The Road Well Traveled

Shooting a low-budget feature film with a small HD camera and one light has big challenges, but offers great rewards

For this edition of HD Independents, HDVideoPro takes a look at the indie road film Bomber, which made its debut at this year’s South By Southwest film festival. Written and directed by Paul Cotter and shot by cinematographer Rick Siegel, Bomber tells a bittersweet story of an elderly British man, who along with his wife and adult son, takes a... Read more

On Thin Ice

Like an Ice Age version of The Wages of Fear, Ice Road Truckers takes HD shooting to the extreme

Take mind-numbing, minus-60º temperatures, plenty of ice and snow, huge 50-ton payloads, add a little Mad Max craziness, and you get some idea of what’s involved in Ice Road Truckers, the hypnotically addictive reality show that has found great success on The History Channel. Now in its third gear-crunching season, the show, produced by Thom... Read more

Cloud City On A Shoestring

Comedy Central’s Key and Peele delivers sketch humor with style and economy

Written by and starring MADtv veterans Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, Comedy Central’s sketch comedy series Key and Peele has emerged as something of a sleeper hit for the network. Already renewed for another season, just weeks after the third season began airing last fall, the series features a wide variety of humorous bits (more than 200... Read more

Submerged

Cinematographer Polly Morgan digs deep into the shadows for The Truth About Emanuel

At its heart, The Truth About Emanuel is a coming-of-age story. But writer-director Francesca Gregorini made sure that each layer of darkness surrounding the tale of Emanuel—brilliantly played by Kaya Scodelario—didn’t stop at the usual angst-y teenage bits that often accompany a typical coming-of-age movie. She worked eye to eye with cinematographer... Read more

Day Dream Believer

Cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh, ASC, NZCS, does his best to capture The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in-camera on film

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty had its European premiere in mid-November in Bydgoszcz, Poland, as the final film of the 21st Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography. For festival attendees, the film was a welcome breath of fresh air after a week of mostly weighty themes and dark visions. The cinematic antecedents of The... Read more

Last Man Standing

Director Peter Berg and cinematographer Tobias A. Schliessler, ASC, re-create a covert Navy SEALs mission in Lone Survivor

In the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda operatives, the United States launched many secret missions to hunt down and eliminate terrorist leaders. Many were successful, yet some were not, ending in tragedy. Operation Red Wings was one of the latter, a mission that went horribly wrong. A new film, Lone Survivor, an action-drama starring... Read more

The World At Your Fingertips

With hundreds of thousands of clips just a click away, stock video can significantly raise your production value

Cinema has changed dramatically in many regards over the past century, but the use of stock footage has remained a constant and a great way to ramp up production values, especially if you’re an indie filmmaker and/or on a tight budget. Need some aerial footage of the Rockies or the Alps? Or really remote locations, like the Arctic and Antarctic?... Read more

White Collar Criminals

Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC, and Martin Scorsese shoot a hybrid production for The Wolf of Wall Street

Over the course of such acclaimed films as The Departed, Gangs of New York, Casino and Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese has examined the morally corrupt lifestyles of the rich and infamous—the made men and gangsters who ran criminal empires and built Las Vegas while destroying the lives of anyone who got in the way. So maybe it was just a matter of time... Read more

Scary Light

Jon Joffin, ASC, gives Hauntera look to remember

Haunter, a bit of a reverse ghost story, if you will, stars Abigail Breslin with teen angst in tow and takes place almost entirely inside one house. Directed by Vincenzo Natali, the film is a departure from his usual writing and directing of science-fiction films such as Cube, Cypher, Nothing and Splice. It was also a departure from his usual medium:... Read more

Hammer Time

Working with the ARRI ALEXA, DP Kramer Morgenthau, ASC, illuminates Thor: The Dark World

The quickly expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to grow again this November with the release of Thor: The Dark World, a sequel to 2011’s Thor and the eighth Marvel film since Iron Man kicked off things in 2008. For those keeping track, it’s the first film in "Phase Two" of Marvel’s plan to rule the movie world. The... Read more

Tex-Mex

FX’s The Bridge spans a dangerous tale of two separate territories

Importing popular television series stateside has proven to be a successful approach to domestic programming for decades, with fare as diverse as All in the Family and Three’s Company deriving from UK shows. More recently, Danish television provided the inspiration for a pair of domestic crime series adaptations, AMC’s The Killing (shot... Read more

Grand Prix

Director Ron Howard and DP Anthony Dod Mantle, BSC, integrate VFX and post to create ’70s-era Formula 1 racing for Rush

At first glance, director/producer and former child star Ron Howard may not seem like the obvious choice to make a pedal-to-the-metal, testosterone-fueled movie about the exotic world of Formula 1 racing, but since making his directorial debut in 1977 with Grand Theft Auto, he has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most successful and versatile... Read more
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