I had the pleasure of talking with Alex Tsepko with MacPhun, the company behind the well-received Snapheal, at Macworld | iWorld 2012, and he showed off several of MacPhun's other apps. My absolute favorite out of the batch was Silent Film Director, which competes among other vintage-video apps such as Super 8. Silent Film Director was just updated with a number of new features, so it was a great time to get my hands on it.
You get a lot with the basic version of the app, and it's easy for first-time users to grasp. Within minutes, I had a simple 1920's style film set to period-appropriate music of one of the cats acting startled. The rendering time was quick - in HD, my 15-second movie took less than a minute to render. You can also see videos created by other Silent Film Director users.
To get finer editing features, such as cropping, splicing and piecing fragments together, adding title cards, play video with the original sound, add in still photography and more, it requires a 99-cent in-app upgrade.
There are also some large ads for other MacPhun products that I felt were a bit intrusive, but it was only when the app launched, and I was able to dismiss them quickly.
If you're updating from a previous version of Silent Film Director, new features include variable video speed, reverse mode, new speeds, a new soundtrack, the ability to add retro noises to music, music fade in/out and full HD support on the iPhone 4S and compatibility with iOS 5.
Silent Film Director is $1.99 in the App Store, but if you want to do any editing beyond basic movie creation, it's worth the 99-cent upgrade. Silent Film Director's robust movie-editing features give it the nudge needed to make this my go-to vintage-video app.