Editing – VHS static and colour correcting

And so the post production begins, as my film heavily reliant on VFX and editing to establish it as part of the science fiction genre it means that this portion is going to be the longest part of the process and is the section that will require the most diligence in order to produce a good final media product.

For the entire film i wanted to replicate the VHS static thats present in most 80’s films and as this was the time period i had set part of my film in i thought that the static, sharpened and slightly de colorised picture would add to this theme. In order to achieve this i simply downloaded a royalty free VHS static overlay which is essentially just TV static on a black background, i then imported this into final cut pro placing it above my already imported film clips, i then went to the right hand side of the screen and selected the blending mode, i then set this to ‘Exclusion’ this just removed the black from the clip leaving me with the white static now residing on my clip. To further the effectiveness of the clip and make it look more realistic i added some colour grading affects to the film clip,  firstly i added the sharpen raising it to about 0.7 this function defined the blacks in each clip making the highlights stand out and making the footage look even grainier. Following this was the prism effect which i kept at a low rate 0.1 or 0.2 was enough as it gives the footage a slight distortion and de-colourisation that would have accompanied an old VHS tape. After this it was just a process of colour grading and tweaking the exposure and saturation of each clip as most pieces of footage were shot in different settings with different light sources etc.

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Some of the images below represent the style i was aiming for when creating my VHS static in final cut pro. The research i conducted into VHS static helped me a lot when deciding on what to do with my film. In the end i decided to go with a VHS overlay i found on the internet, the user when messaged agreed that the use of this footage in my film would be fine. This VHS static was just the right amount as it didn’t show too much crackling on screen or colour distortion, however it did show small grains of static which was just enough for my footage to look like it was straight out of the 80’s


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