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Recent Reviews From All Categories

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Canon 5D MK II & The Video Village Challenge

At first glance with the Canon 5D you notice one thing, the minute you plug a mini HDMI cable or a 1/8” mini plug into the outputs on the camera, your LCD screen disappears. It is like a sick magic trick that for some reason, not one person can figure out.

A Hybrid Shoot In America’s Heartland for Case Tractor

Three weeks ago I was selected as the director for a national commercial campaign for Case Tractors. It would be my first solo directing gig after signing with the Bandito Brothers one month ago. In the commercial world, an advertising agency is hired by the client, which…

Helmet Cams: Visceral, Intimate, and Emotional Connection with Your 5D

The first job that I ever shot with the Canon 5D was as Director and DP on a webisode series that Director of “Terminator Salvation” McG asked me to do. We produced these webisodes as part of the “Terminator Salvation” marketing campaign to be used…

Altering Lenses For Peak Performance

I have had many discussions about the different lens options other than Zeiss ZE’s and Canon’s that mount to the Canon cameras. Zeiss took it to the next level with their Canon mount CP2’s and their new Zooms that come out this summer.

HP LP2480zx Dream Color: Your Eyes Into the DSLR Colorspace

When I began working on “Act of Valor” I was using an Asus 17” monitor to light with. When I got into the color correction bay, I noticed that I had over-lit scenes because the monitor was not seeing what the camera was ultimately seeing.

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.

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.

Leica R Mount Lenses for the Canon HDSLR’s

I started giving a Leica list out to individual colleagues and the request kept coming, so we decided to share it with everyone on the blog. These lenses are only R-Mount, they are the cream of the crop and through variest test we have found them to be excellent.

Polarizing Filters: Powerful Filmmaking Tools

My cinematography interns and I set out on a mission to showcase the many uses of a polarizing filter.

Tiffen and HV Collaborate To Make Extraordinary Images with Water White Glass

When I was doing a Canon 5D film test in January of 2010, I put eight 5D’s in a line for this cool action camera array.

Rosco View: New Frontier Tools

The Rosco View has increased my speed on location tenfold. Innovation, creation. I love what I do.

Lens Test with Zeiss ZE and CP2s, Canon L Series and Leica R Glass

Part of being a cinematography intern is not only knowing all the gear, but how it can be used to enhance your visual story telling. The characteristics of a lens can infuse a mood, a style, etc. Being obsessed in the subtleties is key. Shane encourages us to use all our tools and test them in the line of fire. We have been using Canon, Leica, and Zeiss lenses but haven’t had the chance to compare them all side by side.

Herb Ritts Exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum

From 1991-1996, I had the unique opportunity to work with one of the most talented still photographers of the 20th Century. Not only was Herb Ritts a great artist, he was also an amazing human being.

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.

DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Large Sensor Video Cameras

This week’s post will focus on the subject of DSLR cinema and a fantastic resource known by the same name – DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Large Sensor Video Cameras.

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.

Lighting Day Exteriors

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

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.