Starting out in the filmmaking industry? Or simply want to create beautiful and stunning video footage? There’s one way you can instantly elevate your work, and that’s to make it look cinematic.

For those who are looking to make an indie or low budget film, this is often the number one question. While there are countless ways to pull this off that would involve manipulating lighting, camera movement or doing proper set design, these things can also get expensive really quick.

But if you’re looking for affordable and cheap ways on how to achieve this cinematic style then here are some of the simplest ways to do it.

Think Aspect Ratio and Add in Cine Bars

Yes, this might seem like an obvious thing but oftentimes it gets easily overlooked. The aspect ratio you’re shooting in is important but if you don’t have a camera that lets you shoot in wide screen, then adding cine bars in post can help create that cinematic illusion.

Make Use of Fog or Haze

Creating atmosphere in your shots or video footage is another way you can inject that cinematic feel to your film. You can use fog, haze or smoke. These are great for catching light, making your video look even more enticing. Of course, don’t think that just because you’re using fog or haze that it’ll only work for horror films. You can actually use it for any scene, especially one where you’re trying to achieve a softer, dreamy mood.

Mind Your Frames Per Second

Most movie enthusiasts prefer watching videos at 24 fps and oftentimes they associate this with a cinematic look. You can take advantage of this by using the same frame rate for your videos or footage as well. But of course, there will be instances when situations will call for a different frame rate so keep it in mind as well.

Add in Quality Slow Motion

When shooting slow motion, make sure you shoot at a higher frame rate and shutter speed and then slow it down in post. While this may be basic info, not everyone knows to do this. The most common mistake for beginner filmmakers is when they shoot at only 24fps and then slow it down. Doing that will result in a blurry, choppy mess and won’t look appealing at all.

Create a Shallow Depth of Field

Adding in that little depth of field will always give your footage a nice cinematic look but don’t go crazy with it.

Use a Proper Camera Stabilizer

A cinematic look sometimes means making your film or footage look professional. If you’re already an established video production company then you probably don’t need to worry about this. Having good, stabilized footage gives you a quality result and will help elevate the final footage.

Now these are simply basic techniques and tips you can use to ensure you create that iconic cinematic look for your footage. The more you shoot and practice, the better you’ll become at it. Also making sure to expand your skills and learning about how to better use lighting, camera movement, music, set design and more can go a long way to improving your work whether you’re creating videos for yourself or doing it in a more established video production setup.