Premiere Pro Film Strip

Premiere Pro Tips & Tricks

You hardly see them anymore, but in the early days, film was produced on “strips,” which could actually be seen onscreen as the frames flashed past. In this tutorial, we’ll be heading back in time with our footage. In fact, we’ll be doing that right in the middle of the footage itself! We’ll be using Premiere Pro as our time travel machine, so let’s get inside and turn the dial back seventy years or so.

Getting the Project Files

  1. Download the project files.
  2. After the download has finished, be sure to unzip the file if it hasn’t been done for you. You should end up with a Premiere Pro Film Strip folder.

Project Overview

The first effect we’ll be using, as well as the main one, is called Offset. That goes on an Adjustment Layer already placed in the project for your convenience. We’ll also add a Directional Blur effect to blur some of the frames to add the illusion of a moving object. Those will be keyframed. After that we’ll add one final effect, a Black and White effect onto a different adjustment layer. That gets keyframed as well, and the project is done!

So let’s get started! 

Offset Effect

  1. Okay, let’s start with our first effect. That you’ll find in the Effects panel by searching Offset.
  2. Drag and drop the Offset effect onto the layer simply named Adjustment Layer.
  3. In Effect Controls, on the top left, scroll down until you see your new Offset effect.
  4. Now let’s move the Playhead to 00;00;01;22.
  5. Hit the diamond shape next to Shift Center To, which will start keyframing. We’ll leave the numbers as is for this one.
  6. Move the Playhead to 00;00;04;07.
  7. Next to Shift Center to, change the Y coordinate, the second number, to 28619.
    • Now, the thing about this particular effect is that it can be a bit finicky in terms of numbers and positioning. You can follow the numbers given in this tutorial, but don’t be alarmed if your footage seems to “jump” a bit at the end of the adjustment layer. The reason that happens is that the position of the footage during the adjustment layer might be a tiny bit off. Once the layer ends, the footage “jumps” back into its original position. 
    • If you see that happening, simply change some of the Shift Center To numbers until it matches up with the subsequent frames.
  8. Right-click on the last keyframe.
  9. Hover over Temporal Interpolation.
  10. Select Ease Out.
  11. Right-click on the first keyframe.
  12. Hover over Temporal Interpolation.
  13. Select Ease In. 
  14. Move the Playhead to 00;00;00;00.
  15. Hit the Spacebar to preview your effect. The bulk of it should be done, with the clips appearing to transition into each other by way of a film strip.

Directional Blur

  1. In the Effects panel, search for Directional Blur.
  2. Drag and drop that onto the Adjustment Layer. 
  3. In the Effects Control panel, scroll down to your new Directional Blur layer.
  4. Move the Playhead to 00;00;01;22.
  5. Next to Blur Length, hit the stopwatch to start keyframes.
  6. Move the Playhead to 00;00;02;14.
  7. Change Blur Length to 10.
  8. Now move forward to 00;00;03;13.
  9. Click the diamond shape to set another keyframe with the same value.
  10. Finally, move to 00;00;04;08.
  11. Change the Blur Length to 0. The footage will now blur a bit as it speeds past until it settles back down.

Black and White

  1. Ok, for the final effect! In the Effects panel, type in Image Control.
  2. Under the options that show up, there should be a Black and White effect. Drag and drop that on the Black and White Effect layer.
  3. Select the Black and White Effect layer.
  4. In Effect Controls, scroll down to the new Black and White effect.
  5. Move the Playhead to 00;00;03;01.
  6. Next to Opacity, hit the stopwatch to start keyframes.
  7. Change the Opacity to 0%.
  8. Now, move the Playhead to 00;00;04;01.
  9. Change the Opacity to 100%.
  10. Move the Playhead to 00;00;00;00.
  11. Hit the Spacebar to preview your footage.

You’re all done!


Done! We’ve successfully traveled back in time to the black and white film strip era, and in the middle of the footage no less. Of course, you can always alter the effect to suit your own project needs, extending the length of the transition, changing the speed at which it moves, or adding other color effects on top of the footage as it slides from one frame to the next.

Happy editing!

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