I’ve been in production on two documentaries for almost a year and a half. One of the documentaries has had a pretty diverse media menu that breaks down as follows:
A Camera – RED Epic Dragon, Canon C200, Canon C300 MKII
B Camera – Canon XF405 x 3
Gimbal Cameras – Canon 80D, iPhone 8 Plus
Go Pros – Between six and 10 GoPros for each shoot
Still... Read more
If you finish in HD, you can just shoot one framing. Not.
Okay, I’ll admit it. The title is a little hyperbolic, but stay with me here.
A few years ago, when 4K cameras became a little more accessible for purchase, I talked with a producer during an edit session. They told me how their company was going to purchase a new camera and said it would be 4K.
I listened to all of the details about which camera... Read more
Using non-pro gear under the constraints of professional production?
First, let’s define who you are. Are you a working professional in production? A hobbyist? A newbie who has just stuck their foot into the water? A line that has become blurred over the past decade or so is the one between professional and hobbyist as far as gear and what each person needs a given piece of gear to deliver to them as a result. There’s... Read more
Master Pedestal, Highlight and Shadow and Luminance Levels are critical settings in your camera that, depending on what you're doing, either absolutely need to be adjusted or should definitely be left alone
How familiar are you with Master Pedestal, Highlight and Shadow and the Luminance Levels settings in your camera? Have you adjusted the Pedestal because someone told you it would give your camera more dynamic range? Are you trying to match cameras from different manufacturers? Do you care about getting technically accurate black, white and gray levels... Read more
There’s an old story about grandma’s ham. It seems before she put it in the oven she’d saw off part of the bone. Her daughter followed this tradition in hopes of making a ham that tasted just as good as her mom’s.
Finally, the third generation cook paused before getting ready to continue the cut-off tradition. She couldn’t understand... Read more
M42 screw-mount vintage Russian lenses are plentiful and cheap on eBay. But how do you use them on your mirrorless micro four thirds cameras?
eBay is full of interesting looking old, vintage lenses, quite often from Russia. They’re almost always screw mount, and one of the common sizes is called M42. You can easily adapt M42 to micro four thirds for next-to-nothing using a straight, glassless adapter. But, if you spend a little more money, you can get what’s effectively a speed... Read more
In part one of my examination of SD acronyms, I covered a little of the history of SD cards and how we progressed from SD to SDXC. But if you have a card that’s an SDXC UHS-II, U3, Class 10, V90, what do you really have? Let me break it down in order.
UHS stands for Ultra High Speed. This is the specification that deals with how fast data can... Read more
In my last post, I wrote about taking a newly introduced SD card on a test drive. I talked all about speed, quality and construction but quickly skipped over the various acronyms and classifications listed on the card. I didn’t include all of that because I wanted to get to the meat of the matter.
But I’m a curious sort. When I see things like... Read more
Taking the ProGrade Digital SDXC V90 card for a test drive
Since my work usually starts once the shooting stops, I’m not the typical person to review memory cards. But as turnaround times on various projects get shorter and shorter, and as I venture out into the field for on-set rough cuts or in-the-field finishing, I’ve come to appreciate that the speed of data transfer from camera cards can be important.... Read more
Don’t flat displays fix the problem? It’s still complicated.
Last time, I discussed what title safe is and why it was originally needed. Inevitably, I’m asked if it’s still applicable. After all, we aren’t using CRTs anymore and with digital, there’s more control over how images are displayed on screen. Last post, I said the answer to that was “Yes” and “No.”
Let me first address the “No.”
It’s... Read more
Do you shoot the same thing over and over or try new subjects?
Recently, I’ve been shooting a documentary film that involves a type of boat racing. A good portion of my shooting time over the past few months has involved shooting boats racing from a small, unstable, high-speed boat. The routine has been the same—get to a race, unload gear, make contact with our race crews, shoot b-roll of the boat and racer... Read more
Throughout my career as an editor, I have been asked, “Is it safe?”
Though not as painful as a certain scene in Marathon Man, the question in this day and age is less easily answered.
By “safe” people mean “Is it Title Safe?” What is Title Safe? It’s an area of a video frame that should be visible to the viewer on most television displays—without... Read more