5 Ways to Make Your Footage More Cinematic

Footage that’s cinematic doesn’t just mean a nice LUT and some grain. It means knowing how to use light — and maybe trees.

Filmmaker Mark Bone runs you through five principles that will allow you to create footage that has a more cinematic feel to it. Cinematic is a word that gets bandied around a lot, but these subtle changes to how you shoot could make your footage better, not simply in a cinematic sense, but give your work a greater sense of style and aesthetic sensibility.

If you’re a documentary filmmaker, the fifth and final tip is perhaps one of the most important. I’d guess that every filmmaker out there has experienced situations where the magic has happened just after they've switched off the camera. It can be the same shooting portraits: you tell your subject that you’re done, your subject relaxes, and suddenly you get the perfect moment. This isn’t unusual with interviews, too. If you give the impression that you’ve got what you’ve needed, those minutes immediately afterward are when you’re likely to get an unguarded moment of honesty and authenticity.

What else would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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