Do you NEED to shoot Log?

Today we’ll find out if shooting a flat image like Log is worth the extra effort or just a waste of time. Welcome to The Film Look.

For those who are new to flat picture profiles such as log, let me give you a quick rundown.

Dynamic range is the name given to the number of steps between black and white. More dynamic range means more shades of grey between black and white, which in photography equates to an image which retains more detail in the shadows and the highlights at the same time.

For a colour image, you have red, green, and blue channels, and they all have a range between black and white, so it works for colour too.


A “flat image” retains more information in the highlights and shadows - the shadows are lighter and the highlights are darker, giving you an image which lacks contrast, it looks “flat”.


So if you are shooting an image with harsh sunlight and dark shadows in the same frame, a flat picture profile will help the image retain information on both ends of the spectrum, giving you more room to expose both the shadows and highlights correctly.

On most cameras, zebras will tell you when you’ve gone too far. If you are seeing stripes on your monitor, you’re capturing nothing but a block of white - no information - no detail - that is something which can’t be fixed in post.


For our short film The Asylum Groove, we shot in Cine4, which is a flat profile.

We were having trouble battling the overblown windows whilst also trying to expose for the subject, so we switched to a flat profile in order to protect the highlight information, and we brought in some large soft lights to correctly expose the subject.

Out of the camera, a flat image looks milky; it lacks contrast and colour and doesn’t look very cinematic. This is where grading comes in. Because you’ve shot the image “flat”, you need to give it some contrast in order to make it pop.

But this begs the question: “why bother shooting flat if you are just going to put contrast back into the image later on?”

Well, this is because of the extra information you get. The final image may not present ALL of that information in the end (like if it’s been heavily graded), but it's still there if you need it in post-production.

Think of it like bonus information at the back of a book: you might not even read it, but it's there if you desperately need it.

Shooting a flat picture comes with extra work and you may even need extra equipment to handle the workflow.

Log is a VERY flat picture profile which retains a hell of a lot of contrast information in the image.

Log is so flat it can become difficult to properly judge a shot because you are looking at something which looks so milky and lacking in colour.

In this instance, an external monitor will help.


With an external monitor, you can adjust the settings to simulate a graded contrast-heavy image and use it as a shooting reference while capturing flat footage on the card.

On higher-end monitors, you can install LUTs, which are fancy image filters that give you a range of cool and colourful styles. Pick something which you think suits your film and use it as a guide when capturing a flat image.

Image Courtesy of Joshua Martin Studios:

Image Courtesy of Joshua Martin Studios:

You may also find that log profiles will increase the minimum available ISO so in order to expose correctly in bright light, you need an ND filter if you want to keep a 1/50 shutter and a fairly shallow depth of field.


Alternatively, you may want to choose a different flat profile which doesn’t affect the ISO so drastically, such as Cine4 which is on the Sony a7s. It’s not as flat as Log but only pushes the minimum ISO from 100 to 200.


There are LUT packs found online which are designed for specific picture profiles. These LUTs can be applied to your LUT-capable monitor and used in post-production. They do a good job bringing your flat footage back to reality, reducing the milky colourless image, and getting it ready for applying a funky colour grade.

So if you need the dynamic range when shooting, LUTs are the best starting point if you don’t have a lot of experience with grading.

If you shoot in S-Log on the Sony, check out these Phantom LUTs by Joel Famularo.

Phantom LUTs:   Use discount code “TFL” for 20% off at checkout!

Phantom LUTs:

Use discount code “TFL” for 20% off at checkout!

He’s got LUTs for a bunch of Alexa Looks and a Film Looks on his website, and all of the graded S-Log footage in this episode has one of his phantom LUTs applied. Joel has also supplied us with a 6-month limited discount code if you want to buy them.

But this doesn’t mean to say you NEED to shoot a flat picture profile in order to get wicked-looking footage.


You may find it easier to capture a good-looking contrasty image straight out of the camera, or your camera may not have the option at all. Shooting without a flat profile is actually what we do with our YouTube videos. We usually shoot under controlled lighting, so we so we very rarely have to battle blown out highlights or shadows.

The standard picture profile on the Sony is actually a little bit flat. It’s mostly just adding contrast and balancing the images in the sequence, which takes about 5 minutes per episode.

So, shooting flat is not a hard and fast rule - it's a technical choice. If you need the safety of capturing more dynamic range or love the look you get from colour grading flat footage, go ahead and shoot it flat.

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Upgrade Your Camera Battery + More | Power Junkie Review

Power, power, power. You always need to make sure you have enough power and batteries whilst shooting.

Smaller cameras have smaller batteries, which don’t last very long, and you need to have lots of them when shooting all day.

NPF Batteries Vs Sony A7s Battery

This is why we use NPF batteries to power our cameras, as they give you hours of battery life. The problem is the NPF batteries don’t fit into our cameras.

Blind Spot has sent over their Power Junkie to solve this problem.


The power junkie is a battery plate that allows you to power filmmaking equipment via NPF batteries. You can do this either via the 2 USB ports or a DC output.

With the DC output, you can plug a dummy battery into the Power Junkie and power your camera.

You can get dummy batteries for all types of camera, so just find the one that fits your camera.

You can also get them from Blind Spot when you buy a Power Junkie. You can find links in the description below to all of the products.


We use a Sony A7s Mark 1, and with an NPF 750 battery, we get around 5 times more power than we would if we used a Sony A7s battery.

The USB ports work like any USB port. They can be used to power cameras like a GoPro without a dummy battery, LED lights that take USB power, and also audio recorders like the Tascam DR-70d.

What's also good about it is that you can charge your phone with the NPF batteries. A simple thing, but super useful. I’ve been able to charge my phone 3 times with a single NPF 750 battery.

When you are not powering filmmaking equipment you can also use the Power Junkie to charge the NPF batteries, via USB type C or Micro USB. Again, this is super convenient when you are charging all of your NPF batteries for the next shoot.


The Power Junkie is made out of plastic, but it is super tough and it’s not going to break easily.

There is a battery indicator on the side which shows how much power you have left.

We’ve had a battery in there for over a week, and the indicator lights have not reduced the power of the battery.

To mount the power junkie on to your camera there is a quarter 20 thread and a cold shoe attachment on the bottom. In the box, Blind Spot provides a couple of different screws to help secure it onto your cameras cold show or cage.


The base of the power junkie is rubber so you can get the screw super tight.

The way we have been mounting ours is by using this 15mm rod cheese plate we had going spare. It screws on to the bottom of the power Junkie, then you can mount it on to a 15mm rod.

Both of our cages for the Sony A7s mark 1 have a 15mm rod mount built onto the cage.


Once you have mounted it onto your camera, you can plug in your dummy battery and feed the wire to the power junkie. We taped it up so it doesn’t move around.

Then you are ready to use it to shoot.

We did create a video a while back about our DIY external battery setup, which has been working, but was velcroed on to a cheese plate. The DIY battery plate was only around $10, with the dummy costing around about $15.

So the DIY solution was cheaper, but sometimes the power drops and you have to wiggle the battery and wires to get it working again.

Now I have used the Power Junkie, I wouldn’t recommend building your own DIY version. The Power Junkie can do a lot more than the DIY version can and just works straight out of the box.


With the power junkie, you don’t need to rely on lots of different power sources. You can invest in buying lots of NPF batteries for all your power needs when you have the Power Junkie.


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

1 Tip for Syncing Your Footsteps FASTER

Syncing footsteps can be a pain. Let’s be honest, they aren’t the most exciting part of sound editing, but you can’t deny how vital they are to an immerse film.

Let me show you a quick trick which will help get YOUR footstep sounds in the right place much quicker. Welcome to The Film Look.

I’m going to be using Adobe Audition today but this trick can be achieved in any sound editing application which uses markers.

Foosteps Sync.jpg

I’ve imported a shot from one of our films BACKSTAGE, and I want to begin by adding some footsteps because the production audio is noisy and unclear, have a listen…

I’ve also imported some footstep sound effects from our FOOTSTEP SOUND PACK. Here I have “Sneakers on Pavement” which should work well with our character walking in an exterior car park.

The shot I’m working with today actually has decent scratch audio to aid syncing footsteps. But let's pretend we don’t have that luxury. I’ll go ahead and delete it. What do we do now?

This is where markers can come in handy.

Foosteps Sync1.jpg

In audition you can place a marker on the timeline using the M key. We can use markers as a guide for cutting and placing in our footsteps.


If you notice someone walking or running, they tend to keep a steady pace if they are moving for more than a second or two. We can study their pace, find their rhythm, and literally tap out the markers along with their stride.


I like to tap out the footsteps on my desk while watching the clip. I’ll do this a few times until I can roughly predict the rhythm. Then, once I’m ready, I hit the M key and add markers to the pace of the character on screen.


Once we have some markers on the timeline, we can zoom in and do some fine tuning. Most of the markers should be in-sync, but we can always go frame by frame and adjust any markers which are obviously too early or too late.


A footstep sound effect is made up of two major parts - attack and decay. The attack is the actual step sound itself and the decay is the tail end which fades out.

With all the markers set to the rhythm of the footsteps, we can grab our footstep sounds, trim them down, and place the attack right on the marker.

Trim the decay of each sound before it hits the next marker and then go ahead and place in the next footstep sound. Do this for all of your footstep sounds on each marker.

As you place in the sounds, make sure to extend the left side of the sound effect, known as the pre-attack, and cross-fade it into the decay of the previous sound. This will smooth over each sound effect and prevent any hard stops.

Next is fine tuning the sync; this is done mostly by your eyes and your ears. We have placed in our ground work using the markers, so we can delete these as they are no longer needed. Now it's just a case of watching the shot, listening to the footsteps, and looking out for any late or early steps.

This will take some tinkering, but if you do happen to have a scratch track from the video file with the original production audio, you can always listen to the take and try to match them.

If you can see the character’s feet, find the moment they make contact with the ground, and try to match each footstep sound to the image.

But, I find this doesn’t always work. Sometimes it’s better to just watch the edit and follow along. You’ll probably notice when a footstep is too early or too late.


You also might notice some footstep sounds are too strong or weak sounding for the step in the image. This is a simple fix. Just look for a step which has a stronger or weaker attack sound and replace the ill-fitting step.

Obviously right now the footsteps themselves don’t sound very realistic. They are very tappy. You can add a bit more grit to a footstep by adding a very subtle shuffle sound underneath.

Our FOOTSTEP SOUND PACK includes shuffle sounds on every surface using most footwear. Links in the description.

Foosteps Sync2.jpg

Here you can see I have essentially layered the shuffles under the footsteps. This will stop the footsteps from sounding so tippy tappy and will give us a sense of rubble or grit on the ground in the car park.

To quickly finish off the scene here, I have added a touch of reverb to the footsteps, added some street noise, a car door sound, and mixed it together.

Let me know if you found this video helpful in the comments below. I will be producing more episodes like this one in the future, so get subscribed if you haven’t already. And remember to achieve it one shot at a time.

🚀 - Step up your sound game with our FOOTSTEPS SOUND PACK. It features 200+ sounds, 9 surfaces, and 6 types of footwear, perfect for your next film project.

🎬 In case you missed it

How to Build a DIY Foley Pit:

$600 Mic vs $60 Mic:

How to Mix Sound for a Short Film:

How to Record BETTER Footstep Sound Effects:

🎧 Listen to our Podcast!



📞 The Socials






Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

5 Tips to STEP UP your Foley Game!

Foley is the dark horse of filmmaking. It turns your film from “pretty good” to “polished”.

After creating foley for the last 5 films on this channel, I’ve learned a few tricks which will help YOU record some great foley for your films. Welcome to The Film Look.


Number one: footsteps are never alone.

If you’ve done any foley for your film, I imagine you’ve recorded or edited some footstep sounds. Footsteps are the most obvious run-of-the-mill sound effects to add into your scene, and usually I will tackle these first, but they always sound better when they are layered with other foley.

What I like to do is breakdown the possible sound elements associated with each character in the scene. Let's take this example called “Lost in the Forest” which we filmed for this foley series!

The character produces sounds from his footsteps, his coat, his backpack, and his map. These are all moving as he walks and they will produce their own sound effects, so if we record each of them and layer them into the scene, it turns it from this into this.


Which brings me onto Number two: how to record clothing foley!

When I first started recording foley, I used to wear the clothing and try to move around and mimic the character on screen. This doesn’t produce a clear enough sound to layer in with everything else. I found you need to exaggerate the noise to be effective.


So take off the coat and bunch it up into a loose ball in front of the mic. Instead of mimicking the actual steps, just mimic the swing and movement of the character.


The clothing will produce some unique sounds depending on how you handle it, so experiment and try to find something which fits the scene.

Number three: accurate handling!

The next thing we need to record is the paper map. A prop like this can produce a million and one different sounds just by the way it's being handled. A map being crushed sounds very different to a map being folded, so this is where accurate mimicking comes in!


If the character has the map out on display and is climbing down the hill, mimic that movement as close as you can by opening up the map and lightly bounce it up and down. If the character holds the map out and swings it, do the same thing. Don’t record generic foley; it never sounds good! Get particular and mimic the actions as accurately as possible.


Number four: beefing up the props!

With something like a backpack, it would be easy enough to grab an empty rucksack and shake it around in time with the character on screen. This may sound okay, but it doesn’t sound at all interesting.


Instead, you can beef up the sound of the prop by adding weight. This will help create a great sound when it swings around because of things like velocity and inertia.

That’s right - science is audible!


Then, add some items inside it. For rucksack sounds, I like to take a set off mess tins and place them at the top of the pack. They will rattle around and add some extra dynamic kinetic audio.

And if the straps are producing an annoying flappy sound when you record, just tuck them in! Sound design is your choice, so if you find the sound can be annoying, chances are the audience will find it annoying too.


Number five: environmental interaction

If your character interacts with the environment, nine times out of ten it will produce a sound, so don’t ignore these!


In the scene “Lost in the forest” you can clearly see our character causing a bunch of dry leaves to roll down the hill as he steps down. Yes, we have footstep sounds, but the sound of leaves falling down a hill will produce something very different. So grab some dead leaves, dry them out, and record brushing and moving them with your hand. This subtle sound effects will really help sell the effect that the audio is real.

Number six (bonus): Don’t forget your atmos!

The final element to add into a scene to help ground in reality and trick the audience into believing these sounds were recorded on the day is the ambient noise from the location. If it’s inside you can use room tone, and if it’s outside, you’ll need some atmos.


For the “Lost in the Forest” scene we recorded atmos at the location but it sounded horrible. That horrible droning wind is actually the sound of the cars on the motorway over a mile away. So instead, I found a track from

Adding atmos into the scene will help smooth over the otherwise moments of silence between sound effects.

🚀 - Step up your sound game with our FOOTSTEPS SOUND PACK. It features 200+ sounds, 9 surfaces, and 6 types of footwear, perfect for your next film project.

🎬 In case you missed it

How to Build a DIY Foley Pit:

$600 Mic vs $60 Mic:

How to Mix Sound for a Short Film:

How to Record BETTER Footstep Sound Effects:

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

US links:

The Sound Effects Bible:

UK links:

The Sound Effects Bible:


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

How to Record BETTER Footstep Sound Effects

Last week we showed YOU how to setup a DIY Foley Pit for recording footsteps at home or in a small studio. This week we are showing you how to record them. Everything from microphone placement to mimicking the image for a perfect sync.

I suppose you can call this episode a step by step guide. Let’s record some footsteps! Welcome to The Film Look.

This episode was inspired by The Sound Effects Bible by Ric Viers. We aren’t being paid to talk about the book, we just think its a great resource for those who want to step up up their sound game.

US link: The Sound Effects Bible:    UK link: The Sound Effects Bible:

US link: The Sound Effects Bible:

UK link: The Sound Effects Bible:

So before we hit record there are a few things we need to do in order to prepare for recording footstep Foley.

The first thing we need to do is identify the sound source and its properties by looking at the edit.


The scene we are referencing is this short sequence we filmed in a forest. By studying the scene, you can see that we need the following:

  • Packed earth for the foundation of the pit

  • Crunchy dried leaves and twigs to cover the packed earth

  • And a pair of walking boots to stomp in

To simulate the packed earth, we bought a bag of top soil and patted it down until it was nice and compact. Then we grabbed a bunch of dried leaves from the location and sprinkled them on top. Then we matched the footwear, selecting a pair of walking boots to record in.


Now we’ve built up the surface and chosen matching footwear, we can think about sound-proofing our clothing so we only record the sound of footsteps.


Quiet clothing is a must when you record foley. Sweatpants are the preferred bottoms, but you can also wear jeans as long as they don’t rub or make noise when you move around. As for your top; cotton t-shirts, wool sweaters, but nothing too loose as it might flap around and make a noise.


Avoid anything made of vinyl, polyester, or nylon, as they tend to make crispy, rubbing sounds when you move. Strictly no jewellery, and if you have any zips or laces, get them taped down!


And if your trousers rub against the ankle on a pair of boots, tuck them in or roll them up to minimise unwanted rubbing noise.


Also, don’t turn up to a foley session hungry (or too full). Your stomach grumbles will be picked up by the microphone, and if you’ve eaten too much, you know...fart.


Next we have the position of the microphone. This is an important one, because if its too far away you may lose a lot of detail in the recording and pick up the acoustics of the room. The same goes if the microphone is too close; you risk kicking the mic during a recording, and you may end up capturing more toe than heel or even excess bass during a footstep impact.

The ideal position we’ve found for the microphone is in front of your feet, in the middle between each foot, around 1-2 feet away and 1-2 feet off the floor. This will give you a nice loud recording of the relatively quiet footsteps.

How you mount the microphone is also important. If you are recording in a bedroom or small studio like we are, it’s likely you are standing on some form of wooden floorboard. Because floorboards are a little bit bouncy and hollow underneath, they can produce rumble.

We have the microphone on a mic stand supported with a shock mount. This will greatly reduce the rumble effect and give you a cleaner recording.


In the last episode we also spoke about padding under the foley pit. We use a stack of EVA foam jigsaw panels to pad out the floor underneath the tray. They are firm but bouncy so they soften a hard step just enough to prevent unwanted shock, rumble, and noise.

Next up we have levels. Get your microphone in position and try walking on the spot. Set your levels so each step hits around -6dB, also known as recording warm. -6dB will give you a little bit of wiggle room in case a step is louder than usual. It’s loud, it’s clean, and it’s safe.


Once you are ready to record, make a note of the following:

  • Your footwear

  • The surface

  • And the project name

When you hit record, you will want to very clearly state each of these. For example, “Walking boots on packed earth with dry leaves. Footstep Foley for project: LOST IN THE FOREST”.

Like using a clapperboard for syncing production audio to the film, this is called “Slating the clip”.


With video, you have the use of thumbnails and can jog through a clip to see what it is. With audio, you don’t have the luxury of a thumbnail and scanning doesn’t really work, so instead you must preface each clip with clearly state information so you can organise your clips with ease.

After listening to a hundred recordings, you will be happy you didn’t mumble or waste time at the start of the clip.

Now it's time to hit record and mimic the image. For project specific foley, you will want to set up a copy of the edit playing back in front of you. We like to have the edit looping on a laptop.


You can begin the foley session by mimicking the entire scene, I call these “Run-Throughs”. Run through’s will get you warmed up, it will help you practice mimicking the pace of the subject and match the strength of the impact.

With headphones on, you will also be able to hear if you need to adjust the way you step to create the right sound.

I tend to record 5 takes of run through’s for each character in each scene on every surface, trying my best to match their footsteps.

Next are “singles”. Now you’ve warmed up, it’s time to record a lot more footsteps. Only this time you won’t be mimicking the subject in the scene.

Recording singles is easy. You take a single step then wait for the sound to decay into near silence. Then you take another step. And another...and another hundred until you are completely bored of the sound.


Then change how you step. Step harder, step lighter, step with a slight shuffle, go heel to toe, stomp, jump! With each version of these footsteps, try to record at least 60 seconds before changing your stepping method, and try to separate the sound out so you can cut around the silence later on.

By this time, you will have burned off your dinner, so you won’t regret the meal you wolfed down in order to stop your stomach from grumbling!

You will notice that the way you step will drastically change the way a step sounds. When you start mixing, you may notice a footstep doesn’t sound quite right in the scene. Maybe it’s too hard or too quick or needs a shuffle.

This is why you record a ton of singles. You can think of these like footstep b-roll: emergency footsteps which can replace anomalies in the mix, and can be added to your sound library for future projects.

There are three main parts which will determine the way a footstep sounds: the surface you stand on, the type of footwear you choose, and the way you perform a step. Everything else is formatting, etiquette, and quality assurance.

🚀 - Step up your sound game with our FOOTSTEPS SOUND PACK. It features 200+ sounds, 9 surfaces, and 6 types of footwear, perfect for your next film project.

🎬 In case you missed it

How to Build a DIY Foley Pit:

$600 Mic vs $60 Mic:

How to Mix Sound for a Short Film:

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

US links:

The Sound Effects Bible:

UK links:

The Sound Effects Bible:


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

How to Build a DIY Foley Pit

Today we’ll show YOU our DIY foley pit for recording footstep sound effects. This is something that requires no big tools or heavy building experience, all the parts can be purchased online or found around the house, and can be assembled in less than 30 minutes.


Let’s setup a DIY foley pit! Welcome to the film look.

With every film project we’ve made, we’ve always recorded footsteps on location. After the shooting has wrapped, we head back to the location on another day with a copy of the edit, setup the microphone, watch the scene, and mimic the movement of the actors.


But this doesn’t always work. A noisy environment isn’t the ideal location for recording footsteps, and if your shooting location is busy, loud, or now inaccessible, this is where a foley recording studio setup comes in.

So we thought it was time to build a foley pit!

Because we have such a small studio, we needed the foley pit to be cheap, easy to clean, and quick to assemble and disassemble. And because we know a lot of you guys are young filmmakers, we wanted to make something which didn’t require any heavy tools or building experience so you can set one up at home too.


The first thing you need is a quiet room. A clothing closet, a bedroom, or a small room with a carpeted floor will work best. Carpets are important because they absorb sound, and we want the footstep recordings to sound as dry as possible; we don’t want any excess echo or reverb in the audio because we may want to add some in to match the scene later.

You can find out which room will work best by standing in the centre and clapping. You’ll notice a small room with carpets and furniture will absorb more sound than a big staircase exit.

We will be using our studio which thankfully has carpeted floors.


There are a few free mobile apps which help you get an idea of how much echo a room produces. I have this one downloaded called RT by AppAcoustic. You simply place the phone on the ground, hit start, give a strong clap, wait a moment, then hit stop. The readings aren’t 100% accurate but are certainly a starting point.

So try out a bunch of rooms in your house and see which one will give you the best results! Just look for room acoustic apps on your app store.

Next thing we can do is acoustically treat the room. This sounds fancy, but it doesn’t have to be. The first thing you can do is switch off any electronic devices. TVs, computers, speakers; basically anything which might hum or buzz. Then find a load of curtains, duvets, blankets, towels, even couch cushions, and find a way to hang them up in the room, covering your walls, doors, and windows.


We have a bunch of black out curtains which did the job, so we made a blanket fort with the help of some C-stands and some clips.

Basically, anything with a flat surface will reflect sound, and that’s what we want to avoid, so make sure you cover any flat smooth surface with some rugs, blankets, or even a pile of clothes.


In order to see what I’m about to do next, I’m gonna take the blanket fort back down for the rest of the episode. Just try to imagine it's still up.


So, the pit itself. We can start with a gardening tray. This one is 60x60cm so its large enough for footsteps, it has a short 7cm lip which means it won’t cause any reverb (preventing the sound you’d get if you stuck your head in a bucket), but is high enough to contain messy materials, and it is made out of tough plastic so it's waterproof, lightweight, and easy to clean!

If you are recording upstairs on wooden floorboards like we are, you will want to cushion underneath the tray to prevent any excess rumble during recording. We picked up a pack of these EVA foam jigsaw panels to pad out the floor underneath the tray. They are firm but bouncy so they soften a hard step just enough to prevent a Godzilla-sounding footstep.


We recorded some samples based on a scene we shot in a forest. This is how it sounds.

A lot of ideas for this video came from The Sound Effects Bible by Ric Viers. We aren’t being paid to talk about the book, but think its a wicked resource for budding sound artists who want to set up their game. There’s an affiliate link in the description if you want to buy the book and help out the channel.


A setup like this can also be used for recording other foley work such as clothing movement and prop handling, which we will be talking about next week! So if you are looking for more sound advice, hit subscribe, hit the bell, and remember to achieve it one shot at a time.

🚀 - Step up your sound game with our FOOTSTEPS SOUND PACK. It features 200+ sounds, 9 surfaces, and 6 types of footwear, perfect for your next film project.

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

US links

Gardening Tray:

EVA Foam Mats:

The Sound Effects Bible:

UK links

Gardening Tray:

EVA Foam Mats:

The Sound Effects Bible:


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!


Need footsteps for your next film project? Look no further!

The Film Look FOOTSTEP SOUND PACK features over 200 sounds, on 9 surfaces, in 6 types of footwear, giving you a plethora of available sound types to choose from when mixing the sound for your film.

All sound effects have been recorded in a low noise environment giving you a clean, loud sound for every single footstep. They have also been recorded as dry as possible, meaning there is no reverb baked into the sound so you can add reverb in the mix to replicate the scene on screen perfectly.

These sounds have been exclusively recorded as “singles”, meaning each step is completely individual so you can cut in and match up the steps without having to worry about creating more space between the sounds.

Every single set of footwear of every single surface has multiple performance types: light, standard, heavy, heel-to-toe, shuffles, and jumps. These have been created so you can match the performance of the actors on screen.

Is your character walking? Standard is all you will need. Are they running? Maybe go for heavy to match the high impact!

As well as creating this pack, we have also create a short series of videos showing you how we setup and recorded the footsteps, so if you want to create your own library of footsteps, go ahead!

The first video in the series shows you how to setup a DIY Foley Pit: a small pit for dumping your surface materials so you can record in messy stuff in a clean way!

1 Tip for Filming a Genuine Performance

Faking it is what filmmaking is all about, but one of the things you can not fake is your actor being out of breath.

This might seem like a strange thing to talk about but stick with me.

Welcome to The Film Look.

If you have a scene or a moment in your film where your actor needs to look and sound out of breath, flustered, or red-faced, you need to get your actors up and moving around before the shot so you can capture something which is genuine.


We learnt this from our actor friend Liam R. Angus, but it wasn’t until after the shoot and looking at the behind the scenes footage.

In our short film Keep the Change, Liam's character Stu had to deliver a pizza, but his car had just broken down. If he doesn’t get it there on time, he is going to lose his job, so he decides to run there.

He gets there in time and goes into the building to deliver the pizza.


Let’s pause the film there.

If you haven't seen Keep the Change, I’ve just spoiled it but you can find it right here if you want to watch it.

Inbetween these two shots where he runs into the frame, and this shot where he approaches the door and enters the building, there was about 15 to 20 minutes of setup time.

This meant our actor was no longer out of breath, therefore breaking the continuity between the two shots.

This was not actually the case because of what our actor Liam did. Right as we were setting up the shot, messing around with the camera and lights. He was running around, keeping himself active, so he could run straight into the scene out of breath.


As I said, I did not realise he was doing this because I was so concentrated on setting up the shot, so without him and this BTS footage I wouldn’t have learnt this lesson.

And this is still one of my favourite Film Look behind the scenes shots.

This goes for if you are recording foley sounds as well. To sound realistic, before you start to record those out of breath sounds, do 20-star jumps, or 50 if you’re in better shape.


This will sound better than if you try and fake it. Faking it requires you to think about what it should sound like, when you could easily just record the real thing.

This might seem simple or obvious, but we feel it’s another thing worth knowing. It’s one of those things you could easily forget about when shooting because of all of the other things that you have to do.

So if you need your actors to be out of breath, ask them to jog around.

Let us know in the comments below of something of the simple but effective things you have learnt whilst shooting a film. I’m going to sit down now after all of those star jumps, but remember to achieve it one shot at a time.


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Every Boom Operator Needs This! | Rycote PCS-Boom Connector Review

Today I want to talk to you about the PCS-Boom Connector from Rycote, and why I think every boom operator would be a fool not to have one!

I’ve been known to have trouble screwing my boom pole to my shock mount. So much so that I chewed up the end and broke the whole system...twice!


To fix this problem, I was looking for a quick release system for my boom pole. I did find a budget option which did the job; the Triad Orbit IO-R...I did a review on it a while back.

Then the guys at Rycote saw that video and wondered if i’d be interested in reviewing their quick release system, so here I am. They also sent me some free swag.


I’m gonna put these two boom connectors against each other. You have the budget option, coming in at around £20, and you have the premium option, coming in at about £80. So the Rycote is 4x the price of the Triad Orbit, but is it 4x better?


Let's start with the weight. If you are booming for long periods of time, the amount of weight you add to the end of the pole will matter a lot. You already have a microphone, shock mount, and possibly a blimp on the end, so any more weight will only cause more fatigue.


The Rycote weighs 53g.

The Triad Orbit weighs over 220g. That’s over 4x the weight of the Rycote.


After having both of these in my hands, I can really feel how light the Rycote really is. This thing weighs less than 3 AA batteries. The Triad Orbit is over 12 AAs.



Both appear to be really strong. To test the strength I setup both on C-stands and hung sandbags from the tips. I can’t image you’d put any more than 2 sandbags on the end of your boom, so let's call this one a tie before I break something.


Release System

If you are purchasing a quick release system, the thing you want the most is that it can be attached and released with ease.

Attaching the Rycote is satisfying: it locks into place using the grooves on the tip, and its tapered design makes fitting it into the hole really easy. It also has a very satisfying click. Releasing the tip is even more satisfying because it's spring loaded, so you can release it one handed.


The Triad Orbit does a similar job, but everything is a little more tricky. The tip is hex shaped and lacks any taper so you need to feed it into the system more carefully. Not a big deal, but every second counts.


Design Extras

Both feature mount locking systems to secure them onto a boom. The Triad Orbit uses a Hex key design like the Rycote, but the Rycote wins with its rubber shielding to stop you damaging the tip of your boom.


One genius thing the Rycote does that the Triad doesn’t, is the hole they have milled out of the tip which is perfect for using your allen key and getting the tip rock solid on the end of your shock mount. It’s a clever little addition which shows that Rycote has thought about it from a user standpoint.

The Winner

So who is the winner? The Triad does the job, and would be perfect for musicians, for example, who have a bunch of mics on different stands and need to hotswap a setup. But honestly, if you are concerned about weight, like a boom operator would be, the Rycote is the best option, even for the premium price tag.


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

10 Ways to use Blackout Curtains for Filmmaking

Recently we bought a load of blackout curtains and you wouldn’t believe how useful they have been when making films and content for this channel.

Today we are going to show YOU how we have been using them, and how to roll them up into a burrito like this to store them.

Welcome to The Film Look.

The first main use we’ve had for them is to block out light. In our studio, we place one in front of the window to block out all of the light when we are shooting videos so we have complete control over lighting.


When on set shooting a film, we’ve used them to block out the light from a corridor, so when the door opened it looked dark as the scene was supposed to be at night.


For the same film, we also used them to cover the background of the set, as the walls in the location did not fit the look that we wanted. This scene was set backstage at an event behind a big theatre curtain, so the blackout curtains fit well in the scene.

When we shot our short film the Asylum Groove we built a blackout fort around a window, then lit our actors from the outside. The reason we did this was to show our character's reflections in a window. By controlling what was behind the window, it stopped other reflections from showing up on camera. We even had to add gaff tape up any reflective parts of the camera.

Large Negative Fill


If you need to add negative fill to your scene to create more contrast, you can hang up one of these curtains just out of frame. If you need something a little smaller, the black side of a 5 in 1 reflector works well.



When we are recording foley sounds in our studio we have used the curtains to build a DIY sound booth, They help to dampen room acoustics and reverb by absorbing sound from bouncing off the walls of the room.

We have a video coming out soon all about this setup, and tips of how to record foley. So if you’re not already consider subscribing.

We have also used them to cover over me when operating the camera as we were pouring water in the scene.

To store them neatly you can roll them up like a burrito. This is a trick we learnt from our first AC Rob, and here is how you do it.

Blackout Curtain Fold like a  burrito

First, you want to layout your backdrop and then fold it in half. If you have a large backdrop keep folding it in half until you have a width of around 60 centimetres or just over an arm's length.


Next, fold one edge over like this. A little more than a hands width will do.

Blackout Curtain Fold like a  burrito

From the edge you started at, fold that into a triangle and start to roll, keeping it as tight as possible.

Blackout Curtain Fold like a  burrito

When you get close to the end, again 60 centimetres or an arm's length. Fold the end of the backdrop towards you in half. Then tuck the rolled end into the pocket you have created.

Blackout Curtain Fold like a  burrito

Start with the thinker side first, which will make it easier to tuck it all in.


Once you’ve done this a couple of times you should be able to roll up backdrops in seconds.

Once they are rolled up like this they are easier to store, they can be used to kneel on, sit on, and if you get some downtime on set, somewhere to rest your head.

The ones we bought aren't fire retardant, but we will not be putting these ones in front of any hot lights. If you need blackout curtains which are fire retardant, look out for ones which are made out of Duvetyne - that should do the trick.

We’ve added links to the ones we bought in the description below, along with the other grip equipment we used to hang them, like c-stands and clips.

The blackout curtains we used were just standard blackout curtains you would buy for your home, so check your local home store or eBay. Someone might be getting rid of some old blackout curtains you can have.

It’s crazy how useful having a bunch of them has been when shooting. If you want to help support this channel give us a thumbs up or down in you don't and remember to achieve it one shot at a time.


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

A light that does (almost) ANYTHING | LEDGO G260 LED RGB Light Review

A couple of videos ago we reviewed this small 16 watt RGB light, but when we need more light and colour we’ve been using this massive light.


Today we are going to be reviewing the LEDGO LG-G260 Watt LED RGB studio light.

Welcome to The Film Look

The size of this light is massive. The light source is 67cm by 38cm and the main body of the light is made out of metal. The corners, handle, and other parts of the light are plastic, but no way does this make this feel like a cheap product.

The output of the light is 260 watts and with the light being so big it creates a large soft source. On the front of the light, there is a frosted panel which diffuses the light. You also get barn doors to help shape the light.


On the back of the light are all of the controls. It’s super easy to get familiar with the interface and control each setting as the buttons, dials and screen layout are simple.

One downside to this light is that it does not come with a remote, and you have to buy an extra control to change the settings over wifi. We’ve used a bunch of Aputure lights in the past which all come with a remote as standard. If your lights are up high, changing the settings will be a pain. The light can be controlled with a DMX board, but very people have one of those.



You can dial the colour temperature of this light from 2700 kelvin to 7500 kelvin which is very blue. The best feature to this setting is the ability to add green or magenta. If you are using other lights which have a green or purple tint, you can match this light with other light sources. Then you can correct the colour in your camera’s white balance settings or in post-production.



The HSI mode allows you to cycle through 360 RGB colours and change the saturation of those colours. The numbers of the 360 colour wheel matches up with the small RGB light we reviewed a couple of weeks back. So if we set both lights to 270 degrees we know both of them will give us the same purple light.


The RGBW mode allows you to fine tune in RGB colours, and add more of one colour than another.


If you just want a tungsten light there is a mode for that.


There is a fluorescent mode which has a warmer, cooler, and neutral preset so you can match this light up with the other lights in your scene. Which comes in very handy if you can not control the colour of the other lights in your scene, for example, if you are shooting in an office.

Lighting Effects

Where this light shines are the pre-built in effects modes. They allow you to create and fake different lighting conditions at a click of a button. In each different effect, there are controls to change and customise the brightness, speed, and colour type.


The storm effect allows you to create a storm. By changing the frequency and speed you can control how violent the storm is.

Cop Car

Showing a cop car in your film is going to be very expensive, so unless it is completely necessary to show the car, using the cop car lighting effect will save you a lot of time and money.

The flash of the red and blue lights are probably enough of a clue to the audience that there is a police presence in your scene.

Soft and Hard Disco


We’ve been testing out the disco modes for our next short film Sixty Seconds. The two main characters are trying to defuse a bomb and things are going a little crazy. The soft disco mode has a longer transition between the colours, where the hard disco mode flashes between the different colours.

Once we’ve made the film we are going to break down the lighting setup, so if you haven't already, consider subscribing.

Candle Light

Other lighting effects this light has is a candle or fire mode which we used to fake this camping setup. The light is slowly flickering and to make it look like a fire we just waved our arms in front of it.

To find out the full specs and the different controls of this light, I've added a link in the description to the manual for the LG-G260.

We’ve only used this light in our studio and to test shoot our next short film Sixty Seconds. Most of the time this light has been around 10 or 20 per cent brightness and is definitely built to be used on bigger sets and studio sound stages.

In our small studio, we did have difficulty controlling the spill of the light from hitting the walls. You can get a honeycomb grid which attaches to the front to help with that, so if we get one we will include it in a follow-up video.

For a small space like our studio, we would need to use a grid which can be attached to the front of the light to stop the spill of the light from hitting all of the walls.


It weighs 11KG, but because of the size of the light you need two people to set it up, and mount it on to a C-Stand. You can also get a hard case for the light with is an necessary to transport it safely.

It’s called a studio light which is the main place we have been using it and it’s been powered from the wall socket. It also has two v-lock mounts on the back of the light, so you can use it anywhere.

The price of this light looks like a scary number, it’s not really for indie filmmakers who shoot run and gun stuff. The LEDGO LG-G260 is for people who have a budget, working on bigger films, and for people who need a light which can do just about everything, therefore saving them time.

The nearest competitor to this light which is of a similar size and functionality are the Arri Skypanels. I’ve never used one, but from the outside, they look like they do just about everything the LEDGO LG-G260 can do but it's more than twice the price and then add a little bit more.

I’ve never used Arri Skypanel, but I am going to say that the LEDGO light looks like it has a much better price to performance.

This light gives you a lot of creative freedom at the turn of a button. There are some DIY solutions to some of the effects this light can produce, and you might look at this light and the price and think, it’s not for you, or I’m never going to be able to get access to a light like this for my films.

Well, we thought the exact same thing 5 years ago. A light like this was totally out of reach, we started using these 160 LED lights which were £30. As you make more films, gain experience, work on bigger productions. Equipment like this will make your job easier, and you will still use the more expensive equipment alongside your the cheap DIY solutions to make your productions even better.

This review was our first thoughts and a run through of what this light has to offer. We are going to be using it to light on our next couple of short films, where we will be doing a full lighting breakdown. So if you want to see more about this light, consider subscribing if you haven't already, and remember achieve it one shot at a time.


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

The Key to Editing Suspense

The order you arrange the shots in your edit is fundamental in film editing.

The structure of your sequence could hold back information from your character, but not your audience. Or, have your character know before the audience does.

We are going to start with a little history lesson. In 1920 a filmmaker called Lev Kuleshov performed an experiment to demonstrate that, depending on how your shots are assembled, the audience will attach different meanings or emotion to them.

Kuleshov Effect 1

Kuleshov cut three different sequences together. The first shot was always an expressionless close up of Ivan Mosjoukine who was a Russian actor. The shots that followed shows the actor reacting to a child in a coffin, a bowl of soup, and a woman laying on a sofa.

When you watch each sequence separately, you get a different meaning and emotion. The first is sadness, the second is hunger, and the third is lust.

We’ve created 3 different sequences with Richard. Let us know in the comments below what emotion you get and what you think Richard is thinking.

Kuleshov Effect.jpg
Kuleshov Effect 1.jpg
Kuleshov Effect 2.jpg
Kuleshov Effect 3.jpg

This whole experiment is called the Kuleshov effect. I’ve put a link in the description of this video if you want to learn more about it.

This was the early days of editing, and a lot has been learnt and edited since 1920, but his experiment and the effect it has on the audience is still important when making films today.

Now let's expand on this. Instead of changing the shot, let's change the order of the shots in a sequence.

We have created a short scene which takes place in a back alley. Police Officer Rusty Johnson, is investigating crimes that have happened in the area when he hears glass smashing.

Example 1


This sequence of shots is a question and answer sequence. It’s one the audience can easily follow along with and anticipate the outcome.

Shot A is of the Police Officer walking down the alley and asks the first questions: “where are the bad guys?” And “what was that noise?”.

Shot B asks a new question: “What has the Police Officer found?”

And shot C give us the answers. The Police Officer has found a bad guy committing a crime.

Example 2

Now let's change the order of the shots and put shot C after shot A and see how that plays out.

Shot A still asks the same question “where are the bad guys?” And “what was that noise?” but by changing the order, the context of the scene has changed and shot C becomes the answer to shot A “the bad guy is over here”. Shot C also asks another question, “will the bad get away before the Police Officer gets there?”.

The final shot of the sequence which is now shot B answers the questions, The Police Officer has found a bad guy committing a crime.

The order of this sequence allows the audience to share the information with the filmmaker by allowing them to know what the Police Officer is up against before the Police Officer does. By editing the sequence in this order it creates suspense because we know the Police Officer is getting closer to the bad guy, unlike the first example where we did not know the geography between the two characters.

Example 3


Let’s change the context of the scene again and have shot C first.

By showing the bad guy committing a crime at the start of the scene, a suspenseful situation is established for the rest of the scene, and again, the audience knows something the police officer does not.

When we cut to shot A, the tension is raised because we know the police officer has heard the bad guy and is close. Shot B now asks another question “has the police officer got there in time to stop the bad guy?”

By changing the structure of the sequence in these 3 examples, it allows us to change what the viewer knows and when.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the order of the shots in a sequence, it all depends on the type of film you are making.

Placing your shots together is obviously done in the edit, but you can start to think of how each shot connects to each other in the storyboard and even when writing your script. Making the decision in the script and storyboard stage will allow you to plan and shoot for the editing.

If you start to change the sequence of shots for the first time in the edit, you may not have all of the coverage needed to do so. But the 3 examples we showed all worked and give the audience a different context to the scene, and it was all done in the edit, so it really just depends on the type of film you are making.

There are a couple of things you can think about to help you work out which is the best structure for your film.

Do you want to hold back information from your character but let the audience in on the secret?

Or have your character hide information from the audience and reveal something big in the end?

Think about the best time to reveal the bad guy to your audience. Revealing this early will create suspense and have your audience screaming at the screen telling your character not to trust them, but having it early might spoil the surprise.

In a murder mystery, where your character is finding clues about the killer, it might be best if the audience just goes along for the ride. Which is example 1 from the 3 that we spoke about.


A lot of the information for this episode was taken from the book Film directing shot by shot Steven D. Katz. I would highly recommend picking it up as it goes into a lot more detail about this subject and a bunch of others.

Film Directing Shot by Shot

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Still The Best First Lens to Buy | Canon 50mm F1.8 Review (6 Years On)

Is the Canon 50mm F1.8 or the nifty fifty any good in 2019?

Well, we still use it even after 6 years and think it is still the best first lens to buy, even if you are not using a Canon camera.

We have been using this lens for about 6 years now and first used it on the Canon 600D, but this lens has actually been out for 28 years. It was first introduced in 1990 a couple of years after Canon brought out the EOS mount system.


The one we have was probably manufactured 7 or 8 years ago, but the design and build are the same as the ones from 1990.

After moving from a crop sensor Canon to a full frame Sony, we adapted all of our Canon lenses to Sony mount with a commlite adaptor.

There aren’t too many new Canon 50mm F1.8 mark 2s out there, but you can pick up a second hand one for around £50.

When you shoot at F1.8, the centre of the lens isn’t that sharp and looks out of focus, as you can see when we’ve shot straight against a flat wall. When you look at the edge of the frame the image has started to become more out of focus from what it is in the centre.


This happens with a lot of lenses when you shoot wide open, but when you start to change the F-Stop to F4 or F8, the focus naturally gets sharper from the centre of the frame to the edge.

You’ll find the Canon 50mm sharpness sweet spot is around F4 and F5.6.

But shooting at a lower F-Stop like 1.8 will give you that sweet looking bokeh which we all love, so there is a trade off.


When you are shooting between 1.8 and 2.8 you will get a lot of lens flares and your image will be milky if you are shooting in situations where there is a bright and direct light.

This is a cool effect if you want it, but to avoid it you can simply shoot at an f-stop of 2.8 or higher. This will give you a cleaner image.


When you first get this lens you will likely shoot everything at F1.8 because it looks cinematic, but you will soon realise that shooting everything at F1.8 can make your footage look amateurish if you can’t keep your subjects in focus.

When we first got the canon 50mm 1.8 we shot everything at 1.8, mainly because it’s fun and we had the ability to do so.

But we soon realised that the depth of field at 1.8 will be from the person's eyes to the tip of their nose. This is fine if you are shooting a static subject as you can focus on the person's eyes and they will stay in focus throughout the shoot.

If your subject is moving around however, you will find it very difficult to keep them in focus when shooting at f/1.8.

So when shooting on a 50mm try shooting at F2.8 or F4.


This is where the Canon 50mm performs the best. You get a sharp image with some nice shallow depth of field, but it keeps the focal plane a lot more manageable when focusing on a moving subject.

50mm on a full frame camera is known as a standard field of view as its roughly the field of view as your eyes, giving your image a very natural and pleasing look.

The Canon 50mm does give you the ability to shoot in low light situations because of that F1.8 aperture. This comes in very handy when we were shooting on the Canon 600D as you could not push the ISO past 800 before the image becomes too noisy.

Shooting on newer cameras like the Sony A7s has changed that. In a low light situation, we can shoot at F8 with an ISO of 5000 and the image is still clean.

So depending on the camera you have and the situation you are shooting in, work out a good balance between shooting at a low F-Stop and bumping up ISO so you have a manageable shot and a clean enough image.

The construction of the Canon 50mm lens is all plastic, but this has not really been a problem. We’ve been using it for 6 years now, there are a few marks on it but that is just general wear and tear. Even after all this time, we’ve yet to drop it. The glass is still clean, and there is even a video of someone taking a hammer to the glass and it doesn’t break.


Links to that video can be found below but I wouldn’t recommend doing this, especially to the body of the lens.

The focus ring on the Canon 50mm lens is its biggest downside as it is very thin. There is not a lot of room to grip onto the focus ring when manually focusing. It’s not very smooth and it doesn’t sound great when you turn it.

Most lenses we have used have a long focus throw which is simply how much you have to turn the focus ring to go from macro to infinity focus on a lens. A long focus throw gives you the ability to do fine focus adjustments and be a lot more accurate when focusing.


These manual vintage lenses have a very long throw, and if you have even seen cinema lenses, they have a massive throw and are extremely accurate.

The Canon 50mm has a very short throw, so when pulling focus, it is very difficult to be accurate and hit the same focus marks consistently.


It does take practice to get used to the small focus ring and it might just take a couple of more tries to nail your focus when shooting.

When shooting a short film, we use a wireless follow focus which is operated by a 1st AC. Unfortunately, you’ll find it very difficult to use this lens with a follow focus because the focus ring it too thin to attach a focus gear properly.

But this isn’t really a problem for most people, especially if you are just starting out.

We have used the Canon 50mm 1.8 on Canon and Sony Cameras, and we would definitely recommend picking one as they are so cheap.

We’ve never used one on a GH4 or GH5, but if you have, let us know in the comments below about what you think about the lens. We’d love to give people advice about using this lens on that camera system.

If you are just starting out I would highly recommend getting this lens. It will allow you to learn about shooting at low F-Stops, focus, image quality, and also get your images looking like a film with the shallow depth of field and the natural, pleasing look you get from a 50mm lens.

Yes, there is a lot that goes into making your image feel and look like a film; you need props, costumes, locations, lights, good sound, and a solid performance from your actors. But when you are just starting out, and you just want to shoot some cool looking footage, this lens will allow you to do that whilst learning all the other things.


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Cheap RGB Light | AL-360RGB Review

For 5 years now we have been using these 160 LEDs. The technology in them is old, the colour of them isn’t great, and the battery connection has started to go. So it was time to upgrade.

We have reviewed two AndyCine products in the past and they reached out at the right time to see if we wanted to review their new 16W LED light which is also RGB and has 360 different colours to choose from.

We obviously said yes, and that’s what we will be reviewing in this week’s video.


The AL-360RGB light has a max output of 16 watts. You can cycle from 3200k to 5700k, with the brightness staying at around 16 watts throughout the different colour temperatures.

When using the RGB mode on the light, most colours look like they use the full 16 watts of power, which is very impressive for a light of this size and price. Some colours look a little darker but this is just down to the shade of the colour.

You can change the brightness of the light a percentage at a time, all the way down to 10% and the colour temperature can be adjusted by 50 Kelvin at a time.

To access the RGB mode you simply press in the CCT/HUE button and use the dial to go through the 360 HUE colours.


When turning the dials to control the brightness, colour temperature, or RGB colour, you can turn the dial one notch at a time to change the setting slowly. If you want to make a big change to the settings you can turn the dial quickly.

This is a nice feature to have so you are not spending a lot of time cycling through the settings if you know the one you are looking for.

There is a little screen on the back of the light which is quite dim and isn’t the clearest, but it does have a battery indicator and all of the settings information. It’s a nice little feature to have on such a small and relatively inexpensive light.


The light can be powered via NPF batteries or via an 8.4v DC cable. One of the main uses we’ve had for this light is to add a coloured edge light when shooting product footage for this channel. Sometimes we can be shooting for an hour or two with the light always on, so having the ability to run the light directly from the wall is a feature we have been taking advantage of.

If you use one of these 970 NPF batteries you will get a run time of around an hour and a half with the brightness staying consistent until the battery hits about 10%.

In the past, we have used coloured gels to get different coloured edge lights. It’s worked well in the past, but with this new light, we have the ability to choose between 360 colours with a turn of a wheel. No need to faff with cutting and attaching gels.  

Each colour has its own reference number displayed on the screen. This allows you to record the colour you have used for future reference or have the ability to dial in the same colour on multiple lights.


If you are shooting in a dark situation or have complete control of the light that’s in your scene, you could use this light as a key light. Most of the time this light would be used as an edge or hair light for a subject, and also to paint coloured light on a product or a background.

RGB LED lights are the next trend in lighting with lots of companies bringing out big expensive RGB lights. We have this one from LEDGO which we will be reviewing soon.

In the box you receive a light stand mount which allows you to tilt the light with ease. It is made out of plastic just like the rest of the light, but with the light being super lightweight it should last a long time.

One downside to this light is that it does not come with a battery or a DC cable to power it. It’s an extra expense you will need to make if you are thinking about buying this light. You can’t use it straight out of the box, unfortunately.

I’ve linked to an article in the description below from someone who has taken this light apart and tested it to the max, check it out if you are into that kind of stuff.


Seeing the rapid RGB technology filter down into a budget light this small is really good to see as it makes it super accessible for low budget filmmakers like us.

I really like this light; it gives you the flexibility to switch between colour temperatures and is an upgrade from our older 160 LED lights, but the best feature is the RGB mode. Having that feature in such a small light gives you creative freedom with ease. We will not be messing around with gels for much longer.

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

🇺🇸 US links:

AL-360RGB -

🇬🇧 UK links:

AL-360RGB -


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$600 vs $60 Mic | Rode NTG3 vs Rode VideoMicro

The Rode NTG3 vs the Rode VideoMicro. One is $600. One is $60. One is 10x the price than the other - but is it 10x better?


Today we are going to find out! Welcome to The Film Look.

We are giving each microphone a like-for-like comparison in some quintessential sound recording situations.

First up, our presenting setup.

When we present an episode, we boom a microphone overhead and plug it straight into the camera. We use the NTG3, and we have an SmartRig XLR phantom power adapter to convert it and plug it straight into the camera.


The VideoMicro on the other hand, uses a 3.5mm jack, so it doesn’t need an adapter, just an extension cable.

When you compare the sound of these microphones side by side, it is clear the NTG3 sounds more full and clear whereas the VideoMicro sounds a little tinny. But considering the VideoMicro is only a tenth of the price, it’s holding up really well.

To give the VideoMicro a fighting chance, I’m going to tweak the EQ and attempt to match it to the NTG3. Let me play those clips again.


This is sounding much better. In all honesty, now the VideoMicro sounds just as good as the NTG3 in this setup.

But what about if we are shooting a wide shot?


Booming the microphone in the same position as earlier will place the microphone in frame, so we must move the microphone further back. Let’s see how both mics handle booming from a distance.

Positioning the microphone from a long distance is the worst way to record sound; you get a lot of noise, low levels of dialogue, and it picks up a lot of acoustic tone in the room. From my ears, both microphones sound very similar. And similar being, both pretty rubbish.

So what about setting up a plant mic?


Because the VideoMicro is so small, it can easily be hidden in the shot, such as in a car, taped to the sun visor.

You just need to get creative and find a place to hide it close to your subject.

The NTG3, on the other hand, has a harder job of being so sneaky.


We have a video about different ways to record dialogue in a wide shot if you want to see some more methods.

Next up, we have foley.


We will record some clothing foley in a quiet room with the microphone really close. The environment needs to be silent and the microphone needs to pick up the nuances in the sound.

I’ll be recording in sync with our film Backstage, recording clothing foley for the Medium.


The NTG3 is an obvious winner. The higher sensitivity means it can record subtle noises a lot louder than the VideoMicro. So when the volume is balanced between both mics, the VideoMicro introduces a lot more noise into the sound.


So to conclude: The NTG3 is obviously a better microphone, that comes with the obvious higher price tag. It is more sensitive, so it records a cleaner and more well-rounded sound. It's perfect for recording high quality sound on short films.

But the VideoMicro also has its place. We use it when recording behind the scenes because it's so easy to set up on top of the camera.


It also wins in the “not breaking the bank” category, so if you are looking for a budget option, you CAN still record good sound for a short film with this microphone.

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Small Rig Cage for Blackmagic Pocket 4K

To be able to use the black magic pocket cinema camera 4k to its full potential you need an external battery source and an external SSD to be able to record at the highest level of quality.

This means this camera is going to need a cage to hold all of this extra stuff.


In this video, we are going to be reviewing the Small Rig cage for the black magic pocket cinema camera 4k.

We reviewed the black magic pocket cinema camera 4k in the last video, so if you haven't seen that you can find the video here to see what we thought about it.

We have been using cages for our Sony a7s cameras for a few years now and without them shooting would be a lot more difficult. The same goes for the pocket 4k. Without a cage, the camera is just about unusable, especially if you’re shooting all day.

To shoot at the highest quality you need to use an external hard drive, but there's nowhere to mount it. Also, the battery life sucks so you need to use an external battery solution, and again there is nowhere to put it.


This is where the smallrig cage comes in. The cage is one piece of metal and has a bunch of mounting options. ¼ 20, ⅜, Rosette mounts for extra handles, and cold shoe mounts.

It fits the camera like a glove, and when holding it in your hand, the cage is curved and seamlessly joins the camera.


Next, we have the top handle. Small Rig has a few different top handles which will fit this cage. This one can change position and slide forward by turning these two screws. The best bit about this is that the Allen Key you need is magnetically stored on the handle.

the Allen key that you use to fix the camera in the cage is also magnetically stored on the bottom of the cage. This means you never have to go looking for the correct Allen key. It’s just there.

Having them magnetically stored on the cage is something I wish I had on my Sony A7s cage, as I take it in and out of the cage a lot.


Small Rig has designed an SSD holder which you mount onto the cage. You feed the cable through the front and tighten the hard drive in place.

This SSD holder is designed for the Samsung T5 SSD’s, but these Angel Bird SSDs also fit into the holder with a little bit of a wiggle.

Finally, you get this cable clamp for your HDMI and USB type C cable you use for the SSD. This just makes sure your cables are safe and secure.


With the cage, we have mounted our external battery solution which allows us to extend the battery life. Our DIY battery didn’t work great and the battery life kept dropping. So I would look into a different way to power the camera, maybe something that uses the 12v power input on the side of the camera.

But the smallrig cage has loads of room to mount something.

Just like all SmallRig products (and we have a few) everything is built to a high quality and they have a bunch of other accessories for all sorts.

Without the SSD holder and the ability to mount an external battery on to this camera, I don’t think we would use it. So spending an extra $190, which is how much all of these parts cost, is definitely worth the investment if you have a pocket 4K camera.


If you haven't seen our review on the Pocket 4K camera you can find that video here. Let us know in the comments below if you are thinking about buying one too and remember to achieve it one shot at a time.

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

SmallRig Website -

Cage -

Harddrive Mount -

Cable Clamp -

Top Handle -

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Review

The black magic pocket cinema camera 4K has an unnecessarily long name, but the camera packs a lot in for the £1100 price tag.

So if you’re looking to upgrade your camera or buy your first camera, is the pocket 4K worth it?


We’ve been putting one to the test for the past few weeks and we are going to be reviewing it in this video.

Just to say up top, BlackMagic did send us over the pocket cinema camera 4K, but everything we say in this video is our honest opinion.


With every piece of filmmaking equip ment that we review, we always like to use it on a production and put it into real world shooting condition. With the Pocket 4K we have used it to shoot episode footage for this channel which is something we do daily, and we have also used to in a screen test for our next short film.

Since we have been shooting on the Sony a7s Mark I for about 2 years, and use it to shoot everything, we will be comparing it to the pocket 4K when we can.



Today’s video is certainly a user review and not necessarily a spec review. I’ll be speaking about the features I think matter when making films. But I have added a link to the black magic website if you want more details.


The black magic interface has got to be one of the easiest to use. With having a 5-inch touchscreen, the layout and buttons are big, it's easy to flick through and adjust the settings.


When shooting with the camera, the record button is big and in a normal place, unlike the Sony A7s record button. In fact, the pocket 4k has two record buttons, but I am not too sure why it is here.

To change the setting on the camera, you select them on the screen and change them from there, or use the jog wheel on the front. On top of the camera, you have the most common buttons to change your ISO, shutter and white balance, and you can change to f/stop with the jog wheel.

Also, you have three custom function buttons which can be set to things like false colour, Zebras, grids, safe areas, also to turn a LUT on and off which is essential if you’re shooting with a flat picture profile.


Recording Format and Resolution

With this camera, you have a bunch of recording formats to choose from.

Which is great to have if you are going to be using this camera to record a bunch of different projects like films or YouTube Videos.

If you are shooting a short film you’re most likely going to shoot RAW. You might as well as you have this camera. With RAW you will get the greatest level of control over your image in post-production you can change the white balance, you have more information to recover your highlights, colour grade, and noise reduction.

More on post-production later on.

You can record onto an SD card, C-fast card, and an external SSD. If you want to shoot at the highest quality you will need to buy external SSD to record onto. The SD and C-Fast card cut out after about 30 seconds because of the size of the RAW recording.


In fact, the best value for money and capacity is an external SSD, as you can get a 500GB card for around £120. A 128GB C-Fast card will cost you 2 or 3 times that, depending on where you by it.

We have a 512 GB SSD. At 4K RAW Lossless you get 15 minutes of record time. For us this file size and the record time is unmanageable, but the camera can also record 4K RAW at 3 to 1 and 4 to 1 which is a reduced quality but you get a much longer record time and there is not a great difference in quality.

When shooting a film we would probably shoot at RAW 4 to 1.

Like us, if you shoot on a daily basis and make videos for YouTube, shooting RAW is again unmanageable in terms of hard drive capacity and unnecessary levels of image clarity, but the camera has a few different flavours of ProRes codecs and quality levels to shoot at.

For a recent video on our channel, we recorded the footage in a mixture of RAW and ProRes at different qualities and it all mixed together well. I even turned a 4K RAW Lossless clip into a gif for social media.


That video was 5 minutes long with a project file size of 131 GB. On average, other videos of that length when shot on our Sony a7s have a total project file size of 20 GB.

For YouTube videos we would probably shoot Pro Res 422, as it has a good balance between quality and file size.

Image Quality Comparison

We pre light our short film 60 Seconds and tested the Pocket 4k. We recorded at a number of different formats and resolutions so flick through them to compare.


This camera has a 3.5mm microphone and headphone port. You can plug in a full-size HDMI cable, it has a 12v power port so you can run the camera from a wall socket. A USB-C port for external hard drives, and a mini XLR port.


This allows you to plug in a mini XLR to full XLR cable into the camera. This is a great feature to have as you don't have to buy extra equipment like this smart rig converter box which we currently use.

When we tested this out and monitored the audio through headphones whilst recording, the audio was delayed from the video and sounded like this.

The footage was all in sync in the final clip, but it made it impossible to monitor the audio whilst recording. Hopefully, this can be fixed in a firmware update because it is a big problem.


This camera is an investment. You will need to build up the camera to be able to use it efficiently when shooting, but this is very similar to most cameras out there like our Sony a7s.

The first thing you will want to get after the camera is a cage as this will help you mount the other accessories you need for the camera. The cage we have is from SmallRig, it comes with a top handle, HDMI clamp, and hard drive mount.


We have a full review of the cage in the next video, which you can find here if you are watching this in the future.

The battery life of the camera sucks and the LP-E6 battery will last about 30 minutes. So you will either have to buy a bucket load of LP-E6 batteries or work out some form of external battery solution.

We used a dummy battery and our DIY NPF mount, but the results weren’t great. A battery at 100% dropped straight down to 60 or 40%.

This could have just been our battery setup, so if you are thinking of getting the pocket 4k look into other external battery setups. Especially ones that run through the 12v power input which is on the side of the camera.

Like I said earlier, external SSDs are at the best option to record onto and having a cage like this will allow you to mount one and not just have it dangle down.


If you are going to be shooting all day you will need to buy a few SSDs to get you through a whole day’s shoot. The other option is to have a computer nearby so you can copy the footage off the card.

If you have to do this whilst shooting a film, you would have someone whose sole job it is to ingest the footage off the card and onto the computer, this person is called a DIT.

Most of the time it’s difficult to find someone who can record sound on your film, so a DIT is a bit of a luxury for us indie filmmakers.

Post Production

If you want to shoot RAW, you’re going to need hard drive space for your computer, but the next investment is having a computer that can handle the workflow of editing RAW.

To process the footage you're going to be going through DaVinci Resolve which is an amazing program for being free.


I am not going to go into any more detail about the RAW editing workflow in this video, but I have linked to a good tutorial in the description below.

In the past, I have edited a film which we shot in RAW on a laptop that could not handle the workflow, and it was very difficult to play back the edit and be creative. So some advice, make sure your computer system can handle the workflow before you buy this camera.

We have good computers that can handle the RAW workflow, I’ve linked to two videos below about the 2 computers we use if you want to check them out.

When grading your footage, DaVinci Resolve is the king. Again, it’s amazing that this program is free, and I am not getting paid to say that. There is a big learning curve with the program, especially when it comes to grading. So you want to spend your next investment learning it.

If you are looking for Resolve tutorials, check out Izak Jackson’s channel. He’s got a bunch on DaVinci Resolve and some other great videos too.

Shooting RAW will give you the greatest level of control over your image, compared to shooting at H.264 on the Sony or even ProRes on the Pocket 4K. The image will be sharper, you can correct mistake a lot easier by having the ability to adjust the ISO and white balance in post. There are just fewer compromises you have to make when trying to achieve the film look you want.

Who is this camera for?

So after all of that, who is this camera for? We have used it to shoot episodes for this channel and test shot for our up and coming short film. For our YouTube videos, we wouldn’t really use the camera. As we make 8 videos per month the file sizes are just too high and we would be buying new hard drives every month.

To shoot a film, which we do 2 to 3 times a year, we wouldn’t mind the extra production expense we would need to spend on hard drives VS the quality of image we would get. Since every film is a one-off.

If you need the highest level of image quality because you are shooting video production work for a client and are making money from it, the pocket 4K is a very good option.

Any negatives that I have said about this camera or the extra investment you have to make to be able to use this camera, is all thrown away because of the price of the pocket 4K.

And at the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to, the price.

The image quality you get from it is amazing, and in order to get the same quality from another camera you’re going to need to spend 10 thousand pounds plus.

If you are looking to buy this camera, just remember the extra investment you will need to make in terms of accessories, hard drive storage, and a computer that can handle the workflow.


But for £1100, you get a lot of camera for the price.

In the description below I have linked to a few different articles that go into more detail about the specs of this camera, which I would highly recommend reading if you think about buying this camera. If you like this video give it a thumbs up and down if you don't, and remember to achieve it one shot at a time.


Black Magic Website -

Raw Editing Workflow -

Data Rates -

Wolfcrow -

Izak Jackson Resolve -

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Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Pre-Lighting & Test Shooting | Behind The Scenes

This week we head over to the location for our next short film and pre-light the whole scene. We break down each light we are using so you can see how it looks step by step!

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

US links:

Aputure HR672c:


LED Colour Changing Bulb:

UK links:

Aputure HR672c:


LED Colour Changing Bulb:

🎬 In case you missed it

5 Tips for Nailing the 180°:

🎧 Listen to our Podcast!



📞 The Socials






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How to WRITE a more READABLE Screenplay

There’s a lot that goes into a screenplay. It’s not just a novel, it’s a blueprint for making the film.

Because of this, it can feel like a script packs a LOT of information but sometimes its readability and pace gets lost. Once you lose the readability, you’ve lost the reader.

How to Write a more READABLE script.jpg

So how do you write a more readable script that has some punchy pace? We have some tips which should guide you in the right direction. Welcome to The Film Look.

We’ve spoken about this a few times now, but it’s worth mentioning again.

Read the script out loud with a few friends. Give everyone a role to play, but have someone read the actions lines as well. This will give you a very clear indication if the script is easy to read.


To a newcomer, all this information is brand new, so they won’t have a bias or any previous knowledge when they read it.

While reading it out loud, you may notice dead stops in the script; points which cause a reader to stop, think, and read it again. This can be due to a bunch of things:

The first thing you can do is create more white space on the pages. You should be able to scan a script and understand it in a moment’s notice. This is especially helpful during a shoot.


You can create more white space by thinking of each paragraph as a beat in the film.

If you have “this happens, then this happens, then this happens”, space it out and put each “THEN” on a new line.

If things are happening at the same time, or within a single moment, you can keep it in the same paragraph.

A good rule of thumb is not writing over 5 lines for a single paragraph. If you are taking more than 5 lines to describe something, you are probably describing too much stuff.


Saying that, more words doesn’t always mean more descriptive.

Want to the describe the immense gunfire and chaos from a battlefield in world war 2?


Then describe it like chaos. Instead of:

“US Marines fire machine guns towards the Nazis”.

how about this:


Unleashing a storm of booming explosions, charging into bodies of Nazi soldiers like hot, invisible lightning, ripping through their clothes and tearing them apart.”

The two sentences describe the same thing, but the second gives you a sense of the image and feeling in the scene. It sounds a lot more chaotic and violent due to the use of metaphors, similes, and adjectives.


If you get creative, you can make your action lines paint pictures.

Let us know if you have any tips for making a script easy to read in the comments below. You can hit that orange lens cap if you want to subscribe for more videos just like this one, and remember to achieve it one line at a time.

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Makin' Vids | Behind The Scenes

In this week's BTS ask for your advice on thumbnails, test out the Black Magic Pocket 4K, test a $600 mic against a $60 mic, and show you how we light products for reviews.

🎬 In case you missed it

BTS Last Week:

Storytelling 101:

Maximise Your Location:

Storyboard Using Photos:

🎧 Listen to our Podcast!



📞 The Socials






Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!