There has been a resurgence in the use of found footage style storytelling since the massive success of The Blair Witch Project, but grainy-shaky-1st person footage is much more than a vehicle for horror movie plots. It’s an effect that can instantly take the viewer back in time (oh, the glory of 1980’s home video) or make the viewer a participant in the action on screen.
And now there’s an easy – and may we add fun – way to achieve the perfect VHS look for your film.
Post-production service providers Rarevision has come out with an iPhone app (Android version is reportedly on the way) that allows you to shoot up to 1080p video in far-less-than-HD quality. Sound like an oxymoron? Try it. The image comes complete with the familiar VHS tape noise and distortion, which you can manipulate as you shoot, and the app lets you zoom, modify the on-screen date stamp, and even choose between different frame rates.
On the VHS Camcorder website you get the impression that the app’s makers are targeting the Instagram/Facebook demographic with an affinity for kitsch video sharing, but if you’re a DIY filmmaker and the iPhone is your best friend, then this should definitely be part of your tool box. To be used when appropriate, of course.