Camera Slider Techniques

A demonstration of slider techniques that will allow you to create unique shots
Camera Slider Techniques
Camera sliders allow independent and low-budget filmmakers the ability to create professional-looking slides that once were only possible with the dolly tracks used in big Hollywood productions. Over the years, we’ve reviewed various camera sliders, including the PMG-DUO slider, which you can see in action here. The use of a camera slider adds production... Read more

Sony a7R III U.S. Launch Live Blog

To a collection of the press, Sony officially unveils the Sony a7R III
Sony a7R III
This article was written live during the Sony event, 10 am EDT, Wednesday, the 25th of October 2017. Live coverage concluded at 10:49 am EDT A livecast of this announcement can be found here. Sony a7R III Sony’s Mike Fasulo took the stage at a private media event in New York City to officially announce the Sony a7R III, as well as two lens announcements. If... Read more

Finding Compression Artifacts

A useful tool for checking compression in your footage, with comparison example videos, too
compression artifacts
Previously, I’ve mentioned that the bit rate you choose for your video encoding can add artifacts to your footage. Dramatic changes in scenes and dissolves are some of the ways that can further cause problems. But how do you know where the actual problems are? How do you see them? What’s the real difference if you encode at 10 Mbps or 2 Mbps? There’s... Read more

DIY Production Versus Hiring The Pros

The danger of the one-man band
one-man-band productions
It never fails. Each year, it seems budgets for media production are getting tighter and tighter. I’ve been in the business of promoting and selling the services of my small production company since the early 1990s. In that same time, I’ve also marketed myself as a freelance cinematographer and producer. One long-term trend in media production that... Read more

Keeping Focus While Filming Moving Subjects

A video demonstration of four ways for filmmakers to keep focus
We recently shared an article that explains the limitations of focus-by-wire, and why a mechanical focus system is invaluable. On a related note, we all know that consistent focus can be a challenge in video work, and many filmmakers don’t have the budget for an expensive follow focus system. The video below discusses four ways to keep focus and then... Read more

Act Like A Director

Turns out there are good, solid reasons for all that “Lights, Camera, Action” dance you feel utterly silly doing
Director Thomas Gulamerian works with actor Iva Stelmak on the set of Courier X. Photo by Chris X Carroll Unlike, say, photography, filmmaking is a massively collaborative art form. Oh, you can do it all, but you definitely can’t do it all well. Nor can you do it all easily. You start with your bad self, a couple, three actors (God forbid some horse-drawn... Read more

Live From NAB New York

The East Coast iteration of the most important trade show in video is starting to look like a real thing
Control setup at NAB NY
Enthusiasm, and surprisingly, attendance, is excellent at the NAB New York trade show being held right now at Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. A long-running show that was only acquired by NAB within the last few years, it has been steadily adding vendors and attendees annually, and is shaping up to be a great alternative for many to... Read more

Is Your Bit Rate Good Enough?

Dealing with presets in compression software that encode a bit rate that may be too high
bit rate
Previously I talked about compression when you deliver your finished program. I mentioned that some presets included with compression software encode a bit rate that may be too high. As I mentioned before, bit rate is how much data is sent each time period (usually measured in seconds). The higher the bit rate, the more information is sent. With more... Read more

Monopod Shooting And Techniques

Monopods allow the run-and-gun videographer to achieve more stable camera movement
While nothing rivals the stability that a tripod offers for camera support, a video monopod is an indispensable filmmaking tool. We’ve covered a variety of monopods by companies such as Manfrotto, and Libec, and even this tripod that can be converted into a monopod from Benro. Monopods allow the run-and-gun videographer to achieve more stable camera... Read more

The Ritual Of Gear Prep

Overlooking the obvious and other hazardous behaviors
gear prep for shoots
I recently had two “gotcha” moments on shoots I was either producing or shooting myself. I produce and shoot a lot of behind-the-scenes and documentary-style content, and my mantra over the past few years has been, “More is Less,” meaning that I’ve been consciously paring down the amount of gear I book and hire or bring myself to shoots. Overall,... Read more

Hands-On With the DJI Inspire 2 Filmmaker Drone

A closer look at the DJI Inspire 2 filmmaker drone + Cinematic Possibilities
Hands-On With the DJI Inspire 2 + Cinematic Possibilities
If you’re interested in taking a closer look at the DJI Inspire 2 filmmaker drone, Tom’s Tech Time offers an in-depth look at the technology straight out of the box while also showing footage from two short films captured with the drone. The footage demonstrates how easily the Inspire 2 can be used as a professional handheld camera to capture close-ups... Read more

Canon’s EOS C200 In Action

DP and director Philip Bloom tests out the features of the digital cinema camera
Earlier this year, Canon announced the expansion of its Cinema EOS system with the addition of the new EOS C200 cinema camera. As we stated in our review of the C200, it’s “the first Canon digital cinema camera that costs less than $8,000 that’s capable of shooting RAW and the first Canon digital cinema camera capable of shooting RAW internally.” Now... Read more