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Add Hollywood style to short films

Making short films is a great way to develop your filmmaking skills but what are the best camera lenses to use to make them that much more epic and ‘Hollywood’ like?

Well, for those of you who like to add a bit of high budget coolness to your low budget film production, you may want to consider the following two lenses to give you a bigger artistic scope:

1. The 50mm Canon lens

This lens is one of the cheapest on the market and it just works. The 50mm F1.8 Canon lens allows you to get very sharp frames of your subjects and on top of that, if you play with the DOF (Depth of field) you can get some very good-looking shots in very low light situations.

Coupled with a full-frame DSLR like the 5D Mark III, your 50mm lens will be an asset to you and help you create beautiful close ups, and bring out those details in your subjects.

The 50mm is also a great addition if you want to use it to show props and objects with a blurred out background. With a very shallow depth of field when the lens is fully opened, you can pinpoint just a small portion of your image, with everything else out of focus. That kind of filmmaking is very prevalent in the big Hollywood movies, and you can re-create it for a big majority of your close ups without a huge expense.

Shooting with the Canon 50mm lens

2. The Sigma 70-300mm lens

If you guys are squeezed for cash and still want to get some cool looking shots in your film, check out the 70-300mm from Sigma. It’s a very affordable, entry level lens that gives you a telephoto look for practically 1/3 of the cost of competitors.

You can bring a lot of depth to your exteriors as well as capture your subjects from a distance with a blurred, diffused glow around them. This lens is ideal for effects shots, and bringing out textures, especially using the macro feature. If you are shooting music videos or promos, this lens can add some ‘Hollywood’ looking cuts, and give your artists an added aura.

The lens can also help you develop exposition in a scene with several subjects in a distance walking through a crowded area. It’s a storytelling lens that gives filmmakers the ‘style’ option, and for capturing nature, it’s a must have.

Test shoot with the Sigma zoom and macro lens 70-300mm

With these two lenses you’re well on your way to adding some cool looking shots to your productions at a low cost, and if you play your cards right, in the editing stage, you can use your new effect shots to add cinematic style to the narrative.

You guys might want to check out our short film guide on how to make your short film qualify for the Oscars. This will show you some of the key ingredients to make your films stand out. Good luck to you all!