How to Make Video Look Like Film: The Tips and Tricks You Need

How to Make Video Look Like Film: The Tips and Tricks You Need

Not everyone is capable of buying a fancy and expensive camera in order to record a video that looks like a film. Thankfully, we’re in an age where most digital cameras and DSLRs are equipped with a lot of features.

There are ways and loopholes that will make your video recording look like a movie. Everyone is trying to seek answers on how to make video look like film and thankfully, we have all the tips and tricks ready to share with you.

To make a regular digital video recording look like a movie is an issue several independent filmmakers face. The question often asked by filmmakers is that which camera should they use to come closest to making a video look like a film.

Worse, people have this assumption that just by using a high-end DSLR, will result in you making a video look like a movie. Sadly, it isn’t just one factor that determines how to make a video look like a film.

There are endless variables you need to factor in, in order to achieve a film-like video. This begins right at the production level, the settings you need to keep on your camera as well as the software you use in order to derive the final result.

In the article below, we have listed all the top tips and tricks that will ensure your regular video recording looks like a high-production movie.

How to Make Video Look Like Film: Top Tips and Tricks 

The Depth of Field

The reason why several new filmmakers believe that DSLRs are the best option for creating film-like videos is that they offer a shallow depth of field. A shallow depth of field is one of the factors responsible for creating a film-like video.

For those who have no clue what a shallow depth of field is, this means the subject that is in focus in comparison to the background.

You will notice that most movies have a shallow depth of field that ensures that your attention is solely on the subject rather than the whole image.

As important as a shallow depth of field is, it isn’t the only factor responsible for a film-like video. The depth of field is a stylish choice no doubt and in order to get the best for your video, make sure to try multiple lenses out.

Ideally, large and fast sensors such as an F2.8 or lower lens are capable of giving that fantastic shallow depth of field.

The Frame Rate

There thankfully is no rocket science involved when it comes to the frame rate you need to set. Most motion pictures you watch use a frame rate of 24 FPS. So, preferably this or anything around this will give your video a film-like motion.

The reason why 24 FPS is chosen is that this lacks motion blur. Regular videos tend to look too clinical, means very realistic looking. What you need is your video to look cinematic.

Thankfully, in the last few years, camera manufacturers have released a 24p camera. This means that like most footage that looks interlaced, these cameras offer 24 discrete digital photographs per second.

This is called as the true equivalent of film videos. The first ever 24p camera was launched by Panasonic, called the DVX100.

Shutter Speed

Another way to ensure that your video recording looks like a movie is by shooting your video at a shutter speed as slow as possible. Several established filmmakers claim that keeping the shutter speed at about 1/30th or 1/60th of one second is capable of producing videos that are film-like.

This is the slight blur it causes. In motion pictures, the shutter speed that is chosen is 1/50th of a second.

However, this too depends on you. Using a slightly higher and faster shutter speed will result in having a strobing effect. This too is very film-like.

The maximum you should go up to is about 1/120th of a second. Anything beyond the range will result in your video looking like a regular camera video.


Filters can be either of the physical kind or the digital kind. When it comes to physical filters, it is advised that you look out for a film toolkit. These kits come with the necessary attachments for your camera that will make your video look like a movie.

For digital filters, several brands such as Adobe, BigFX and the likes, they sell plugin filters on their sites. There are several filters you can choose from.

So, in addition to making your video look movie like, there are also a ton of other filters you can add such as black and white, different color grades and several more.


This is another crucial aspect of making your video look like a movie. By getting everything right, but not putting the subject in the right frame, will be an instant giveaway that the video is in fact from a regular DSLR.

Good framing will ensure that your video is more cinematic and make the entire film better too. Many filmmakers claim that just a single frame is capable of telling you a whole story at times.


This is a given. Even in basic photography, the first thing you emphasize on is lighting. Same goes for video recording.

In order achieve a cinematic effect for your video, it is crucial that you shoot your video with lighting in mind. There are multiple ways to go about this. If you can afford, it is best to buy artificial lights for your video.

However, if you are on a budget, stick to locations with a ton of natural lighting and use bounce boards to spread adequate lighting as much as possible.


This entirely depends on the camera you own. But, mostly several new cameras these days come with a feature called Cinelook. These presets are fantastic and are capable of minimizing the job for you in order to make your recording look like a movie.


Gone are those days where you had to settle for videos that are substandard if you didn’t have the budget to shoot a video that is film-like. We’re in an age where there is a lot of technology at your disposal which will help make your regular video look like a full-fledged movie. We hope this article helps you on how to make video look like film.