Archives for 

cinematography

Essential Camerawork Exercises for Aspiring Filmmakers

Improving your camerawork skills and, as an indirect benefit, sharpening your ability to get the results you want from your crew quickly — that is what this post is about. I will describe some exercises that you can do to move towards those goals. As with my editing exercises, all you will need is a […] Continue reading →

The Big Camera Question for Independent Filmmakers

“Which camera should I use?” This is one of the questions I am asked most frequently, and the time has come to address this issue once and for all. First things first: camera shopping has nothing to do with being a filmmaker. In this post I will write about why you need to start shooting […] Continue reading →

6 Great Spielberg Shots

“Munich” (2005) (Dir. S. Spielberg; DP J. Kaminski) The color scheme in this shot is absolutely gorgeous.  The warm/cold combination of color temperatures is nothing new, but the blue hue of the light in the background is particularly beautiful and delicate. The colorist undoubtedly deserves some credit. Classic foreground texture by Steven Spielberg and exquisite […] Continue reading →

6 Lessons I Learned on the “Harry Potter” Film Set

In October 2000 I was in my final year at Oxford University and before I had even finished settling into my room for Michaelmas Term I was eagerly informed by friends that the “Harry Potter” film crew was going to spend several weeks shooting in our College (Christ Church). I had never heard of Harry […] Continue reading →

6 Awesome Shots from 6 Unforgettable Films

“Terminator 2” (James Cameron, 1991; DP Adam Greenberg) “Hasta la vista, baby!” No kidding. Bold use of two color temperatures (cold and hot). Crucial point: Cameron didn’t just rack focus to the gun — he also tilted down to exclude the eyes, to make the audience focus on the gun. Humans tend to keep looking […] Continue reading →

Long uncut master shots in films

Reader’s question: As a fan of Andrei Tarkovsky I really love long takes with few changes of angle. I believe that with the utmost balanced use of track shots, composition, lightning, foreground and action within a frame, an audience won’t be bored even without sudden changes in camera placement. I understand that this isn’t the […] Continue reading →

Choosing between the 2.35 and 16:9 / 1.85 aspect ratios

Reader’s question: My question is about aspect ratio. I know a lot about it but I’m kinda stuck on the thought of the correlation of aspect ratio and lenses. For example, a scene shot in 16:9 using a long lens looks nice but very flat, and with wide lens, almost too documentary. When shot in […] Continue reading →

Directing, shooting and editing projects for the web vs. the big screen

Reader’s question: Thanks for your email and invitation to pose questions. From a technical standpoint, how does web-based format influence camerawork, editing, etc.?  Does the shorter length of a web-based episode influence technique? My answer: Great question!  In my experience directing for the web does not necessarily call for changes to be made to one’s […] Continue reading →

Projecting films digitally in theaters (2K and 4K)

Reader’s question: Please explain the process of putting digital footage on to a medium for projection in theaters. My answer: Projecting a film digitally is conceptually very simple (I will get to the details below): the film itself is simply a digital file stored on some sort of server that is connected to a digital […] Continue reading →

Steven Spielberg film techniques – With pretty pictures!

I have been admiring and studying Steven Spielberg’s filmmaking techniques for some years now and in this post I will share some of my findings. No written description can ever do justice to an artist of Steven Spielberg’s magnitude, but I do hope that you will find this post inspiring and instructive. 1. Track-in shots […] Continue reading →

Cobra Crane II review

I had the pleasure of using the Cobra Crane II on a film I shot a few years ago and I was extremely impressed and thoroughly addicted to using it. First things first: the Cobra Crane II is a crane that produces extremely smooth and impressive crane shots with cameras up to 25 pounds in […] Continue reading →