Filmmaking Tutorial: Make Video Look Like Film – Shot Design

“Learn what makes great looking images in film, music videos etc. It’s not always the camera but how you design the shots. In this first overall tutorial I try to explain in general terms what designing a shot entails. This can be applied with any video cameras, as well as digital and film cameras. It’s the basics of good photography. Special thanks to Beverley Marquis for starring in the video. Shot using the Red One Camera and Canon XH-A1.” – Tom Antos

Filmmaking Tutorial

And when you have a lot of light, you need to get rid of that light. So, the first thing people do,
they close down the iris. The problem with that is that your depth of field becomes almost infinite,
especially if you close the iris really high. like I have in this case.And that makes everything look sharp.Everything is sharp and focused in this shot.The first thing I would do is open the iris in order to darken the image, I put ND filters.
But if you don’t have ND filters,darken the scene some other way. Maybe increase the shutter speed. Darken the scene some other way, but leave the iris all the way open. That way the depth of field is very narrow.
Filmmaking Tutorial: Now, Beverley is nicely in focus and the flower pot in the foreground
and the background is out of focus. Right away, it makes it look more interesting. It adds some dimension to it. It makes it look more 3D.
Next thing you can do…
I decided that the red shirt she is wearing
blends too much with the door.
I told her “let’s change the shirt”.
It’s important what the actors are wearing and the make-up.
Here, Beverley put on some make-up
and right away, it looks better.
Those are all the little things that will add up.
They all make tiny difference,
but if you do all of them,
overall, it is going to make for
a much more interesting-looking shot.
Now, the next step is…
what happens when you bring your footage back
to your editing suite.
If you shot on film, you have to develop it,
do the transfers.
If you shot it on digital, you just have to put it in your computer
and you have to adjust it
and a lot of people fail miserably at that stage.
It’s very very important that you
pay attention to it. It’s not as easy as
just increasing the saturation
or making the colors more bright.
Color correction… There are some people
who are really good at it.
and I would say, if you know those people,
hire them. It’s worth the money.
Filmmaking tutorials videos:
Very good colorists,…and there are some people who are horrible at it.
I… I think I’m decent. I can do an OK job. I’m definitely not as good as some colorists out there.
But if you spend the time and learn the proper color correction
– and you don’t need some crazy plug-ins… people think you just throw some preset on it.
It’s not like that. With every shot it’s going to be different. You use basic color curves that you can get in Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro
or whatever it is that you’re using. Use basic color curves and you can do a great color correction. Like in this case, I’m going to push the blacks, pop the reds a little bit, maybe make that green at the back stand out more.

Filmmaking tutorials for beginners:

But make sure that her skin tone doesn’t look
jarring and freaky.
Leave the skin tone looking neutral.
And that right away makes the shot look
a lot more interesting.
That is the last stage.
And now it’s a shot that belongs in a movie
or a nice music video or something.
As you can see, I didn’t spend a lot of money on it.
If you compare this
to the beginning,
you can see the big difference. The clothing, the location…
the angle is just horrible
and there is no color correction.
So, you can see the big difference
between the beginning and the after-shot.
Again, the last thing I want to illustrate to you guys
is that you can achieve great looking results
even if you can’t afford to got the Red camera.
Let’s say you can only get
a little DV camera.
Well, here I shot the exactly same scenario
using the Canon XH-A1.
It’s basically a basic camera that people use out there
for wedding videos and that kind of a thing.
But because that camera uses video lenses
I moved the camera back, zoomed in a bit more,
opened the iris all the way up
to minimize the depth of field,
to throw the background out of focus.
Again, I picked a nice angle, added some color correction
and it looks right away like a nice presentable shot.
Especially, if you compare to the beginning,
which was shot on the same Canon XH-A1.
You know, it looks just as crappy as
the same shot on the Red camera.
That’s kind of it. In the next tutorial
I will try to show you guys how you can make
interior shots look better
using lighting and things like that.
But for the exterior, this pretty much covers it.
I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you have learned something
and good luck out there shooting. Bye.


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