Tools To Become a Better Cinematographer

In this tutorial, I wanted to talk to you about 2 subjects I have been asked a lot about – the cinematic camera moves and music.

Nailing down that cinematic smooth and flowing moves with a small camera can be difficult as it’s so small and shaky.

For that reason, I got myself a new Gimbal – the ikan EC1. This Gimbal is nice and simple. Depending on the type of your camera and how you attached the baseplate, it could take a couple of tweaks, but the process itself is very self-explanatory.

ikan EC1 3-Axis Gimbal

ikan EC1 3-Axis Gimbal in action

The cool thing about this Gimbal is that it doesn’t take a lot to balance.
I was just walking down the street, playing around with it and it’s fast and smooth to use.

Tips to get great results with your Gimbal

Don’t Overuse The Gimbal

The Gimbal’s motions are like spices: when you use it too much – the
food doesn’t taste that good anymore. Next time you’ll watch a movie, notice that not all the shots have motion in them, so use the Gimbal wisely.

Have a Low weight Wide Angle Lens

The better lenses are those with a low aperture like the Sony 38mm f/1.8 or something like that. This kind of lenses gives you some depth of field and also have a very low weight and wide angle, which is an important attribute since the big focal lenses won’t fit and you will not get the desired effect.

Video Continuous Autofocus

The third thing I can recommend is to have Video Continuous Autofocus lens and camera. Otherwise, it’s very hard to try to keep your subject in focus.

Stay Close to Your Object

When you’re far away from the object, the camera’s motions are not that obvious.

Set Your Camera to Be Ready to Shoot

Before you do anything else with the Gimbal, you have to prepare your camera for shooting, or else you’ll need to dismount it and mount it again, which will make you lose all your balance.

Use the desired format

Make sure you are using your desired format whether it’s 4K or Slow Motion etc., whatever you choose, do that in advance and only then start playing around with the Gimbal.


Music is a very tricky subject because most times it costs a lot. However, a good music track emphasizes your video compare to a video that doesn’t have the right music.

If you look at a video with no soundtrack, you’ll notice it doesn’t bring out any emotion, it doesn’t do anything, at least for me. Now when we add music to the video, well, you can feel the difference.

As the music builds up, the video gets a different quality. When I make small documentaries which try to tell a story, I shoot the video while I already have a sound playing in my head. That helps me build the rhythm of the video.

Filmstro Pro

Now, I want to show you an excellent app you can work with to create your own sounds for your videos.

It’s called Filmstro Pro. Filmstro has different licenses you can use, and it fits Premiere Pro’s interface, which means you can work with your Filmstro from within Premiere Pro.

Filmstro fits Premiere Pro's interface

Filmstro is unique because it lets you create remarkable music that fits your videos with ease. I’ll show you just how to do that.

So here’s a couple of tips on how to work with Filmstro from its Premier Pro Panel.

I’m going to go to Windows -> Extension and then Filmstro BETA. Here we have the themes, the demo themes, the mood themes, and different music genres you can choose from.

Windows -> Extension and then Filmstro BETA

Filmstro themes

You can try out whatever theme you want for your video. The cool thing about Filmstro is that you can edit your track in real time, using 3 key sliders: Momentum, Depth and Power.

3 key sliders: Momentum, Depth and Power

You have the ability to edit the soundtrack to your liking, then to open it in Premiere Pro. What I’m going to do is to go to the beginning of the time track, and I’m going to set in the play head, then I’m going to go to the end of the timeline and click on it.

set in the play head

Now I can go back to the beginning of the video, start playing it, and edit the music on the fly. I need to make sure I have ‘Play With Video’ option checked, and now I can hit Play.

'Play With Video' option

Now I can push up the Momentum slider – a keyframe was created. I can push up the Depth slider, again I created a keyframe, and I can push up the Power slider.

Creating keyframes with the sliders

I absolutely love this feature. I can play around with these sliders, I can move them if I wanted to, or delete them, I can do anything I want with them.

Once I’m done with that, I just render my music out and put it in my timeline, and just like that, I created myself a high-quality cinematic track.

I can confidently tell you that the audio from within Filmstro is just unbelievable and can seriously enhance your videos.

Pay attention to this special opportunity – you can get the Filmstro Pro app for 20% off on the annual license! Just use this coupon code: “MAKEYOURMEDIA_ANN” and add a high-quality music to your videos.

Category: Video