Use a Movie Trailer to Share Science

Hollywood uses movie trailers to announce a new film and to attract viewers. You can use the same approach to tell others about an upcoming journal article, report, book, or research project. Students might use a trailer to share their experiences on a field trip or to make a video to accompany a conference poster. It’s a fun way to share your work with others or to tell people about your activities.

How does one go about creating a movie trailer? In iMovie (both the desktop and mobile versions), you are given the option of making a movie from scratch or using a movie trailer template. If you select the latter, the trailer editor does most of the work for you—for example, making suggestions about what types of footage and text to use. The trailer option may be helpful if you are having difficulty getting started with a video project. You may be at a loss as to how to organize your material to tell a story…..or you may not have time to plan, shoot, and edit a movie from scratch.

To help you out, I’ve created a two-part tutorial to show how to use the trailer option in iMovie (Version 10.0.8) to create a movie trailer. In this tutorial, I recreate a trailer that announces an upcoming, hypothetical paper, but you can use it for many other purposes. The tutorial walks you through the workspace and shows how to: import footage and other media, modify added video clips and photos, and convert the trailer to a movie project to allow more extensive editing.

Even if you do not plan to use a movie trailer to share your work, making a mock trailer is a great way to begin learning how to design and edit a video. And, who knows? You may end up with something great. If you already have film clips or photos of your research or other activity, the movie trailer editor will allow you to make a video in less than an hour. If you do not like the provided templates (and some are pretty cheesy), it’s possible to convert the trailer to a regular movie project that can then be edited to your liking.

Parts One and Two are embedded below (select full-screen and HD for best viewing). Direct links to the videos are here and here.

5 thoughts on “Use a Movie Trailer to Share Science

  1. Pingback: Use a Movie Trailer to Share Science | Nader Ale Ebrahim

  2. Karen,

    I love your photography and videography tips. I wanted to participate in your workshop at SWS conference, but had a conflict.



    • Joy, thanks for the compliment. I’ll be offering the workshop again, so there will be other opportunities.

      • Great. Let me know when you have more workshops. Perhaps some of the park staff may be interested in attending.


  3. I deal with alot of movie trailers. This definitely goes under the heading you learn something new everyday. This approach i am sure will captivate an audience for any project. Lots of new ideas have to go implement them now. Also if you want some more ideas you can go to

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