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How to Make an Old Film Style Look Video?

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Jun 11, 2024• Proven solutions

In the age of digital images, film still hasn’t lost its charm. Grainy black and white videos have a special type of atmosphere that makes a sequence or the entire video seem like a memory that took place a long time ago. Recreating the visual style of early Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton films isn’t hard at all if you have the right tools for the job. That’s why in this article we are going to show you how you can make your videos look like they were recorded on old film stock with Filmora and iMovie video editing apps. 

If you're looking for other film-look tutorials, you may like this one: How to Give Your Videos the Cinematic Look.

How to Create Old Film style look video with Filmora on Windows & Mac [5 Ways]

A video editor you’re using to process the raw footage must provide you with all the tools you need to materialize your ideas. The sheer amount of video editing options Filmora offers makes it one of the best options on the market since its users can edit 4K footage, stabilize shaky video clips or make captivating opening credits. Wondershare’s video editor features hundreds of visual effects that can be easily added to different types of projects. Filters such as Amaro or Early Bird are designed to shorten the color correction process and to help the Filmora’s users to create any visual style of video they like. So, let’s take a look at different filters you can use to make your videos look like they were recorded a long time ago.

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1. Use the Old Video Filter

Before you start exploring different Old Film filters in FIlmora, you should first remove all the pieces of the footage you don’t want to use in the project from the timeline and arrange the rest as you see fit. Once you’ve completed these and all other basic video editing actions you should click on the Effects icon, that is located in the upper left corner of the editor’s main window, and then after the Effects tab opens you should click on the Filters subcategory.

Start browsing through the alphabetical list of filters or simply type in the word old in the search bar located in the upper right corner of the Effects tab. The Old Video filter should appear on the screen as soon as you stop typing, and you can just drag and drop it to a specific location on the timeline. After you place this filter over the segment of the footage to which you want to apply it, you can drag one of its ends left or right to adjust its duration.

Double-click on the Old Video filter if you want to bring up the Effects tab where you can adjust filter’s settings.

Insert the new values into the boxes located next to Fade, Frequency and alpha options or use the sliders to find the values for each of these settings that best fit the footage to which you applied this filter. Click on the OK button to confirm the changes you’ve made, and your video will look like it was recorded more than a hundred years ago.

2. Apply the Black&White Filters


The Filters category contains five Black and White filters you can easily add to any project in Filmora. However, each of these filters desaturates images differently and you should only choose the filter that fits the aesthetic of the project you’re working on.

Place one of the filters directly above the video clip you’d like to turn black&white and then adjust its duration by dragging one of its ends in an inward or outward direction. Some of the black&white filters may alter the original video too much, but you can control their intensity via the alpha slider that can be accessed from the Effect tab.

3. Add the Sepia Tone Rise or Sun Kissed Filters to the Footage

Filmora’s Filter’s category features a number of subcategories like Shake or Faux Film. The Sepia Tone subcategory contains Rise and Sun Kissed filters that simulate the sepia-tinted film can also be used to recreate the visual style of old movies. The Rise filter desaturates the footage while keeping the greens and blues at a very low value, which makes it a perfect if you are trying to recreate the visual style of old black and white film stock.

The Sun Kissed filter accentuates red and brown colors that give the image the warm atmosphere of old sepia photos. The intensity of these two filters can be adjusted with the alpha slider in the Effects tab.

4. Desaturate Videos with Ash and Willow Filters

The Black&White subcategory of the Filters menu contains the Ash and Willow filters that desaturate the footage with preset brightness, contrast or exposure values. Combining these two filters with overlays like Film Reel Horizontal or Random Dust might help you sell the effect and make the source footage look more authentic. Unfortunately, just applying Ash or Willow effects to a video clip is not going to be enough to recreate the visual style of old black&white movies, and you must mix several different filters and overlays in order to make the video look like it was recorded decades ago.

5. Apply Old Film or Black&White Color Correction Presets to the Footage

Filmora’s Advance Color Correction Tab that can be accessed from the Color tab features Preset and Adjust tabs you can use to quickly desaturate a video clip. The Preset tab offers a wide variety of presets including the Old Film and Black&White presets. In case you want to apply a preset to the video clip, you should just right-click on it and select the Apply option, but keep in mind that the color preset is going to be applied to an entire video clip.

Alternatively, you can reduce a video clip’s saturation from the Adjust tab that contains the tools you need to perform the color correction manually.

Bonus: Recreating the Old Film Visual Style Video with iMovie on Mac for Free

Anyone who owns a Mac computer can produce vintage-looking videos, because iMovie, a MacOS-native video editing app features Aged Film and Film Grain effects. The old film stock often had a lot of grain, and applying the Film Grain effect to a video clip can make it look like it was captured with an old video camera. The Aged Film effect, on the other hand, adds scratches to the footage making it look as if the film was damaged over time. Both of these effects are easy to apply and it takes only a few clicks to create a visual style of old film in iMovie. Fine-tuning the contrast and brightness values after applying the Film Grain or Aged Film effects is going to make these effects even more visually attractive.

6. Add a Black Bar to Create Your Cinematic Look


Yes, sometimes it's just as simple as that. Add a Black Bar, however, is actually to change the aspect ratio of your video. To go deeper about that topic, you may want to see those two articles:

Add a Black Bar to Create Your Cinematic Video in 2021.


There are so many creative ways in which you can use the filters and effects that recreate the visual style of movies recorded on old film stock. Filmora and iMovie both offer quick and simple ways to desaturate a video and make it look like it’s ages old.

Another editor that many user love is Final Cut Pro. It's also more complicated to use, you can refer to this article to learn more about it: Full Guide on Making a Big-budget Cinematic Look Video with Final Cut Pro X.

Which method of recreating the visual style of silent era movies do you like to use the most? 

author avatar
Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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