1. Make Video Look Like Film: Shot Design

Learn what makes great looking images in film, music videos, etc. It’s not always the camera but how you design the shots. In this tutorial I explain in general terms what designing a shot entails.

2. How to Make a Music Video: Lighting Set Up, Light Streaks

See how to setup a very stylized looking performance shot for a music video.

3. How to Light a Romantic Film Scene

See how I setup a a romantic restaurant scene in my short comedy “Dinner Date”; plus see how I fix and save a whole scene just by re-designing a single shot.

4. How to Light a Film Scene

Here you can see step by step how I designed and lit a scene with two actors in my short “Dinner Date”.

5. HMI PAR Lighting

See how best to utilize HMI PAR lights – they’re heavy suckers but they let you do beautiful things.

6. Color Correction to Achieve Film Look (Part I)

In this tutorial, I explain how to do basic color correction in Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro.

Tutorial 7
Tutorial 8

7. Color Correction to Achieve Film Look (Part II)

This is a continuation of previous tutorial about how to do basic color correction in Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro. Here I use examples from my documentary “Montañita: Beach Life”.

8. DIY Ring Light

Learn everything about ring lights – what they are, how to set them up and even how to build them! A great DIY project.

Tutorial 9
Tutorial 10

9. Blue & Green Screen – Set Up and Lighting

See the proper way to setup and light your next special effects production that requires a blue or green screen.

10. Glamor Shots: Umbrella Lights

Learn how to get the glamour look even if your budget doesn’t allow for the expensive lights normally used by industry professionals.

Tutorial 11
Tutorial 12

11. How to Get the Perfect Exposure

See step by step how I get the right exposure when shooting with digital cameras – especially using DSLRs.

12. Lighting Trick: simulating a theater or tv screen

Do you need to simulate the light coming off a theater or TV screen? Then this tutorial is for you.

Tutorial 13
Tutorial 14

13. DIY CAMERA DOLLY

Build your own camera dolly that can support the weight of the camera, the camera operator and even the focus puller. All for about $120.

14. Composition & Camera Angles 101

Learn the basics of camera framing, angles and lenses. Did you know that the lens size has really nothing to do with framing?

Tutorial 15
Tutorial 16

15. Understanding and Controlling the Depth of Field

Learn about the DOF and how to control it. Also, see me break the old myth that a larger camera image sensor equals a smaller depth of field.

16. Lighting Trick: Light Beams / Lasers

How do you make a beam of light, a gun laser or a flashlight appear on screen? Check out this simple technique that looks really cool!

Tutorial 17
Tutorial 18

17. How to Shoot a Dialogue Scene: Angles, Framing & Rule of Thirds

Avoid the most common mistakes when setting up a two-person dialogue scene. Learn all about the proper framing, camera angles and the rule of thirds.

18. Documentary Filmmaking Tips & Tricks: Camera Equipment

Here are some helpful tips when shooting a documentary or any run-and-gun type of a film. It is crucial that you make the right equipment choices.

Tutorial 19
Tutorial 20

19. Documentary Filmmaking Tips & Tricks: Audio Equipment

Here are some helpful tips when shooting a documentary or any run-and-gun type of a film. It is crucial that you make the right equipment choices.

20. Making of Crysis 2 vs Call of Duty Black Ops

See the behind-the-scenes of my popular YouTube video “Crysis 2 vs Call of Duty Black Ops – The Ultimate Duel”. This is a great example of a no-budget one-man crew production.

Tutorial 21
Tutorial 22

21. Making Of “Still Won’t Let You Go” Music Video – Oil Painting Effect

The video looks like oil paintings that come alive. Check out our camera and light set-ups and see how I created the effect!

22. Making of “Famous Movies in One Take” – a music video by DeStorm

In this unique video we recreated nine famous movie scenes. To top it off, we shot it all in one take. See exactly how we did it: the shoot and the post.

Tutorial 23
Tutorial 24

23. “Famous Movies in One Take” Juxtaposition

In this “Making Of” video, you can compare all in one frame: the raw take, the video of us shooting that take, the take with all the post-production (i.e. the final video) and the actual film scenes that we were recreating.

24. Making Of “Angry Birds Real Life” – 3D animation tutorial

See how I created 3D Angry Birds: building, animating, texturing and compositing of the models; even how I made those funky Angry Birds sounds.

Tutorial 25
Tutorial 26

25. Making of “Epic Fruit Ninja” – Creating Slow Motion

See how I made the video and learn to create smooth slow motion with any camera.

26. Making Of “Dragon Ball Forever” – Time Remapping Tutorial

In this tutorial, you can learn about time remapping and arranging fighting sequences.

Tutorial 27
Tutorial 28

27. Making Of “Lost In Time” – Green Screen & VFX

See how we traveled in time thanks to a green screen, cool costumes and some amazing visual effects.

28. Creating Digital Matte Paintings

Learn to create digital matte paintings in After Effects and Maya 2012 (for 3D elements). Three examples taken from my “Lost In Time” video.

Tutorial 29
Tutorial 30

29. Filming Outdoors – Light Reflector

Learn how to make your actors or models look great when shooting outside on a sunny day. The trick is to use a light reflector – a simple tool that produces excellent results.

30. Lighting Trick: just one light to get great shots outdoors at night

Shooting outdoors at night is usually challenging, but with just one portable light you can get great results. See how I do it.

Tutorial 31
Tutorial 32

31. Best Video Editing & Exporting Settings

Learn how to export high quality HD videos from Adobe Premiere.

32. Underwater video & photography

Learn proper techniques to get good footage in or under water. Also, find affordable equipment options that produce great results.

Tutorial 33
Tutorial 34

33. Make Your Shots Cinematic: Shot Design Revisited

Revisit the crucial concept of shot design – first discussed in Tutorial 1. See how dramatically you can improve a shot with a little bit of creativity.

34. DIY Camera Car Mount

Build your own car door camera mount. It will cost you around $20 and shouldn’t take more than one hour. You’ll get smooth shots inside a moving car, even if you’re driving on the highway or off-road.

Tutorial 35
Tutorial 36

35. Color Correction – matching sunny and cloudy shots

How do you match your shots on a day with a mix of sun and clouds? You wait for the clouds to move? See how to solve this common filmmaking headache.

36. Time Freeze Effect

Do it in a simple way – just ask the actors to freeze while you move the camera around – or sell it even better with 3D objects suspended in space.

Tutorial 37
Tutorial 38

37. Red Epic vs DSLR Camera vs Shot Design

Should you spend money on an expensive camera like the Red Epic? Are you at a big disadvantage to other filmmakers if you don’t? See my tests and thoughts.

38. Flying Camera Rig for Indie Filmmakers

See how to set up your own rig to get beautiful aerial shots. With a reasonable amount of money and a bit of tinkering, your filmmaking can take off high!

Tutorial 39
Tutorial 40

39. Indie Shoulder Rig

Small cameras are great, but they also make it difficult to get smooth handheld shots. Here is a cheap shoulder rig that solved my problems.

40. Lighting Set-up for a Pop Music Video

See detailed explanation and diagrams of a set-up that you can reuse in any music video where you want that beautiful, colorful look you see in expensive pop music videos.

Tutorial 41
Tutorial 42

41. DIY Digital Stabilized Camera Gimbal

If you’ve dreamed about owning the MōVi, but can’t afford it, maybe you can build one yourself? Here’s a video about how I did it – plus detailed instructions in my post.

42. Cinematic Tests – Sony NEX-5R Review

If you are looking for a good camera on a small budget (around $500), check out my tests and read about all the pros and (a few) cons of this camera in my post.

Tutorial 43
Tutorial 44

43. Steadicam How-To and Reviews

A steadicam is a great filmmaking tool if you invest the time to learn how to use it – and that’s what this post is all about. Also, see reviews of five models ranging between $85-600.

44. Behind-the-scenes of “NWO United We Stand”

See what a determined group of filmmakers can do in this no-pay, small budget film production shot in harsh winter conditions.

Tutorial 45
Tutorial 46

45. CineDrone – Sky Is The Limit

Learn about this affordable flying camera rig that opens up the skies to indie filmmakers. And get ideas on how to build your own one.

46. Color Correction – War Film Look

In this two-part tutorial, see how to create the war film look using the Magic Bullet Colorista plug-in for Adobe Premiere or just by using the simple three-way color correction tools of any editing program.

Tutorial 47
Tutorial 48

47. How To Fold a Portable Green Screen

Save time and frustration on the set by learning how to fold the large portable green/blue screens fast and every time.

48. How To Film War Action Scenes

Using as example my short “NWO United We Stand”, I show you how to stage and film a war action scene – or any scene where there will be lots of bullets flying.

Tutorial 49
Tutorial 50

49. DIY ND Filter for GoPro Hero

Learn how to eliminate from your footage jello-like defects and other artifacts when shooting with digital cameras – especially with the GoPro Hero attached to a RC multicopter.

50. Filmmaker’s Toolbox – Camera Slider

See how camera sliders can enhance your work and learn what to look for in a good slider. Includes the review of a Konova slider.

Tutorial 51
Tutorial 52

51. Manfrotto Tripods

A reliable and easy to use tripod is a must. See two great options from Manfrotto.

52. Movie Guns – Low Budget Filmmaking Tips

See how to turn plastic toy and airsoft guns into great movie props.

Tutorial 53
LED Lights Tutorial 54

53. Carbon Fiber Stabilizers by CAME

See camera tests of these two excellent stabilizers – handheld and with a vest.

54. LED Lights & Interview Set-up

Learn the pros and cons of LED lights and see how to set up lights for an interview.

Serge Ramelli Tutorial 55
Timelapses Tutorial 56

55. Cinematic Effects with Serge Ramelli

Learn great image processing techniques in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. You will be able to apply the same techniques to your videos in Adobe Speed Grade or After Effects.

56. Timelapses

Beautiful timelapses often find their way into videos and films. Therefore, leverage your DSLR camera and learn how to create timelapses – including moving timelapses.

Lenses Tutorial 57

57. Lenses – Beginner’s Guide

I show what lenses to use and buy when starting out as a filmmaker or videographer.

25 thoughts on “Tutorials”

  1. Tom you have a fantastic website. Thanks for all your help. Can you talk about creating sound for films? Do you have any tips? You always seem to have great sound for any clips you create (and I don’t mean your music videos).

  2. hi Tom am peleko from south africa i did enjoy ur tuturials is very informative and i will like to learn from you,i have been lighting for 10yrs now but i want to become a DOP ,how can i do.thx

  3. I do some short a day trip by motorcycle with friends as gruop of 15 and some time reach to 30 bikers. I would like to make a 2 to 5 minutes short film on each trip. an action sport cinematic look.

    Before I purchace, could let me know which package will be suitable for this subject?

    Thanks

  4. Dear Tom!
    Your videos are great!
    We are all lucky to have people like you, teaching with passion and love. I would like your help because I am desperate. I can’t find, for my job, a professional electonic gimbal and a wireless follow focus for my Nikon D800E. Could you please suggest me good products? Thank you so much. Have a nice day!

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Filmmaking Tips and Tutorials