Is the camera recognized if you connect via the USB cable? If the files are stored on the camcorders hard drive you should be able to copy them from the drive like you would copy the files from an external hard drive. When you connect the camcorder to the laptop and the camcorder is on do you see a "USB Connect" option on the camcorder screen? If yes, do you see a "Mass Storage Connected" message? If iPhoto opens you will need to close it and then open iMovie. Once iMovie is open do the following:
Select (Click on File)
Import from Camcorder
The videos should be displayed
Select Import All... from the lower right hand corner or Manual from the lower left hand corner to choose individual videos
Choose the import option on the lower right
It should be easy to figure out the rest from there.
I got that from a Sony YouTube video. If you want to see the video search for "How to import movies from a Sony® camcorder to a Macintosh® computer using Apple's iMovie®"