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Cinematography Tutorials

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Art of the Edit
Sony Launches Media Cloud Service Company

Sony Launches Media Cloud Service Company

Sony Corporation unveiled a new subsidiary - Sony Media Cloud Services - which brings Ci, a new platform and tools to collect, produce, share, manipulate and archive content. This brings Sony not just into the cloud but also into the Software as a Service business model. NBCUniversal is an alpha customer for the Ci MasterSuite tools, which enters beta today.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 2nd

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted in Ethiopia April 2nd

April 2nd: Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia.

Feature, People / Interview
Bill Megalos
Cinematography
Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted - Travels to Ethiopia

Cinematographer's Journey: Rightfooted - Travels to Ethiopia

Bill Megalos, cinematographer and documentarian, is in Ethiopia with first-time documentary feature director Nick Spark on a mission to "make a film that makes a difference." Raising money on Indiegogo, they're following Jessica Cox, a 29-year old woman without arms who is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is licensed to fly planes solo (among her many accomplishments). She is an advocate for the disabled and often spends time in countries where the handicapped are stigmatized. Megalos is keeping a shooting diary for Creative COW readers of their experiences in Ethiopia. Today's entry covers events from March 28th to April 1st.

Feature, People / Interview
Bill Megalos
Cinematography
Behind the Lens: Game of Thrones with Anette Haellmigk

Behind the Lens: Game of Thrones with Anette Haellmigk

Cinematographer Anette Haellmigk shot two episodes of Season 3's Game of Thrones, the HBO blockbuster that returns on March 31. A native of Germany, Haellmigk was the 2012 winner of Kodak's Vision Award from Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards. A pioneering woman cinematographer, Anette's resume includes Das Boot, Robocop, Starship Troopers, Total Recall, The West Wing and many more. Haellmigk speaks to Creative COW about her path as a pioneering female cinematographer and her work on Game of Thrones.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Anette Haellmigk
Film History & Appreciation
Sony Imageworks Takes Us On The Yellow Brick Road to OZ

Sony Imageworks Takes Us On The Yellow Brick Road to OZ

Sony Imageworks provided over 1,100 digital visual effects shots to Oz the Great and Powerful, a movie which explains how a small time magician became the great Wizard of Oz. Featured are two all-digital characters, the 18-inch China Girl and Finley, the wise-cracking monkey with wings, as well as a host of other digital creatures from river fairies to flying baboons. In addition, Imageworks provided environments from the Kansas Circus to Emerald City and effects work that include the magic of evil and good witches and Oz himself.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Stereoscopic 3D
NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference M & E Roundup

NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference M & E Roundup

There was truly something for everyone at NVIDIA GTC, and a surprisingly rich amount of thoughtful presentations for the Media & Entertainment crowd. GTC provided many opportunities to learn the basics and, for the truly nerdy, many opportunities to dig deep. As a mere semi-geek, Debra Kaufman learned a lot and met a lot of interesting people. Read her roundup of new M&E technology thanks to super-fast GPU computing.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
The Nouveau French Wave of Cinematography for Television

The Nouveau French Wave of Cinematography for Television

Claudia Kienzle writes on the use of Fujinon Cabrio lenses by DP Bill Sheehy ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"). The article discusses in depth about the new handheld digital cinema shooting style that pairs the lightweight Sony PMW-F3 Super35 HD camera with the new Fujinon PL 19-90 Cabrio (ZK4.7x19) PL mount zoom lens. Sheehy is currently shooting the BET show "Real Husbands of Hollywood" using that Sony camera and Fujinon lens.

Feature
Claudia Kienzle
NAB Expo
Tips for Attending NAB From A Convention Veteran

Tips for Attending NAB From A Convention Veteran

Walter Biscardi tells us, "Once again, springtime is upon us, so of course, it's time for the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention. Last year y'all seemed to like the before you go tips, so may I present the 2013 edition of 'Tips from an NAB Veteran to make the best use of your time'."

Editorial, Feature
Walter Biscardi
Broadcasting
The Future of Television-HPA Tech Retreat Unites Techy Types

The Future of Television-HPA Tech Retreat Unites Techy Types

A who’s who of the country’s broadcast, film and TV post production industry convened in Indian Wells, California to listen to tech presentations on everything from Ultra HDTV to Mobile DTV and chew over the latest conundrums. Next year’s HPA Tech Retreat will take place Feb. 17 through 21.

Editorial, Feature
Debra Kaufman
Cinematography
The Making of 1000 to 1: Lenses & Lighting For The RED Epic

The Making of 1000 to 1: Lenses & Lighting For The RED Epic

Working with Angenieux on new lens solutions for the RED Epic, wrestling freakish gym fluorescent lighting, wrangling national park filming permits: these were just a few of the challenges facing cinematographer and co-producer (and Digital Cinema Society founder) James Mathers in the making of "1000 to 1," an inspirational indie drama to be released later this year. James tells a remarkable tale of the lengths one production went to make their film look much bigger than its budget, with practical advice for filmmakers on every scale.

Editorial, People / Interview
James Mathers
Cinematography
America Is The Movie: WWII Exclusion Zone & Internment Camps

America Is The Movie: WWII Exclusion Zone & Internment Camps

A unilateral action by the US government during World War II resulted in the forcible internment of more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry. Two-thirds of those interned were citizens of the United States, and none had ever shown any signs of disloyalty. In February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones," from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and much of Oregon, Washington and Arizona, except for those in internment camps. Nearly 40 years later, President Carter investigated the "justice" of the internment, and the US slowly began to set reparations and formal apologies into action. We go behind the lens with Stephen for his inspiration in telling this story.

Feature, People / Interview
Stephen Menick
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
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