Cinematography 101: Camera Movements for Cinematic Filmmaking | Filmora Workshop Series Ep. 2

Cinematography 101: Camera Movements for Cinematic Filmmaking | Filmora Workshop Series Ep. 2

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Learn 3 camera movements for shooting cinematic footage!

Just what makes camera movement Cinematic? Is it the type of camera? The lighting? Composition? The editing? What about the art direction? Is it beautiful girls walking in slow motion? Or George in slow motion? Whatever it is, how do you achieve this cinematic movement? I get this questions a lot and I never really have a straight answer for it. But now I do.

I believe that it’s a combination of the things I mentioned, however there is one CRITICAL and important one: Motivation!

What does that mean and how do we do this? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about, in this Filmora Workshop, Cinematic Camera Movement.

Lighting, art direction, acting, composition are the things that you can control to make your shots cinematic. You may think that just having a smooth, slow motion shot with gorgeous lighting is the way. Sure, but if you have a reason or motivation to have that movement, it’ll make it more epic. We’re going to go over 3 basic motivated camera movements that we’ve shot, and can be applied to all of your own video shoots.

3 Camera Movements for Shooting Cinematic Footage

1. Handheld

Adding even a little camera movement can add a lot to your footage and it’s very easy and affordable. The first way to add camera movement, is by going handheld. Holding your camera gives your film some subtle kinetic energy. It gives a natural rawness or unsettling feel to your video.

2. Dolly

A great way to accentuate an emotion of a character, build suspense, show loss or defeat is to move the entire camera forwards, backwards, or even side to side. This movement is known as tracking or dollying.

Doing this type of movement creates a unique perspective, and can help focus the main subject. It’s great if for many instances, but I feel its best used to build up an emotion.

3. No Camera Movement or Still

The last example of camera movement we’re going to talk about, is no camera movement! Creating a cinematic image is about motivation, and there are many shots where the best thing to do is just let the camera sit there and be still.

A stationary shot is used for many reasons, however one reason that you may not use camera movement help the viewer focus more on the movement going on in frame. When there is a lot going on in your shot, adding additional movement to your camera can be overbearing and distracting to the content on screen.


Aimlessly adding camera movement is not cinematic. Its very easy to overdo it and make it pointless. Just making a shot more interesting with movement has no value.

Your camera movement should be motivated by emotion, or your subject’s movement, or just some sort of intention – and don’t forget, no camera movement is always an option.

Next time you watch a movie, I suggest you keep an eye on how the camera moves. Do you feel it’s added for the sake of it? Or is there a reason?

While it takes some practice to get cinematic shots with your camera, you can make your existing footage more cinematic instantly with the effects inside Filmora. There are a ton of filter, FX such as camera shake, and color grading presets that are ALMOST as good as the shots you can get with great camera work.

Tell us what your favorite type of camera moment is! We’ll see you next time!


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