UPDATE: HitFilm 4 Express is out now! Lightning is now included for free, and we’ve got a new tutorial showing how to make lightswords for free.
HitFilm 3 Express is back, and this time it’s a Special Edition! We’re celebrating the imminent arrival of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens by upgrading HitFilm 3 Express to make it fan film ready
Downloading the HitFilm 3 Express Special Edition in December will get you the lightning and lightsword effects entirely for free. If you’re already a HitFilm 3 Express user you can upgrade to the Special Edition at no cost – just enter the same email address you used when activating.
We’ve also got two brand new tutorials from Axel to accompany the Special Edition. Head over to the main page to check them out.
Why Star Wars is important
Since 1977 Star Wars has existed as an unstoppable cultural force. I was just old enough to watch the original trilogy, and grew up entranced by the story. Josh was the same, which is what eventually led to the founding of the company and the creation of our very first software product, AlamDV. You can read about our origins in the blog post The new printing press.
In the early 2000s we were making visual effects software almost exclusively for fan film creators. As filmmakers started to explore the new digital technology, Star Wars and The Matrix ruled the internet. Our products were part of that nascent creative movement, and we saw a new generation of teenagers expressing themselves through Star Wars – the same people who went on to form the likes of Corridor Digital, Atomic Productions and Thousand Pounds.
We’ve now moved on to HitFilm, a product more powerful than we could have possibly imagined in 2001. And now JJ Abrams is beginning a new trilogy. My son will be old enough by the time the last film of the new trilogy arrives in 2019 to see it in the cinema. The circle is now complete. As Wired recently pointed out, Star Wars is now infinite, and none of us will live to see its end.
Star Wars has sparked creativity for over thirty years. People have forged filmmaking careers specifically because they sat in a cinema in 1977 or 1999. YouTube exploded for all kinds of reasons, but a big one was that it was the natural outlet for all this fan creativity. And here we are, with HitFilm 4 Pro and the HitFilm 3 Express Special Edition, still helping to bring people’s film dreams to life.
The Force Awakens opens on December 18th in the USA (17th in the UK). But you knew that already, right?