Top Ten Tips for Creating a Cinematic Style Video

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Ben McElroy of Massachusetts based McElroy Films explains the top elements to look for in cinematic style videos when hiring a video production company.

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On location with the Sony Ex1 rig.

“The demand for better looking video is on the rise and Hollywood films are synonymous with a high quality look. Movie industry techniques can be found in most high-end video productions."

The recent movie making excitement in Massachusetts has started New Englanders thinking about translating their lives in slick Hollywood fashion. Wedding, corporate, nonprofit and music videos can all be approached in cinematic style. Video production companies, such as Massachusetts based McElroy Films, are now producing videos using techniques from the movie industry.

“The demand for better looking video is on the rise and Hollywood films are synonymous with a high quality look. Movie industry techniques can be found in most high-end video productions. Cinematic style wedding videos are so popular I now refer to them as ‘wedding films’ to distinguish them from other wedding videos.” explains Ben McElroy of McElroy Films.

“Recently we were approached by NIKE who specifically requested the use of the Canon 7D. The Canon 7D is a new High Definition Digital SLR camera. They wanted the cinematic look of this camera. Clients are starting to think differently about video. They want the look and quality of a Hollywood film but not all of them are clear about what elements they are looking for. I work with them to get them the look they want.”

McElroy explains the top elements to look for in a cinematic style video:

  •     Storytelling

Cinematic films require pre-production, including research and scripting. Most use interviews, voice-over narration, or both. The video production company you hire should have a skilled producer to write a compelling script, create interview questions that bring out emotion and drama, and who is able to put interviewees at ease so they come across in the best way possible.

  •     Imagery

The videographer must be familiar with film industry standards for subject placement and composition. The filming should not only be visually beautiful, but capture true emotions. It is the feeling the audience gets from watching a film that will compel them to take action or connect them to your story.

  •     High Definition Equipment

Not all “high-definition” equipment is the same. To create a cinematic style video, HD cameras with 1920x1080 resolution need to be used. Most modern HD cameras shoot in “progressive mode”, which is essential for encoded video on the Internet.

  • Lighting

Lighting is an important element for cinematic videos. The right lighting creates the mood and depth seen in Hollywood films.

  •     Movie Industry Speed

Hollywood uses a 24 frames per second (24p) frame rate. This eliminates the amateur “home-movie” look and will automatically give a professional cinematic feel.

  •     Glidecams and Dollies

The use of Glidecams gives a smooth cinematic look. It allows the camera to stay steady even while the videographer is walking or running. A dolly allows a camera to move smoothly to and from a subject.

  •     Professional Audio

Sound quality is essential to creating a cinematic video. Wireless microphones, booms and a good audio technician should be used on productions to create crisp, movie quality audio.

  •     Multiple Cameras

Having multiple cameras allows the production company to have a variety of camera angles and perspectives to work with when editing a cinematic video. The final product will have a more interesting and realistic look.

  •     Music

Good quality music from a music library is another important element in cinematic videos. Music helps to move the video along and sets the mood for different scenes.

  •     Cinematic Editing Techniques and Special Effects

All movies have a movie “trailer” which shows exciting highlights of the full-length feature film. Video production companies can borrow this technique from Hollywood when editing your video. Popular techniques for cinematic videos are color correction, black and white and soft focus.

About McElroy Films
McElroy Films LLC is a professional high definition video production company serving Massachusetts and New England. Specializing in corporate, educational, non-profit, wedding, independent filmmaking and music video production, McElroy Films provides a high quality product at a fraction of the cost. McElroy Films prides itself on its client-driven results and boutique-like service by affording each project the attention it deserves.

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Ben McElroy
McElroy Films
888-303-2744 ext. 703
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