1950's style film

1950's style film (November 18, 2010 02:01PM) p-gordon79
I have a project coming up and have been asked to film a 3 minute montage and get it looking like a 1950's style look. With the black and white, scratches, flickering etc. Any ideas on the best way to shoot it. light it and also apply relevant filters etc would be appreciated. Thanks.
Re: 1950's style film (November 20, 2010 04:11AM) philsfilm

I used the "old movie" effects plug-ins I purchased from Graeme Nattress:


I was trying to achieve a 1920's silent movie look with film scratches and dust:


For the 1950's, you would want to modify it. As for lighting, I would check some of the films on TCM. Hollywood lit their movies quite harshly, lots of contrast between blacks and whites as opposed to soft grays.

Hope this helps.

Re: 1950's style film (November 22, 2010 01:50AM) Gypaetus
Saving money:

iMovie has a free plug-in for "aging" a film. It is easy to export/import a clip from/to FCP, - I use this combining of applications for various features (the map function, titles, using even the automatic templates for a short part in the movie etc.).
Re: 1950's style film (November 22, 2010 02:02AM) philsfilm
How do you access the iMovie plug-in?
Re: 1950's style film (November 22, 2010 04:13AM) Gypaetus
Following your question I started to investigate. I have access to iLife 08 and to an older iLife version I use on my good old G4.

Actually the newer version seems to hide very well any list of plug-ins (if they exist anyway), while I have still the whole range of plug-ins (Apple and third-party) on the G4.

This is certainly a problem of Apple's update policy with iMovie - so you are obviously right not to find it in the newer versions of iMovie. My access is thus limited to the G4 version only. Sorry for creating a wrong hope in you...
Re: 1950's style film (November 24, 2010 11:18PM) Gypaetus

You have to double-click in the projekt window on the clip, then the black information window opens; you choose the Clip mode, then you find in the second line the pop-up "video effects" - there you find various modes to applicate one of the effect plug-ins. Obviously you can only apply one by one.

What's currently about the former abundance of third-party plug-ins I still have not found out yet.
Re: 1950's style film (November 25, 2010 01:23AM) philsfilm
Is this in FCP or iMovie?
Re: 1950's style film (November 25, 2010 02:19AM) Gypaetus
in iMovie!

- the question was for the free plug-in to obtain the old-age film look. The important hint is to click on (activate) the clip first - otherwise the "video effects" pop-up is not visible.
Re: 1950's style film (November 25, 2010 02:53AM) philsfilm
OK, thanks! How do I use it in FCP?
Re: 1950's style film (November 26, 2010 02:55AM) Gypaetus
You cannot use iMovie-PlugIns in FCP directly, but you can export the clip from FCP as file, import it in a (new?) project in iMovie, apply here the desired effects, export the movie file and reimport it to FCP.

Sounds complicated, but once the workflow became established it is not very time-consuming.
Re: 1950's style film (November 26, 2010 03:28AM) philsfilm
Got it. Thanks.
Re: 1950's style film (November 27, 2010 08:33AM) Joe Redifer
The problem I have with most of these "damaged film" type of filters is that whoever makes the filter has no clue what real damaged film actually looks like. Perfectly vertical scratches rarely travel sideways across and OFF the screen. Usually they are perfectly still or may wobble a bit, depending on how the film was damaged. Emulsion scratches are colored (for color film) with green scratches being bad and yellow being worse. I have yet to see a filter offer this. Black scratches are either very light emulsion scratches or base-side scratches. Light base side scratches can actually be removed from the film with proper cleaning, but emulsion scratches are there forever.
Re: 1950's style film (November 27, 2010 08:40AM) Ken Stone Admin
Have you checked out the CHV plugin.


Re: 1950's style film (November 27, 2010 10:20PM) p-gordon79
Hi Joe,

Do you have any ideas to get an authentic look for the 1950's style?
Re: 1950's style film (November 28, 2010 03:02AM) Joe Redifer
Ken -

I'd have to see it in motion. If there is a demo of that filter, I certainly am not able to find it on the site. There was someone on these boards who made an almost-decent filter that I gave detailed suggestions to on how to make it look more like film damage, but I never heard back from whoever it was and am not sure if my ideas were implemented. It might have been

CHV because the site looks kind of familiar.

p-gordon79 -

I'd look at some actual 1950's film and try to copy the lighting and framing style, etc. You can probably use some generic filters to saturate the colors in a certain way or desaturate them nearly altogether. 1950's film doesn't need to be damaged or dirty, but the way I usually do damaged film is to occasionally lop out a few frames (where the film might have broken) and draw splicing tape lines on each side of the cut. It helps to know what that kind of stuff looks like. You can also draw a cement splice and make the image jump just for that cut. These are things no filter lets you control. If I had the programming ability, I'd make the world's best film damage plug in with tons of parameters to control.

A soft vignette around the edges will go a long way to help with that look, just be careful not to overdo it.

Re: 1950's style film (November 28, 2010 04:58AM) Ken Stone Admin
You can write to Christoph (of CHV) and ask. He's a good guy and will try to help.

Christoph Vonrhein <chv@chv-electronics.de>

Re: 1950's style film (November 28, 2010 06:46AM) philsfilm
I read all of this with a sense of irony because I'm old school and used to be a real film editor who mylar and cement hot-spliced 8mm, 16mm & 35mm motion picture prints and original camera negative. We used to take extra care to make sure the film was pristine and the splices were flawless and ran smoothly thru the gate. We also ran the film thru cleaning solutions before projecting or telecine. Now that we're in the digital age, we're racking our brains to create the "distressed film look" that we used to abhor.
Re: 1950's style film (November 28, 2010 06:57AM) Ken Stone Admin
Go figure.

Re: 1950's style film (November 29, 2010 09:57PM) Joe Redifer
Yup, I have a part time job as 35mm projectionist and film damage is a most definite no-no. But If I'm going for that style, I want to do it right.
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