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Cinematography Tutorials

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Indie Film & Documentary
Mondays at Racine Documents Beauty Salon for Cancer Fighters

Mondays at Racine Documents Beauty Salon for Cancer Fighters

Filmmaker Cynthia Wade - who previously won an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject for Freeheld - has recently finished Mondays at Racine, a moving piece about two sisters who open up their beauty salon every Monday to cater to breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Focusing on two characters, the film delves deeply into the emotional lives of the women and how the salon, Racine, serves as a place of nurturing and companionship.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Claudio Miranda, ASC Makes New Rules for Shooting Life of Pi

Claudio Miranda, ASC Makes New Rules for Shooting Life of Pi

When director Ang Lee brought on cinematographer Claudio Miranda, ASC to shoot Life of Pi, the two were faced with a multi-pronged challenge. For Lee, the movie was to be his first shot digitally as well as his first 3D stereoscopic film, and he relied on Miranda, who had experience in both. But Miranda had other challenges, including shooting the movie's extensive water scenes as well as a key character -- the tiger -- who wasn't there. In this article, Miranda explains how he made it all work, to create what is arguably the year's most gorgeous movie.

Feature, People / Interview
Claudio Miranda, ASC
Cinematography
NO Relies On 1980s Cameras To Tell A Historic Tale

NO Relies On 1980s Cameras To Tell A Historic Tale

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film after having played Cannes, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival, NO is a gripping film about the peaceful overthrow of Chilean strong man General Augusto Pinochet. To make it more intriguing, the filmmakers opted to shoot with Ikegami cameras from 1983, to match existing footage from the era. It's not a decision they took lightly, and their calculations paid off.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Behind the Lens: Anna Karenina's Seamus McGarvey ASC, BSC

Behind the Lens: Anna Karenina's Seamus McGarvey ASC, BSC

Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC talks to Creative COW about his Oscar-nominated cinematography on Anna Karenina.

Feature, People / Interview
Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC
Cinematography
KICKSTART THEFT: Filmed on Sony F65

KICKSTART THEFT: Filmed on Sony F65

Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC and director Frederic Goodich, ASC got together to push the new Sony F65 to its limits. The result is Kickstart Theft, a short film based on De Sica's classic The Bicycle Thieves, which was shot in downtown Los Angeles in a range of challenging lighting and shooting conditions.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Behind the Lens: Michael Slovis, ASC & Breaking Bad

Behind the Lens: Michael Slovis, ASC & Breaking Bad

Michael Slovis, ASC is behind the lens at the enormously popular and critically acclaimed AMC show Breaking Bad where he's shot four seasons and earned three Emmy nominations. Although his early work was in independent film in New York, Slovis has had a long, successful run in episodic TV including work on Fringe, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 30 Rock and many others. In one of the most compelling entries yet in our Behind The Lens series, edited by Debra Kaufman, Michael talks about the pleasures of shooting film, his stock choices (which he feels have never been better), why he sticks with prime lenses, and some of the dramatic approaches to visual storytelling that Breaking Bad creator and Executive Director Vince Gilligan has developed for the show.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Michael Slovis, ASC
Stereoscopic 3D
Tim Squyres Edits Life of Pi

Tim Squyres Edits Life of Pi

Tim Squyres, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on Life of Pi, got hooked on film when he took an introductory film course at Cornell University in upstate New York. Squyres talks to Creative COW about the challenges of editing Ang Lee's first digitally shot feature film, which was also a stereoscopic 3D release.

Feature, People / Interview
Tim Squyres
RED Camera
House of Cards

House of Cards

Netflix is distributing all 13 episodes of its first season House of Cards at once, on streaming platforms. That's not all that makes this new political drama series unique. With David Fincher as an executive producer and director of the first two episodes, you'd expect a digitally-savvy pipeline and you'd be correct. In this story, Fincher's post production supervisor Peter Mavromates and assistant editor Tyler Nelson talk about how FotoKem's newly evolved nextLAB system played a role in streamlining the post pipeline.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
The Camera Is An Eye - Not A Vacuum Or A Gun

The Camera Is An Eye - Not A Vacuum Or A Gun

This article is intended to be a friendly guidepost for all shooters who wish to improve their craft. At the highest level, you, the shooter, are involved in one of the greatest art forms the world has ever known. At the lowest level, you, the shooter, are still involved in one of the greatest art forms the world has ever known. Find out how to channel your "Inner-Welles" and create the majestic poetry we all crave from your art.

Editorial, Feature
David Allison
Business & Marketing
Suck It Up, Buttercup

Suck It Up, Buttercup

The Best Excuses from New or Underemployed Filmmakers and Freelancers: "You've really really got to stop being lazy and making excuses for not getting what you want," says Creative COW Contributing Editor Kylee Wall. "Seriously. It's sad and it makes me sad for you. So sad in fact, that I've created this BEST OF compilation of stupid excuses. It's perhaps a little more brash than my usual fare. Don't mistake this for arrogance. I'm young and stupid too, but I'm still allowed to almost rant. Pseudo-rant. Pretend I made you cookies and you're eating them as you read this."

Editorial, Feature
Kylee Wall
Cinematography
George H.W. Bush Yelled At Me For Making Him Look Bad On TV

George H.W. Bush Yelled At Me For Making Him Look Bad On TV

In his earlier life as a TV producer, Creative COW's Tim Wilson had a memorable encounter with the 41st President of the United States not long after he left office, while shooting a PR piece for the local news. It's a humorous tale of meeting deadlines, meeting expectations, and meeting a man only months removed from being the leader of the free world. With bonus advice for location shooters, this personal look at George H.W. Bush offers a side of him you probably haven't seen before.

Editorial
Tim Wilson
Cinematography
Line of Sight: John Bramblitt's Story

Line of Sight: John Bramblitt's Story

Personal despair is turned into an inspiring vision of beauty and life as John Bramblitt learns to express his talent for painting - without sight. Join Stephen Menick as he relates meeting this remarkable young man and the tools Stephen used to tell John's story.

Feature, People / Interview
Stephen Menick
Cinematography
The Aesthetics of High Frame Rate Cinema

The Aesthetics of High Frame Rate Cinema

Any change in the way we watch movies creates a heated debate, from the introduction of sound and color to digital acquisition and stereoscopic 3D. Now, the subject of debate is High Frame Rate cinema and, naturally, the debate is emotional. From watching hundreds, maybe thousands, of movies, we all have an idea of what a movie ought to look like, and for some people, HFR doesn't fit into the picture. Other moviegoers are excited about HFR's potential -- but to fulfill it, filmmakers and technologists have a lot of work ahead of them.

Editorial
Debra Kaufman
Stereoscopic 3D
Debra Kaufman's Review of The Hobbit in 48 fps 3D

Debra Kaufman's Review of The Hobbit in 48 fps 3D

Debra Kaufman started her high school's Tolkien Club when she was a big fan of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Though she hasn't celebrated Frodo's birthday in many years, she did get out to see The Hobbit in 48 fps. Here are her thoughts on The Hobbit in 48 fps and HFR Cinema in general.

Editorial
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
The Hobbit & The Dawn of High Frame Rate Cinema

The Hobbit & The Dawn of High Frame Rate Cinema

The technology wizards of the film/TV industry have been talking about High Frame Rate cinema for a long time; indeed, Douglas Trumbull's Showscan at 60 fps presaged the current interest over 30 years ago. But it took director Peter Jackson to take the plunge for mainstream cinema, declaring he would shoot The Hobbit in 48 fps to get momentum going. In about a year's time, manufacturers made the gear, theater exhibitors updated their movie theaters, and the studios prepared for one of the most audacious technology debuts that cinema has seen. Creative COW goes behind the scenes to see what it took for you to see The Hobbit in 48 fps.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Jacob Rosenberg Directs Waiting for Lightning

Jacob Rosenberg Directs Waiting for Lightning

Waiting for Lightning is the tragic and triumphant story of legendary skateboarder Danny Way, following him from his chaotic childhood to his early talent with a skateboard through to his many professional successes. With a combination of archival footage, interviews and skateboard action, Waiting for Lightning also takes us on Danny's journey to China to jump the Great Wall on a skateboard.

Feature, People / Interview
Jacob Rosenberg
Cinematography
Skyfall: Dailies & DI from London to California

Skyfall: Dailies & DI from London to California

To ensure color consistency from dailies to DI for Skyfall, Company 3 London and EFILM collaborated to create an integrated pipeline, newly branded EC3. Skyfall cinematographer Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC was able to enjoy dailies graded by his long-time CO3 Santa Monica colorist working out of London, and the two facilities coordinated color science and calibration for an overall consistent look throughout the process.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Hitchcock: Behind the Lens with Jeff Cronenweth, ASC

Hitchcock: Behind the Lens with Jeff Cronenweth, ASC

Psycho still retains its shock value, and the new movie Hitchcock, directed by Sacha Gervasi (Anvil!) and starring Anthony Hopkins as the iconic filmmaker and Helen Mirren as his wife Alma Reville, makes it quite plain how this horror-suspense film became an icon. Set during the filming of Psycho, Hitchcock features the artistry of cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, ASC, who references the mid-century era with a Technicolor-inflected look and captures an intimate view of Hitchcock’s personal life.

Feature, People / Interview
Jeff Cronenweth, ASC
Cinematography
Firefly: DP David Boyd ASC Recalls Shooting The Cult Classic

Firefly: DP David Boyd ASC Recalls Shooting The Cult Classic

Well before David Boyd A.S.C. shot a single frame of The Walking Dead, Deadwood, or Friday Night Lights, he was the cinematographer for every episode of the short-lived, much-loved series Firefly, from writer-director Joss Whedon. On the 10th anniversary of Firefly, David talks to Creative COW about shooting Firefly, the show's remarkable life since its premature cancellation, and its passionate fans.

Feature, People / Interview
David Boyd, ASC
Stereoscopic 3D
Setting Standards for High Frame Rate Digital Cinema PART 2

Setting Standards for High Frame Rate Digital Cinema PART 2

As part of Creative COW's ongoing look at high frame rate cinema production and exhibition, we spoke with Michael Karagosian, co-chair of SMPTE's HFR Study Group, about his thoughts on the ways that higher frame rates factor into mastering, distribution, and exhibition for cinema.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Michael Karagosian
Cinematography
SMPTE 2012 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition

SMPTE 2012 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition

Ryan Salazar brings us highlights from SMPTE's annual convention - three days of highly-technical sessions with the industry's top masters, hosted by the accredited industry standards-setting body, which is also the industry's leading nonprofit association providing technology education and information to the motion imaging industry.

Editorial, Feature
Ryan Salazar
Cinematography
Hollywood 3D Masters Talk Stereoscopy

Hollywood 3D Masters Talk Stereoscopy

A group of production and post production experts in 3D filmmaking sat down to talk about what they've learned from their experiences, how they define best practices and why they love 3D filmmaking. Creative COW was there to report on the conversation.

Editorial, Feature
Debra Kaufman
Stereoscopic 3D
3DTV To Go: The Evolution of 3D and Multi-Screen Viewing

3DTV To Go: The Evolution of 3D and Multi-Screen Viewing

3D in movies is here to stay. While a bit behind schedule for home viewing, 3D's next horizon may be even smaller screens: glasses-free 3D has been available on phones for over a year, and is evolving for touchscreen tablets. Editor-in-chief and publisher for The Hollywood Reporter for 17 years, Bob Dowling is the co-producer of both the 3D Entertainment Summit and the Multi-Screen Summit, and offers a front row view.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Bob Dowling
Cinematography
Michael Goi, ASC: Shooting TV with the Sony F65

Michael Goi, ASC: Shooting TV with the Sony F65

Sony's F65 camera was brand new when seasoned cinematographer Michael Goi, A.S.C. decided to use it to shoot the pilot of the NBC comedy hit The New Normal. A past president of the American Society of Cinematographers, Michael's other recent projects include Glee and the first two seasons of American Horror Story. Goi speaks to Creative COW about using the F65 as well as his preferred workflow for TV.

Editorial, People / Interview
Michael Goi, ASC
Cinematography
Behind the Lens: David Boyd ASC & The Walking Dead

Behind the Lens: David Boyd ASC & The Walking Dead

David Boyd, ASC has lensed 10 episodes to date of AMC's highly popular 'The Walking Dead,' and also directed the sixth episode of the second season, "Secrets." Creative COW's Debra Kaufman spoke with David about shooting style, lighting and lens choices, and staying out of the way. To celebrate the new season of The Walking Dead, Creative COW Magazine is pleased to reintroduce you to David Boyd, the show's original DP, with unique insights to share on its shooting.

Feature, People / Interview
David Boyd, ASC
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