Above: Background elements in this clip were given the DFT Film Stocks treatment to meet the latest NWU visual language requirements. View the full clip on YouTube
The NWU is one of my major clients and they recently changed their visual communication style to a modern contemporary "light and airy" look. Achieving what is basically a stylized "Instagram" look in future video projects through ordinary colour correction tools would take hours so it made sense to look at a serious colour grading tool. Well to be honest, I was looking for an excuse to get a serious grading tool for a long time and this was just the excuse I was waiting for! I shopped around for a plug-in that would integrate with both Adobe After Effects and Avid Media Composer. The first surprise was of course price - the cost of pro plug-ins seems to have skyrocketed and old favourites like Red Giant's Magic Bullet and Sapphire will now set you back quite substancially. So my final choice was cost-driven but also based on "no demo version, no purchase". I stumbled across Digital Film Tools Film Stocks and was pleasantly surprised to discover that a single license would activate the plug-in in ALL your video and motion graphics applications. They also offer a fully featured 15-day trial that gave me the opportunity to kick its tyres before making a purchasing decision.

Above: The plug-in simulates a wide range of film stocks. Simply choose a look from the Film Stocks UI and then tweak the parameters in your host application's effect editor.  
I like Film Stocks. It plugs directly into the Media Composer and After Effects effect palettes and simulates the colour and light reproduction of a very wide range of film stocks. Simply choose a stock from the Film Stocks UI and then jump back to the familiar effects editor of the host application where you can adjust effect parameters such as diffusion/blur, vignette, colour, grain, etc.


Above and below: DFT Film Stocks plug into both Adobe After Effects and Avid Media Composer. Also available for Apple FCP. 


In terms of a price its still not dirt cheap, but I think it is still better priced than similar plugs like Red Giant's Magic Bullet. Cons? Not many really. Be prepared for lenghty render times in both Media Composer and After Effects, but this would the case with any plug-in of this type. 

Digital Film Tools Film Stocks gets a big thumbs up. Check out www.digitalfilmtools.com