How To Make Your Video Look Like a Movie

Making Video Look Like Film
You see these videos that for some reason look like a movie. How do they get that?!

Well, here are 4 easy steps to make your video look like a Hollywood film:

1. Shoot and export in 24 or 25 fps


Well, 24 fps is the standard Hollywood frame rate and that's a key element in delivering the film experience to your viewers.

In the early days of cinematography, movies were shot on film and 24 fps was the lowest speed they could shoot in and at the same time get a smooth flowing image.

So it was a matter of money. Since film was expensive, they needed to keep the cost down by shooting on as little footage as possible. Hence the term footage. Film was measured in feet.

Not all cameras shoot in 24 p but most of them have the 25 p option so choose that. Export in 24 or 25 fps after editing.

2. Crop the image as to get a 2:1 (minimum) aspect ratio

Example: If your footage was shot in 1280/720, crop the height of the video to 640 pixels; 1280/640 = 2. You can actually get an aspect ratio higher than 2:1. To do that you have to crop the height of the video even more.

This video was rendered in 1280/560 pixels at a 2.28 (16:7) aspect ratio.

3. De-saturate the colors (use color grading)

You wanna give a yellowish washed-out appearance to the whole clip. This is a variable which depends on your own taste. My clip above is not the perfect example.

You can also use Red Giant Magic Bullet or New Blue FX plugins for movie looks - you can get that film feel with a click of a mouse. Also available for Magix Movie Edit Pro here: Magix supplementary programs.

Another trick you can do is to add soft edges to your video. This draws the viewer into the video and makes your clip cinematic.

Here's another example with brighter color grading from donklaus7777. Shot with GoPro HD 2 - the world's most versatile camera (a must have for every filmmaker).

4. Export your clip precisely defining the resolution and aspect ratio

Divide the width of the video to the new height (after cropping) in order to get the aspect ratio. Enter the aspect ratio in the custom field of your video editing software.

Aspect Ratio in Video Export Settings

Other tips

Also, getting long angle shots (zoomed in) helps to deliver the Hollywood movie feel.

Shoot with a camera slider, steadicam, tripod, take DOF shots (blurred background or blurred foreground and background while the subject is in mid distance, focused).

If you wanna add more drama to a scene, do the dolly zoom trick (vertigo effect) - successfully used by directors like Hitchcock and Spielberg.

And there you have it. You now have a video that looks like a film.

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