8mm Film Effect in Adobe Premiere

There is a cool little app available for iPhones called 8mm that is really fun and creates a few different film-looks for your iPhone footage. For only $1.99 I’d recommend any filmmaker get it and try it out. It really does turn drab phone footage into fun retro film stock. It’s also really easy to use.

Frame from iPhone footage using 8mm app.

As a video editor, however, I’d much rather shoot my footage as plain or original as possible and then add film effects and filters later, this way I’m not locked in to a final image and have flexibility to make it look exactly the way I want later.

This post details how to achieve an 8mm film effect using Adobe Premiere. It’s super easy so I had to share it!

shot on iPhone using 8mm app.
unfiltered iPhone shot

The first thing I did in order to get the bottom image to match the top is add a preset look using Lumetri Color.

Creative panel in Lumetri

In this case, I used the CineSpace2383 preset. Automatically this gives us a nice warm contrasty look, however it’s a little much. As you can see from my settings I brought the intensity down to 46.6%. Kind of a random number but it’s what I thought looked best.

Then I boosted the faded film slider which basically reduces contrast and increases brightness in the blacks. I also brought down the sharpness to -100 because the 8mm definitely softens an image. This is actually a perfect example of why I’d prefer to add this effect in post as apposed to shooting with the effect burned-in — I want the film effect but I want it to be as sharp and clear as possible.

Basic Correction panel in Lumetri Color

Next, I did some work on the basic color correction to get a closer match with the 8mm footage. This will vary for every clip, but you can get an idea of what I had to do to get a closer match.

Color Wheels panel in Lumetri Color

Also, I’d recommend going into the Color Wheels panel to make sure you can get super close match in shadows, midtones, and highlights.

Finally, I added the Noise effect.

This is pretty straightforward. I simply added Noise under the Noise & Grain drop down and set it to 7%.

Additionally, you can the Median effect to remove some detail from the image. I set the radius to 1 as its very sensitive it seems.

And voila! This is the final grade:

Final color graded shot

For what it’s worth, here’s a comparison to the reference shot and the original unfiltered shot:

Reference shot. 8mm app filter on left, Premiere color correction to match on the right.
Before left and after on the right

Thanks to Lumetri Color this is a fast, easy, and fun way to give your boring iPhone or GoPro footage a retro film look. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it’s close. How much time you put into it just depends on the type of edit you are working on.

If you want to add another level of film effect, I’d recommend checking out Video Hive to see what kind of overlays you can lay on the film to give it that extra 8mm feeling.