» Posts Tagged ‘shooting’

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andra remote wireless automatic focus control follow system ipad app device cameraGiven the ubiquity of today’s touch-based apps, it seems fairly logical a forward-thinking manufacturer would devise a way to augment — but not automate — the role of First Assistant Camera. Meet Cinema Control Labs’ Andra Motion Focus system. Andra puts the heavy lifting and guesswork into the hands of today’s technology without taking away the crucial dimension of creative camera control. Check our interview below for more details. More »

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trost durable field camera slider shooting platform movement steel 01The DSLR revolution ushered in an explosion of one-person-crew gear options, and the slider has been no exception. Many manufacturers offer variations on the basic yet effective sliding camera platform, including Redrock, edelkrone, DitoGear, and Rhino. Now, a manufacturer called Trost is introducing a very sleek-looking slider aiming for extreme dependability and durability. Trost sliders feature hand-machined steel components, a quickly adjustable design, and the strength to support (some of) the weight of a 1983 Toyota Tercel. If you had any sliders on your holiday wishlist, you might want to check below for more details. More »

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lenzhound wireless lens motor control system wireless follow focus kickstarter camera shooting filmmakingOur recent post on the Redrock microRemote made it pretty clear that the desire for an even more inexpensive wireless follow focus solution is very real. As it would turn out, there is a very affordable alternative with significant momentum on Kickstarter — the Lenzhound Wireless Lens Control System. Going for under $400, the Lenzhound is also notably based on the Arduino open source electronics system. With these powers combined, Lenzhound might just be the most affordable wireless lens control system aiming for ‘pro.’ Read on for the Kickstarter video and more details. More »

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film ltk links tutorials knowledge filmmaking camera shooting cinematography tips tricks directingLast year, NFS readers heard from Tobias Deml when he did something awesome — rigging an Android tablet not only as a Canon DSLR monitor, but also a touch-screen controller. Now, Toby has shared something even more awesome. Over the course of a year or so, he thought it may be useful to compile an organized list of filmmaking links on everything from shooting to rigging to costuming to distributing. The result is FILM LTK — standing for links, tutorials, and knowledge — and useful it most understatedly is. For Toby’s breakdown of over 250 links to all things filmmaking, check below. More »

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anthony bourdain parts unknown zach zamboni cinematographer camera shooter director of photography cinematography documentary cnnA few weeks ago, I was excited to learn several things involving one of my favorite TV series — Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. The first was that Season 1 had picked up two Emmys, one of which was awarded to its documentary-style cinematography. Soon after, I was fortunate enough to catch Parts Unknown DP Zach Zamboni speaking at a Rule Boston Camera Pub Night. In his presentation and the subsequent Q&A, Zach discussed things I’ve wondered about since the show was still called No Reservations: details of the crew’s  difficult (sometimes) improvisational shoots on the fly, far from home, with limited resources. And Emmy-winning footage as a result. To hear Zach’s full thoughts on the technical — and philosophical — aspects of his Emmy-winning shooting, click through. More »

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Shoot Like An Editor DSLR Video ShooterWe’ve all been there. You shoot for days on end, pouring your heart and soul into your shots, only to find out later that you don’t have the proper material for a successful edit. This dilemma often means one of two things, neither of which are preferable. Either you suck it up and have an edit that is subpar, or you go out and re-shoot, which costs time and money. Luckily, all of these problems are avoidable if you go into your shoot with the mindset of an editor. Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter shows you how: More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video 'Computer Chess' Cinematographer Tours the Totally Tubular Sony AVC-3260 Vacuum Tube Camera - nofilmschoolAny audiophile can tell you about the subjectively superior sound rendition of a tube amplifier over a ‘solid state’ system. Vacuum tube circuitry just sort of – bends differently, or more smoothly. In amps, this can produce a more ‘organic feel’ or effect — but tubes were also used in video cameras, believe it or not. Due to the ubiquity of chip sensors, an aesthetic consideration like this doesn’t have much play in filmmaking these days. Or — does it? Sundance 2013 award-winner Computer Chess reaches back into the nearly forgotten history of analog, its creators opting to shoot on old Sony tube cameras. Take a tour of the camera, and its use to the film, with cinematographer Matthias Grunsky below. More »

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ridley scott director film cinema movies filmmaking interviewWe are fortunate enough to live in a day and age in which the words of prolific and eclectic filmmaking talents come readily and often. We’ve already heard from working cinematographers such as Roger Deakins and Blue Valentine DP Andrij Parekh, as well as friends of nofilmschool Ryan E. Walters and Timur Civan. We’ve also heard from directors such as Steven Soderberg and Ridley Scott – and all of this is just to name a few. Now, we have a few more valuable words from Sir Ridley — this time discussing everything from his breakthrough into the industry, his experience in learning how to work with actors, and honing a highly sensitive visual eye. Click through to hear these words and more from “the director who uses too much smoke!” More »

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From Wendy and Lucy to The RomanticsSam Levy’s work as a cinematographer is marked with naturalism and attention to character blocking. Here he sits down with Craft Truck to discuss his work, how he began as an assistant and lensed his first feature film on a standard def Mini DV camera. Hit the jump to learn more and to watch the full interview: More »

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Sony’s tight cluster of NAB 2013 4K-centric announcements featured some of the most affordably priced UHD TVs yet seen all the way over to the external recorder-enabled 4K shooting capabilities of its FS700. The latter announcement also made it clear that Sony is looking to put a wide variety of encoding and format options into the hands of shooters — and beyond, potentially. Aside from external and third-party recording expansion, Sony is opening up its efficient 4K XAVC codec — native to the F5 family — to the consumer as well as the prosumer. Read on for some details regarding these new ‘lite’ encoding/wrapper options, dubbed XAVC S. More »

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While hand-held shooting has basically been around since there was a camera light enough to do so, it’s safe to say that the Steadicam (which is technically a Tiffen name) constitutes a cinematographical revolution all its own. Hand-holding dates back as early as 1911, but it was a long time before cinema gained the dolly’s fluidity of motion coupled with the hand-held operator’s freedom of travel. Audiences would first meet the ‘Steadicam shot’ in 1976′s Bound for Glory, and the first impressions were enough to earn the film an Academy Award for Cinematography. Larry Wright of Refocused Media recently created a supercut called The Art of Steadicam, paying homage to the ground-breaking invention and the artists who helped reshape the possibilities of cinematic movement — check it out below. More »

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There was quite a bit of back and forth regarding the role of the DP on a recent post about Andrij Parekh, much to the surprise of myself and a few others. The DP is one of the most important people on a production. The real purpose of the last post was to hear from a working professional that the cinematographer has to be a collaborator and must serve the story. Now we’ve got another Craft Truck interview from Jeff Glickman, this time with Reed Morano, the director of photography on Frozen RiverIn the video below, Reed talks about her process and her career, and how she’s risen up through the ranks. More »

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Modern lighting technology continues to become more energy-efficient, while at the same time increasing light output. This applies to LEDs, but it also applies to plasma lighting systems, which are growing rapidly in popularity. Plasma is capable of a very naturalistic light spectrum (much closer to traditional Tungsten lights depending on the design), which is usually more difficult with LEDs. A company really pushing the boundaries of plasma technology is Hive Lighting, who recently lamped-up a 30-second Chevy ad using only batteries and a 60 amp generator — to rather impressive effect. Check out a line-item lighting breakdown of the Volt Plasma Challenge video from Hive Lighting below. More »

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There is no question the director of photography is one of the most important jobs on set. The DP helps the director set the look of the film, and depending on their working relationship, may actually have quite a bit of influence on the final film. In the end though, the DP’s job is to help the director get the movie “in the can” at all costs, even if that means sacrificing time for lighting and camera moves. Blue Valentine director of photography Andrij Parekh sat down with Craft Truck, a website that focuses on discussions with technical storytellers from the world of film, to talk about his career and how he sees the role of the cinematographer. More »

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The aspect ratio is one of the fundamentals determining your compositions. Even though we live in a time where displaying any aspect ratio is incredibly easy, films are still being shown incorrectly in many mediums in an attempt to make them fill the entire screen (even if that’s not the intention of the filmmaker). Interestingly enough, cinema history has actually been plagued by these kinds of issues related to aspect ratio. A visual essay by Criterion Collection illustrates how the intended aspect ratio of On The Waterfront is still in question to this day, and we also get a demonstration of the impressive restoration to Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much from a heavily warped and damaged print. More »

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Sony isn’t about to be left behind in any facet of video technology, be it camera, console, or display. They’ve got a model at every conceivable price point for every person out there. There have been some leaks of a new budget mirrorless camera, and now we finally have our first glimpse. Sony has unveiled the A58, a digital SLT (single lens translucent mirror), and the least expensive E-mount mirrorless camera in their lineup, the NEX-3N. They’re cheap, they’re light, and they’ll render “vivid, ultra-realistic colors” on special OLED displays. Read on for some details and beauty shots. More »

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Danny Dodge is a cameraman and cinematographer who has devised what may be the most light-weight and portable curved dolly track system you’ve ever seen. Searching for a way to build the ultimate portable dolly setup, Dodge stumbled upon the fact that a draw string could be used to arch PVC track to any degree he wished. The SnapTrack Cinerails rig was the result. Combining a simple draw string device with seven Cinerails gives you up to eight feet of curvable dolly track that seems primed for low-impact DSLR shooting, weighs under ten pounds, and breaks down/sets up in about a minute. Check out the SnapTrack Cinerails below, and some pre-ordering info if you’re interested. More »

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I’m as captivated by striking portrayals of urban nightscapes as anyone, ranging back to the existing-light-only Nocturne, to the aerial ghost-eye-views of FIREFLY. There’s just something breathtaking about seeing the biggest centers of life and activity during the desolate, slumbering hours. Filmmaker Colby Moore has added another quieting noct-urban document to the list. City In The World lays some high dynamic range RED EPIC sights on the city that never quite gets to sleep. Check out some of New York City’s dark side below, plus some details from Colby about his non-HDRx workflow. More »

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It’s one of the simplest and most common scenes you’ll find in a film: two people talking to each other. Just because it’s one of the most common, doesn’t mean people still don’t get it “wrong,” especially those who are just making a movie for the first time. You may even subconsciously feel like something is wrong, but it’s possible you weren’t able to put into words what felt off about the scene. Embedded below we’ve got a great tutorial to help with choosing the proper camera angles and framing, and why the rule of thirds can make for a more interesting and “cinematic” scene. More »

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When considering lens options for purchase or rental, certain criteria may stand out to you more than others. This depends on what you shoot most often, or what a project demands. Perhaps as a run-and-gun doc shooter, you simply need the extra stop you get with one 85mm lens for the same price as another that doesn’t vignette as badly. Or you gave up a contrast performance you really preferred in favor of the IS lens of greater overall value. But what if money were no object, and focal length and speed were matched? An aspect you’d find yourself evaluating closely is the way each handles its bokeh, or de-focused areas of the image. DigitalRev’s latest Battle of the Bokeh is a comparison between Canon, Nikon, and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lenses in precisely this spirit — with some unexpected results. More »