How to shoot cinematic videos [Beginner Level] | Henrik Faehrmann | Skillshare

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How to shoot cinematic videos [Beginner Level]

teacher avatar Henrik Faehrmann, Filmmaker and YouTuber from Germany

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. 0 | Introduction

    • 2. 1 | What is Cinematic?

    • 3. 2| Correct Framerate

    • 4. 3| Manual Video Mode

    • 5. 4| Aperture

    • 6. 5| Shutter Speed

    • 7. 6| Practical Example

    • 8. 7| Filming in Daylight

    • 9. 8| Framing

    • 10. 9| Camera Movement

    • 11. 10| Foreground

    • 12. 11| Gear to improve your videos

    • 13. 12| Final Words

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how you can improve your video quality and make your videos look like a movie!

Students will learn how to create a cinematic video or film sequence with any camera! This class is for everyone who would like to improve his/her video skills.

Before taking my class you should have filmed some videos so that you are familiar with basic camera settings. If you want, you can also use your smartphone. I recommend a DSLR or DSLM camera with manual video modes to get the best results.

This class is about basic techniques to improve your videos and how to shoot in manual video modes. After watching this class you have a great overview of the most important steps for creating a good video :)

Practise is important!

Making a cinematic video is not something that you can learn in a few minutes/hours or days. It is a lot of practice and hard work to get to a high production level. So don’t be disappointed if it does not work on your first try after watching my class. You have to keep learning.


Meet Your Teacher

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Henrik Faehrmann

Filmmaker and YouTuber from Germany


Passion for moving images
I'm Henrik Fährmann - Filmmaker from Essen.

The passion for filming started in elementary school. Back then it was still simple holiday videos or short stop-motion films. Over time, I've invested more and more time in the production of videos and repeatedly acquired new things on my own. In addition to school, I also had the opportunity to gain a lot of practical experience through internships and smaller jobs in the film industry.

After graduating from high school, at the age of just 18, I decided to found my own company, "Henrik Fährmann Web-Videoproduktion".

In the meantime, with a network of young filmmakers, we are producing professional videos for a wide variety of companies and industries across Germany.

See full profile

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1. 0 | Introduction: Welcome to my first class here on Skillshare. I'm Henrik FEM on a filmmaker and YouTuber from Germany. Today, I will show you how you can create a cinematic video sequences are just a really cinematic video. The goal of this class is to inform you about the basics of filmmaking. So in the end, you should be able to create a cinematic video sequences. For me, it is really important that you can improve your videos no matter what camera you. So it doesn't matter if you have a DSLR camera or a smartphone or a drone. These techniques, mostly it should work for all systems to create more cinematic videos. There is not just one technique that you should use to improve your video quality. There are a few different tips and tricks that I will show you today. And if you combine some of the techniques, you will create better videos. After watching my class, you will be able to create a more cinematic video sequence no matter what equipment or software you use for your video creation process to practice the skills I will show you today, you should create a cinematic video sequence two, practice. Because practice is a really important factor of becoming a great video grapher. So I recommend you take your camera out and you just shoot the video. That's the most important part of this class. Do it and practice a lot to become better. Everyone has it's own personal video state. So I will not give you any more details about what video you should create. Just make sure to post your finished class project down into comments. So everyone can give you some more feedback about your project and we can tell you what you can improve in the future. 2. 1 | What is Cinematic?: Welcome to the first lesson of this Skillshare class. In this first lesson, we will talk about the definition of a cinematic video. Because if you watch movie, it looks cinematic, right? But movies always look different. So movies are not just one specific style. There are many different styles of movies, but they all look cinematic. So first of all, we have to answer the question, why movies looks so cinematic? The answer is not one technique that you can use to make every movie or video cinematic. And it's more like a combination of many different video styles and techniques to make your video more appealing to the viewer. Because of that, my recommendation is that you watch the whole class and not just one or two chapters that look interesting for you. 3. 2| Correct Framerate: First of all, you have to make sure that your camera is set up correctly. This includes the right frame rate and video mode. First of all, let's talk about direct frame rate. Frame rates are a really important factor in filmmaking. Beginners often use higher frame rates because your camera can shoot 60 frames, right way. Shouldn't you use it? If you buy a new camera or smartphone, manufacturers always advertise with high frame rates like 50, 60, or even 120 frames per seconds. If you watch a trailer from the new iPhone, for example, there it always says now supported for k up to 60 frames per seconds. And yeah, that's great. But not to create a cinematic video, movies are always shot in 24 or 25 frames per seconds. Here in Europe, we usually shoot in 25 frames per seconds into us 24 frames per seconds, because movies are shutting 24 or 25 frames per second. These frame rates look really cinematic for our human eye. We always see them into cinema or on Netflix. So my first tip is to take your camera and change the frame rate to 24 or 25 frames per second. If you don't know how to change the frame rate on your camera, just Google it. There are many different tutorials in the Internet. You may be have to question why cameras even shoot 506120 and even more frames per seconds. Higher frame rates are used to create slow-motion sequences. So if you have a 24 frames per second movie, you can shoot 60 frames per second and slow down to 60 frames per second footage to 24 frames per seconds to make slow motion videos. So if you shoot your video and you see something that you want to slow down in your editing process after filming, then you should change the frame rate to, for example, 50, 60, or even higher frames per seconds. If you want to have the slowest slow motion, choose the highest frame rate that you can get. And if you only a little bit of slow motion, you can shoot in lower frame rates. 4. 3| Manual Video Mode: Another really important tip is to shoot in manual video mode so that you can change some of the settings that I will show you in the next lessons. Most smartphones don't come with a manual video mode, so you have to download or buy extra apps to unlock manual video modes on your smartphone. 5. 4| Aperture: In this lesson, I will show you the impact of the aperture off your camera. If you want to shoot a video with your smartphone, for example, that doesn't really matter because smart phones usually have a fixed aperture. But if you have a more professional camera, like a mirrorless or DSLR camera, you can change your aperture. And now I will show you how you have to set up your aperture to make your videos more interesting. First of all, we have to talk about basics because a wide open aperture means a blurry background, just like in this interview shots year. If you have an really close the aperture, your background is also in focus and you have a wider focus range. So if you want to shoot some landscape, for example, I recommend you to use and closed aperture because you have more in focus. If you want to shoot a person or a detail of something, then you should use a wide open aperture to focus on a specific object. And wide open aperture and small focus distance helps to viewer to focus on a specific object in your video. This object is usually your main subject and nice side benefit of the wide open aperture is to really high-quality looked at it creates, to make your videos more appealing, you have to learn how to use your aperture to create better videos. This technique needs a lot of practice and learning to get it right. But after that, it is one of the most important factors to create more appealing videos. How blurry you can make your backgrounds depends a bit on your camera and your choice of lens. Some lenses, a wider open aperture so you can create more blurry background. The camera sensor is also a really big factor of that because in smartphones there are really small cameras, sensors, so they cannot create, so blurry backgrounds. In a professional camera, you can find much bigger sensors. This is also one of the reasons why you can create more cinematic videos with their professional camera rather than a smartphone. 6. 5| Shutter Speed: In this lesson, I will tell you a little bit more about shutter speech. For me, it is the second day of shooting for you. It's probably just a few moments later. Choosing the right shutter speed is actually equally important as choosing the right aperture. But choosing the right shutter speed is easy and not so difficult, like choosing the right aperture, the shutter speed is time. How long every frame of your video gets ex post. If you set up your camera to really low shutter speed, you have much motion blur, just like this shot. But if you choose an, a really high shutter speed, for example, one thousandth of a second, then you don't have a lot of motion blur. This is a really big problem because less motion blur means less than emetic. But if your shutter speed is too low, then you have too much motion blur. So you have to find the sweet spot to get your shutter speed right. You have to follow the 180 degrees shutter rule. This rule is really straightforward and yeah, you don't really have to learn it. Just keep in mind that your shutter speed always has to be double your frame rate. So for example, if you shoot in 25 frames per second, shutter speed has to be 1 15th of a second. If you shoot in 100 frames per seconds, your shutter speed has to be 100th of a second, and so on. So it's really easy. Just set up your shutter speed, double your frame rate, and you're good to go. 7. 6| Practical Example: Now we're outside and I will show you how you set up your camera correctly. Here is our aperture, there is our shutter speed, and here is 0. Iso setting. So for example, we have subject in the foreground, and now we have to brighten up the image. So I lower the value of the aperture. The aperture is wide open and we have a blurrier background, more bokeh. In the next step, you have to set up your shutter speed correctly. As you can see, now, we have an shutter speed of 100, but there's a frame rate of 24. As I told you, you have to follow the 180 degrees shutter rule. 2 times 25 means fifties. So we have to set our shutter speed to 50. And now our image looks much better than before, but as you can see, it is a little bit dark. So for this we have to ISO. And if we increase the ISO value, our image gets brighter. If you shoot a person, for example, you have to choose and wide open aperture. But for landscape, this is not ideal. So if you want to shoot videos of landscape, you have to choose an aperture of around 10, for example. But as you can see, if you choose the right shutter speed, the image gets really, really dark. So you have to crank up your ISO, but you have to be careful because high ISO value means lots of noise in your image. 8. 7| Filming in Daylight: The next problem you will get when shooting in bright daylight is the brightness. Because if you set up your camera correctly, 50 shutter speed at 25 frames per seconds allow ISO value and a low aperture, for example, to shoot a person. Then as you can see, your image is really bright because all these factors affect the brightness and the photography business. You can just close down your shutter speed and then you get the right exposure. But in filmmaking, that is not ideal because as I've told you, high shutter speed means unnatural motion blur. So how we get the 50 shutter speeds and low aperture in bright daylight, there's little trick, and the trick is called neutral density filters. I have one here. It's an variable neutral density filter. And if I take my camera and mounted in front of it, then we have something like sunglasses for our camera. As you can see here, our Min and max. And if we rotated, it gets darker and brighter. As you can see, if I rotate the filter to about here, you can see the image is now exposed correctly just by using this ND filter. But all our values are low aperture and shutter speed is set up correctly. You can get these variable neutral density filters on Amazon, for example. Just search for it. Don't spend too much money for them because if you want to try it out, then cheap ones also do the job. 9. 8| Framing: Framing is important. If you haven't subject in front of your camera, then you shouldn't cut off his heads, for example, like this, or have lots of headroom above him. That looks really unprofessional. So you should set up your camera like this, that we have little bit of space above the head, but not too much. Another common framing rule is the rule of thirds. As you can see in most cameras, you have a grid of three-by-three pieces. If you don't have it enabled on your camera, just look in the manual. There should be an option to enable it. If you want to set up an interview shot, you should follow the rule of thirds. That means if the person you are shooting is not looking directly into the camera because of an interview situation. Framing like this looks really bad for this purpose, There's the rule of thirds. As you can see, we have two lines here. And if we haven't subject, that looks into the right side of the image, you're framing should be like this. The person should be aligned on the left line. Now your shot looks much more professional than if you would frame it like this or like this. In general, you should keep in mind that you have to use your frame intelligent. So don't cut off he heads or leave a lot of free space that doesn't get used. The rule of thirds also applies to nature. If you haven't shot of a landscape, for example, and Derrida trees. So you can align the tree with one of the right or left lines and the horizon with the upper line. And then you have a really good-looking image. 10. 9| Camera Movement: Camera movement can break or make your video because you can do lots of things right and also wrong. Your camera movement adds another dimension to your video. If you watch an action scene or an action movie, the camera moves really fast. But in a documentary, camera movement is often really slow, and this camera movement always has a purpose. So you have to customize your camera movement according to your video and to your scene that you are shooting. For example, if you should have low energy seen a documentary, then you have to do very slow camera movements. But if you shoot an action scene, you can run behind characters and do quick movements because then the viewer fields more involved in the story. A really big mistake of beginner filmmakers is that they shake their camera a lot and this looks really unprofessional. Please don't do it. There are many ways to stabilize your camera, maybe just by your body, by using the included cameras. Use and gimble or steady cam, whatever. There are many different techniques, but please don't deliver shaky footage when it doesn't need to be there and action scenes, okay, fine. But if you shoot and documentary or an educational video, there shouldn't be any camera shake. There are many techniques on the internet, how you can smooth out your footage. Many newer cameras and also smart phones have an in-built stabilization. This can also help you to eliminate you're shaky footage. 11. 10| Foreground: To prove that all the techniques I showed you today work with any device that can shoot video. I will show you the next technique on my smartphone. Here we have the normal camera app. No special efforts to normal camera from the iPhone. And I have enabled the video mode. So for example, if we want to shoot video of a subject, in this example, my desk, we can shoot like this. And normal people usually just press record, record a video. It looks okay, but it doesn't look really cinematic. My tip is to choose something in the foreground to make your shot look a lot more cinematic. In this example, I have a plant in the foreground. It doesn't really matter what is in the foreground. Because if we take our camera and put it near the object and focus on the background, then it is very blurry and we don't really see it. But the nice benefit is that we have another dimension to our video. And if we start the recording and pan around this blurry piece in the foreground, we have another dimension and to shut, it looks much more cinematic than before. Yes, some shots of my professional video productions. And as you can see, there are many shots where I used this technique with the foreground, middle ground, and background. The same applies to a more professional camera. In this example, you have to choose and wide open aperture to get the brightness right, for example, like this. And then we have to focus on the monitor in the background or your subject. And if we press record and pan around to object in the foreground, we have a nice cinematic hi. 12. 11| Gear to improve your videos: Now you have learned everything important about filming and how to set up a camera and techniques to improve your video quality. But skill is not everything. Yes, also something that can improve your video quality. First of all, please learn with the equipment that you already have because you should try everything out before you invest in really expensive gear. Because film-making gear can get really expensive, trust me. But what if you have practiced a lot and now you want to further improve your video quality. First of all, if you're just filming with your smartphone, consider investing in mirrorless camera like this one. Please don't make the mistake and invest in a really expensive camera right at the start. For example, this one here is a really good beginner camera. It costs around 300, 400 bucks. And yeah, if you want to buy a great lens by it, but don't invest in something like this. Gh 5 S for 3000 bucks and you cannot use it to its full potential. So don't make a mistake there. And just by a small camera, you can sell it later. If you have the need for a bigger camera. If you already have a camera, you can invest in something like this. A really cheap but good lens with a wide open aperture. And this can greatly enhance your video quality. Keep in mind that prime lenses, so lenses with a fixed zoom range, there are much more affordable then zoom lenses, for example. To further improve your video quality, especially moving shots, you can buy a gimbal. Gimbal is something like this. This is the DJI Ronin S. It's really big and for bigger cameras, but there are also available for smaller cameras. You can mount your camera on these stabilizers and if you walk with them, they smooth out your footage. The great thing about a stabilizer is that you can buy a big one for your camera, the middle one for your smaller cameras, and a really small one for your smartphone. The guilds that work with your smartphone are also much more affordable and you can buy them really cheap on Amazon. 13. 12| Final Words: This is the end of this beginner Skillshare class about cinematic film making. I hope that you've learned a lot about cinematic film making in this class and that you can improve your videos from now on. Again, consider making a class project. Just shoot a video with all the techniques I've showed you today and posted in your project section in your profile and in the comments below. Let's see what you can do with your own camera. If you're interested in a more detailed class about filmmaking, please let me know in the comments so that I can make another class for you. Keep in mind that being perfect at your first video is basically impossible. You have to practice a lot, and if you practice, then you will get better. Check out my other Skillshare classes about filmmaking and editing. And you will greatly improve your videos. Have fun shooting and bite.