Gear and Gadgets

Home Video – Editing Tricks and Tips

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

We live in an exciting time for home filmmakers and video editors. These days, there are a tonne of tools and methods available even to amateurs, all of which can help you achieve near-cinema quality effects.

Thanks to smartphones and Go Pros, we also have high-quality recording equipment available at reasonable prices. With affordable computer programs and apps available to help with the editing process, anyone can learn to touch up home videos with some really cool effects. So just for fun, here are five tricks you might want to try the next time you’re shooting videos around the house!


If you’re looking for the simplest possible way to upgrade your home videos (and you shoot with a mobile device), check out the VideoMagix app. It offers standard filters and effects, which are applied with ease. This is not the most ambitious home video effect tool, but it’s one of the easiest to use. Also, if you’d like an effect such as turning a video black and white, applying a cartoonish look, etc., it’s a nice and free tool to keep in mind.

Action Movie FX

For people who like to play around with video clips and effects, Action Movie FX is one of the most enjoyable apps out there. Seriously, if you’ve never used it before, you’re probably about to spend hours blowing your friends’ pictures to pits with effects like “fire fight” and “helicopter crash” that make it look as if these disasters are befalling the subjects of photos. However, as a YouTube video by Matthew Pearce explains nicely, you can also use the app (along with a green screen setup) to apply big time action effects to home videos.


There are numerous terms (“Bullet Time” popular among them) for this effect, which is essentially the effort to capture extreme slow motion through continual snapshots streamed together. Intercasino uploaded a video to their YouTube channel called Mike 360 that demonstrates the trick used to great effect for those who want a closer look at how it works. While you likely won’t make something so polished on a first attempt, the video displays the concept with simplicity.

Aged Film

Aged Film is one of several fun iMovie effects that you can use to edit and put your own spin on any home video to create something fairly unique. About Technology actually has a very thorough rundown of many of these effects, including Earthquake (which blurs your film), black & white (self-explanatory), and a range of others. Aged Film is certainly one of the most enjoyable, as it gives your shots a crackled, old-timey look that can’t really be achieved by any other means.

Household Item Special Effects

This is straying somewhat from the use of programs and editing tools, but it’s interesting nonetheless. In 2013, a man named Joey Shanks with a background in film special effects gained popularity by posting home videos that, quite frankly, make film studios look ridiculous for spending tens of millions on special effects. USA Today did a brief post on Shanks, whose videos demonstrate and explain effects such as creating planets with dry ice bubbles. This one is for the true tinkerers and artists out there.

These are just a few examples of the fun you can have with simple videos at home, but take it from us, they can all be a blast and are definitely worth exploring!