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Cinematography Tutorials

Pushing the Limits on Pushing Daisies

Pushing the Limits on Pushing Daisies

Visual Effects Supervisor William Powloski helped create one of the most eye-popping worlds ever seen on TV, as part of a feature film aesthetic on a TV budget and schedule. Although it was canceled after only two seasons, it remains one of the most beautiful and innovative programs to ever air on US television. In an extended version of the original article in The Visual Effects Issue of Creative COW Magazine, here is an exclusive look at how he and his team helped pull it off.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
William Powloski
The Redrock Micro DSLR Cinema Bundle for the Canon 5D MKII

The Redrock Micro DSLR Cinema Bundle for the Canon 5D MKII

If you are using the Canon 5D MKII or Nikon D90 for their gorgeous HD video, or even thinking about it, you need to read this. Creative COW Contributing Editor Jim Harvey shows how the Redrock Micro DSLR Bundle makes these cameras even more useful for video shooters, then shows how he and other pros are using it, in the field and in the studio. Jim is enthusiastic about the possiblities it opens up, and thinks you will be too.

Jim Harvey
Monsters vs. Aliens: And the winner is, STEREOSCOPIC 3DMonsters vs. Aliens: And the winner is, STEREOSCOPIC 3D

Tim Wilson looks at the box office success of DreamWorks Animation's 'Monsters vs Aliens' and how Stereoscopic 3D is lighting up ticket sales in a huge way. Tim's article explores links to trailers, the first weekend's numbers -- hint: they were pretty spectacular, especially in the IMAX theaters where the 3D version proved especially popular -- and he even gives readers a sneak leak about the next issue of Creative COW Magazine.

Tim Wilson
Focus on Controlling Depth of Field with Depth of Field Converters

Focus on Controlling Depth of Field with Depth of Field Converters

Cinematographer and Creative Cow leader Todd Terry has shot countless television commercials and industrials using both 35mm film and depth-of-field converted video. In this Creative Cow Magazine Extra, from The Visual Effects Issue, learn how depth of field converters allow you to attach 35mm lenses even to video cameras with fixed lenses, how they work, and which one might be right for you.

Todd Terry
Want to be ready for Reality? Mod your camera!Want to be ready for Reality? Mod your camera!

The reality shooter has to be mobile and invisible. Futzing around with lighting, support and/or audio can simply mean missing the shot, and often does. Videographer/editor and longtime Cow leader Grinner Hester demonstrates how to mod on a budget in this unique little how-to.

Grinner Hester
Looking for film look? Shoot like film!

Looking for film look? Shoot like film!

Film look software will never offer the same impact on your work that film-style shooting will. Software will also always take longer than shooting right the first time. Longtime film shooter Kim Segel shows you the tools and techniques to maximize film looks, even on paupers budgets.

Tutorial, Feature
Kim Segel
Finding the Heart of the ARRI D20 Digital CameraFinding the Heart of the ARRI D20 Digital Camera

With HD, Thomas says he ''has the ability to finesse color, exposure and contrast in the color correction suite. I used to look down my nose at video but RAW 4:4:4 is more creative, efficient.'' In this Creative COW Magazine article, Thomas Burstyn takes a look at the Arri D20 as he films Sci-Fi's Tin Man.

Thomas Burstyn
A Commercial's Voyage from Concept to CompletionA Commercial's Voyage from Concept to Completion

A major player in some of the biggest commercial campaigns in the last 25 years shares his experiences on one of the biggest: the Max Headroom campaign for Coca-Cola. They're lessons you can learn too.

Feature, People / Interview
Arthur Vibert
Inside HBOs The Wire

Inside HBOs The Wire

Set in Baltimore, Maryland, The Wire will begin its fifth and final season in January 2008 on HBO. As different from standard TV as it gets, the show has received the highest levels of critical acclaim, being referred to by multiple reviewers as the best show on television. In its last issue of 2006 Time Magazine ranked The Wire first on its list of 10 Best TV Shows. And Finally recognized as the best series on TV. Sorry, Tony (Soprano), was Newsweeks description. Creative COWs Nick Griffin spent time on set earlier this year and interviewed one of the shows Producers. Heres his inside glimpse into The Wire and its production.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Nick Griffin
Don't Miss Your Shot

Don't Miss Your Shot

How making friends with trash cans and other objects can improve your career. In a conversation with highly respected cinematographer Todd McMullen (Casino, The Green Mile), he talks about how to break into Hollywood, and what it takes to be successful once you get there.

Feature, Business
Todd McMullen
Time Lapse Video Secrets: HD and Beyond with your Digital Camera

Time Lapse Video Secrets: HD and Beyond with your Digital Camera

You already know that your digital camera has higher-than-HD resolution -- even higher than film res sometimes -- and the pictures can look amazing. It turns out that your still camera actually works better than an HD video camera for creating time-lapse photography. Marco Solorio tells you how to put it all together.

Tutorial, Feature
Marco Solorio
The Easy Slate System

The Easy Slate System

In this article, contributing editor Jim Harvey takes a look at the Easy Slate Professional Slating System. Jim likes the way it looks, and thinks that it makes him more attentive to the small details that he used to let slip past. It's a simple idea with a clever implementation.

Jim Harvey
First Look: AspectCorrect(TM)

First Look: AspectCorrect(TM)

We've all done this at least once in our careers. You're shooting with a standard camera but you know you're going to letterbox later so you tape two pieces of paper to 'crop' the field monitor. Or you're trying to make sure an element in the shot is in safe title, so you use a grease pencil and approximate where safe title will be. You do what you have to do when you're out in the field, but of course you're never quite sure if it's accurate until you get back into the edit suite. In this article, Creativecow leader Walter Biscardi takes a first look at a handy 'widget' developed by Cinematographer and fellow COW leader, Clay Walker called AspectCorrect and determines that ''...This is just one of those cool little things that should make camera operators lives easier.''

Walter Biscardi
Sigma SD-9 Foveon Review by Mike Gondek

Sigma SD-9 Foveon Review by Mike Gondek

September of 2000 Foveon announced a 16.8 million pixel image sensor a first of it's kind. Foveon has been pushing the digital industry with their revolutionary image sensor. Sigma, known for making quality professional lenses, announced their first digital camera and being first to host the Foveon chip in November 2002. Foveon has drawn much attention and hopefully their technology will be found in more products soon. Mike Gondek reviews this camera for

Mike Gondek
Rick Gerard reviews Cinematography: Image Making for Cinematographers, Directors, and Videographers

Rick Gerard reviews Cinematography: Image Making for Cinematographers, Directors, and Videographers

Rick Gerard takes a close look at Cinematography Theory and Practice by Blain Brown. This is his third book and for the aspiring or experienced cinematographer the best reference book Rick has ever seen.

Rick Gerard
Camera Tricks, Part Two

Camera Tricks, Part Two

In the article Camera Tricks, Part One, we looked at warming and cooling your image to gain a desired result. In Part Two, Jim Allen discusses softening or diffusing your image and a few other special effects that you may like to try. For most of these, it will be necessary for you to have a camera that allows you to perform manual white balance, manual irising, and manual shutter speed adjustments. With some of these ideas, the automatic functions will automatically overcome the effect you are trying for.

Jim Allen
Camera Tricks, Part One

Camera Tricks, Part One

If you are an avid moviegoer, you've probably noticed that the psychology of the movie is not only in the script and the music, but the quality of the picture as well. In simplest terms, a picture slightly reddish and/or yellowish tends to give the viewer a warm, friendly, emotional feeling and a picture with a slight bluish cast tends to give the viewer a cold, heartless, emotionless feeling. In many drama type films, the use of warm footage with cold footage helps the viewer distinguish between the hero and the villain. In this article, Jim Allen explains color temperature and how to achieve this quality in your video.

Jim Allen


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