How to Make a Video Look Like Scratched Film on Adobe Premiere


Since the advent of digital video cameras, photographers have wondered how to make digital video footage look just like film. It is nearly impossible, but a few tricks can help you achieve a similar look. Adobe Premiere has several settings that can adjust the look of your video to make it look more like scratched film.

  • Open Adobe Premiere and import the clip, sequence or movie you wish to edit.

  • Select the "Levels" effect from the "Effects & Presets" menu and add this effect to your project.

  • Adjust the Levels effect by narrowing your levels range to encompass only what you have actually captured with your video footage. You will see two meters. The bottom one shows the black and white levels applied to your project. This represents the light to dark range of the video. The top one shows the levels actually captured on your footage. Bring down the white levels to the peak white levels you have captured without clipping, and bring up the black levels to the peak black levels you have captured without clipping. If you bring in the levels too much, then your video will clip, meaning that something you captured will become too dark or too light and you will lose detail.

  • Select the "Curves" effect from the "Effects & Presets" menu and add this effect to your project.

  • Adjust the curve to give you a more filmic contrast ratio. Adjust the top part of the curve to the left and the bottom part of the curve to the right to give yourself an S-shaped curve and more contrast in your picture.

  • Add the "Noise" video effect under the "Noise & Grain" option in the "Video Effects" menu. This effect will provide the noise and scratches that are common in film. Combined with the other effects, they will give your piece a more filmic look. Adjust the noise according to how you want your video to look, as too much may provide an undesired look.

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  • Photo Credit film image by saied shahinkiya from
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