cinematography tips

Blocking Before Coffee

Blocking Before Coffee

Feature film: first day. The crew and I start to run out of things to prepare; the director is 45 minutes late, despite the nervous producer’s assurances that…

Behind the Cinematography of the Oscar-Nominated Documentary “Cartel Land”

Behind the Cinematography of the Oscar-Nominated Documentary “Cartel Land”

Cinematographer Matt Porwoll is based in New York City. His most recent work, Cartel Land, was nominated for a 2016 Academy Award for Best Documentary (feature). Cartel Land was…

Roger Deakins and His New Website

Roger Deakins and His New Website

After years Roger Deakins ASC, BSC, CBE updates his website. Updates include a new “look at lighting plans.”&nbsp…

Location Lighting Tips: Faking the Sun

Location Lighting Tips: Faking the Sun

As a director of photography I often find myself in circumstances that are not always in my control, and yet with issues that I am required to solve. You have…

Location Interview Lighting Tips: HMI Lights & Looking into the Lens

Location Interview Lighting Tips: HMI Lights & Looking into the Lens

I recently shot a series of location interviews that will be used as the narrative backbone for a client’s short documentary project. They scheduled a few days of…

Adorama Pro 101: The Basics – What is Bokeh?

Adorama Pro 101: The Basics – What is Bokeh?

In the latest chapter of Adorama Pro 101: The Basics, we focus on “bokeh.” Derived from a Japanese term translated as “boke,” it is sometimes hard to distinguish between that…

Tips And Gear For Your First Paid Video Gig

Tips And Gear For Your First Paid Video Gig

So you have booked your first video gig and you have a small amount of startup capital to get some of the items you need.  Below is equipment I…

Run & Gun Shooting with a Blackmagic URSA

Run & Gun Shooting with a Blackmagic URSA

It’s no understatement, the Blackmagic URSA is a “husky” camera. Some could even say it needs to go on a diet, but should all those extra…

Helpful Ways for Cinematographers to Get a Grip on Lighting Part 4

Helpful Ways for Cinematographers to Get a Grip on Lighting Part 4

Lighting is an evolving art form. Not only does technique change and advance but so does the technology of how light is produced and generated. Even a decade ago the…

Helpful Ways for Cinematographers to Get a Grip on Lighting Part 3

Helpful Ways for Cinematographers to Get a Grip on Lighting Part 3

Here we are in Part III of our series, Lighting Tips for Cinematographers. To recap, in part 1 I discussed the topic of lighting for foreground and background exposure. I…

Helpful Ways for Cinematographers to Get a Grip on Lighting Part 2

Helpful Ways for Cinematographers to Get a Grip on Lighting Part 2

The last post we talked about how to get a proper initial setting when lighting your subject/foreground and background. If you missed it, check out Part I: Foreground and…

Helpful Ways for Cinematographers to Get a Grip on Lighting

Helpful Ways for Cinematographers to Get a Grip on Lighting

I spent the 1st half of this year releasing two films, a feature length documentary and a short film narrative (Becoming Fools and Fruitcake respectively). Through this process I&#8217…

The Art Adams Zone System for HD

The Art Adams Zone System for HD

I used to be frustrated by my inability to use light meters in HD the way I used to in film. A while back I figured it all out, and…

Monitors and Filmmaking

Monitors and Filmmaking

The difference between a movie and a video is that a movie is created in the filmmakers’ minds and a video is created on a monitor. Viewfinders on cameras have…

The New 4K: Different from the Old 4K

On a recent visit to Sony Studios I saw a 4K monitor for the first time. For the first time ever I thought to myself, “I hope they hold…