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Learn iMovie Week: Create a vintage film in iMovie

Use the retro 8mm Vintage Camera app to add analogue film artefacts to your digital footage in part 9 of Learn iMovie Week

It’s incredibly ironic that just as we can afford gadgets that shoot footage at a higher quality than ever before, the fashion has turned to re-creating retro-style footage. By adding vintage film artefacts to modern digital clips you can add character to them, and evoke the feel of decades gone by. Thanks to apps like 8mm, you can turn your iPhone’s video camera into a wide- range of old-school analogue film reels. With a swipe you can change film types to reproduce scratchy celluloid from the Twenties, or high contrast Forties-style film noir footage. You can also fake the look of the Sixties with 8mm film footage; washed-out colours, specks of dust and scratches. In this comprehensive guide we’ll kick off by showing you how to get the most from the 8mm app and we’ll show you ways to edit vintage clips in iMovie to create convincing home movies that present your digitally sourced clips in a fashionably retro way.

1: Buy the app

8mm Vintage Camera is produced by Nexvio Inc and you can download it for £1.49/$1.99 from the iTunes App Store. Be warned – it is addictive! Alternatively, download the footage for this tutorial from our Tutorial Files page.

2: Explanations

All the tools you need are in a single interface, so tap the ‘i’ icon to see an overlay that explains what each button does.

3: Choose a film stock

The iPhone camera’s live feed appears in the 8mm app’s main window. Swipe the curved arrow to choose a film stock and get a preview of your footage.

4: Change the lens

Customise the film stock by changing the lens. 8mm comes with six lenses, including a flickering frame and an orange light leakage effect.

5: Record

Once you’ve chosen a film stock and lens type tap the red record button. The film artefacts are applied to your clips in real-time, so there’s no need to render!

6: Get the jitters

Make the footage roll at any time by tapping the jitter button. This mimics film slippage due to damaged sprocket holes when the film is being projected.

7: Sound effects

You can click an audio button at the bottom to toggle between recording standard sound, overlaying a film projector sound effect onto your clip or muting.

8: Camera Roll

Instead of recording retro effects in real-time, you can import ordinary iPhone footage from your Camera Roll and add effects to that in 8mm.

9: Import clips

Once you’ve captured your retro clips, simply plug the iPhone into your Mac. You can import the clips directly into an iMovie event ready to be edited.

10: Create a new project

In iMovie, choose File>New Project. As the 8mm filtered footage for this tutorial is from an iPhone, set Aspect Ratio to Standard and click Create. You can get hold of the footage from our Tutorial Files page.

11: Import clips

Go to File>Import>Movies and the files you’ve just downloaded. Tick Create new Event and click the Import button to bring it into iMovie.

12: Add clips to project

The clips were captured using 8mm’s Sixties preset. A light leakage lens adds retro colours. As the clips were shot in order, pop them into the project window.

13: Transition

Go to View and tick Playhead Info to turn it on. Scrub the cursor to 12:09 where the frame slips. This will make a cool transition. Right-click and choose Split Clip.

14: Trim a few frames

Hit Backspace to delete the second part of the split clip. Click on shot three’s fine-tune start icon and trim eight frames so that it starts mid-film jitter.

15: Splice it up

Tap the Spacebar to play back the first three shots. By cutting on a jitter we’ve created a cool retro ‘spliced film’ transition between shots two and three.

16: Old school

There’s a bit of a jump cut between shots five and six. Drop in a classic film Cross Dissolve transition between these shots to help them flow better.

17: Create a caption

Drag the Boogie Nights title onto the first clip and edit the text in the main viewer. This animated title’s retro font helps give your movie a Sixties vibe.

18: Add some music

To enhance our clip’s Sixties feel, drag Bossa Lounger Long onto the project window. Press ‘I’ to open the Audio inspector and reduce the volume to 15%.

Click Image to Enlarge:

This tutorial is the ninth in our Learn iMovie Week series; for more articles just like this, visit the Learn iMovie Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to iMovie on Mac or iOS. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearniMovieWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.