Taking a bit of a break from the weird lenses, French photographer Mathieu Stern has been doing more work with video lately. Experimenting with a number of different styles and techniques he has come up with 10 great suggestions to help give your video a more cinematic feel.
Mathieu recently put together a short travel film, documenting the first visit to the planet MS-83. Of course, the planet isn’t real. Filming took place across four countries here on Earth. You can see several of the techniques Mathieu mentions in the video below in his short film.
Some of the suggestions are ones we see popping up regularly. But you can’t really hear this stuff too much. It’s always good to have a constant reminder.
- Frame your shots using the rule of thirds and other compositional techniques
- Shoot with a shallow depth of field
- Use a gimbal stabiliser or steadicam/glidecam
- Make use of the Warp Stabiliser
- Add letterbox bars to create a wider aspect ratio
- Colour grade your footage
- Incorporate slow motion footage
- Expose your shot properly and don’t blow the highlights
- Use a slider to create depth
- Choose cinematic easy to read fonts for titles and overlays
This isn’t, by any means a complete and comprehensive list. But these are some of the things you can start doing right now to help improve your video creations. And you don’t have to use all of the tips. A shallow depth of field or slow motion isn’t necessarily suitable to everything you might produce. But do think about when those techniques can enhance something.
There are things you definitely won’t want to neglect, too, like lighting. This is probably the single biggest contributor when it comes to getting a “cinematic” look, regardless of everything else. But this is going to depend entirely on what you’re shooting.