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,…

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Set Lighting Fundamentals

by Robert B. Musburger and Michael R. Ogden

Lighting Preparation As soon as you and the crew arrive at the location, the lighting director or gaffer should run the power cable to your camcorder or recorder and then string power cables to the lighting instrument locations. Once you place your camera in position, the gaffer can start placing the instruments. The crew should…

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Data Management & Procedure Best Practices

by Blain Brown

Data Management In principle, data management sounds simple: you download the camera media, put it on a hard drive and back it up. In reality, it is a process fraught with danger and rife with chances to mess up badly. Handling the recorded media is an enormous responsibility; a single click can erase an entire…

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VIDEO: The Basic Steps of Camera Prep

by David E. Elkins

Using a Panavision Panaflex Gold 35mm camera as the example camera, this video shows many of the steps you should follow when doing a basic camera prep. It is by no means complete, but covers most of the steps you should follow. Please keep in mind that each camera system is different. Cameras such as…

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The Shoot – Set Etiquette for Cinematographers

by David Stump

As the cinematographer, you drive three departments: camera, lighting, and grip. It is your job to know at all times what is up next for all three departments. By staying in close communication with the first assistant director, the cinematographer can always be one step ahead of the director in setting up the next shot,…

FIGURE 4.3 This sequence of shots about diversity in golf opens with (1) an ELS to establish the topic and setting, then uses (2) an MS of a young player to reveal the wide spectrum of golfers, followed by (3) a CU of a club hitting a ball, with a cut to (4) an MS of a golfer finishing his swing. Then (5) a canted angle of a golfer lining up a putt adds variety, as does (6) a low-angle shot and (7) a high-angle shot, followed by (8) a CU of a putt, then (9) an ECU of the universal frustration of the ball almost going in but not quite, ending with (10) an ELS as another golfer pushes on.

The Long Shot – Beginning the Story

by Norman Medoff and Edward Fink

The long shot (LS) is sometimes called the wide shot (WS) and is also known as the establishing shot, the master shot, or the cover shot. It is generally the first shot a photographer should take. It is the most important shot in terms of establishing the setting and action. Typically, it shows the subject…

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Cinema Raw – What’s Lost in Compressed and What’s Gained in Raw

by Kurt Lancaster

Canon 5D Mark III Compressed vs. Raw Magic Lantern, a software devised by hackers, created a code that gets placed on the memory card of the camera (and engages when you activate the firmware update of the camera—although it doesn’t actually alter or update Canon’s firmware). In essence it embeds a software interface that allows…

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Creating Movement – 3 Basic Ways

by Robert B. Musburger and Michael R. Ogden

Even though video is a moving art form, the individual frame is essentially a still photograph. The manner in which each picture is framed can add to or subtract from its perceived movement. You can create movement in either video or film in three basic ways: by moving the subject, by moving the camera, and…

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The Tools of Location Scouting

by David Stump

Depending on the budget and schedule, location scouting can begin far in advance of the shoot, or just as the shoot is about to begin. Obviously the more time one has to react to the circumstances dictated by the locations, the better, but any lead time is better than none. The Tools of Location Scouting…

Rely on auto-functions when executing tricky camera moves.

Shut Up and Shoot! Manual vs Auto Functions: What’s So Bad About Auto?

by Anthony Q Artis

Use Manual Controls A primary difference between pro and amateur shooters is that the pros know how to manually control their camera image and many amateurs simply let the camera decide how the shot should look and sound by relying heavily on the camera’s auto controls. The hectic and unpredictable nature of documentary shooting makes…

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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.