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Creating a Level of Intensity with Internal Camera Settings

Shutter angle is an important story-telling tool. As a Director of Photography, I love this technique and wanted to show you how I have used it to assist in the character’s emotional arc.

Many Camera Formats Strike in Waiting for Lightning

Waiting for Lightning, a documentary about pro skateboarding pioneer Danny Way, began production in 2008. Over the course of those four years, the documentary would embrace the modern evolution of camera systems to complete the project.

Using Color Temp to Create Depth and Dimension with your HD Video

Lighting so that you can tell your stories with realism and accurate color temp.

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.

Camera Stabilization

I walked into Samy’s Camera last week and a camera assistant was mounting gyros on the 5D to stabilize the camera. She was getting beaten up by the mount and said, “I cannot get this clamped on here.” I said “ Hi, I would love to help…

Act of Valor: A Case Study in Out of the Box Filmmaking

I spoke at “Adobe Tips and Flicks” in 2012 about “out of the box” filmmaking with the Canon 5D MkII on Act of Valor.

Crash Cam: Filmmaking Inside the Box

Let’s look at how the crash cam world has changed because of the Canon 5D. It has replaced the eyemo that used to be a clapper of a 35 or 16mm with bad lenses. It could be blown up, bashed into, driven over, or you could even have a car land right on it.

Zeiss: A Cinematic Journey on "Act of Valor"

When I started to prep “Act of Valor” in April of 2009, we were using Canon glass on the first 2 days of shooting. The hot girls on deck and the interrogation scene [...]

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.

Filtration: Beware Of The Reaper Of Cheap Glass

Making HD look like film has a cocktail and one of the essential ingredients to this flavorful recipe is Neutral Density. You have to keep your exposure on a 5D around a 5.6 to get that beautiful shallow depth of field. The 7D should be around…

HDSLR Challenges: Working With a Still Lens

Shane Hurlbut, ASC discusses lenses and the challenges of working with a still lens.

The Making of “The Last 3 Minutes”

When Shane told me he wanted to shoot behind the scenes footage of “The Last 3 Minutes” I was very excited as I had only used the 5D MKII for narrative work. I knew that using the 5D for run and gun style documentary work might be a challenge and loved the idea of diving in head first.

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 [...]

Designing the Visual Landscape of Deadfall

When Stefan Ruzowitzky and I sat down to talk about the look and feel of this film he immediately showed me these Todd Hido shots. They blew my [...]

Infusing First Person POV Into Mountain Dew GAME FUEL MW3

In mid-October, I got a call from McG to see if I was available to do a Mountain [...]

Lighting: An inside look into "The Rat Pack"

21 months ago I never could have predicted the direction of my life. With the invention of the 5D camera, I started to understand that creating the look of “digital film” took an of the box thought process and my collective experience as a cinematographer. I did not anticipate how much I would enjoy sharing and giving back through teaching because…

Building the Perfect Key Light

After my blog post about lighting from your local hardware store, I wanted to take it one step further [...]

The Making of The Janitor Sequence From “The Last 3 Minutes”

When Canon and Hurlbut Visuals teamed up on this joint venture, we wanted to put together a trilogy of Behind the Scenes videos where I narrated about what goes on inside my head as a cinematographer. We also wanted to show that even though there is a planning process…