How To Shoot Cinematic Video in few hours | Tips on mobile Videography

If you want to create a cinematic video but don’t have a video camera or a professional camera? Then don’t worry, I am sure you must have a mobile phone. Which is already enough to create a cinematic video.

Nowadays, a mobile phone is not just a device to communicate with people but it comes with an advanced camera. That can help a person to capture good quality video and helps him/her to create a cinematic video.

I will share how you can create a cinematic video with a phone so, you can get tips on mobile. After reading this, by which you can create an amazing cinematic video.

Almost all mobile phones have at least two cameras, a standard camera (main camera) and a wide-angle camera. If your mobile phone has 1 camera in it then it is okay. Many mobile phones come with only one camera which is enough to bring the result as much as the result from 2 cameras.

But if you wish for your phone to have a wide-angle lens too. Then you can always buy a wide-angle lens extension from your nearest camera accessories store. Or from an online store that will obviously help you create a cinematic video.

First of all, to create a cinematic video you must have a story, and most important is the location of the material to tell your story. Here, I will help you to shoot a cinematic video in the forest.

Forest is itself a beautiful location of nature. That can easily engage your viewers and have enough materials to become your content. To create a cinematic video, all you need is 2 shots:

  • Setting the scene
  • Your Story

Setting the scene

Forest background photo

Setting the scene means the opening shot of a cinematic video – This part of the video must show what is the theme of the story you are going to tell your viewers.

So at first, you can capture the surroundings with a wide-angle camera or simply with a standard camera if you don’t have a wide-angle camera.

To do so, you must lock the focus and exposure to reduce the problem of exposure and focus change during recording.

Just change the video mode to slow-mo mode and slowly walk forward while recording. This will help your viewer to know something is going to happen around this location.

While walking forward, try not to shake your mobile to get less shaky video. Always preview the shot before taking the next shot. If the first take is okay, you can move to the next one. But if the first take is not satisfying then you can repeat the process and get the perfect opening shot. You can even stabilize your shot while editing it.

Your story

The opening shot engages your viewers but this part of your video must explain what you want to tell. For this part,  you must have to capture different shots that help you to make your cinematic footage and deliver your story.

As of now, we are in the forest so for this part. You can capture the footage of an abandoned tree. The sky through the trees, leaves, texture, and footage of a lake if there is any.

As you are shooting a cinematic video, you want to include a soft-focus with a blurry background shot in your video but you are making a cinematic video with a phone. Capturing footage that has soft focus with a blurry background is a bit hard to get from a phone but not impossible.

Is this even possible? With the right knowledge and right technique, anything is possible. It doesn’t mean you can shoot an aerial view without the help of any other gadgets. Now please don’t tell me “hey I can shoot aerial view without the help of any gadgets from my phone while I am in an airplane”.

For this shot, open a camera app on your phone and keep it in slow-mo and find an object which has plenty of distance from the other object beside it which helps to focus an object and blur the background.

Moving leaves in the branch of the tree in the height just above your head is suitable for this shot.

Try to set the focus in the leaves from the nearest point possible. And when the background gets blurry, stop there and lock the focus then capture the shot. While capturing the video try to orbit around the focal point which adds movement to your shot.

Now for the next clip, you can find an inclined tree / fallen tree to shoot. Make sure, the tree has some leaves or a good texture of the bark to make your clip look “WOW’.

Put your phone perpendicular to the tree and set a focus as before so that the background gets blurry. And start pushing the phone backward and forward parallel to the tree.

It helps you to capture the shot in which the object moves towards the camera gradually coming into focus. You can try this same shot with the floor of the forest too. Fallen leaves can be the object here.

Look up and pull down

tips on videography

‘Look up and pull down’ shots can add much more to the cinematic video. For this, you can place your camera near to the tree turning the camera upside, and then set the focus and exposure and pull the phone down.

Don’t forget to put your camera in slow-mo mode. Also, you can try ‘look up and rotate’ shots. What you have to do is find some empty space in between the tall trees. And turn the phone towards the sky and record rotating the phone. This shot adds the perspective in your cinematic video that is not seen often in life. This makes your video more unique. 

What is more interesting and dramatic than the light flicker? Just find an object(leaves or branches of the tree) from which you can view the sun.

Lock the focus and exposure on the leaves and move the stem. So that the sun gets revealed and the rays fall on the camera lens which flickers the lights. Or you can even try moving your camera. Instead of stem or so that it reveals sun as well as a blurry dramatic background.

Have you captured the sufficient shots to make a complete cinematic video with a phone?

Does the clip that you have captured tells the story of yours? 

If your answer is ‘NO’ then find some objects and capture more shots to complete your story. I don’t think you are in a lack of objects to tell your story in the forest. You can even capture a shot of birds and animals to make your cinematic video more engaging. Always keep in mind that slow-mo helps to record smooth video and shallow depth makes the video more cinematic.

After you get a sufficient clip for your video, return home and edit the clip. And make your cinematic video shot with a phone by adding cinematic background music. Congratulations, you complete this video within a day.

Wait a minute – Did you color grade your video? Go back and apply LUT and color in the clips and make them look more cinematic, dramatic and export them. Finally, the work is done. You did it not with a camera but with your own phone. Do you still think you can’t make a cinematic video with a phone? 

What’s next?

If you think these tips may help you only create a forest cinematic video then you are still confused. Using these tips, you can even create a cinematic video with a phone inside your home. For that, all you need to have is an object that can be your content.

So be creative and tell your story by making a cinematic video using your phone. You must have lots of extra footage which you have captured but did not include in your cinematic video. Now what to do with that extra footage? You can simply upload them to Dhansar.com – an exclusive library of stock photos, stock videos, and stock music from Nepal. And let others use your footage to make their cinematic video with their phone.

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