Filter Recipes For Your Films

Summary: Ryan shares some filter recipes that can benefit your own productions.

Length: 7:02 minutes

Video Lesson

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Transcript

Introduction

In this video I’m going to cover some filter recipes that will be helpful for your own productions. I’ll start by sharing some free and inexpensive ways you can create looks and then move into some specific recipes. Just remember: as I go through each section, you can combine them to make for an even stronger effect.

Time Of Day

My first suggestion is that you consider the time of day and the weather that you shoot in. If you shoot in the early morning, or just after sunset, your colors are going to be more muted and pastel. If you shoot during the middle of the day, your colors are going to be more saturated. The same goes for the weather: an overcast day is going to look more muted and pastel than a sunny day where everything will be brightly saturated.

Camera Profiles

Camera profile settings

My second suggestion is that you take a look at playing around with your camera profiles. A lot of the mid-range and higher end cameras allow you to really manipulate and change how your camera sees and records light. Often times you can make your image less saturated, or change how a color looks altogether by really tweaking a menu setting. And by changing it in-camera it is another way you can take a bit of the edge off of your footage or really emphasize it if you want.

Sony A57 Camera with Standard profile

Sony A57 Camera with Standard profile

Sony A57 Camera with Landscape profile

When you play with your camera profiles, I highly recommend that you have some kind of color chart in the frame. That way you can have an accurate reference for what you are doing to your image. And this is where working with a RAW camera can really come in handy.

White Balance

Usually when we think of white balance, we think of using white balance to tell the camera how to correctly render the color temperature of light. But we can also use this to create specific looks by fooling it.

White balance to 4500k

White balance to 3300k

For example you could white balance to a slightly blue piece of paper to warm up your image, or you could white balance to a slightly yellow piece of paper to cool down your image. Or you could get really crazy and white balance using an odd color to really throw off your camera’s white balance and create a unique look.

The great thing about this trick is that it is very affordable.

Optical Flats

Most of the time optical flats are used to protect the lens from debris that is flying around. But they are also great for creating custom filters.

Image Blur using Vaseline

Image Blur using China Marker

Image Blur using Toothpaste

For example you can smear Vaseline around it to create odd image blurs on a specific part of your image. Or you could use a china marker to draw lines across it to create streaks in your image. Or…

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Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 6: Five Tips For A Successful Shoot
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
Negative Fill: The Best Kept Secret (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 08)
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