Add blockbuster effects to your movies

Use post-production techniques to give your clips a slick Hollywood-style finish


When you watch the ‘making of’ footage of a Hollywood blockbuster, the quality of the clip looks different when the same scene is viewed in the finished movie. This is because Hollywood spends much time and effort digitally altering the colours and tones of footage to give it a specific look.

They may also add digital camera moves such as a zoom to make a statically framed shot look more dynamic, or re-time the footage to speed through the action and then suddenly slow things down to focus on an event. We’ll show you how to indulge in a little Hollywood style grading, add a vignette effect and create some speed ramps to give your footage a more dynamic blockbuster look. You’ll also discover how to plunder extra music and graphical assets from iMovie’s Trailers.


1 Create a trailer

Create a new Event, import our seven clips and choose File>New Trailer. Click to select the Action trailer. Click the Create button, label the trailer Blockbuster movie and click OK.


2 Convert to movie

Choose Convert Trailer to Movie. This gives you access to assets such as a studio logo, graphics and music that you can’t find elsewhere. Delete the grey placeholders in the Timeline.


3 Add the clips

Shift-click to select the seven clips and drag them to just after the studio globe has finished playing in the Timeline. The up tempo music enhances the battlefield action.


4 Grade the clip

With the clips still selected, click the Colour correction icon. Increase the contrast, drop the strength of the saturation and warm up the temperature for a retro sepia tint.


5 Add a vignette

Click the Video and Audio effects icon. Set the Video Effect to Vignette to darken the edges of the frame. The grading and vignette will be applied to all the selected clips.


6 Split the first clip

Shot01 is now in three sections. Click the
middle section to select it. Go to Modify>Fast Forward>8x. This adds a dynamic burst of action to the middle of the clip.


7 Add a speed ramp

Select a device, highlighting it in blue, and press the Show Info button. A dialog offers naming options, while also showing whether the device is online, along with port settings.


8 Create a digital zoom

Click on Shot04 and click the Cropping icon. Click Ken Burns and click the End window. Resize and reposition it to create a close-up on the canon. Click the tick to apply the zoom.


9 Add titles

Drag and drop the animated titles between the clips. Click on the text in the main window and edit it to accompany the action. Feel free to add speed ramps to other sections.