The Fundamentals of Cinematography that will Make You a Better Filmmaker

Written by: The Matthau Company

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The dream of any rookie filmmaker is to shoot a movie with a massive budget, a-list stars and an incredible script. Before ever getting to that point, filmmakers would do well mastering the fundamentals of cinema.

What You Need to Know About Cinematography

Filmmaking relies on excellent camera work to convey the story. When you set up your shots, look for ways to show what you need from a unique perspective. In shows like True Detective or movies like No Country for Old Men, the background does a lot of talking on its own. You can use a photographic eye to enhance your film shot. Attempt a shot from atop a building or from some higher place that offers more intriguing angles. Be ambitious and rent a helicopter for a few hours to shoot an establishing shot of the city. You can also license film stock for a similar price, but where’s the adventure in that?

Adding Quality Sound Effects

The audience relies on sound to cue them into what’s happening on screen. If you get sound right, your production will seem like a higher quality. Everything from doors closing to action sequences rely on sound to accomplish a certain effect. Have your actors speak clearly and enunciate, as microphones can pick up the tiniest imperfections in our voice or our lips. You might also consider hiring a quality composer. Having an experienced composer can help guide the mood of your film. Music makes the audience feel something, so it’s an important aspect of film to get right.


 

The Charles Matthau Company is the production company behind the recent Elmore Leonard release “Freaky Deaky.” The Charlie Matthau Company will also produce the upcoming “Mexican High” coming in 2015.