-- Production

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Production Mic Technique – Which mic should you use?

by Jay Rose

Rose’s Rules: • You can fake almost any other aspect of the track, and undo or change it if you’re not happy with the result. But bad dialog recordings are forever. • You can write, direct, shoot, edit, create graphics, and mix the whole project all by yourself, all in your own sweet time, and…

Cinematography

Canon DSLRs

White balance with Canon DSLRs — Not as Easy as Video

by Kurt Lancaster

A couple of my colleagues at Northern Arizona University’s School of Communication noted how difficult it is to do manual white balance with the Canon DSLRs some of our students are using. All I can say: Not as easy as video cameras. The Canon presets have worked pretty well for all the projects I’ve shot,…

Directing

“Hitchcock’s rule” in Wright’s Atonement . The size of the letter in the frame reflects its importance in the scene.

Directing – Shot Size and Selection

by Michael Rabiger

COMMON SHOT SIZES A creative variable crucial to the director’s visual vocabulary and storytelling toolbox is shot size, which refers to the size of the subject in your frame. You can alter it in two ways: by changing the proximity of the camera to your subject (moving closer or farther) or through optics (changing the…

Post Production

Photo by Erix!

Are You Qualified? The Biggest Issue of Secondary Color Correction

by Steve Hullfish

For me, the biggest issue of secondary color correction is qualification. I’m not talking about whether the colorist is skilled enough to do it. I’m talking about what portion of the image you are trying to qualify—in other words, “choose”—as the section in which you make alterations. “To qualify” or “qualification” means that an area…

Screenwriting

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Sitcom Structure – Classic 2-act vs. Modern 3-act Structure

by Martie Cook

THE IMPORTANCE OF STORY STRUCTURE Quite simply, structure is one of the most important elements of your script. It is the glue that holds your story together. Think of structure as how you choose to tell your story. What happens in each scene and what is the order in which it happens? Let me warn…

The Film Business

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Art Departments and the Importance of Research in Pre-Production

by Michael Rizzo

Gathering visual research is a powerful way to define the visual concept. Within the first several weeks of pre-production, the walls of the art department quickly become plastered as a repository of photocopied and color printed images: icons, indexes, symbols, and metaphors of the visual concept for the film. We surround ourselves with these images…

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MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Focal Press authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.