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Research Guides@Tufts

EXP-0010: Experimental College - The Science of Light

Strategies and Workflows for working Remotely

Working remotely will require some modifications for the workflows listed below. These are a few quick start guides for:

Media Management Tips

Media management encompasses the organization of media assets from research and writing through sharing and archiving.  Below are some best practices for keeping track of files as you work on your project.



We recommend creating a shared Box folder to store all your digital assets.  You can share this folder with the members of your group and your professor and TA. iMovie files do not save on box without creating a zip file.  See the instructions below for how to backup your iMovie library.


USB Flash Drive


You can also purchase a small 16gb USB drive to save files and move your project file around between computers.  You can specify the location and name of the library/project prior to starting your project and set it to your groups shared USB drive so you can edit on any computer.  For help, see Starting Your Project below for step by step instructions.




Staying organized is essential as you collect and create various assets for your project.  Organizing and naming all your files will help make collaborating smoother.  Above is an example of how you can stay organized during this process.



Always backup your media and project files in at least two locations!  It’s important to always back-up your media and project files in case your computer crashes or hard drive malfunction. All machines in the DDS are wiped weekly.

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Backing-up Your iMovie Library to Box

Unfortunately, Box does not properly save or backup iMovie Libraries. Using Box as a backup requires that you zip your iMovie library.  To do this simply find your iMovie Library (by default it is located in your Movies folder and named iMovies Library), right-click and select Compress iMovie Library.  

This will create a .zip file.  Move this file to Box as a backup.  You can add the date to the filename so you don't accidentally overwrite a previous version.  


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Feedback and Critique

Giving and receiving feedback is a valuable way to practice listening and speaking critically in order to nurture a community of growth.  Below are a few tips for going into a critique.

Giving feedback

  • Make sure you are clear on the intentions of the maker.  It's not helpful to simply give feedback that is only about the decisions you would have made.  If you aren't sure what the makers intentions are, ask!
  • Be specific! When giving feedback, back up your comments with examples from the work.  

Receiving feedback:

  • Know what you like about your piece ahead of time
  • Don't preface your work with too much unnecessary context.  
  • Articulate what you already know isn't working for you after others have given their feedback
  • Be open

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Starting your Project and Importing Media

Before Starting

DDS can help support a variety of editing software, including Adobe Premiere and FCPX, but the method we recommend is using iMovie for ease of use.   For help with this, please contact Kim Forero in the DDS.  

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Creating a New Library

  • Open iMovie
  • In the Media tab, navigate to File > Open Library > New
  • Navigate to your Project Files folder on your External Drive (you would save to your own computer if you aren't using a public lab space like DDS)
  • Next to Save As, name your library "NameOfYourProject Media"
  • Save


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Importing Media

  • In the Media Tab, locate the Library you just created.  You should see a file with today's date.  This is an Event.  It functions like a folder and allows you to organize your media.
  • Right-click on your Remix Library and select Create New Event.  Organize your footage into Video, Audio and Images Events.
  • Select the Video Event and click the Import Media button.
  • Select the footage you wish to import.  Make sure the correct Event is selected under Import To.
  •  Click Import Selected.
  • Repeat this step for any Audio or Image files you wish to bring into your project.


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Creating a New Project

  • In the Project Tab, click the New Project button and select Movie.   A Project is where you edit your assets together and build your movie.
  • Before starting to edit, select the Projects button to return to the Project page.  This will prompt you to name your Project.  Name your Project "ProjectName_Project". Make sure your project is saved inside your recently created Library.
  • Click OK



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Selecting & Duplicating Files

  • To select the entire clip, simply click on the media file in the Event Browser and drag the file to the timeline
  • To select only a portion of the clip, hold R on your keyboard and drag your mouse
  • To add the clip to the end of your sequence, select the + button located in the lower right corner of the clip
  • To duplicate a clip, simply copy and paste the clip in the timeline

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Split your Clip

  • To split a clip, select the clip in the timeline, place the timeline indicator where you want your edit
  • Select Modify > Split Clip or use Command + B

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Inserting, Replacing and Cutting Away

  • To breakup a clip with a new shot, drag the desired media over the shot in the timeline until a green + button appears. Release.
  • Select Insert from the drop-down menu

  • To replace a clip with another, drag the desired media over the shot in the timeline until a green + button appears.  Release.
  • Select Replace, Replace from Start or Replace from End to choose how the replacement will occur.  Selecting Replace from Start or End will preserve the duration of the original shot.

  • Place the cutaway shot just above the video clip already on the timeline to create a new layer.  During playback, iMovie will show the top most clip.


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Adjusting Volume

  • To enable Waveforms on your timeline go to Project Settings > Show Waveforms

  • Audio files that are attached to your video files will show underneath the picture in your timeline in blue
  • To adjust levels, move the horizonal white bar up and down
  • Move the white circle at the head and tail of a clip to add a fade in/out

  • Double-clicking the clip activates the effects control panel. Select the audio icon and click Auto to have iMovie bring your levels to what it thinks are normal levels.  Make sure your levels don’t peak (turn red). Red indicates your audio will be distorted.

Detach Audio

  • To move an audio file independently from the video file, right-click and select Detach Audio.  

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Audio Editing Tips

  • Use room tone to fill gaps in your recording
  • Remove all clicks, pops and distracting audio
  • Set Volume just on the edge between green and yellow

Sound Design

  • Think of the piece as a whole and find ways to highlight themes through sound
  • Create depth by layering sounds

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Sharing on Canvas

•Custom Size: If you need to output a custom size, navigate to File > Share > File and select Quality > Custom.  Here you can change the bitrate to adjust the final size. Note: the smaller the file size, likely the more compress your file will be. 

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Digital Media Specialist

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Kimberly Forero-Arnías
Tisch 301