Send iMovie Projects to Final Cut Pro X

Posted on by Larry

logo-iMovieApple has changed the process of moving projects and media between iMovie and Final Cut Pro X. So, I decided to open iMovie for the first time in ages and write up the new procedure.

NOTE: When I checked my notes, I discovered that the last time I opened iMovie was three-and-a-half years ago. No wonder things have changed.


As soon as I opened iMovie, I was struck by the similarity of its interface to Final Cut Pro X. Yes, I’ve heard all the jokes that FCP X is simply iMovie Pro. But, think back to iMovie during the time of FCP 7. At that time, there were more than 50 million iMovie users, 25x the number of Final Cut users, yet their two interfaces were entirely different, editing operations were different, and there was no way to move projects between Apple’s two most popular video editing applications.

Even the most avid Apple booster would consider that pretty stupid.

With the release of Final Cut Pro X, it finally became easy to move projects from iMovie to FCP X. In the 10.0 release of Final Cut, you opened an iMovie project into Final Cut from within Final Cut.

Now, moving files is even easier because you send them from within iMovie.



(Click image to view at a larger size.)

Here’s my iMovie project. The footage is from a UK air show shot by Hallmark Broadcast Ltd. (


Looking at the iMovie project itself, we see all the usual suspects: talking heads, B-roll and titles.


When you are ready to move the project from iMovie to Final Cut, simply choose File > Send Movie to Final Cut Pro X.

Final Cut automatically starts and all project files and media are moved across without you needing to do anything more.


(Click image to view at a larger size.)

Effects, titles, media and edits all transferred – and the entire process took less than a minute.


iMovie is a great way to get started in editing. Then, when you want more flexibility, speed and power, it is easier than ever to move your iMovie project into Final Cut Pro X.

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4 Responses to Send iMovie Projects to Final Cut Pro X

  1. Dave says:

    Now if Apple could just get iMovie for iOS to transfer over to iMovie on Mac, it’d be golden…Be a great way to rough on an iPad Pro, continue your rough on your Mac, then when ready, take it to FCPX for finishing.

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks for this Larry,
    Im unaware what codec support iMovie has but it would be extremely helpful it had wide enough support for some of the “professional” codecs enabling directors/producers etc to log their favourite takes or create a basic timeline before handing off. I already work with a couple of directors who have used trial versions of FCPx and xml out rough cuts to me

  3. Dave says:

    Well today they finally did it, Apple updated iMovie to edit 4K video and you can now take your iMovie for iOS projects to iMovie for Mac to continue working.

  4. Ruben says:

    Thank you for posting this! I was going nuts looking at all the old tutorials on how to do this that are now defunct.

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