Q & A # 3…

Jake Quinn of Silver City, New Mexico asks:             How did you become a cinematographer and what do you like most about it?             I wasn’t one of those kids who always knew what they wanted to do when they grew up.  I went through all the usual phases and obsessions, but the vast portion … Continue reading “Q & A # 3…”



            Whenever a new technique or piece of gear is introduced there usually follows a period during which it quickly becomes over-used, with little regard for propriety.  Just think of zoom lenses in the ’60’s, Steadicam in the mid-’70’s and visual effects\CGI from the ’80’s up to this moment.  Like everything that came before, they … Continue reading “GIVE IT A REST, PLEASE…”



            Check out my August 2020 appearance on Tim Smith’s podcast, Hollywood: How Did You Get Here?             Tim is a longtime industry insider and the man who brilliantly guided Canon into the world of motion imaging.  I very much enjoyed our free-ranging conversation…and if you haven’t already taken it in, I hope you will … Continue reading “FRIDAY FUN…”



            While chatting with an ASC colleague a few days ago, we noted some of the shifts that cinematographers have encountered since the film negative lost its primacy to the digital sensor.  Rather than hash over the obvious (bits of gear, drones, LED volumes, etc.), we cast a somewhat broader net.             Our bullet points … Continue reading “CH…CH…CH…CHANGES”


Q & A # 2…

Laura W. from Story City, Iowa asks:             When shooting with a digital sensor, do you use a light meter?             Yes, I do.             While many cinematographers are satisfied to set exposure through the monitor, I prefer the rock-solid reference point that my Spectra Professional, Minolta Auto-Meter III or Pentax Digital Spot guarantee.  Once … Continue reading “Q & A # 2…”



            Pay attention to rehearsal!  With warm bodies finally moving through space, this’s the moment when you find out if your preconceived ideas have any merit.  It’s also a time to look for happy accidents or embrace new ideas that haven’t yet occurred to you.             Don’t address lighting issues as the actors sort out … Continue reading “STUDENT QUICK TIP #11”



            Ken Summers asked:              How has the pandemic for the last few years affected your work?  I would imagine you have faced cancellations or delays between projects?  Has it changed or influenced your approach to filmmaking?             As with everyone else, the pandemic has been a serious imposition on life and career.  But I … Continue reading “REPLY TO A NEW QUESTION…”


JOCKEY (2021)

            Last week I was encouraged to find that this unjustly ignored film made the final list of nominations for an ASC Spotlight Award.  Though it was released in 2021, you probably haven’t heard of it – and that’s a shame because it’s exactly the type of thing intelligent movie lovers should support.  It won’t … Continue reading “JOCKEY (2021)”