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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.

Elite Team Member Tim Holterman: The DP6 and the Oracle "SmartLapse" System

As we blaze the cinematic trail we are always on the lookout for the best gear possible. Recently the guys over at SmallHD sent us the brand new DP6 Monitor. We haven’t had time to put it through any grinding tests but so far it looks pretty useful. For its lightweight size (5.6″), it’s a powerhouse.

Turning Still Cameras Into PL Mount Movie Makers

It seems like everyone is jumping on the PL mount 7D bandwagon and I have to say it is very unfortunate that the 5D does not have the same energy. All the specs on a PL mounted 5D have shown that the vignette is a big issue. Most cinema lens…

What Makes a Great Reel?

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

Meeting With Students At Emerson College

What a fun time it was last week at Emerson College! Professor Bosmajian’s advanced cinematography class was fantastic! I showed footage from the undercover Navy SEAL movie to have the students take each shot apart to analyze both the lighting and photography.

Storytelling Through Composition Part 2

I wanted to thank you all for the huge response on part one of Storytelling Through Composition. Now we move into the tighter side of framing.

Navy Swimmer: Mountain Rescue & Sea Rescue Sequences

Here is the breakdown for the Mountain Rescue portion of Navy Swimmer.

– 1-camera in deep water housing which captures underwater and split level shots
– 1-camera mounted on the Navy Swimmers helmet to capture him exiting the helicopter and being lowered down in between the rocks…

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 Last 3 Minutes" Canon 5D 24p Firmware Shines

As the pressure from commercial production companies and the ad agencies started to inquire about needing 24p and that they could not deal with the rendering time of all the twixtor files, the 7D started to rise as the premium capture. That is when the aha moment happened for me. I thought, why is everyone asking for second best when the Canon 5D is king.

How to Light for Specific Camera Blocking: Master to Close-Up

What I think about when I am blocking a scene and my preferences on how to work from the master to the close-up.

Lighting Series Number 4: Extending Dawn on the Practice Field in “DrumLine”

My phone rang on an evening in the late summer of 2000 while I was directing a Children’s Hospital commercial in Kansas City. It was Tim Bourne, a Hollywood Line Producer. He asked me if I had read the script he sent me a week ago.

Lighting Day Exteriors

Lighting day exteriors is as much about choosing the right time as it is about your manipulation of the daylight.

Lighting Basics: Going With What is Available

The exciting thing about the Arri Alexa, F-3 and the new wave of DSLR’s is their high ISO range to minimum [...]

Color Correction: Put Your Best Foot Forward

My first experience with the 5D DI color correction was for the Terminator Webisodes produced by the Bandito Brothers through Wonderland Sound and Vision. McG asked me to be the Director/Cameraman for these alternative marketing shorts that were going on the Internet.

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…