Breaking the Rules of Cinematic Composition

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein Filmmaking and photography have a lot of rules. Once we learn these rules, we then have the ability to choose to apply or break them. Let’s discuss three traditional cinematic composition “rules” and how to […]

Make Your Movie: Creating a Business Plan for Your Film

With crowd-funding being the go-to source of income for most short and feature films these days, it’s easy to forget how crucial a detailed business plan can be to the success of any film. However, many indie filmmakers are often puzzled as far as where to begin, let alone how to complete, a thoughtfully drafted […]

Best Gear for Hybrid Assignments

Let’s start with the definition of “Hybrid.” What I mean by this term are productions or assignments where one or two people are required to be the photographer, filmmaker, sound recordist, producer, and even editor. These gigs are becoming increasingly popular. It sounds crazy and these sorts of shoots can be. One of the keys […]

New Lessons I’ve Learned About Video Production

A while back I wrote about some of the “Lessons I’ve Learned On Set.” Today I’d like to share a few more I’ve learned recently, not only while shooting, but from reading several different books, discussing this topic with colleagues, and receiving feedback from the first article. • If you learn how to shoot like […]

Practical Interview Tips

I’ve been presenting a series of workshops about “Interview Techniques” both from a producer’s perspective (things to consider) as well as from a DP’s perspective (equipment considerations and lighting approaches). Here are some of the essential tips I share during these events. 1. Interview Structure An interview is a conversation that involves three people, not […]

Make Your Movie: The Casting Process

When producing a narrative, whether it’s a short or feature-length film, one of the utmost critical moments in pre-production is going to be the casting process. It can be especially trying if you are an independent filmmaker who doesn’t have the budget to hire a proper casting director. A few years ago a good friend […]

Essential Apps: Location Scouting

Location scouting and technology. I love scouting locations. Not only do we get to see interesting places, which are often inaccessible to most people, but we have priceless opportunities to plan our equipment, lighting, crew, and permit needs. I am probably the only person left in the universe who didn’t know about Sun Seeker until a few […]

Lighting Tips for the Run-and-Gun Interview

An increasingly common corporate assignment is the fast-paced, high-pressure, small-crew gig; a two-camera setup where every detail matters. For many reasons we can’t always scout a location before the shoot. And sometimes the conference room or nice looking lobby we saw changes at the very last minute. We have to work fast with the least amount of […]

When Auto ISO is Not a Bad Word

Many current cameras allow for Auto ISO to be used in all shooting modes, including Manual mode. Most pros would immediately think “Why would I EVER use Auto ISO? I always want full control!” And yes, I confess I used to think the same way, but I have found more than a few situations where […]