The Best Way to Create Movies – Apple’s Clips Makes It Easy

Apple's Clips

A few months ago, Apple released a new movie making and editing app called Clips. It is available for iPads and iPhones and requires iOS 10.3 in order to download it from the App Store. Today, we will look at what it is, how you to use it, and why you should use it.

What is Clips?

The Clips is app is a way to create simple but fun movies. In my opinion, it is easier than iMovie and perfect for students and their teachers. It is appealing to students because it is very much like many of the social networking sites they love so much without being attached to social networks. Teachers will like it for the simplicity of use.  It is called clips because the movies you make are made up of several clips. There are filters, titles, and stickers. You can even place emojis in your clips. All movies created with Clips remain on the camera roll until you decide to send it elsewhere. Let’s take a look at some of the features.

Movie Making with Clips

When you first open the app, you will see the main screen where you will begin your creating your movie. Tap the + sign to start a new video.

A viewing window will open and this is where you will make your video. Under the viewing window, you Clips first screenwill see Photos, Video, and Library.  Beneath that is a big button that you will hold to record. To the left of the recording button is a microphone icon. This is where you can mute your mic. To the right of the button is a camera icon. This is where you can switch cameras.

Note: You will have to decide if you want to shoot your movie with the front facing or rear facing camera. You cannot switch cameras while recording, however, you can record with one camera (rear facing for example), stop that recording, switch to front facing, and then resume recording.

Press and hold the red button and record something for a few seconds. Notice above the viewer there is a timer. As you are recording, the clip that you are creating becomes visible in the timeline at the bottom of your screen. If you record again, another clip will appear. Each recording is its own separate clip! This is how your movie will be created.

Tip: Once the recording has begun, you can slide the button to lock recording. You can do this if you need your hands for anything.

Using Photos and Videos from Your Library

Another option is to use photos and videos from your library or even just take a picture within clips.

Now let’s try recording something from your photo library.

Start a new recording by pressing the + or add on to what you already started recording.

Tap Library and choose a photo. Now the photo appears in the viewer. Once the picture is in the viewer, you can move it around if it is not the frame the way you would like it. You can even zoom in and out. With video, you can go to the point of the video you are interested in by sliding on the bar that appears at the bottom of the viewer.

If you aren’t planning to speak or have background noise, tap the microphone to mute it.

Press and hold the record button.

Think about how long you want your picture to appear in the movie and watch the timer at the top of the screen. Depending on what you can doing you probably want to stay between 3-5 seconds, but you can make it as long or short as you need.

Tip: When using videos, keep in mind of the length of the video. You will have to hold down the record button for the length of the video so the entire video will be recorded. 

Filters and More

Now that you know how to record, let’s take a look at some of the filters and other features.

You will see five icons at the top of your screen while you are in your project.

Speech Bubble: Tapping this will create subtitles for your movie. It’s like your own closed captioning. As you speak, your words will appear in the frame. There are seven styles and you just choose one that suits your project the best by tapping it. This can be added after recording.

Three circles: This will bring you to the filter menu. I think my favorite is the Comic Book Filter. You can Title Slide movie clipchoose between seven filters that are offered.

Circle with Star: This is where the stickers are. The words are editable. Just tap the word and type what you want and tap apply in the upper right corner. You can also change the size of the stickers by pinching your fingers in and out. If you swipe to the left, you will be given the option to choose emojis. There are several to choose from.

Square with a T: This is where you can insert title slides. You can choose between 12 slides. You can also edit the words on the slide.

Note: This will allow you to have a soundtrack for your movie. Apple provides different music for your movie but you can also use music from iTunes if you have any there.

There you have it! Now you can make fantastic movies with your students or with your family.

A word of caution: Clips opens up right where you left. Make sure that you close the current movie when you are finished by tapping the arrow in the upper left. Otherwise, you could begin creating one movie inside of another movie.

Editing Your Clips

When you are finished, you may want to make some changes to your movie. This can be right when you are finished or you can edit much later.

Choose the movie you want to edit from the top or edit the current movie you are in.

In the timeline, tapping on the clip you want to edit will make your editing

edit controls clips

choices available.

Above the viewer, you can see the speech bubble, the three circles. and the star. You can not add Title Slides or Music while in editing mode.

Under the viewer, you can see the options to mute the clip, trim it, or delete the clip.

Tapping the arrow under the viewer will take you out of editing mode.

To delete a clip within a movie, press and hold on that clip. Then tap the X in the upper right corner of the clip.

To delete an entire movie, tap and hold the movies at the top of your screen and tap the X in the upper right corner of the movie.


The share button is located in the bottom right corner. Tapping here will allow you to share on social media, another compatible app on your device, or send by text message.


If you would like a more visual guide, here is a video explaining Clips from 9 to 5 Mac.


Why use Clips?

If you ever felt intimidated by creating and editing a movie, this is the app for you. Clips is a great tool for your classroom or at home. As you make movies with your students and families, you will be amazed at the quality you are able to produce in a short period of time with little effort. Classroom projects can range from book reviews, interviewing a historical figure, or even just recording snippets for a class vlogging.  You can make quick memories of birthdays, vacations, or just everyday life with your family.

Have fun using Clips in your classroom and at home! Write about the projects you are planning to do with this cool feature!

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