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  • Writer's pictureMillie

We made a virtual concert using some iPhones, some tripods, and iMovie.

*This is a post from December 2020 that was later released.

and it wasn't half bad!

As a fine arts department, we knew we wanted something to show the progress that's been made this semester, even if it couldn't be in person. We also knew that we didn't have 45-60 minutes of music ready for an entire concert. So we teamed up and put a department video together.

Check out our video right here, and read on below to learn more about our process:

What does this video feature?

Our video features all disciplines in our fine arts department: Band, Orchestra, Chorus, and Art (yes, even art!). If you haven't talked with your art teachers yet about including them in your virtual concerts, I would highly suggest it! They don't often get the chance to be featured with performing arts.

The planning process.

After going back and forth about doing our own separate concerts, and struggling to get enough repertoire ready with everything else going on, we finally sat down and decided how to do a joint video:

  • Based on where each program was with their respective groups, we decided it would be best to each have 3-4 pieces, depending on things like time, group combinations, etc.

  • Our principal agreed to allow us to call our students down to the auditorium during the school day so we would have ample space to distance properly, and not have to worry about trying to edit multiple classes together. (I was a little stressed about doing that). We came up with a rotation schedule that took us two days to get each program in the auditorium, rehearse, record, and then break down any equipment.

  • I agreed to be the person to combine everything together. We decided that each person would be in charge of recording their own groups, and then doing basic cuts down to the length everyone wanted. Then, I did the final edits.


Everything took about a week from start to finish. Our goal was to have the video ready for release by the last day of school before break so that teachers could show our video in their classes that morning if they wished. We normally have a fine arts showcase the last day before we go home for break, so our teachers were familiar this option.

  • Mon/Tues: Recording rotation in the auditorium

  • Wed: Put together rough cut of video

  • Thursday: Fine arts students and teachers watched the rough cut, and made notes for final edit. Final edits made Thursday evening.

  • Friday: Final video released to school and community via email and social media.

Putting it all together

All videos were made with our phones, and sent to me via combination of Flipgrid, and Google Drive. Art slides were sent via text.

Before dropping each clip into iMovie, I made a few additional crops/edits just using my phone. That way, there was minimal editing in iMovie. I also wrote out a tentative set list with times for each video clip, and added spots for artwork features to break things up as needed.

Then, I added everything into iMovie in the order I wanted just using the app on my phone. Once videos were in place, I added titles at the beginning of each piece, balanced the volume between clips, and added some fade in/out transitions in between.

I didn't add artwork until the final editing process since Laura, our art teacher, was still finalizing those slides. I added simple filler slides that said "insert artwork here".

Here's what the rough cut looked like:

After watching the rough cut with our classes we made the final edits. Other than changing the order to one or two things, and smoothing out transitions here and there, this process primarily focused on:

  • inserting artwork

  • adding title and ending slides, which I made using Canva (holy moly is THAT fun!)

  • adding background tracks during artwork slides. I just picked one of the free background tracks provided in iMovie, and placed it over the entire video. Then, you can go through and mute it during segments where you want to hear what's going on in the video.

That's basically it!

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