A co-worker came to me today looking for an answer to his iMovie problem. He is a local hockey coach, and one of his player's mother had recorded the most recent game. He was planning to include clips from the film as part of a highlight reel, but he didn't like the vantage point of the original recording. To use a popular sporting event phrase, the parent was sitting in the "nose bleeds". The hockey rink was literally in the background, juxtaposed with distracting arms waving in the air and people shuffling about in the stands.
All he wanted to do was crop the original recording so viewers could focus on the action on the rink, but he was stumped as to how to accomplish the goal. I should add, he planned to use an iPad to create his movie. Knowing his goal and the tool available to him, I started to investigate. Within a few minutes of Googling, I learned how to crop videos in the iMovie app on iPad. I was surprised that I was not aware of this feature, although it seems few people actually know about it. The article I ran across- and learned from- described the feature as the best hidden feature in iMovie.
The task is quite simple. When looking at your screen (similar to the image below) tap on the clip you want to crop in the timeline at the bottom, then tap on the magnifying glass in the bottom-right corner of the video and you are able to pinch the viewer to crop the video. In addition, you can reposition the video with your finger.
I hope this tip will help you out next time you are forced to deal to with results of amateur videographers- whether it be yourself, or the parents of your hockey players!