The Soft Touch

Cinematographers and gaffers discuss the gear and technique in creating soft light

For cinematographers, the choice between soft lighting and hard lighting is almost akin to Hamlet’s famous line, "To be, or not to be," in terms of its philosophical and aesthetic ramifications. "It’s a crucial choice, as the way you light a scene or an actor can totally change everything about them," notes acclaimed... Read more

Posting 3D

With the box office success of 3D and the rollout of 3D TV to follow, what are your options in post?

At a recent Golden Globe® party, Star Wars creator George Lucas referred to the stereoscopic 3D world of Avatar in an interview with television show Access Hollywood. “It’s so successful, and worked very well in 3D,” said Lucas. “I haven’t been a big fan of 3D, but that movie definitely improves it. We’ve been... 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

In Full Effect

VFX wizards create eye-popping 3-D effects for Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D and Missy Elliott’s Ching-A-Ling video

As stereoscopic 3-D films grow in popularity, visual-effects supervisors and digital artists face the challenges of creating digital imagery in three dimensions. Unlike the xyz space of the 3-D CGI image, stereoscopic film is made up of two images—representing the right and left eyes—that “converge” to form a single image with depth... 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

Everything Is Illuminated

Three cinematographers working in high def reveal lighting techniques for multi-camera sitcoms, documentaries and feature films

While television, documentaries and feature cinematographers might use a lot of the same lights, how they approach lighting each project takes a lot of creativity and planning. HDVideoPro talked to three different DPs about how they plan and plot their work. Cinematographer George Mooradian explains how he brings his feature sensibility to the often-hamstrung... Read more

This Ain’t Your Daddy’s 3D

Randall Dark jumps into the 3D deep end with Panasonic’s new AG-3DA1

We all saw it. Lurking under glass in a darkened corner of Panasonic’s NAB 2009 booth was a bug-eyed prototype of what would soon evolve into the first professional one-piece 3D digital production camera. HD technologist Randall Dark saw the Panasonic’s 3D camera prototype, too. Although Panasonic pledged “end-to-end 3D technology”... 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

A Do-It-Yourself 3D Roadmap

With 3D currently in the mainstream, is it now possible to create your own 3D independent movie?

Ghosts of the Abyss. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour. The Polar Express. Up. U2 3D. Coraline. Success stories, one and all, but aren’t these films mostly mass-market, high-budgeted studio projects? Why should 3D films like these matter to someone creating a low-budget feature today? Is it even possible to produce a... Read more

Exploring The Sea

Brothers Jean-Jacques and François Mantello shoot underwater 3D IMAX for OceanWorld 3D

Looking for a new challenge on your next HD project? How about shooting on the open seas, above and below the surface? Or how about shooting in IMAX? Or maybe venture into digital 3D? How about doing all three at the same time? Filmmaking and scuba-diving brothers Jean-Jacques and François Mantello have done just that—more than once. Besides the... Read more

Creating Avatar

Director James Cameron’s long-awaited digital 3D epic raises the technological bar in integrating live action and computer-generated characters

Director James Cameron’s 3D stereoscopic, CG-laden Avatar has some high expectations. Fans and practitioners of 3D stereoscopic film hope this will be the film that, creatively and financially, will put to rest any remaining doubts over the power of the 3D film as a genre that has come into its own. The film also promises to create a new benchmark... Read more
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