Whether you need to produce a film for artistic purposes or to raise awareness of your business (or both), there’s no denying the importance of nailing the right atmosphere. The way cinematography is handled will have a direct impact on, ironically, how impactful your video content is. However, there’s more to it than that when it comes to cinematic atmosphere. Many individuals tend to clump atmosphere and story into one key pillar of quality filmmaking. In actuality, these are separate, equally important elements. Let’s examine how your video content is directly influenced by the feel and sensations its atmosphere evokes — for better or for worse!
Every great film is designed to cooperate with the atmosphere captured — both need to carry the same core messaging with equal effectiveness. If there’s an imbalance, your viewers will feel it. The right presence is one that will ensure higher engagement and a more lasting impression, since people need to feel that the content is believable and takes itself as seriously as they expect, given the subject matter. Viewers need to be triggered in the same way by the actors and scripts as well as the atmosphere itself. After all, you don’t want to end up with an audience who’s had their signals crossed, as it will diminish the effectiveness of the video content you put out and leave them hesitant to take it seriously. In some cases, a percentage of the audience may even develop a stigma against what you produce in the future if it feels similarly executed. Therefore, presenting your messaging in an appropriate light is super-important when it comes to engagement.
Many people associate this word with fantasy and superhero epics on the big screen (it’s often used as a flowery descriptor by reviewers). However, spectacle refers merely to the look of a film from a general perspective. Much like presence, the very look of a film (the colour tones, lighting, and even the resolution itself) can add to or take away from a viewer’s experience. This hinges on the content conveying an atmosphere that blends with the accompanying storytelling and subject matter. For example, a brand image video with professional-looking products, well-dressed actors, and a striking message won’t be as compelling if it’s shot at a low resolution or with harsh lighting that washes everything out.
Emotion and Mood
Emotion and mood are a hallmark of cinematic atmosphere, and the audience knows it. Therefore, you don’t need to go far to find films that deliver the appropriate emotional weight for their subject matter. Specific music videos, art films, and documentaries are proof that genuinely compelling content is fuelled by its emotional gravity. While the storytelling itself plays a role in achieving this, the atmosphere you create through setting, audio, sensory details, and characterization is just as critical.
In this instance, let’s use a horror film as an example. People aren’t going to be scared by the demonic clown in the sewer if it isn’t convincingly terrifying-looking. The makeup and acting alone doesn’t mean you get a free pass in other areas of your cinematography, either — the background effects, set design, audio production, and other elements also need to evoke the same intended mood. Otherwise, the impact is far less significant.
Simply put, emotion needs to be controlled and maintained in every aspect of your cinematography to deliver the most rewarding experience to the viewer. Stronger engagement will ensure more eyeballs are locked on your video rather than that of the competition. If you don’t take steps to evoke desired emotions, then rest assured, someone else will attract that same audience to their film instead.
Think about the last movie you decided to go to the theatre and spend money on rather than wait for it to hit Netflix. What was about it that made you have to see it on the big screen in that unique environment? Now consider the impact of that film’s cinematic atmosphere when it comes to your own video projects. It’s essential that your content doesn’t just engage and draw in viewers, but also that it makes a lasting impression and gives them something to remember. This should typically be your core messaging delivered through the film’s subjects, script, and cinematography, all of which are influenced by the atmosphere you choose to evoke. If you want your audience to remember a film for the right reasons and walk away from it with something stuck in their head, you need to make it happen. The delivery of your messaging through the atmosphere is very much like the foundation of a house — it needs to not only support other elements but also elevate their effectiveness.
A cinematic atmosphere with deep emotional weight, a striking sense of presence, and appropriate level of spectacle are imperative in filmmaking. Even if you’re going for something not-so-serious, the mood, tone and very feel of the piece needs to be appropriate for the best possible engagement.
Your story deserves the strongest foundation — one that leaves your audience invested and inspired. That’s our specialty at JustPixl: We operate with cinematic atmosphere as a foundation of everything we produce, no excuses. From creating social media content with high engagement to insightful commercials that are actually taken seriously, our mission is to innovate and make your messaging really shine. Contact us today to get started, and discover what compelling video content really means.