Misplaced Movie Clips in iPhoto Library

Hello
I'm hoping that you may be able to help me out with the following situation and advise me if I am on the right lines or need to stop and do something else! I have searched through the forum for similar problems and have tried to follow the suggestions found.
I fear something strange has happened, although I have been careful to heed the dire warnings about fiddling with things in the iPhoto Library folders. I include information which I think may be relevant.
Over a period of time (years!), I have imported a series of photos and 30 second video clips of music concerts from a Canon camera and they are sorted into Film Rolls. In some instances in order to remember which songs the video clips represent I have renamed the file - e.g. MVI_0052.AVI is now RTY MVI_0052.AVI. When clicking on the renamed file, it plays in QuickTime, but the name that displays at the top of the image is the original MVI_0052.AVI.
Q: Does renaming the file create a duplicate, or does it simply create a link from the renamed file to the original?
Q: Would it be better not to rename the files, but to use keywords to differentiate them? If I edit the renamed files and revert them to the original name will this help with the problem below or confuse things more?
Some of the video clips will not play when clicked on in the Film Roll; they seem to have converted from .avi to .jpeg.
If I do a search in spotlight on (for example) just the MVI_0052 tag, the original movie clip is usually found in the Movies list, often with the following location:
/Users/myname/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2001/01/01/Originals
I can drag this clip to the Desktop, Import it into iPhoto Library, move it into the correct roll, where it retains the MVI_0052 tag. So, I now have two copies of the clip in the appropriate roll. Whichever one I click on, both play as MVI_0052. Should I delete one from the film roll? If so, which one - the MVI_0052 I just dragged in or the renamed one RTY MVI_0052?
Incidentally, the 2001 folder is vast, contains 37.8 GB and seems to have been created in August 2006. The sub-folder /Users/myname/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2001/01/01 contains an assortment of files:
a) The majority are jpeg images of MVI files, e.g. MVI_0008.jpg; these show the jpeg icon against the file name until you click on it and then the picture (which seems to be a still of the MVI file) appears.
b) Within this folder there are just a few genuine MVI files, e.g. MVI-0008.AVI
c) There are also a few AVI files which have the QuickTime Player icon against the file name. These will also play when clicked on.
The file: /Users/myname/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2001/01/01/Originals contains only .AVI files and many of them.
Some of the movie files have simply disappeared. That is, they exist in the Film Roll, but nothing happens if I click on the file; a Spotlight search does not find them anywhere on the hard drive. I suspect these are lost forever and would be better deleted.
If anyone can tell me whether I am doing the right thing by dragging the .avi file from the spotlight finder location to the desktop and then importing it into the iPhoto Library again that would be really helpful. I fear it will take some time to work through all the film rolls and verify each movie clip, but I imagine this is the only way to find those that are retrievable.
I am wanting to move the iPhoto Library to a LaCie external hard drive and delete from my laptop, but before I do I think I need to sort this out. Apologies for such a long post, I have tried to give all the information that might be relevant.
Thanks for your time and interest.....and yes, I do know I should have backed it up along time ago; some lessons are learnt the painful way
Jill

Thanks Terence for your swift response.
Terence Devlin wrote:
Q: Does renaming the file create a duplicate, or does it simply create a link from the renamed file to the original?
Did you rename the File? Or add a Title to it in iPhoto. It sounds like you added a title in iPhoto, and this does not rename the file. Renaming (or titling) a pic/movie does not create a duplicate - nor is there "a link to the Original". It's simply an entry in the iPhoto database. If you want to use the title as filename then you can do that using the Share -> Export command - it's one of the options there.
So, if you title a movie "RTY - Whatever", it shows in iPhoto as that, but when played in QT it's still just 'Whatever' as the filename hasn't changed.
You are right: I simply added a Title to it in iPhoto. Thanks for clearing this up...
When you import a movie it goes to the Originals Folder and iPhoto creates a jpeg of the first frame. This is used for the thumbnail.
If anyone can tell me whether I am doing the right thing by dragging the .avi file from the spotlight finder location to the desktop and then importing it into the iPhoto Library again that would be really helpful.
It's best to search the iPhoto Library Folder from iPhoto. Spotlight finds all the versions - thumbnail, preview jpeg and the Movie. This is not especially helpful and is a source of confusion.
I'm not sure what you achieve by dragging a movie out of iPhoto and then back into it?
The reason for this is that at some point I had to rebuild the library and since then some of the video clips will not play from iPhoto. I searched the forum and read the following from Lori DiLoreto and have been trying to follow this advice.
"The thumbnails (jpeg pointer files) were made by iPhoto when the movie files were imported.
I'll tell you what happened to me when I did a library rebuild. It messed up the link between the jpg point files and the movie files.
when the rebuild of the library was done I had the jpeg pointer files pointing to nothing. When those were double clicked in iPhoto nothing would happen.
i had to navigate through the iPhoto Library folder in the finder and find all my movie clips and drag them all to the desktop. Then I had to go through my library within iPhoto and delete all the jpeg pointer thumbnails that were pointing to nothing. It was a major pain."
So I have used Spotlight to see if the movie file still exists (within Spotlight I have the search grouped by "Kind" so it is easy to see which are the Movies). If it does, I have then dragged it to the desktop and reimported it. If I do this I have 2 representations of the video clip in the film roll - the one that originally would not play now does, the one I just imported also plays. However, I am not sure which it might be safe to delete.
My aim is to get this into a fit state to save onto an external hard drive, delete and start afresh. However, it is proving to be a challenge!
Thanks again for your help.
Jill

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