Canon 5D Mark III Gets Its Ass Kicked… By a Smartphone

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Remember when the Canon 5D Mark III was released and everyone was going crazy! Gosh, has it been two years already? We know that technology is evolving at an ever-so-rapid pace. Those in-the-know simply have to ask about what’s the “flavor of the month,” and everyone knows what they are talking about – cameras! Well, it looks […]

REGARDING REACTIONS: Why are Reaction Shots Important?

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By now, you probably read our article on the different kinds of shots, and stumbled upon reaction shots. In this post, I will explain why reaction shots are so important to the film language. First, a quick definition courtesy of Wikipedia: Reaction shot is a shot which cuts away from the main scene in order […]

CONFLICT: The Stuff Stories are Made of

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Conflicts are the problems and headaches we strive to avoid: a flat tire, a layoff, a break-up, and of course, Killer Klowns from Outer Space (yes, that is a real movie!).  The many instances of conflict have different names: tension,  rivalry, struggle, obstacle, clash, etc. Sadly for humans, society overflows with them.  But for filmmakers, […]

MIT Scientists Can Eavesdrop on Silent Video

This new technique reads tiny vibrations in an object to extract audio from it.

Now here’s something straight out of a sci-fi movie: scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have joined forces with researchers from Microsoft and Adobe to develop an algorithm that can analyze silent image and extract sound from it. And they developed the hell out of it! The scientists recorded a video of a plant […]

THE CINEMATOGRAPHER’S CREW: Lights, Camera, Repeat!

On most feature film sets, the cinematographer's team is the biggest crew on the production, which means that the cinematographer has to interact and delegate with many production members. Fortunately, the "division of labor" on the set makes this a manageable task.

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Because this article will present many different positions and job titles, I figured that perhaps the clearest way to present this list would be to start at the top of the food chain, and then make our way to the bottom. I hope this will make sense to you. And if not, let me know […]

What is a Montage in Films?

By definition, a montage is “a single pictorial composition made by juxtaposing or superimposing many pictures or designs.” In filmmaking, a montage is an editing technique in which shots are juxtaposed, often in a fast-paced fashion that compresses time and conveys a lot of information. Here’s when montages are a good idea: Condensing long periods […]

For Photographers, With Love: BENDING THE LIGHT (Trailer)

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It’s sad, but when you think about it, the art of photography has been dragged through the mud by all the smartphones out there. On any given moment, a tremendously large number of “photographs” are snapped around the globe followed by silly little things like #burger #bliss #glory. Who cares what you had for lunch? […]

Blocking

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Blocking was originally a theater term that refers to the positioning and movement of the actors in the stage. In cinema, camera and lights are added to the equation. Blocking is an essential part of rehearsal because doing it in advance will speed up principal photography as the actors and camera operators will know how […]

Mise-en-scène

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The arrangement of everything that appears in the framing – actors, lighting, décor, props, costume – is called mise-en-scène, a French term that means “placing on stage.” The frame and camerawork are also considered part of the mise-en-scène of a movie. In cinema, placing on the stage really means placing on the screen, and the director […]

Coverage

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In case you don’t know, most shots in most movies are filmed with one camera and one camera only. Sure there are times (like during expensive action sequences) when the cinematographer may choose to have half a dozen cameras rolling simultaneously, but the norm is only one camera at a time. Why? you ask. Because […]