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Using a Crane: Educating your Audience on Geography & the Art of Discovery

Crane moves can give you scope, geography and the sense of discovery. Understand why you are doing it first, not just because it looks cool.

Marshall Goes Rugged with HDMI Conversion – by Tim Holtermann

In a previous blog entry, Shane talked about the 5D MKII and how it integrates with [...]

We Have A Winner To Our "Where’s the 5D" Contest

The “Where’s the 5D” contest was so close that the winner Josh beat our runner up Tim by a single shot. Josh will claim his prize this Wednesday when he visits me on the set for the day.

We decided to add a runner up prize…

What Makes a Great Reel?

A reel is your creative expression and a very powerful tool to showcase unique talent.

About Sundance Film Festival: Why It Matters

The pilgrimage to a small town in the Utah mountains has been going on for years. With creativity and wonderful storytelling, the Sundance Film Festival has [...]

The Illumination Experience Educational Tour

Lighting techniques and camera composition is the focus of this course tailored to open your mind in new ways. I have designed this experience to be immersive, interactive and intimate using simple techniques to build confidence with any budget.

Cinema Style Lenses

I am back on land and ready to tear it up. The January newsletter has been a big success and I thank you all for your comments and suggestions. This is a collaborative effort and we value your input.

I have been getting many comments from people…

Diffusion for the Digital Age: The Use of Glass Filtration

We demo the power of the glass filter, including the ones that I use and their wonderful benefits.

Nikon Lenses: Sharp and Soft

I love lenses and examining the subtle differences with each one so I am confident in the resulting image.

Nikon lenses are sharp with a little softer contrast than the Zeiss lenses. The older A lenses are nice because they have a wider

The Making of The Carnival Sequence from “The Last 3 Minutes”

Episode III “Carnival” was on Day two of our four day shooting schedule. This day was a very ambitious one because we had four company moves. We started at the ranch house location, moved to meadow location, then on to the main street location for the street fight.

Illumination Experience Galleries

Welcome to our gallery of Illumination Experience photos.

Creating a Beauty Light with a Book Light

My Book Light tutorial on how to build it and why it is so useful. Plus, how I got started in this business.

Lighting Series Number 2: Going Inside the Hallowed Walls of a Secret Society on "The Skulls"

When Rob Cohen asked me to shoot his next feature after we finished “The Rat Pack,” I was ecstatic. I could not wait to get the script. He told me that it was a thriller about the Skull and Bones Secret Society at Yale.

Small Size, Big Value: The Canon 5D Mark II As A MovieMaker

The Canon 5D Mark II is approximately 2.5 pounds with a still lens, 4.5″ high 3″ deep and 6″ long. Wow!

It is nimble and inexpensive so you can have multiple camera bodies working in different configurations simultaneously. Not being stuck with a traditional shoulder mount allows you to create a new visual language.

Act of Valor: Reinventing the Action Genre

When Scotty Waugh and Mike “Mouse” McCoy, the incredible directing team at Bandito Brothers, asked me to shoot Act of Valor, I was excited, especially after listening to their unique vision for the making of this movie. I was ALL IN. The idea of reinventing the action genre was our mantra. To be able to immerse an audience in a 3D experience that was shot 2D; to capture POVs that felt like you were in an intense first person shooter video game; to move a 2.5 lb camera in ways that you have never seen before. These were the ideas that started to swirl in my head after our initial meeting.