How to properly light the model depends on several aspects, and one of them is skin color. Insecure’s director of photography, Ava Berkofsky, makes the actors in the series look fabulous. In this 2-minute video, she shares her lessons on properly lighting the dark-skinned actors to achieve the best results.
Out of the box, drones, like most cameras, aren’t set up for shooting epic cinematic footage. No matter how silky smooth your movements, or the thought that goes into the composition, bad settings can ruin your shot. The camera has to be set up right, both from an exposure standpoint, and filters you may choose to use.
This video from YouTuber Atti Bear goes through the various settings, and filters he uses to create his drone footage when filming with the Mavic Pro. But the principles are the same for any drone. Atti also talks about some of the camera movements that can help get more cinematic shots.
The Hitchcock zoom, Vertigo effect, dolly zoom, it has a bunch of different names depending on who you ask. But it’s all the same thing. Moving the camera away from your subject while zooming in. Or, bringing the camera closer to your subject while zooming out. It’s a very difficult technique to master, but today we have digital options to make life easier and simulate it in post.
In this video from Tom’s Tech Time, we see one way to create this effect using footage from just about any drone. Of course, the higher the resolution, the better the overall quality will be, but the principle can be applied to any of them.
Taking a bit of a break from the weird lenses, French photographer Mathieu Stern has been doing more work with video lately. Experimenting with a number of different styles and techniques he has come up with 10 great suggestions to help give your video a more cinematic feel.
Mathieu recently put together a short travel film, documenting the first visit to the planet MS-83. Of course, the planet isn’t real. Filming took place across four countries here on Earth. You can see several of the techniques Mathieu mentions in the video below in his short film.
Dropping $20K on a camera something that most high school students wouldn’t consider. Hell, dropping $20K on a camera isn’t something most adults would consider, either, for that matter. But budding young filmmaker, Thad Swift, wanted to make a solid commitment to his career. And what better way to do it than buying yourself a RED Scarlet-W cinema camera?
And, no, it wasn’t bought for him, nor did he get any no loans. He earned the money to pay for it himself, doing what he loves, over the course of about 9 months or so. Making films. It just goes to show what you can do when you set yourself a goal and dedicate yourself to it.
Blade Runner 2049, the upcoming sequel to the 1982 hit Bladerunner, is, unsurprisingly getting a lot of people very excited. As bits of information about the film comes out here and there, it just heightens the anticipation. A new featurette released recently builds that up even more. Showing some incredibly beautiful shots, but also offering some behind the scenes insight from various people.
One of those people is legendary DP, Roger Deakins. Over the years, Deakins has worked on a vast array of movies. The Shawshank Redemption, Skyfall, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and A Beautiful Mind to name just a few. But it appears that even he hadn’t seen anything quite like this before.
A motorised gimbal is one of the most useful tools you can get today for camera stabilisation. They’re much easier to get to grips with than a steadicam style stabiliser, and their prices have come down dramatically in the last year or so. For mobile phones, action cameras, DSLRs or even big RED setups, they are absolutely invaluable. But using them effectively can be challenging.
The temptation is just to hold them static in front of you and shoot away. But this can lead to pretty boring footage. This video from DP Justin Jones for Aputure’s Four-minute film school goes through 13 essential movements that you should know. You don’t need to use all of them in every production, but they will give you many interesting and exciting options when it comes time to edit.
One thing I’ve learned as I’ve started to do more video stuff is that there’s no such thing as too much b-roll. B-roll is essentially the visual content that plays while you’re hearing something else. Creating it requires as much thought as your main shot. It needs to progress the story, or illustrate something being said. But it also needs to be visually appealing, and match the rest of the content.
It’s a vital tool in your storytelling arsenal, and knowing how to shoot it effectively is key. This video from filmmaker Darious Britt highlights its importance. And he also offers up a whole bunch of tips and advice for getting the best b-roll possible.
The world of commercial shooting, whether stills or video, is an attractive one. It can be a tough one to break into, but it can also be a lot of fun. But it’s not like shooting for yourself or for personal clients. There’s often big crews to deal with, time and budget constraints, venue hire, actors, and a whole host of other potential issues to deal with.
On a recent commercial shoot for Nu Skin, filmmaker Parker Walbeck documented what went into making it. He talks about the gear used, as well as how it was used. We learn about the lighting choices and setup used to film the actors. Parker also talks about the budget breakdown for this shoot.
Kodak was on the brink of death. Thanks to a number of die hard high profile filmmakers, though, Kodak film was saved. They lobbied studios in 2014 to place long-term orders with Kodak in order to keep the company alive. Three years on, and Kodak is still finding it difficult for productions and filmmakers to find locations to process the film. PDN reports that Kodak is working to solve that problem.
They’ll build, lease and partner with facilities in major cities around the world to process its motion picture film. The latest deal is a new 5 year lease on part of the Ken Adam Building at Pinewood Studios in the UK. Pinewood studios has been the base of many productions over the years from TV shows to big budget films. The James Bond franchise began here. More recently, X-Men, Captain America, Harry Potter and Doctor Strange.