Cinematography

Golden_Mean

Composition – The Golden Mean

by Kurt Lancaster

Your three-dimensional subjects and the scene they’re in are composed through your lens. This composition relies on many factors, including lenses and shot sizes, as well as camera angles. But one underlying principle can’t be understated: the golden mean appearing in nature, a ratio studied by mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras (whom you might recall from…

Figure 4-20 Three ways to reverse the screen direction of a subject while maintaining the feeling of forward progress. From shot a (moving screen right); changing direction within a shot (b1); cutting to a neutral shot (b2); or using another character's POV shot (b3 and b4) will allow us to continue the journey toward screen left (c).

Changing Stage Direction – 3 Simple Ways

by Mick Hurbis-Cherrier

Maintaining only one screen direction over the course of a longer traveling sequence can get somewhat monotonous for a viewer. It’s easily possible to change screen direction (i.e., the axis of action) and still maintain the feel of a character’s progress toward the destination. Below shows three simple ways we can change screen direction for…

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The Practical Differences Between Film and Digital Sensors

by David Stump

The single best piece of advice that I can offer with regard to the difference between exposing film and exposing digital is this: It’s OK and sometimes desirable to slightly overexpose film, but it is not OK or advisable to overexpose digital unless that overexposure is exactly what you want! Cinematographers have widely varying methodologies…

metadata

VIDEO: How Metadata Works When Shooting RAW

by Blain Brown

The below video tutorial is a quick look at how Metadata works when shooting RAW. It is just one of the video tutorials that is included on the companion website for Blain Brown’s book The Filmmaker’s Guide to Digital Imaging for Cinematographers, Digital Imaging Technicians, and Camera Assistants.

Film Shots in Your Film

Six Shot List Considerations

by Mick Hurbis-Cherrier

A shot list is usually created by the director and the production manager (or associate producer). The shot list is the first step in the larger task of scheduling the production, and the principal factor in organizing the shot list is efficiency. The considerations determining the organization of our shots, in more-or-less descending order of…

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,…

SCVP_Feat

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…

Elkins_Video

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,…

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