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Recent Reviews From All Categories

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Turning the Blackmagic Cinema Camera into a Movie Making Machine

Blackmagic graciously supplied a camera for testing. We pushed and pulled this baby to see when it would break as well as where it excelled.

Shane Hurlbut, ASC Master Cinema Series

Over the past 3 years, my team and I have shot 2 feature films [...]

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.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera: Putting It Through the Paces

More camera tests between the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Arri Alexa and Sony F5

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.

Canon 5D MK II – Challenges and Solutions

Shane addresses the challenges of the HDSLR platform and helps find solutions to rolling shutter, moire and overheating.

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…

How Lenses Assist Storytelling: Part Two

How using different focal lengths can help assist character development in new ways. It is the cinematographer’s job to assist in the character arc process.

Diffusion for the Digital Age – Using Smoke

Using the right filtration to impose a mood, create a style, encapsulate a time period or just to cream a woman’s skin can be a very powerful visual tool. The first diffusion I go to time and time again, whether it is film or HD, is smoke.

Part 2: Color Correction Made Easy

Matching different lenses to save time during color correction.

Diffusion for the Digital Age – Using Stockings

Using stockings to add a glow, a pearlescent quality, to transport you to a time period that had a sense of glamor, when movie stars were king.

Why Do We Want Flat Glass?

Tests with the newest Leica Summilux C lenses vs. the gold standard Cooke S4s for Fathers and Daughters.

Lighting Basics Series I: Where to place your KEY LIGHT

One of the most popular requests was for lighting instruction. In the HD world and film, lighting is king. Knowing how to light and not just rely on available light is what being a cinematographer is all about.

The Power of Lighting with Just Two Lights: We Are Marshall

Working with less is how I like to light. On We Are Marshall, I challenged myself and my team to think about how we could light a major night exterior in the rain with just two lights.

Lighting with Canon’s 1DC DSLR 4K Capture Project “The Ticket”

On The Ticket, the lighting was a challenge because we used natural, available light and shaped it. I turned lights off, then added accent lights to bring out the depth of a location.

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…

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.

The Canon C300 on an El Pollo Loco Spot

The current spot was for El Pollo Loco, and the concept was a very action oriented camera, with snap zooms and quick handheld push ins and pull outs. I thought the Canon C300 would be the perfect camera for this job, lightweight and maneuverable.