With the never-ending quest for HD video to have the look and feel of film, users have gone to great lengths to make viewers feel as if they are experiencing scenes from a Buster Keaton film. One fairly common technique is the addition of “film burns” over footage. The film burn, or film flash, look typically comes from the misfeed of film through the camera gate behind the lens of a film camera, creating an accidental stylization look of red and yellowish hues on the negative and the print.
Digital video clips of film burns can be purchased from artbeats.com for a small fortune, or if you do enough digging, you can find a few good/free clips scattered throughout the world wide web. Various blogs, forums, videos, Google searches, and a little creativity have lead me to a few.
Please NOTE: these are all free footage files that were been made free by the original author. I have given credit to them.
You can download the filmburns by following me on Twitter or “liking” Cineblur on Facebook, via the link below.
To use the film burns:
Place the film burn clip on a layer above the edited footage.
Change the transfer mode of the film burn, (screen, add, hard light, overlay, etc.)
Then adjust opacity of the film burn layer accordingly or leave it at 100%.
If your transfer mode does not key out the black, (hard light, darken, multiply) use a color key filter, and select black, and adjust the tolerance until you get what you want.
I personally favor the “add” transfer mode the most.
If the pixelation becomes an issue, mostly on the SD clips, use a blur to soften the edges until you do not see the large, digital “squares.”
You can also do some pretty creative things, like speeding up or slowing down the underlying clip to create a more believable effect. Also, try adding a “film flash” transition under the burn clip, to give a sweet effect. The “Too Much Too Soon” effects package is great, and contains an awesome film flash transition. And it’s free! I highly suggest any FCP editor to download it.
That’s it, the download is free. Enjoy faking that forever coveted film look. HUGE credit goes to Denver Riddle over at Digital Cinema Foundry. He created the 4 HD clips. Give him some love by buying his premium film burns pack. Click here to view more details. Also, check out my free Magic Bullet Looks presets, “Awesome Looks.”