How to Give Your Footage That Beautiful Cinematic Look in Premiere Pro

The cinematic look can transform average B-roll in to spectacular and captivating footage. Here's how you can apply it to your own videos just using Adobe Premiere Pro.

Cinematic looking videos are so stylish and so commonplace I almost don't want to like them anymore. I keep waiting to feel as if it's all over done and I just can't stand the style anymore, but I don't believe it's ever going to happen. If you capture high resolution, correctly exposed footage of almost anything, it seems as if you're 3 steps from a great clip. Step 1: slow it down. Step 2: color grade it with a LUT. Step 3: add some melancholic indie music. The formula really seems to be as simple as that, but it's just so effective.

In this tutorial, Christian Maté Grab goes through his method for making footage look cinematic using Adobe Premiere Pro. For the uninitiated, it's straightforward and simple to the point of being almost ridiculous. The look is achieved via a Lookup Table (LUT) which is essentially a preset for your footage that is added over the top like an adjustment layer. As you can see in this video, Grab turns average and bland footage in to something more in line with a short film.

What's your best trick for transforming your footage from bland to cineamtic?

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5 Comments

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

What does "cinematic" even mean? Is there a definition or does it simply mean "as in a movie" and therefor basically anything?

I see the term everywhere, applied to photos, videos. But nowhere it talks about any specifics. This video also fails to deliver that, apart from some grain, fake crop bars and motion blur (i have no idea about video, i just watched to find an answer to my question).

Joshua Kolsky's picture

Clickbait/Buzzword. Its just like when someone makes a video on how to get the "Film" look in photography. Its either film or it isn't.

Nic Hilton's picture

As someone who vlogs, I sometimes laugh at this need for “cinematic” bits. For YouTubers it seems having cinematic video just means “color graded, and slow motion.”
Its to separate certain story telling bits from others with the use of cinematography techniques instead of just handheld vlogging. The problem is that everyone only things cinematic means one thing. Cinema options are endless. There is No correct answer for cinema, but for vlog cinema: slow it down, lut, Black bars.

Paul Stonehouse's picture

Terrific explanation, well done Christian...great cinematography and story telling....thank you for your inspiration!

Footage looked great! Is the music by Charlie Cunningham by any chance?