STUDENT QUICK TIP #16

            Calm is contagious.             I’m hardly the first person to say this.  But think about it…             Just because every production has its chaotic moments, that’s no excuse for letting yourself get swept up in the madness.             As a department head – and the director’s closest collaborator – cinematographers need to embody a … Continue reading “STUDENT QUICK TIP #16”

5.13.2022

TESTING…TESTING…

            Last Friday’s post featured the first part of an exposure test that’s found in a chapter I wrote for the just-released 11th Edition of the American Cinematographer Manual.  Titled, Take Ownership of Your Sensor, it explains how to perform the test in fine detail.             Part 1 showed the sensor’s capabilities at the exact … Continue reading “TESTING…TESTING…”

5.10.2022

TESTING…

            The recently published 11th Editionof the American Cinematographer Manual once again stands as a magnificent achievement.  Completely revised and updated, it covers every aspect of cinematography and is properly recognized as the premiere exploration of its subject.             I’m proud to have contributed to it in the past and am even more pleased that … Continue reading “TESTING…”

5.6.2022

KOMODO A GO-GO

            FULL DISCLOSURE: I am partner in a company called Master Cinematographers along with Jared Land, president and co-owner of Red Digital Cinema.             Nonetheless…             Late last year I did what I said I’d never do and bought a Komodo.  It’s nothing against the good folks at Red.  I love Jim Jannard, Jared and … Continue reading “KOMODO A GO-GO”

5.3.2022

A LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN

            Ever wonder how those great fight scenes in your favorite action films are put together?             The answer is very slowly and with lots of attention to detail…and safety.             Below you’ll find the run-up to something I recently shot.  While I’m not at liberty to disclose any details right now, have a look … Continue reading “A LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN”

4.29.2022

WISDOM FROM AN UNEXPECTED SOURCE

            Cinematography isn’t only about light, composition, color, movement and post-production magic.  It also involves a variety of internal processes that are emotional, abstract and difficult to define.  Today, I’m venturing into that realm.  Let’s see what bubbles up.             Timothy Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American psychologist and one-time … Continue reading “WISDOM FROM AN UNEXPECTED SOURCE”

4.26.2022

STUDENT QUICK TIP #15

            The quality of your lighting is driven by the answers to two simple questions:             1.         Where do you want the shadows to fall?             This determines the placement of your key.             2.         How much do you want to see into the shadows?             This determines the amount of fill you use.             … Continue reading “STUDENT QUICK TIP #15”

4.22.2022

IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT MASTERY

            When I go deep and analyze the reasons why I became a cinematographer, it always boils down to one peculiar factor – mastery.             Looking back at my time as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, I’ve come to understand what appealed to me in all of the people I admired.  They were really … Continue reading “IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT MASTERY”

4.19.2022

STUDENT QUICK TIP #14

            Pursuit of excellence vs. acceptance of adequate…             To be a cinematographer is to engage with this challenge every minute of the day. It can be like dealing with a liquid puzzle, one that frequently changes and that we do not have absolute control over.             Therefore, we must constantly measure our creative vision … Continue reading “STUDENT QUICK TIP #14”

4.15.2022

A CHARMING FLASH

            A few weeks ago I posted about the small flaws that occasionally appear in features and TV productions.  Even though we strive for perfection, I’ve always found them charming in how they call to mind the presence of the living, breathing people who created the piece.  You can find one in most every show … Continue reading “A CHARMING FLASH”

4.12.2022