Just posting this on the internet so that some other poor soul doesn’t need to go through the stress of figuring out how to work with the buggy piece of software that is iMovie ’11…
I spent a good 12+ hours putting together movie footage my mom took between 1959 and 1969, which is the first footage of my grandparents (who I never knew) I had ever seen. We distilled 75 minutes of footage into 40 minutes, using only a single iMovie “event,” which seems to have been our first mistake, and adding music, titles, and transitions.
My mom had scheduled a big family dinner for the purpose of watching the video, and as iMovie had become frustratingly slower and slower the longer the movie became, I was still putting the final touches on the video as the evening rolled around. I finally finished, only to find that iMovie refused to export my movie into a watchable format. “Sharing requires more memory to be available,” it told me, along with instructions to quit and relaunch the application.
I did so and tried to export again, but got the same message. Then I tried moving the movie to a computer with more RAM (4GB as opposed to 2GB), but it too required more memory to be available. Neither computer was capable of rendering the movie in real-time at this point.
So anyway, the solution is simple, but not listed on the internet anywhere as far as I could find. It certainly is not in any of the iMovie documentation. First, you do need to relaunch iMovie. Second, rather than opening the movie you want to export, you right-click on it and select export in the Project Gallery. This obviates the need for iMovie to load your project into memory, and allows it to commit all of the computer’s memory to the rendering task.
What a stupid, stupid program. Blegh.