There are tons of innovations in the new age of digital filming and editing for both the pros and amateurs alike. Whether you’re making video clips or only using your smartphone to capture personal moments into a mini film, there’s an app or a program to use.

So, where does that leave the older sentimental moments you may want to safeguard from time and use in your video business? This feature explores collage films and how you can get disparate parts to work together.

We’ll also unpack how you can keep classical footage and film clips. Plus, how to go about creating a new masterpiece filled with preserved and precious memories.

Defining Collage Film

Collage film is believed to be rooted in surrealism. It’s defined as combining or juxtaposing different kinds of footage from disparate sources. Clips that weren’t originally intended to be joined together are now bound to form a new creative piece.

It’s not always film cuts that make it into these compositions, rather a digital reassembly of imagery. You can use a combination of animation, stills, computer-generated graphics, real news clips, and older footage to bring diverse parts together.

It’s a style with a massive potential to express creativity and bring in history or entrench cultural attitudes. It can increase authenticity, add dramatization and create an illusion of reality.

Preserving Film

If you want to hold on to your archived reels of film or even videotapes, it’s essential to preserve them. It’s an organic substrate, vulnerable to the laws of nature and decay.

The experts at Just8mm caution that these should always be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight to protect audiovisual memories. The ideal temperature is no higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit with consistent humidity.

While reels from days gone by can last several decades, it’s ideal for you to transfer the content into a digital format, especially if it has historical significance or is of great sentimental value to you.

Label these oldies carefully and keep it in a film can or box, rather than a plastic bag, without any elastic bands or paper in between. Any additional elements you add may expose it to unwanted chemicals.

You could also consider taking it to a professional to have it cleaned and lubricated to help preserve it longer. It’s best practice to create an additional electronic copy for safekeeping when you decide to go this route.

Handling Old Film

Older film is delicate, and you should handle the reels with care. Ensure that your hands are clean and dry and always only touch the edges, and not the inner surface.

If you’re planning to use an old projector, first check that it’s in working condition. If it’s not fully operational, or malfunctioning, it’ll damage or tear your reel.

Check that the projecting device is clean too, as dust or a build-up of dirt may scratch your film. When you’re winding it up, ensure that it’s flat, without any folds or twists.

Creating Your Collage

Thanks to modern technology, creating a collage is straightforward. Many online platforms offer templates and step by step instructions to create a framework.

You can often use ready-made designs and drop your imagery and other materials into it. You’ll find options to add music or voice-overs to bring it all to life.


Sharing options are available to most social media networks to amplify your work. Many offer free trials for you to test before committing to a paid version of the application or software. Most sites also offer tutorials and have a knowledge hub for troubleshooting and frequently asked questions.

Now that the ‘how’ you’ll do it is covered, let’s look at the structure of your film collage as art rather than just another medium.

Your Storyboard

Once you’ve got your idea in place, you need to plan how you’ll tell the story. Your storyboard provides the visual outline and you can write a short script, and combine it with a graphic series of images or animations to plot your film.

It’s an essential part of the pre-production process and maps out the sequence of events. It’s incredibly helpful when you’re planning to shoot over a few days. Use it as a guideline to keep your filming time organized and economical.

It also ensures you keep to your theme and core message, especially when you’re using dissimilar building blocks made up of a variety of visual elements.

While crafting your story, consider your target audience as your consumer. Remember that if you’re planning to share with social media, there may be restrictions on specific imagery and language use too.

It’s also vital that you check copyright and attribution of images. Get the necessary permission to use clips and existing material that’s not your own, and give the due credits or acknowledgement as required.

Plan Your Content

Think about how you’ll frame each piece of content before you add it. Decide how many of the different kinds of each shot you’ll add.

An establishing image is a fantastic way to open to help your viewers set the scene. These can be done wide-angle style to portray space and indicate size.

Closeups are ideal to depict emotion or show details. You can crop for a more dramatic effect, but you may need to deal with older footage’s pixelation challenges if the resolution isn’t very high.

Extreme closeups show intricate details like texture. You can use intense focus or zooming techniques to take the viewer deeper into the scene.

You can create a diverse range of shots with different camera angles too. Eye shots keep the lens at human eye level and is a neural position to ‘face’ the subject.

Incorporate high shots, taken from above eye level downwards to create an effect of fear, or do a low angle, looking up to the subject to give it heroic stature or more power.

To create the illusion of being in the actual scene, you can use a point of view shot. Here you’ll construct a kind of beauty shot so the audience can see it through a character’s eyes.


For example, seeing hands on a bicycle’s handlebars just above the wheel, moving forward or looking through binoculars and the horizon.

Your Visual Style

Decide on the particular look you want to achieve. If you’re using historical clips, you may want to give it a brown hue or use a filter to soften the light.

Look at the location and setting of the scenes you add and let the storyline and characters guide your aesthetic choices. Are you sharing a heartwarming section or something cool and clinical? The exposure or brightness you apply will vary to set the mood.

Consider the transition too. How will you cut from one section to the next? Will you use visual effects like fading images or let it stop rather than dissolve before flowing into the next scene? All this needs to be decided upon to get the best effect.

Don’t forget about sound, music and dialogue. These elements can help to set the scene, establish the background and should enhance or support your visual style.

Wrapping Up

A film collage is an excellent way to create an extraordinary new creative compilation using disparate pieces. You can use various content sources and effects to bring diverse and contrasting parts together to tell your story.

It works well if you can access well-preserved clips and follow a structure with consideration for your audience and the platform where you’ll publish it. Acknowledge the work of others if you add those and list the required attributions or credits.


Let your theme shine through like a golden thread but have fun too. You’ll undoubtedly convey your message with impact using a film collage as an artistic expression.