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

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

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

Character arc: cool examples from famous movies

Character arc is the term used to refer to a change undergone by a character in a movie. We call it character arc because the change is not a quick one: it goes from the beginning of the movie to the end, although there is usually a fairly obvious point at which the character realises

Film networking: a reality check

Film networking is one of the filmmaking topics that is most replete with fantasy, wishful thinking and downright nonsense. In this post I will share my experience of film networking and make a distinction between what works and what doesn’t, based on my own experiences. Film networking: the fantasy When people mention film networking, they

Screenplay basics: simple but absolutely essential principles

What is a screenplay? A screenplay is a document that tells the film production team what they need to film. It may sound like a simple description, but do not be deceived – its full significance will become clear by the end of this article. I will provide a concise description of what a screenplay

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

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

How to convert video to the QuickTime format: AVI to mov

The most popular video format on the Internet is QuickTime; the video quality is excellent and all users have to do to watch QuickTime videos is download and install the QuickTime player, which is free. With the ever-increasing speed of Internet connections and the efficiency of video compression, we are enjoying unprecedented opportunities to showcase

F-stops, T-stops, focal length and lens aperture

The focal length of a lens is the distance between the optical center of the lens and the film plane (for film cameras) or CCD (for camcorders). The longer the focal length, the more it “magnifies” the subject. f-stops are a measure of the aperture of a lens. In other words, f-stops tell us how

How to optimize your computer for video editing

This article deals with optimizing your computer for digital video editing. Editing digital video places very high demands on your computer’s RAM and processing power. It therefore needs all the help you can give it in terms of freeing up resources. You can do this by tweaking your hardware and software configuration in such a