May 17, 2015 at 2:24PM


How do you make a movie look professional

How do you make/produce a movie that looks like it was professionally made in a major hollywood studio. How do you make a movie like The Fault In Our Stars, what is required, how much money and what kind of equipment is needed. How do you do this on you're own ?


Your skill level with camera, camera motion, shot composition, lighting, sound capture, sound design, color correction, color grading, set design, art direction, your actor's skill level, the ability of your director to pull great performances out of your actors, etc... are the most important ingredients required to produce something that looks like it came out of Hollywood. Your production equipment is definitely secondary to all of these things.

To get good at all these things, start with a scene you love from a favorite movie, and try and duplicate it. You will likely have to shoot this scene 5 to 10 times before you start to get anywhere close to the "flavor" of what the original scene was like, and in the process of doing it over and over again you will start to get better at it. It takes a ton of practice to get to the point where you can start to shoot your own original work and have it meet this kind of standard.

May 17, 2015 at 3:42PM, Edited May 17, 3:43PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

I agree with Guy.
equipment is secondary to skill. definitely take scenes apart and try to recreate them, thats the best way to learn that skill.
practice practice practice.

May 17, 2015 at 5:07PM, Edited May 17, 5:07PM

Connor Norvell
Cinematographer, Writer, Director

I agree with the comments above.
The other option is to hire Professionals that know what they're doing. Great movies are made constantly by inexperienced directors and producers that lack in-depth knowledge of all the aspects of filmmaking, but are smart enough to surround themselves with people that do. In the end you're only as professional as your team, and a professional team will result in a professional movie.

May 19, 2015 at 3:44AM, Edited May 19, 3:44AM

Tobias N
Director of Photography

People on this board can't afford professionals who know what they're doing.

Philippe Orlando

May 19, 2015 at 6:04PM

'How do you make/produce a movie that looks like it was professionally made in a major hollywood studio... How do you do this on you're own?'

This sounds like a wind-up. But if not, I think the answer is 'you don't'. Even low- or no-budget projects usually involve a team of people with different skills.

If you're working by yourself, why not try to make something much more interesting or unusual than a Hollywood studio would?

May 20, 2015 at 8:19AM


Simple answer...? You don't. Focus on what you can do with your time and budget, and make sure you hone your direction/visual storytelling/script skills (as these are free to practise, and make a huge difference). You won't make something that looks like it cost £200million, but you might make something that gets you noticed. On our microbudget feature, we made the most of what we had available - and knew that it would never look as polished as a Hollywood feature... But it might be entertaining enough to get us some meetings, and to leave an audience smiling (

May 21, 2015 at 3:50AM

Alex Richardson

The answer is, you don't do this on your own. Do you see how long is the end credit on a film like this, it's not because they like giving money away, it's because it needs a lot of professionnal to make a hollywood feature. If you want to do it, go to a cinema school, work in the cinema buisness and eventually, if you are good enough you will be able to make a good looking feature.
If it was easy everybody would do it :-)
On the otherhand you can do really decent looking video on your own for very cheap, with a dslr and some prime lenses but if you want to do a full lengt feature that is looking good it's difficult to do it for lower than 25k, and that is only if you work with a team of volunteer.

May 21, 2015 at 6:29AM


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