4 techniques to making a horror movie

Freelance Videographer in London

4 techniques to making a horror movie

Short horror movie

Have you ever had that crazy idea on Friday 13th to make a good horror movie just for fun? Well, something like that happened to me and I actually filmed it on Friday 13th. I was hoping for few ghosts to join us while filming but nothing like that happened. What a shame.

Anyway if you ever filmed at night, you know it’s a pain. It can look kinda good on camera at first but later on PC it looks so shite. There are some rules you should follow to get it right and then you can play with it. I’m going to show you how I did it and maybe you’ll find it helpful.

1. Gear

Choose the right gear.

I filmed this video with Canon D60, 50 mm lens which is absolutely awesome. It has cinematic look and it gave me so much light even in very dark places. However, I still needed an external light, if I didn’t want annoying grain in the video. I used a small LED light which I put on top of a camera.


2. Settings

Choose the right settings.

The main rule is that your ISO can’t be higher than 1600, otherwise you’ll get a grain. Belive I’ve tried and failed before. So this time, I kept it as low as possible. I shot at 200 ISO and I used 600 max. My apperture was at 1.8.

3. Technique

Shoot it right.

You can’t get a proper horror movie look if you don’t light it right. The light should be a little higher than the actor to make it look natural – let’s pretend it’s a street lamp that’s shining, not a LED light from the camera. This rule doesn’t apply when not shooting outside. The light can also come from down – as from a candle. I also realized that when shooting in pitch black, I can’t go far from the subject because I can’t see anything anymore! Although shooting a lot of details is an advantage when making horror or actually… any movie.

The Moon

4. Sound

Make it sound scary.

This is probably the most important part. Try to watch a horror movie without a sound and you will see a huge difference. So once I cut everything and put it in order, I could make finishing touches – which was using music and sounds. I did this with Jana Svozilova [also the main actor in the video] and we came up with some ideas to make it sound even scarier than it looked. I chose the main music from Youtube database and that fit perfectly, but we still needed some strange scary noises. We came up with crazy barking dogs on the street, weird breathing, some hits [I don’t even know what it was], wind, footsteps. You have to experiment, think outside the box and try to look for sounds that you would never think of using in a horror movie. Maybe you’ll be surprised with the result.

Here’s the final result: