Digital Camcorder Tips: How to Get a Film Look from Digital Video

Digital camcorders and digital video in general tends to produce flat looking images. This is because everything in the image is in focus which creates a lack of depth in the frame. There are three strategies that can be used to overcome this problem:

Lenses

The reason why video cameras look so flat is because of their lenses. Lenses have the greatest influence on getting the film look for your shots. You can now use high quality film lenses on your video cameras with special adapters. 

Composition

The composition of your shot can also help you prevent your frame from looking flat. Place the camera in a position that gives you a dynamic shot and then stage your actors somewhere in the frame where they pop out. Having the actors wear colors that contrast with the rest of the scene is a great way to have them stand out.

Lighting

One of the oldest lighting tricks to make the subjects pop out from the rest of the shot is to back light them. Back light creates a halo around your subjects, which helps separate them from everything else. You can also add lights in the background to create some depth as well.