A lot goes into making giving your footage that all-important "film look," including lighting, costuming, set design, and more. If you're new to the game and/or barely have a budget for a couple of end-of-day pizzas, let alone lighting equipment and props, there are a bunch of simple, relatively accessible things you can do to make your films and videos more cinematic. In this video, filmmaker Mathieu Stern lists ten techniques you can try on your next shoot that will increase the production value of your project almost instantly.
Here are the tips mentioned in the video:
- Frame your shots using the "Rule of Thirds" or other compositional techniques
- Create a shallow depth of field (but make sure it's motivated)
- Use a camera stabilizer
- Use Warp Stabilizer in Premiere on your shaky footage
- Add cine bars (here's a great resource for aspect ratio templates)
- Apply a color grade (like this)
- Capture your footage in slow motion (here are some tips on how to do it best)
- Avoid blowing out the highlights (learn more about proper exposure here)
- Use a slider to create depth (here are some tips on how to do that)
- Use "cinematic fonts"
Now, all of these techniques are great and can absolutely help make your footage look more cinematic and professional, but like I always say, lighting is probably one if not the most important thing (other than audio) you should invest in when putting together a project. I'm not just talking about money—you might end up only needing a bunch of cheap modifiers—I'm more talking about your investment of effort, time, and attention. If you've got great lighting and a bunch of items from Stern's list going on, your project will be well on its way!
Source: Mathieu Stern