Shortcut To Creating The Cinematic Look For Your Film and Video Work

Creating the cinematic style for your films and video

Want to create that cinematic look for your films or video work, here are some great tips for you.

Get the right Composition

If you are new to film and video then you may not even know what composition means, essentially it means the positioning of the camera.
Typically in cinematic shot the camera will be level with the primary object being filmed and it will almost always be 100% level. most camera stands will have a build in levelling system for this purpose.

Colour Balance

Often when filming indoors colours will appear darker than they should, this is a common issue as cameras are not great at contrasting light and dark in the same shot. This is easily remedied by adjusting your white balance until you are happy with what you are seeing.


Lighting plays a major role in creating a cinematic effect, you’re aiming for a soft, bounced light look on the primary object being filmed. This has the effect of brightening the foreground and darkening the background of the area being filmed.


The industry “standard” for the cinematic look is 1\50th. This represents a more realistic perspective of how we ourselves see things in the real world. This however causes brightness issues and the easy way to reduce the brightness in this case is to decrease the ISO to between 100-200.

Saturation and Contrast

If you are shooting in contrasting lighting situations, for example filming a car in an indoor garage with the main door open, you will have the darker interior contrasting with the brighter exterior light coming in. You can play around with your saturation and contrast setting to find the right balance or you can use products like “VisionColor” which assist in making this process alot easier. If you haven’t already looked into products like “VisonColor” it is recommended that you do so.

Depth Of field

This involves adjusting the focus so the primary object (in the foreground) is clear and the background is out of focus. This directs the viewers attention to what you choose to focus on (quite literally). Essentially the object closest to the camera should be perfectly focused and the farthest point in the background being the most out of focus point.

Changing the apertures F-STOP value also helps with depth of field, a lower F-STOP value widens the aperture while a higher value reduce the aperture and gives a great depth of field.


Equipment used on hollywood and big budget films to give that smooth look is expensive. If you are using a professional grade editing software product like After effects of Premiere (warp stabilizer preset)  there are built in stabilizing solutions which will save you alot of money. Of course try to take the footage as smoothly as possible but it’s more a point that very similar effects seen in blockbusters can be emulated within software, to an extent anyway.

These are your basic fundamentals for creating that cinematic look which has a multitude of uses regardless of what you are filming. Why not let us know of some examples you have tested yourself and we’ll be sure to share them and give you credit.


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