Video Production Gear Budgeting

How to budget smartly for professional video and cinema gear
video gear budget
“Should I buy this piece of gear?” I see this posted often, and since I’m in possession of at least a few gray hairs, I’m asked the same question on a pretty consistent basis. People often spend inordinate amounts of time curating and writing out a long and often well-researched gear list that they’re thinking about buying. It could be a camera... Read more

Capturing The Best Video Possible

For still shooters stepping into video, a short primer on workflow, including codecs and video compression settings from input to output
video primer
The video imaging chain is complex and getting more complex all the time, yet advances in technology are allowing companies like Sony and Panasonic to squeeze immense editing capabilities into tiny still camera-style bodies. These cameras are able to achieve similar features as much more advanced professional video and filmmaking camera systems because... Read more

Prepping Still Cameras To Work With Video

Getting cameras and their kits to function well in the field can take a bit of work, but these solutions aim to make the process an easier one
The market for video-capable DSLR and mirrorless cameras has exploded over the last decade, thanks in part to their advanced video functionality and relatively small size. While most photographers can pick up a still camera and start shooting straight out of the box, the videographer needs to spend some time, and effort, to configure most still cameras... Read more

NASA Goes Hollywood

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

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

Outside The Box Tools

Cinematographers discuss the sometimes unorthodox tools that help them on set

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

The Laws Of Motion

For indie filmmakers, camera movement is now a viable option

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

HD DSLR Q&A

HDVP takes an in-depth look at the popular format and the many misconceptions that come with it

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

Master Tools

DP Shane Hurlbut, ASC’s new rental company provides DSLR gear to the professional filmmaking community

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

Small Camera, Big Picture

With the season finale of FOX TV’s House shot entirely with Canon EOS 5D Mark IIs, will more professional productions follow suit?

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

Boot Camp

Shane Hurlbut, ASC, and his Elite Team lead the HD-DSLR revolution into battle

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

At A Glance: The Zacuto Z-Finder

Finding Your focus

Let’s face it, you pretty much have to be a Zen master in focus-pulling to shoot high-def video with an HD DSLR camera. While shooting wide-open on a moving subject, it’s near impossible to maintain sharp focus, especially for daylight exterior shots. The biggest factor is the camera’s monster-sized sensor that gives a shooter razor-thin shallow... Read more

Going To Battle

Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, ASC, transforms the Canon EOS 5D Mark II into a moviemaking machine

Explosions, beautiful bikini-clad girls, yachts and Navy SEALs. What else could a man want? If you’re the DP, it starts with an equipment list to turn these elements into exciting footage. Shane Hurlbut, ASC, a native of Ithaca, N.Y., is helping to lead the charge into the convergence of the still- and video-camera worlds. For his latest project,... Read more
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