While it’s true that the equipment required to produce high-quality, cinematic video content is more accessible these days than ever before, that doesn’t mean that every single person who manages to get their hands on that equipment can do it. Trust us, we’ve been in video production in NJ and NY for years now, and there’s more to it than simply having the right tools.
For some basic tips, check out this post, How to Make Your Videos More Cinematic, but considering how audiences of all kinds tend to respond to truly cinematic footage as opposed to any old video, you can never have enough tips. So, we thought we’d pass along a few more.
Now, the specifics of your video content will obviously depend on what you do, your primary mission and goals, the audience you’re trying to reach, etc., but these tips should help no matter who you are nor what, exactly, you’re trying to do.
Frame your shots with care & creativity.
First of all, if you’re new to the video production process in general then make no mistake, something as simple as where you choose to position the camera in relation to the subject is a huge creative choice. As long as the subject is clearly visible, then it’s an option, which is why that should not be the sole factor in the decision.
You need to think carefully about what’s happening on screen and what you’re ultimately trying to get across to the viewer and then allow that to factor into the decision as well. For instance, if you wanted the audience to focus on the setting as much as the character in the scene, then you may want to position the subject way off to the side of the frame.
That way, the viewer’s focus will be drawn to the surroundings as well, and that’s just one example. You may also want to follow the rule of thirds, which simply refers to breaking the frame into three rows and three columns like a tic-tac-toe board and then positioning the subject at the intersection points rather than the center of the frame.
This approach also allows the film or videomaker to use the rest of the frame to balance the subject with some type of context, whether it comes in the form of props, some kind of action, etc. For more on that, check out this post, Understanding, Applying, and Breaking the Rule of Thirds in Film and Video Production.
From there, we haven’t even mentioned things like distance, depth of field, the choice of angle and camera movement, but the bottom line is that the way you or the video production people you’re working with frame the shots for your video will make a huge difference in how cinematic the results are.
Use a steadicam or other type of camera stabilizer.
Like mentioned above, camera movement is another way of making your video content more cinematic, but like with anything else, you need to know what you’re doing to be successful. Simply yanking the camera off of the tripod and following your subject around with it won’t often lead to the most cinematic results, but a steadicam will.
What is a steadicam? Introduced in 1975 by Garrett Brown, the steadicam is simply a counter-weighted camera stabilization device that allows for incredibly smooth moving shots over practically any type of surface. No matter how rocky nor bumpy, the results are smooth.
Now, if you’re making something like a horror film or video, then you may want shaky moving footage, but if you’re not, then the steadicam can be a great way to make your content more cinematic and effective. Watching steadicam footage truly gives the impression of gliding or floating, and it makes for a pretty memorable viewing experience.
The best part about the steadicam is that it also allows you to perform certain camera movements that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. For example, there may not always be enough space or time to set up tracks and a dolly, but if you’ve got a steadicam, then you can almost always pull it off. For more on that, check out this post, Why a Steadicam Is Worth Using on Your Next Video Production.
Use a slider to create some movement & depth.
Now, while it’s not always reasonable nor appropriate for every single videomaker to use a steadicam, there’s really no excuse for failing to use a slider, which is another great way to achieve some subtle camera movement and create depth. Remember, both of those things will help to make your content more cinematic.
Whether you use a slider to slowly move across a wall until it ends and you reveal something, to push in on your subject, to follow some type of action, or to simply add some movement to your video’s establishing shots, take it from us, a little goes a long way. It doesn’t take much to drastically alter the effect of the shot.
And in addition to being one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make things more cinematic, the slider isn’t nearly as difficult to master as something like the steadicam. It’s not that there’s nothing to achieving beautiful shots with a slider at all, but just that the steadicam requires an experienced operator to achieve those epic shots.
So, again, there’s really no excuse for failing to use a tool like a camera slider, especially when you’re actively trying to come up with ways to make your video more cinematic.
There are plenty more ways to make your video productions more cinematic.
There are plenty more tricks to making your video content more cinematic where those three tips came from, but the bottom line is that simply making videos isn’t enough anymore. Too many other people are and audiences of all kinds are more picky about the content they consume than ever before.
That’s why it’s so important to do everything you possibly can to make your videos as cinematic, effective, and memorable as possible. We hope these tips help and check back with us for more in the future.
About Us: KVibe Productions, one of the top NJ & NYC video production companies creating video content of all kinds, can handle every aspect of the process. And whether it’s a commercial, a corporate video production, or a feature film, at KVibe, we always create to inspire.