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Using Premiere to Make Your Video Look Cinematic in 30 Seconds

Johnathan Paul

Have video footage that needs to look more Hollywood? Follow these three simple steps to make your video look cinematic in no time!

There are several ways to make your video footage look more cinematic, especially if you have plugins like Magic Bullet from Red Giant. You can even use the Lumetri Presets, which are built into Premiere Pro. While both of these are great options, one will cost you some cash and the other can take a little time to wrap your head around. There is another way.

If you’re working on a budget and have a base knowledge of Fast Color Corrector, RGB Curves, and Crop, then you can make your video look cinematic in only thirty seconds. Here’s the quick three-step process.

Step One: Add Fast Color Corrector

The Fast Color Corrector effect is a great tool and can get you going quickly. All you need to do: go to the Effects Panel and select Video Effects > Color Correction > Fast Color Correction. Once you find this, drag and drop it onto the clip you want to affect. If you already have that clip selected, you can just double-click on the effect and it’ll be applied.

Now we need to go to the Effects Control Panel. Click on  ▶ to access the drop-down options for Fast Color Corrector.

Use Premiere to Make Your Video Look Cinematic in 30 Seconds, Step One

Once you’ve accessed this, select the eyedropper tool and find an area in the video you can white balance from.

Use Premiere to Make Your Video Look Cinematic in 30 Seconds, Step Two

Now that you have the white balance set, you can make a few fine adjustments through the color wheel and input levels.

Use Premiere to Make Your Video Look Cinematic in 30 Seconds, Adjust White Balance

Step Two: Add RGB Curves

Now that you’ve quickly color corrected the video, you need to up the blue hue of the footage. Go to Video Effects > Color Correction > RGB Curves in the Effects Panel. Drag and drop this onto your footage.

Use Premiere to Make Your Video Look Cinematic in 30 Seconds, RGB Curves

Once this is done, access Effect Options by clicking  ▶ next to RGB Curves in the Effects Control Panel. Scroll down to the curve options and make your adjustments. You’re going to adjust the blue channel only to give your footage a classic cinematic blue look. This motif has been used by Hollywood for decades, as you can see in the very top cover image from Blade Runner.

Use Premiere to Make Your Video Look Cinematic in 30 Seconds, Tweak the Blues

Step Three: Crop for Letterbox

Now all you need to do is use the Crop effect to add one more cinematic feature: the letterbox look. Head back to the Effects Panel and go to Video Effects > Transform > Crop.

Use Premiere to Make Your Video Look Cinematic in 30 Seconds, Crop Image

Drag and drop the effect in and go to the Effect Controls Panel. Just as you did for the first two steps, click  ▶ to access the effect options. We’re going to add our crop to only the Top and Bottom options, so all you need to do is type in 10%.

Use Premiere to Make Your Video Look Cinematic in 30 Seconds, Add Letterbox

With this step complete, you’ve learned how to make your video look more cinematic in really no time at all. Obviously, this method is meant to be super-quick and simple.

Got any other easy techniques for making footage look more cinematic? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.