How do you ensure that your work will look professional?
Every filmmaker is out trying to shoot the best images they can with what they have, but one thing they may not realize is that they have so much more than a powerful camera and sweet color grading software to work with. Filmmaker Simon Cade explores the challenges of trying to capture footage that looks professional, as well as the tools he uses to do it, in the video below:
When I first started going to film school, my friends and I, who were also new to the culture, would talk about how excited we were to get started on our first film projects. But I remember one thing in particular that was always the focal point of our conversations: the camera. Some, who had never operated a prosumer camera before, were delighted to learn that our film department rented out Panasonic AG-HMC150s, while others (me) scoffed and turned our noses up, drove to downtown Portland, and spent our entire allotment for the semester on something more flashy—something that would scream, "Yo! I'm totally a filmmaker and not some silly schmuck with zero clues." (And then do the same thing the next semester, only this time, buying up a 35mm adapter.)
You can't just hit record and get the film look—you have to earn it.
But you know, as you get older you start to mature and realize that expensive cameras don't bottle the "film look". You can't just hit record and get the film look—you have to earn it. I mean, how many of us asked which cameras made stuff look like a "real movie" when we first started out? I know I sure as hell did. I had no idea that it took more than a good camera to make a movie look beautiful.
That's the whole point of Cade's video. Professional-looking, high-quality images come from having high standards, patience, and a carefully and dutifully honed taste for what superior images look like. In the beginning, you make tons of mistakes. You under or overexpose shots constantly. You shoot entire scenes against a blank white backdrop. Sometimes it doesn't even occur to you that you should light anything!
But once you mature in your craft, you start to take you time to capture the images you think look good. You prepare. You plan. You don't rely on the features of your camera or your color grading software to make things look "film-like." Remember, you have to earn that.