This app from Moment—the folks who make excellent snap-on smartphone lenses—comes with prefab filters created by filmmakers (including Shorty Awards finalist Ani Acopian) that give your videos a vintage Hollywood vibe. Swipe to pick a filter, choosing between Noir's moody monochrome, Aria's '60s swank, or the scratchy, desaturated color of Ranger, then shoot your clip. There are no editing tools, but the simplicity is the point. Nonpaying users get the three filters mentioned above, but a $15 per year pro account unlocks 11 others, and new options will be added monthly. Sorry Androids, Rtro is iOS only.
Sure, you could storyboard and edit your own video, but why not let an AI do the heavy lifting? Load your clips and still photos into Magisto, then pick the style you're going for: Urban, Movie Trailer, Wedding Bliss. The app uploads your visuals to the cloud, where automated editing software mashes together a video that looks like something a motion-graphics virtuoso would create, complete with music that isn't half bad. A premium account ($60 a year) ups the number of available style templates from 23 to 36 and gives you the ability to lengthen your videos from a breezy 75 seconds to an epic 10 minutes.
Funimate is the most whimsical option of the bunch, with its myriad methods for adding animated text, green-screen-style backgrounds, and pulsating psychedelic glitches to your social videos. You can upload any MP3 track and dance to it, then add a super-slo-mo effect to your dramatic hair flip. The app contains hundreds of transitions and effects; $50 a year grants access to all. There's a curated social network feed built into the app that appears to be populated entirely by extroverted teens, but adults can ignore it and publish straight to Instagram, TikTok, or a WhatsApp group text.
The closest thing to a straightforward video editor in this roundup, InShot is the app to use if you care less about animated effects and more about adding professional polish to your clips. Trim and merge footage, add some subtle transitions and color filters, and layer on whatever music you want—you can even sync your edits to the beat. Upload straight to TikTok or Instagram, or save your video for sharing elsewhere. There are enough free effects and transitions for you to go full David Lynch, but $10 a year unlocks everything, gets rid of the watermark, and nukes the persistent (and terrible) in-app ads.
Stylist: Rosanna Van Straten
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