Flat is better: Setting up for film look

Don’t let the simple look of this video fool you – it is one of the most valuable you’ll ever see:

I’ve covered this subject before for ENG cameras – such as the JVC GY-HD110 – but it bears repeating for DSLRs: Getting the film look is not just 24P or the way you frame your shots. Out of the box, just about any ENG or prosumer camera will be set with contrasts and saturations set far too aggressively. Case in point, the video I shot for the HD110 settings:

While not everything in the HD110 video applies to DSLRs, the concept is the same: You want a flat image to work with.

Indeed, these are the excellent results I got with Philip Bloom’s settings – as in the first video – which allowed me to shoot and correct the following footage (for sky color) in After Effects by adjusting the highlights and midtones:

Not all cameras will be the same, of course, but these settings remain about what you’d want from most other DSLRs. For instance, Panasonic’s GH2 does pretty good on its Nostalgic preset, but still benefits from reduced sharpness.

-Kurt K. – “Man With the 5D”

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