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Recent Reviews From All Categories

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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.

The Importance of Camera Tests

We have so many new digital tools at our disposal that you cannot just pick them up and start shooting with them. Treat your new digital camera like a new film emulsion that needs testing.

The Cineped: Full 360° Rotatable Slider

As a cinematographer, movement is an integral part of conveying your creative vision and the storytelling process. Whether subtle or dramatic, it’s another tool in your box of creative options.

Big Winners: The SmallHD Story

Learn how Wes Phillips and Dale Backus from SmallHD won the “Doritos: Crash The Superbowl Contest” not once… but twice and then how they used their earnings to fund the growth of SmallHD.

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…

Blackmagic Cinema Camera: Putting It Through the Paces

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

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.

Still Lenses That Can Grace The Big Screen

On the still lens front, you have a variety of options. I am addressing this topic from a 40 foot screen digital projection perspective, not a still photography one.

Zeiss ZE primes rock. Their resolution is spectacular and they are lightweight. Their focus is a little more cinematic then…

HDSLR Challenges: Working With a Still Lens

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

"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.

Using Color Correction Gels with New Digital Cameras

Color correction gels can be used many ways, but what I will discuss is how to use them in subtle ways to create color contrast with the new digital sensors.

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.

Reading a Color Temp Meter: Tips and Tricks

How to read a color temp meter and why it is important. I have always loved understanding the color of different lights — street lights, fluorescents in a store, neon, moonlight, etc.

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 [...]

Lighting Series Number 4: "Into the Blue" Sunset for Hours

When John Stockwell asked me to do a film set in the Bahamas about sunken treasure, greed, fun, and really hot chicks I was in. I had never done a movie on the water.

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.

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 Day Exteriors

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