Cinematography

Photo by Kristaps B.

The Basics of Lighting

by Cathrine Kellison, Dustin Morrow & Kacey Morrow

Lighting is an essential tool for enhancing the video image. The subtle use of light creates atmosphere and mood, dimension, and texture. It can help to convey a plot line, enhance key elements such as set color or skin tone, and signals the difference between comedy and drama, reality and fantasy. Hard versus Soft All…

Photo by SPDP

Top Ten Tips to Improve Your Cinematic Compositions

by Gustavo Mercado

Top Ten Tips from Gustavo Mercado to Improve Your Cinematic Compositions 1. Use a director’s viewfinder, a still camera, or any other instrument that allows you to create a frame to see the world around you. Good compositions work not only because of what is included in the frame, but also because of what is…

screen direction

How Does the 180° Rule Work, anyway?

by Blain Brown

The Purpose of Screen Direction Screen direction serves two important purposes: it gives the audience clues about the story and it helps keep the audience from getting confused about where someone is or what they are doing. Avoiding confusion is the fundamental reason for all film continuity. Directional Conventions The classic example of this is…

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Color Temperatures, White Balance and Utilizing Sunlight When Shooting

by Anthony Q Artis

Color Temperature in a Nutshell All light has a color temperature. Color temperature affects what color that light will look like on video. Sunlight, fluorescent lights, and light from incandescent bulbs (a.k.a. tungsten), all appear as different colors on camera, because they all have different color temperatures. White Balance Your camera’s white balance function compensates…

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…

feat_10

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,…

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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.