In any given day I record between 2 to sometimes 40 individual HD video clips with my iPhone 4 - managing all these individual clips, keeping the videos separate from the photos, and importing them into iMovie would get overwhelming after a few weeks. It’s a lot of media to move around and when I decided to commit to 52 weeks worth of 7x7s, I wanted to be sure it didn’t become a side-project that distracted me from my main-project, FToM. Here’s a few things I use to keep everything as automated as possible:
- Using Auto Importer to auto-import your camera roll →
If you aren’t already using Auto Importer for your iPhone then you’ll need to open up Image Capture, which comes preinstalled on every Mac, and while your iPhone is plugged in, choose under the “connecting this iPhone opens” device setting the Auto Importer option, then check “delete after import” so you don’t end up with a ton of duplicate files.
After this, you can close Image Capture, disconnect and reconnect your iPhone, you’ll see Auto Importer open up, it’s going to be a small transfer window, with a smiliar style you see when you drag a file from one folder to another. You’ll see this small window pop-up anytime you connect your iPhone if it has a photo or video in it’s camera roll - but otherwise, you can just worry about plugging your iPhone in for syncing or charging, everything else is going to run in the background with no effort on your part.
- Using Hazel to separate videos and photos →
At this point, Auto Importer has taken everything on your camera roll, and moved into one place, most likely your Photos folder, but you can choose any folder you prefer to have your media import into. For example, I have mine auto-import into my Photos folder under Dropbox - this way my media is backed up to the cloud within minutes of it being pulled off my iPhone. Now, if you want your iPhone movies to just automatically be in iMovie when you open the app to edit, then your video files being under Photos doesn’t do you a lot of good. This is where Hazel becomes very, very helpful.
You can see in the image above that creating a Hazel rule is as simple as creating a smart playlist in iTunes. I keep all of my iPhone movies in an iMovie Event called Randomness - so to have Hazel keep all of my iPhone movies in the right place, I just dragged my Dropbox/Photos folder into Hazel and told it if kind is movie, then to move file to the folder iMovie Events/Randomness. Next time I open iMovie, it notices new movie files in it’s Events folder and generates thumbnails for them.
And that’s it. After setting up Auto Importer and Hazel, I never need to do anything manual with my iPhone movies - I plug in my iPhone at night to charge and while I’m falling asleep, everything is being moved around my computer where it needs to be for when I’m ready to edit a 7x7 each week.
Now, I even have a Hazel rule to watch for movies under Randomness that are older than 2 weeks and move those files to an external Rugged drive to keep my computer from filling up. But, perhaps that’s another post for another time.