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Getting the film look

From: Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Getting the film look

One of the trends that's all the rage now in video circlea is trying to get your video to look like film and many, many years ago in the heyday of video in the 90s when video was kind of coming-of-age as it were, it really didn't look too much like film and it was kind of a challenge andcertainly consumer level video could never look anything like film, the great beauty and awe and wonder of film. But things have progressed quite a bit and now you can do a lot of stuff behind the scenes when you're working in production, behind the camera and also here in post-production to make your video look more like a film that you're going for.

Getting the film look

One of the trends that's all the rage now in video circlea is trying to get your video to look like film and many, many years ago in the heyday of video in the 90s when video was kind of coming-of-age as it were, it really didn't look too much like film and it was kind of a challenge andcertainly consumer level video could never look anything like film, the great beauty and awe and wonder of film. But things have progressed quite a bit and now you can do a lot of stuff behind the scenes when you're working in production, behind the camera and also here in post-production to make your video look more like a film that you're going for.

So I'm going to share a few of those tips with you. First of all, the frame rate is probably one of the biggest things that you can do when you're shooting your video. The frame rate of film is 24 frames per second and the frame rate of video that's trying to be film is 23.976 frames per second. Oftentimes this is just abbreviated as 24 frames per second, but when we're talking about digital video, it actually technically is 23.976 frames per second. And what that does for us, it gives us kind of a jerkiness, but it's a smoothness, some kind of cinematic magic that we were used to seeing.

Our eyes are just used to seeing film look like that. So when we see it play back, it has this kind of otherworldly quality about. It's kind of ethereal. And in contrast to video when we have 30 frames per second, as you see these ducks, it just seems like their motion is so crisp, because that camera pans around there. You see that? The camera pans around and it moves quickly and everything still stays very sharp and very crisp, because there are so many more frames per second in 30 frames per second regular standard definition video.

If you ever have a chance to watch like a football game or something like that in HD, where it 60 frames per second, it's very, very, very, very crisp and I can see like every little nook and cranny and it has this very kind of artificial intense crispness and that is exactly the opposite of the soft smoothed-out film look that we get at 24 frames per second or 23.976 frames per second. Another big key ingredient to getting the film look is making sure that you're working with Progressive Frames and not Interlaced Framea.

Standard definition video is interlaced and although you cannot see it here, it does something to the quality of the video and what you're seeing and also when you're doing on the camera itself, you change the mode from Interlaced to Progressive. Progressive often takes more light, so it makes things a little bit darker, which also is more filmic. So again, using Progressive Frames adds to the film look. Another thing it's very important is that we've talked about already are the highlights. Video has a much smaller dynamic range than does film.

So even on something like this where the white of the ducks is just too bright, but there is probably more tones in there and like more shades of light gray rather than just pure white. But with video, it kind of just shoves everything that's even kind of bright to pure white and that's a dead giveaway that this is video and again, as I mentioned before, you really can't fix that in post. Once the highlight detail is gone, it is gone and so be careful as you are working with video and you're trying to make it look like film that your highlights are not over-bright.

It's easier to take something like this where there is not super pure white and to go in to boost these highlights so that there is pure white. It's easier to do that than to try to cover up highlights that are overblown. Now another big component of film is depth of field, as we talked about a little bit before. In this great clip from Dream Job we see great focus on our actress but this background behind our brick wall and the cupboards, It is blurry a little bit. Again, that's referred to as depth of field and that is something that's very common with 35-meter film.

It's just the way it works. And so if you can get some kind of attachment, most video cameras need a lens adapter with a 35-millimeter lens in order to be able to recreate this look. Also the new still cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 7D and the Nikon D90 and all these different cameras that have really high quality lenses that allow a lot of light in, could also create this depth of field effect which again is very filmic.

The final component is the color scheme. Whenever you watch like a Hollywood movie there is a definite color scheme and so playing with the colors and making it look like film can often get you much better results and things are look much more like film. If you were to play with the colors right, you could probably even get this duck footage to look more like film, because color does play such a huge role in that. If you're really interested in getting the film like look, I might send you off to Red Giant Software where you can check out their Magic Bullet Suite of plug-ins and Magic Bullet is probably some of the most popular software video plug-ins and they do a great job of automatically making your footage look more like film, [00:05:1230] both from a color point of view and playing with the frame rate and a few other things as well.

Now if you're not after the frame rate, you love the crisp HD video look, you like the 60 frames per second football games, that's totally fine. It's just a stylistic preference and it's good for clients. When they see stuff that looks like a movie, it often turns them on and gets you more money and personally, I go crazy for this look. I absolutely love it. But it's just again a matter of personal preference but here is just a few tips for achieving that result.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics
Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics

82 video lessons · 20108 viewers

Chad Perkins
Author

 
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  1. 4m 11s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. What's new in the dot release
      57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 18s
  2. 18m 54s
    1. Capturing ambient audio
      3m 12s
    2. Getting plenty of coverage
      1m 48s
    3. Telling a story with camera angles
      3m 18s
    4. The 180 degree rule
      2m 13s
    5. Framing shots
      3m 25s
    6. Allowing "emotional space"
      1m 40s
    7. Overcranking and time lapse
      3m 18s
  3. 11m 38s
    1. Why is metadata important?
      1m 40s
    2. Browsing and adding metadata
      6m 4s
    3. Creating metadata with Speech Search
      3m 54s
  4. 33m 12s
    1. When to cut
      7m 38s
    2. Avoiding bad edits
      9m 17s
    3. Using emotional cutaways
      1m 53s
    4. Fixing problems with cutaways
      3m 53s
    5. Pacing edits
      3m 49s
    6. Matching action
      4m 14s
    7. The power of suggestive editing
      2m 28s
  5. 26m 31s
    1. Contrasting targeting and selecting
      3m 17s
    2. Copying and pasting clips
      2m 36s
    3. Replacing clips
      4m 8s
    4. Editing to music
      5m 0s
    5. Using sample rate for precise editing
      5m 34s
    6. Creating J and L cuts
      3m 33s
    7. Working with subclips
      2m 23s
  6. 11m 17s
    1. Ingesting media
      1m 39s
    2. Examining P2 file structure
      1m 31s
    3. Importing P2 files with the Media Browser
      5m 15s
    4. Converting DVCPRO HD to standard 720p
      2m 52s
  7. 38m 11s
    1. Using the Reference Monitor
      3m 0s
    2. Using scopes
      8m 33s
    3. Primary color correction
      10m 11s
    4. Secondary color correction
      8m 28s
    5. Creating a vignette
      2m 28s
    6. Creating a day-for-night shot
      5m 31s
  8. 37m 19s
    1. Censoring video
      5m 30s
    2. Creating a waving flag
      6m 5s
    3. Creating a lens flare
      3m 36s
    4. Creating background textures
      6m 19s
    5. Playing with time
      6m 4s
    6. Using transition effects
      6m 13s
    7. Working with presets
      3m 32s
  9. 15m 30s
    1. Creating a garbage matte
      3m 56s
    2. Removing green screen
      5m 6s
    3. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 32s
    4. Nesting sequences
      2m 56s
  10. 15m 27s
    1. Creating 3D reflections
      5m 0s
    2. Creating growing vines
      5m 52s
    3. Creating a track matte
      2m 39s
    4. Using the History panel
      1m 56s
  11. 42m 25s
    1. Censoring audio using bleeps
      5m 16s
    2. Understanding sample rate
      3m 0s
    3. Normalizing audio across multiple clips
      5m 7s
    4. Recording audio
      2m 24s
    5. Removing audio problems with Soundbooth
      5m 43s
    6. Working with VST plug-in effects
      2m 3s
    7. Mixing audio
      8m 20s
    8. Changing volume over time
      5m 22s
    9. Working with surround sound
      5m 10s
  12. 23m 52s
    1. About this project
      2m 26s
    2. Performing preliminary edits
      2m 35s
    3. Working with multi-camera footage
      7m 27s
    4. Creating a visual "stutter"
      3m 12s
    5. Adjusting color
      8m 12s
  13. 6m 28s
    1. Transferring projects to another machine
      3m 24s
    2. Removing unused footage
      3m 4s
  14. 25m 46s
    1. Choosing a format
      5m 35s
    2. Understanding spatial compression
      2m 5s
    3. Understanding temporal compression
      4m 19s
    4. About HD standards
      5m 46s
    5. Changing footage interpretation
      2m 17s
    6. Getting the film look
      5m 44s
  15. 27m 10s
    1. Working with After Effects
      5m 56s
    2. Creating titles in After Effects
      5m 39s
    3. Working with Photoshop files
      2m 29s
    4. Working with Final Cut Pro
      2m 2s
    5. Working with OnLocation
      3m 12s
    6. Working with Encore
      4m 27s
    7. Introducing Adobe Story for pre-production
      3m 25s
  16. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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