Look Inspiration – Emulating VHS Camcorder Footage

February 15, 2019

What's harder than faking a VHS-look from a high-end camera? Intercutting that look with actual crummy VHS. Learn one way to do it.


Series

Turn Your Footage Into Terrible Quality VHS On Demand!

A current trend in advertising and content is to use VHS and other mixed formats.

All of the formats we hated years ago are now back and majorly in style. VHS, Hi8, MiniDV and anything else you can think of gets thrown into the mix.

The main benefit of these cameras is the contrasting texture that it gives the edits. Poor quality sensors lead to low resolution, fuzzy and generally washed out footage.

Intercut that with some 8mm or 16mm film and some high-end cinema camera footage and you have yourself a modern content film. I also feel like the younger generation (I’m 31 so I’m kind of stuck in the middle) have the same nostalgic feeling towards these formats that I do for 8mm.

The client of course now wants the action from one shot that was shot on Alexa or Red to look like VHS which is always the risk with shooting on these formats.

I used to be able to go very stylised with my VHS emulation but now that we are intercutting with real footage I’ve found it to be trickier as it’s more subtle than offsetting RGB channels and adding scanlines.

 

-Dan

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