Scout It Out

A checklist of considerations to evaluate on a location scout, from lighting to sound to logistics
location scouting
This week I had a client ask me to meet them for a location scout. Depending on what level you work at and what type of projects you shoot, the location scout can range from a nice option to an absolute necessity. The project I scouted for will be a two-day shoot at a public radio station. For day one, the radio station will host an open house, with... Read more

Why Focus By Wire Is A Bad System For Digital Video Capture

Most lenses these days are “focus by wire,” not mechanical. Here’s why that’s a problem.
Focus By Wire example
I’ve never been a fan of the DSLR as a filmmaking tool. Mirrorless cameras have always made more sense to me, as they offer an electronic viewfinder and the ability to adapt many types of lenses. The adaptability has unfortunately become less of a perk and more of a necessity, due to the infuriating ‘focus-by-wire’ systems used in most mirrorless... Read more

Litepanels Gemini LED Live-Stream Event

Live from the ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood, cinematographer George Mooradian, ASC, shares his experience using the new Gemini LED soft panel, October 5 at 12 Noon PDT
LED lighting
The increasing versatility and dropping production costs of LED panels make them especially attractive lighting solutions. Today, the lighting experts at Litepanels are hosting a live-stream event featuring the Gemini LED soft panel. Live from the ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood, cinematographer George Mooradian, ASC, will share his experience using the... Read more

Sound Advice: Why You Need An Audio Pro On Video Shoots

Perhaps the biggest unexpected pitfall in the move from stills to moving pictures is one you not only can’t see coming, you can’t see at all: Sound
sound for video
Put away your laptops, class, there will be a pop quiz today. Those of you who read the homework will have no doubt noticed some of the clues left in the text. For those of you coming in late, I shot what was objectively the most beautiful cinematic tour de force since Citizen Kane, yet nearly ruined the whole thing with rookie errors. The entire project... Read more

Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass

The DP and director has announced the eight-part series for filmmakers, which can be streamed or downloaded
film production
DP and director Philip Bloom has announced a new eight-part series for filmmakers, Philip Bloom’s Cinematic Masterclass. Available for streaming or download in 4K, the series covers a range of topics, plus a free bonus episode, and is designed to break down the process and help creatives become better filmmakers. Each episode runs 40 to 60 minutes... Read more

Speedy Delivery (Or Too Much Of A Good Thing)

You’ve spent all that time editing your show and now you need to deliver a file. But what kind? 
file delivery
You’ve spent all that time editing your show and now you need to deliver a file. But what kind? Resolution, frame rate and bit rate—there are so many options. Resolution deals with the pixel count, usually given in horizontal and vertical dimensions. Generally, you’ll pick something like 1280×720, 1920×1080 or even 4K. Frame rate usually... Read more

GoPro Global Launch Event: HERO6 Black And 5.2K Spherical Fusion Camera

Big news is brewing at the camera maker, as GoPro announces new products
GoPro cameras
We’re at GoPro’s global launch event at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The camera maker’s CEO and founder Nick Woodman announced new products—the HERO6 Black and the official launch of the 5.2K spherical Fusion camera, in addition to feature updates to the Karma drone and three new accessories. You can watch the event... Read more

Polaroid Introduces Flexible LED Lighting Panel

The new versatile 5600K accessory is lightweight, bendable and foldable
LED lighting
LED lighting solutions are especially appealing due to their versatility, light weight and low cost. Polaroid adds to the mix with the introduction of its new LED lighting panel. The light source is shapeable, bendable and foldable, making it a versatile accessory for photographers and videographers. Suitable for indoor and outdoor shoots, as a main... Read more

SKB Cases Introduces New Sizes In Roto-Molded Tripod Case Series

Four new additions to the line join two Classic models
camera gear
SKB Cases has introduced new sizes in its Roto-Molded Tripod Case series, with the four new additions to the line joining the company’s two Classic models. SKB makes some of our favorite hard-shell cases for camera gear, and their tripod cases are similarly well built. Here’s a specs snapshot of the new cases: Roto-Molded 24” Tripod Case (1SKB-R2411),... Read more

The Perfect Debut

All you have to do to make movies is push a different button. How hard can it be?
Photo by Chris X Carroll It was the perfect opportunity—shooting a cover and an ad campaign for a novel, where the client asked if we could “shoot a little video” to make a trailer. I had a brand-spanking-new Canon EOS 5D Mark II, but had yet to press the Big Button that activated the video function. I had been shooting digital stills for some... Read more