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Super 8 app shoots awesome home movies

If you're going for that vintage look, complete with scratches and shaky frames, check out this sweet new movie-recording app. For a limited time, it's free.

Super 8 lives up to its name: It shoots old-fashioned-looking home movies--and it's super.
Super 8 lives up to its name: It shoots old-fashioned-looking home movies--and it's super. QMx Interactive

Now this is how you do a movie tie-in.

Super 8, a new app named for the eponymous J.J. Abrams flick that opens June 10, isn't some lame collection of teaser clips or a slapped-together game. Rather, it's a full-featured video recorder designed to emulate Super 8 film cameras.

In other words, it's like a Wayback Machine for your iPhone and iPad 2, allowing you to record home movies with a decidedly '60s flair. The only thing it's not is new: apps like 8mm Vintage Camera and Silent Film Director have offered this capability for a while.

Ah, but Super 8 is free--and it's mighty slick. The entire interfaced is modeled after a Super 8 case, complete with vintage instruction manual, Super 8 "cassettes" (i.e. your library of recordings), and the camera itself.

The camera comes with your choice of seven photorealistic "lenses," including color, sepia, negative, and even infrared. For any of them you can toggle a scratch-and-dirt overlay and a frame-shake effect; the latter literally makes the frame jump based on movement of the iPhone. (This effect is probably incomprehensible to anyone who's never watched old home movies--but it's seriously cool for those of us who have.)

After you've shot some "film," you can organize (but not edit) your clips, then add titles and credits, insert an authentic-looking Super 8 film leader, and "develop" the movie for viewing with Super 8's "projector." (The attention to detail here is terrific: you have to pull down the "screen," and there are Reverse and Forward buttons you can hold to shuttle the playback in real-time.)

When you're done, you can e-mail your movies to friends or copy them back to your PC via iTunes. Alas, there's no way to share via Facebook or YouTube.

That's about the only thing wrong with this clever and entertaining app. It may lack a few of the features found in its aforementioned predecessors, but it's really a blast to play with--and you can't beat the price. For a limited time, Super 8 is free.