To create authentic effects for Sir Ridley Scott’s The Martian, Territory Studio collaborated with the agency for thrilling results, underscoring this modern-day Robinson Crusoe adventure in space
By Simon Wakelin
For Sir Ridley Scott’s latest space adventure The Martian, Territory Studio teamed up with specialists at NASA to design future user-interface (UI) technology featured extensively in the film. Territory’s Creative Director David Sheldon-Hicks collaborated with Production Designer Arthur Max and Motion Graphics Art Director Felicity Hickson on the... Read more
Cinematographers discuss the sometimes unorthodox tools that help them on set
By Ian Blair
Cinematographers have access to more sophisticated equipment—everything from the latest digital cameras to a wide variety of lenses and lighting—than ever before. And, yet, many still will use an outside-the-box tool to solve a particular filmmaking problem, and that solution can range from the very latest iPhone app to a simple rubber band.
Here,... Read more
Will LEDs ever dominate the feature film and television lighting landscape?
By Dan Brockett
Just a few short years ago, LED (light-emitting diode) lighting technology seemed poised to take over lighting for film and television. The technology promised significantly greater energy and heat efficiency than existing technologies. LEDs required much less power, were cool to the touch, didn’t heat up sets and, in general, seemed to be the... Read more
Walt Disney Animation Studios creates a virtual space in the 2D-to-3D conversion process
By Mel Lamberts
With George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace 3D currently playing at a number of AMC multiplexes and Titanic 3D poised to repeat the success enjoyed by its director James Cameron with Avatar 3D, the audience for stereoscopic productions is expanding dramatically. With an eye on consumer dollars, a growing number of movie studios... Read more
For indie filmmakers, camera movement is now a viable option
By Clint Milby
A still image is the capture of a single moment in time, frozen and devoid of any movement except for what may be implied by its content. When the subject is compelling and when the photographer executes the capture just right, what’s rendered can be just as powerful as any narrative film, thus the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand... Read more
HDVP takes an in-depth look at the popular format and the many misconceptions that come with it
By Michael Guncheon
The HD DSLR revolution started relatively quietly in Cologne, Germany, when people saw the first SLRs that could record HD video. In 2008, at Photokina, both Nikon and Canon showed still cameras that used their Live View function to record video. In the past year, I’ve been invited to speak at a number of conferences, both technical and production-oriented,... Read more
Cinematographers and gaffers discuss the gear and technique in creating soft light
By Ian blair
For cinematographers, the choice between soft lighting and hard lighting is almost akin to Hamlet’s famous line, "To be, or not to be," in terms of its philosophical and aesthetic ramifications.
"It’s a crucial choice, as the way you light a scene or an actor can totally change everything about them," notes acclaimed... Read more
With the box office success of 3D and the rollout of 3D TV to follow, what are your options in post?
By George Avgerakis
At a recent Golden Globe® party, Star Wars creator George Lucas referred to the stereoscopic 3D world of Avatar in an interview with television show Access Hollywood. “It’s so successful, and worked very well in 3D,” said Lucas. “I haven’t been a big fan of 3D, but that movie definitely improves it. We’ve been... Read more
DP Shane Hurlbut, ASC’s new rental company provides DSLR gear to the professional filmmaking community
By Clint Milby
Two years ago, if you were to have asked cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, ASC, if he planned to open a camera rental house in Los Angeles, he probably would have laughed out loud. Nonetheless, it’s exactly what he has done. So why would a celebrated cinematographer with more than 20 films under his belt, including Terminator Salvation, We Are Marshall... Read more
With the season finale of FOX TV’s House shot entirely with Canon EOS 5D Mark IIs, will more professional productions follow suit?
By Skip Ferderber
What more is there to say about the season finale of FOX TV’s House M.D., which is the episode shot entirely on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II HD DSLR? A lot, actually.
Oh, not so much on the facts of the production itself. Unless you’ve been shooting in Mammoth Cave for the last four months, you probably know a fair amount about how the episode... Read more
VFX wizards create eye-popping 3-D effects for Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D and Missy Elliott’s Ching-A-Ling video
By Debra Kaufman
As stereoscopic 3-D films grow in popularity, visual-effects supervisors and digital artists face the challenges of creating digital imagery in three dimensions. Unlike the xyz space of the 3-D CGI image, stereoscopic film is made up of two images—representing the right and left eyes—that “converge” to form a single image with depth... Read more
Shane Hurlbut, ASC, and his Elite Team lead the HD-DSLR revolution into battle
By Neil Matsumoto
The call time was 6:30 a.m. Come again? Although quite the norm for film crews, this was strictly foreign territory for a journalist, especially for a camera workshop. But this was no ordinary workshop. This was bootcamp.
Starting out as a grip truck driver, director of photography Shane Hurlbut, ASC, worked his way through the camera ranks to eventually... Read more