double-click, and other operational movements designed for all ios devices will be the same.

The most important thing about making movies with a Mac is having the power you need. To create 3-D special effects, add background music from the iTunes library, and run other features, power and processing speed are critical. Macs have wonderful apps and accessories you can add, just make sure you have the capabilities it takes to run them.

Suggested System Requirements

  • Memory/RAM – Your Mac will need at least 4GB of RAM (random-access memory) to run the video editing software. For larger HD, 4K, or 3D rendering, double that amount to 8GB or as much as you can get your hands on.
  • Processor – Multi-core Intel i5, i7, or i9, i10 models with a minimum of four processor cores.
  • Storage – The bare minimum is a 256GB drive, although 615-650GB is ideal. Add more as needed, although external storage devices are always an option. Storage needs change regularly, so always check the latest requirements online at
  • Graphics Card – AMD or Nvidia with at least 2GB memory.
  • Operating System – OSX and up for the best results.
  • Screen – Close to 20 inches or larger. Video editing dashboards are much easier to work on with a larger screen. Imagine trying to edit a 90-minute movie on your iPhone!

Planning on spreading your vision across social media? Make sure you’re saving your file properly for different platforms. YouTube and Facebook accept .mov, .avi, .wmv, and a host of other formats while .mp4 is the best for Instagram. Make sure your software can export to these file types. Check desired aspect ratios and file sizes, too. Google and YouTube can be your friends when it comes to problem-solving and making sure you have the right codec for the platforms you’re publishing to.

Learn the Basics from the Exceptional

You have your Mac ready to go – but there’s a problem. Feel like you don’t have the foggiest idea of how to edit your movie, or lack what you need to get the look you’re going for? Our Film Connection Editing Workshop has been designed to help you learn the ins and outs of video editing software quickly and without spending a ton of time or money.

Working one on one with a professional editor as a mentor, you’ll learn how to get the most out of Adobe Premiere Pro. From using the timeline, to bringing in audio to doing slips, slides, and montage sequences. Learning from a pro, you can establish the right workflow that works for you and elevate your editing game for real. Know what an R Ripple is? Held almost entirely inside of a professional post-production facility, you can go from newbie to ready to work if you take it seriously and give it all you got.

Learn from a pro on the very same software that pros use, and learn how they use it, so you can do it right. Ready to start?

You may also like...