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Admit it, you've always wanted to be an action star. I mean, who wouldn't want to effortlessly dodge flying cars, helicopters and missiles? Now, thanks to action auteur J.J. Abrams's new free app, Action Movie FX, and a little help from your iPhone, you can.
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The app launched in Apple's App Store just a day after Abrams big-screen actioner Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol hit theaters. Abram's Bad Robot produced and Brad Bird directed (and Mashable hit the red carpet premiere). Included effects are "inspired by" the film. It's obviously designed to appeal those who would not only love to see Tom Cruise's latest film, but wouldn't mind starring in it too.
Action Movie FX [iTunes link] is an incredibly simple app that accomplishes an impressive feat: It puts you in the middle of the action. Here's how it works: You open the app and select one of two free action effects: Missile Attack and Car Smash. You can purchase additional effects for 99 cents apiece. After you've selected the scene, you shoot a short video. The apps offers some guidance and how and where to shoot (shoot over flat surface if you want the missile to land properly). It also offers a handy screen overlay that shows you approximately where the effect will occur in your clip.
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It's also helpful if you have someone else hold the camera. All they have to do is hit the big red record button, hold the camera steady and record. I'd suggest recording a minute or less since most of the effects are pretty brief. Once the video is recorded, Action Movie FX offers an effects slider that lets you adjust where in your recording to start the effect. Next, you process the film and preview. You can still go back and adjust the timing until the effect hits at just the right moment.
The final product is a hoot -- the effects overlay is near perfect. You can save locally to your own camera roll, email, or share via Facebook.
I made my own brief effects-laden film (and could have done a better job positioning the camera), and I encourage you iPhone owners to do the same. If you do make your own video, we'll make an exception to our "no HTML" rule if you'll paste the link to it in the comments below, so we all can enjoy your artistry.
This story originally published on Mashable here.