A “Cinematic” mode is a feature found on high-end smartphones that allows users to capture professional-looking photos and videos.
However what many people don’t realize is that this effect can be created on any smartphone, regardless of its technical specifications.
The difference is that you have to step in and control what is happening rather than simply hoping an algorithm will do it for you.
There are a few simple ways to create a cinematic mode on any smartphone.
Stabilize Your Shots
One of the key components of a cinematic video is stability.
Shaky footage can detract from the overall look of a scene and make it seem amateur.
To combat this there are a few different ways to stabilize your shot.
Try using a tripod or a gimbal to hold your phone steady while you are shooting and eliminate shakiness.
If you don’t have either of these tools try using whatever is around you such as a stack of books or a tabletop.
Additionally you can also stabilize your shots by simply “being the tripod” holding your phone with two hands and keeping your arms close to your body.
- Adjust Your Settings
Check and then re-check your settings especially when it comes to aspect ratio.
This is the proportion of the width to the height of a photo or video and Cinematic looking video typically uses an aspect ratio of 16:9.
You may also want to try out different frame rates and shutter speeds, as these can also impact the look and feel of your footage.
24 Frames per Second is the general standard for feature movies so that’s one to try out first and see how it looks.
Pay Attention to Your Lighting
Lighting is a critical element in creating any cinematic look a smartphone or any device for that matter.
In fact, lighting can make or break a scene.
When ever possible try to use natural light but always remember to look at the image you are creating to see how that light is affecting the shot.
Don’t be afraid to move and reshoot to take advantage of that available light.
This could mean shooting early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is low on the horizon and casts a soft, warm light and the pros refer to this as “The Golden Hour.”
If you’re shooting indoors, be mindful of your lighting sources especially fluorescent lighting which can create unwanted flickering in the final shot.
Instead, use lamps or other soft light sources to create a more natural look.
Edit Your Footage
Finally, the last step in creating a cinematic mode on any smartphone is to edit your footage effectively.
There are many different editing tools and apps available these days ranging from basic to advanced and from free to very, very expensive!
If you’re new to editing, start with a simple program like Movavi Video Editor or Filmora that allows you to trim and splice your footage, add music or sound effects and carry out basic color correction.
As you become more comfortable with the editing process you can experiment with more advanced tools such as color grading, which will allow you to adjust the mood and tone of your scenes.
Creating a cinematic look on any smartphone is easier than you might think.
With just a few simple steps you can turn that phone into a powerful tool for capturing professional-looking photos and videos.