How to Add Old Film Effect on a Video Effortlessly


By Jack

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Old Film Effect

The old film effect is a pretty popular option among video editors across the globe. This effect can add uniqueness to videos and make them really attractive.

So, if you want to know the easiest way to add an old film effect, keep reading.

What is the Old Film Effect?

The term “old film effect” represents a special effect added to videos. Once this effect is added, the respective video will appear in black and white and shades of mixed colors.

Also, it will have some noise along with random lighting variations. As of today, that effect is often being used to make videos more attractive.

In general, the old film effect can be seen in the music video industry. However, it is used in other videos as well. For instance, it works for advertisements, intro, demonstrations, etc.

Also, you can use that effect to make your personal memories look more awesome. That said, if you wonder how to add it to your videos, you are reading the correct article.

PS: here are the top After Effects alternatives for your reference.

As mentioned before, the old film effect can comprise different characteristics. The purpose of adding this effect to a video is to make it look vintage or old.

In that case, there are several effects to be added to the video that will have a retro appearance.

The most popular options are black & white noise, film scratch marks, film grain, etc. Also, you can use retro-type borders and some light leaks as well. Well, the effects that are mentioned here will be discussed further in the rest of the paragraphs.

01. Film Grain Old Film Effect 

As one of the most popular retro film effects, many editors often use film grain. When this effect is applied to a video, you can see a mix of random textures on it.

In fact, it appears as a series of small particles, dots, and metallic grains randomly. Also, you can see some dye clouds as well (developed with silver compounds). It is true that the film grain is the function of particles.

Although this effect doesn’t create any physical effect on the film, you can see it in a realistic form. When this effect is applied, the respective video will appear just like an old movie.

In fact, the film grain overlay effect is extracted from nothing but actual samples of film grains. The samples were shot with the assistance of a gray card.

Film Grain old film effect

02. Black and White Noise Effect

The Black & White effect is one of the most common options used by individuals who edit videos. It instantly adds some classic, “oldish,” and authentic look to videos. Well, usage of black & white has been around for a while.

Although black & white was not an “effect,” Initially, it is used by modern-day video editors. This is particularly true when it comes to modern-day commercials. In reality, black and white noise is considered grayish spots found on film sets.

To simplify, the term “noise” is used for this effect because it is not an actual color. But it is visible to our eyes. When you apply this old film effect to a video, you will see a misty appearance.

With many different video editing tools, this effect is available as a template. Also, some video editors may offer multiple forms of black and white noise so that you can choose the best. As a result, you can effortlessly add the most appealing black-and-white effect to the video.

Black and White Noise Effect

03. Vintage Film Border Effect

The term “vintage film border” defines the effect that appears like an irregular, broken, or damaged border margin. Usually, they come with faded, torn, or fumbled parts. Also, we don’t know how to describe this specific old film effect.

That is because it can come in many varieties. As a result of applying this effect to a video, the viewer will focus more on the subject.

In other words, the purpose of this border is to reduce the focus on the background. For many videos, this effect works fine, but the video editor should use it smartly.

Vintage Film Border Effect

04. Film Scratches Old Film Effect 

Just like the name suggests, the film effect is the effect that applies scratch marks to your video. Why do you want to “spoil” your video by adding scratch marks to it? Don’t worry.

Although it sounds like a pretty ugly effect, in reality, it adds beauty to your videos. When they’re added to a photo or a video, they appear like cracks that are found on the lens.

When the crack is available, the video will appear as a pretty old one, regardless of the content. In other words, this effect doesn’t necessarily “scratch” the video.

Instead, a layer with scratch effects will be added to it. Any video editing app can find at least a couple of scratch effects.

Film Scratches Old Film Effect 

05. Leaked Light Effects

This is a pretty handy effect that can add some vintage but unique appearance to your video. In reality, this effect takes place when a gap is present in the camera’s body.

If not, it can appear as a result of a gap found in other optical tools used for capturing when light leaks through those gaps and is applied to a light-proof area that creates a “leaked light” effect. In other words, unwanted exposure to light is the creator behind this effect.

However, this light doesn’t appear as a solid spot of light in the film. Instead, it appears as a gradient shadow or a special reflection on the film. The effect it creates is unique, and there is no uniformity.

In reality, when no exposure issues are expected, leaked lights are a huge issue. It is more of a disturbance for the videographer or the photographer. However, it can be used as a really nice old film effect on modern-day videos or photographs.

Leaked Light Effects

The above is just a very short list of effects that can be used as old effects on videos. There are plenty of other options you can try on your videos to make them unique. The number of video effects that can be used will differ based on the editing software you use.

If you choose an application like Filmora Video Editor, you can apply a massive number of effects through Filmstock. That said, Filmstock is the effects store that is compatible with Filmora.

Filmora Video Editor: The Easiest Way to Apply Old Film Effect on a Video

Filmora Video Editor is considered to be one of the most versatile video editors you will find. This special tool comes with plenty of effects, including old film effects.

The most attractive thing about this app is that it comes with an excellent user interface with ultimate simplicity. It allows you to add effects and do various effects using a couple of clicks only. It has basic as well as advanced effects to make video editing simpler yet more professional.

Filmora is compatible with many video formats, including MP4, JPG, VOB, and so on. In addition to that, this tool can convert files exceptionally faster compared to other tools.

Main Features Associated with Filmora Video Editor

Mentioned below are the main features associated with Filmora.

  • It can edit videos and add old film effects with ease.
  • It comprises plenty of tools for tasks like cutting, trimming, rotating, split-screen, picture-in-picture, etc.
  • You can use it to apply a plethora of effects, such as transitions, filters, and so on.
  • It lets you add music and subtitles.
  • Can remove audio from video clips.
  • Once edited, you can upload the video to YouTube and other video-sharing platforms as well.
  • It can work as a desktop screen recorder as well.
Filmora Video Editor old film effect

Adding Old Film Effect using Filmora Video Editor

In this section of the article, let’s learn how to add an old film effect to videos using Filmora.

  • First, you should download and install Filmora on your PC. After that, you should launch it to see the home screen. Then, from the home screen, choose the option called “Import Media Files Here” to proceed. Then, you should go to the location where the video is saved. Click on “Open” so you can upload the respective video.
Filmora Video Editor
  • Now that the video effect is added to the application drag it to the timeline. After that, you should click on the option “Effects” in the menu bar. You should drag the film effect you intend to use and drop it on the timeline.
add old film effect Using Filmora Video Editor
  • If you are satisfied with the effect added, click on “Export” and select output format. Then, you should name it properly so you can find it easier later on. After defining a location to save the video, you can hit the “Export” button.
Filmora Video Editor


Q1: Can I achieve the old film effect using free software? Yes, there are some free video editing software options available, like HitFilm Express and DaVinci Resolve, that provide basic old film effect features. However, for more advanced and professional results, investing in premium software and plugins is recommended.

Q2: Can I add the old film effect to a specific part of my video? Absolutely! Most video editing software allows you to apply effects to specific sections of your video. You can use keyframes or masks to selectively apply the old film effect where you want it.

Q3: Can I use the old film effect for any type of video? Yes, the old film effect can be applied to various types of videos, including short films, music videos, documentaries, and even social media content. It adds a unique aesthetic that can enhance the storytelling and engage the viewers.

Q4: Are there any copyright concerns when using old film stock footage? Yes, it’s important to ensure that you have the necessary rights or licenses for any stock footage you use. Check the licensing terms and conditions provided by the stock footage platforms to avoid copyright infringement.

Q5: How can I learn more about video editing and visual effects? There are numerous online tutorials, courses, and communities dedicated to video editing and visual effects. Platforms like YouTube, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of resources to help you enhance your skills and stay updated with the latest techniques.


You can use many applications to get the old film effect. However, Filmora makes it incredibly easier thanks to its friendly user interface.

In addition to adding old film effects, you can use this tool to create professional videos with ease.


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.