If you film a video clip today, you can use video editing techniques to date the footage and make it look historical. These artistic effects transport your viewers to a different era and setting. If you apply the old fashioned effects to a modern clip, it can also make for a funny/weird contrast that makes your viewer look twice and catch their attention in a social media feed.

In this post, I’ll share how you make your video look vintage using a free online video editor. Give your clip a retro video makeover with some super easy filters and effects.

Effects

Fade

Adding a semi-opaque overlay to your video can make the footage seem much older. A fade dulls and smooths the edges of the people and things in the video, which is more representative of old cameras.

How: To add a fade, open Kapwing’s Filters and upload or your video clip. Click on the “Adjust” tab to increase or decrease the fade.

Letterboxing

Old movies were filmed with a widescreen aspect ratio. To make your video look more like old fashioned film, add a black border on the top and bottom edge of your video clip. Use Kapwing’s Resizer to zoom in to the video and position it within the 9:16 frame. This technique emulates the mattes that were added to film when they were transferred to a standard-width format.

How: Resize your video to add black padding above and below before publishing it. In the Kapwing Studio, change the background color to black and drag the corners of the video layer so that it has black bars above and below.

Vintage Music or Sound Effects

There are certain sound effects that we recognize from old films like the scratch of a record player or a jolly-sounding orchestra that remind people of old movies. Merge these selectively into your video’s soundtrack for a vintage tone.

How: Browse YouTube for some music or sounds you want to add. Then, merge it with your video clip on Kapwing’s Add Music to Video tool.

Old-Fashioned Intro

Append in a film countdown intro to start off your video. These film leaders helped cinemas set their projectors to the reel’s beginning, so starting off your video with a similar scene gives it a vintage cinematic tone.

How: You can use a simple montage maker to append the intro to your video clip. Just import a countdown YouTube clip like this one by copy/pasting the URL and merge it with your uploaded MP4.

Filters

Black and white

Removing the color from your video takes it back to pre-1940s when colorized film became popular. Use the grayscale filter to zap the color out of your video without adding contrast. Grayscale is more serious and somber than Sepia

How: Grayscale is one of the custom filters in the Kapwing Filter library. Upload your video and experiment with different black-and-white options to create your colorless MP4.

Sepia

Sepia’s warm, brown tint resembles the pigmentation of  vintage photos. By adding a sepia filter to a video, you remind them of nostalgic memories and the passage of time. Sepia works well for low-contrast videos because it doesn’t flatten the lighting.

How: Sepia is one of the custom filters in the Kapwing Filter library. Upload your video and add a sepia gradient to age your video clip.

Conclusion

Hopefully this helps you make your video clips look and feel more vintage! Kapwing is designed to help students, artists, and small business owners tell digital stories, so feigning historical footage is right up our alley.