Shooting videos with film effect

Video Making – How to achieve the film look?

So you’ve chosen your gadget, Cheers! (If not, you may want to read about different video camera options) You might be wondering why the videos that you shoot are not like the ones in the movies? By using following tips you can get that movie-like look for your videos.

  • Camera Settings: Camera settings are crucially important in controlling the look of the footage. Achieving film look is still possible in post-production in most of the footage.
  • Manual Control: In most cameras movie exposure is set to Auto, change that to Manual to get more control over the output footage. You can get darker or brighter shots that suit the scene of your story.
  • Frame Rate: A frame rate of 24 or 25 fps is one of most important setting for getting videos that would look like film. A reason for using 24 or 25 fps is that motion is smoother with less motion blur. Here is a video where you can see a comparison of frame rates.
  • Shutter Speed: There is a rule for the shutter speed – set the shutter speed to be double of the frame rate. For example with a frame rate of 25 choose a shutter speed of 50. This rule is called 180-degree shutter rule.
  • The Depth of Field: A shallow DOF makes the subject stand out. Audience naturally focuses on the subject in such shots. A deep DOF can be used for a wide shot where you want to include everything. Control depth of field by aperture and aperture is controlled by the f-stop values in the camera. A low f-stop value means wide aperture and hence a shallow depth of field and vice-versa.

Explaining camera aperture

  • Picture Style: Shoot in neutral mode for more flexibility in post-production. This will allow you bump up colors or make scene brighter/darker in post production.
  • Stabilizing the Footage: We can’t spend much money on the professional stabilizers used in film making but we can obtain a similar effect by a software we already have – like Premiere Pro and After Effects by Adobe. You can use warp stabilizer to smoothen the shaky videos.
  • Color Grading: Color grading is used by filmmakers to convey the mood of the footage, warm grading resembling happiness and dark tones for depressed and dark moods.
  • Aspect Ratio: Most of the videos have 16:9 (1.77:1) aspect ratio (like 1920×1080 or 1280×720). This is known as the wide screen and is close to 1.85:1 ratio used in films. Some films are made in 2.39:1, known as an ultra wide screen. If you want 1.85:1 or higher ratio but your camera does not support it, you may shoot your footage with extra space in either top or bottom of the frame. You can then use black bars in post production to get the desired aspect ratio. But I would suggest sticking to wide screen ratio for your footage.

These are some of the basic ideas that can turn your normal footage into a dramatic film like video. Also, there are other methods and effects to get you the type of look you want. Just keep experimenting to learn various tools in your kitty. Kudos!

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