Category Archives: Production

Things for Today

On-Set Job: Script Supervisor

If you’ve only worked on small budget projects or been in a black box you most likely haven’t worked with a Script Supervisor. Ever wonder what a SS does? LightsFilmSchool.Com has a great interview and overview of what a Script Supervisor does on and off set.
Why Your Film Needs a Script Supervisor

Equipment: Camera

I admit it… I love cameras! Although I don’t shoot as much as I’d like due to a busy schedule, I really do appreciate the technology that goes into a modern camera. It is a bled of analog and digitial technologies that records the “here and now” for the future historians. Here’s a in-depth review of the Panasonic AG-DVX200. I have a Panasonic HMC-150 and it is a work horse. I’d buy this camera if I had enough work to justify the purchase.


Equipment: Recorders

Over the past few years the economics of the computer revolution have trickled into the video world. There’s this theory in the computer world called Moore’s Law which simply states advancements in digital electronics such as processor, memory capacity, sensors and even pixel density will double every 18-24 months while prices stay relatively the same.

This observation works well for the patient buyer. As electronics advance, prices of equipment from two years ago start to decline, sometimes rapidly.  Although my explanatino isn’t eliquent or totally concise the bottom line is that camera and camera related electronic/computer equipment will continue to get better and cheaper.

An example is the announcement from Atmost that they are cutting, significantly, the cost of the 4K recorders. Here’s the story from  No Film School.



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Filed under Jobs, Post Production, Pre-Production, Production

This Week’s Things: 09/10/2015

Sorry, I’ve been AWAL in posting to this site. It’s not for lack of material. I’ve been busy and just have a backlog of items to post.


What is this thing: Canon EOS 8K Camera – Prototype
Article Link:
Notes: This is a monster of a prototype. Canon is showing off an 8K EOS based camera. This prototype has a teeny tiny use case… Most productions could use it as it sits. I’m sure over the next year or so Canon will reduce the size and make it more useful. In today’s technology driven camera market, Canon has to throw this out to the perspective camera buyers to entice the customer to “wait” for the 8K camera to come out. It’s an old, but effective strategy (ploy) to keep a perspective buyer from going with say a Red Weapon Dragon.


What is this thing: Zeiss Announces New Line of Primes
Article Link:
Notes: Reasonably priced new line of primes that is 4K capable and targeted for S35 to Full Frame sized sensors.


What is this thing: SLR Magic Announces a set of 2:1 anamorphic cinema primes
Article Link:
Notes: For certain project anamorphic is so cool. Remember those 70mm western from the 60’s? That’s the kind of cinematic effect we are talking about. these lens are optimized for micro 4/3rd sensors. There are some options out there for Super 35MM.


On Set Data Management

What is this thing: Data Wrangling…
Article Link:
Notes: The article specifically discusses 5 on set data management tips for Blackmagic camera users. However, tip #5 really is a great piece of advice for everyone and so I copied it here.

The data from a shoot is the most important bit. That’s what you are paid for. If it’s lost or damaged, all the other costs would have been money thrown away. So it’s really important that the data is backed up and verified. Simply using the Explorer (Win) or Finder (Mac) to copy the files is not secure enough. Data could be lost in the process.

You really want to do CheckSum verification on any back-up you make and make multiple back-ups. Three copies is ideal, two is the minimum. Give one copy to the Producer before you leave the set so that all the data is not in the same place.

I use Imagine Products ShotPut Pro on the Mac. They now offer a Windows version too. You could also use Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve’s Media Clone tool, as it too does CheckSum verification (added in Resolve 11). Other tools you might want to consider: RAW 4 PRO with Backup Champion (PC) or Pomfort ClipHouse (Mac). Both of those also offer tools to color correct and transcode your RAW files.

Red Giant also has a product for offloading video:

Stock Footage

What is this thing: Free 4K Stock Footage – yea, as in FREE
Article Link:
Notes: Sometime things are not “too good to be true.” Mitch Martinez is indeed providing access to 1500 free 4K clips. And then there’s other free 4K stock footage as well.

Visual Special FX

What is this thing: Prolost Handcrank for After Effects
Article Link:
Notes: You never know when you need to dirty up and crazy out the footage to disorient your audience. Here’s a very reasonably priced plug in – $ 14.00. And the fellow at the Prolost site is a Visual FX artist and has a few other very reasonably priced plug-ins.

Cloud Storage – Project Collaboration

What is this thing: A cloud-base storage, transfer and collaboration service
Article Link:
I do a lot of collaboration. The problem with file transfer is I mostly transfer rendered finish drafts or final edits. Here’s another service to help do more collaboration and not just transfers. I haven’t used the service so I can’t say if it is worth the monthly cost to get enough storage to matter. If I had a lot of volume I might look into this service as an option. For now, I’ll stick with Dropbox, WeTransfer and Youtube to do all these activities..

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Filed under Cameras, Data Management, Equipment, Lens, Production, Special Effects, Stock Footage

This Week’s Things: 08/03/2015

Filmmaking Jobs

 What is this thing: what is a Digital Imaging Technician?
Article Link:
Notes: Here’s a good article that discusses the role and responsibilities of a digital imaging technician.


 What is this thing: Make Clip Replacement Faster in Premiere
Article Link:
Notes: Short cut tutorial on how to replace clips fast in Premiere.

What is this thing: 8 Audition Tutorials Every Editor Should Watch
Article Link:
Notes: Audition is a powerful sound editing package and for video editors it can be daunting to get started with. Here are eight tutorials that can help you get started with Audition.

What is this thing: Print Your Own Premiere Pro Keyboard shortcuts
Article Link:
Notes: Good resource for shortcut memorization.

Color Grading

What is this thing: Premier Pro CC 2015 Lumertri Color Panel
Article 1 Link:
Article 2 Link:
Notes: This is a great time in the NLE market. Adobe and Davinci are putting more and more features into their products to win the heart and minds of the film and video makers. Here’s a 16 minute tutorial on the new Lumetri Color Panel in Premiere Pro CC 2016.

Filming Techniques

What is this Thing: 7 Hollywood Camera Techniques
Things Type: Educational
Notes: The Dolly Zoom (Trombone Shot), The Low Angle Trunk Shot, Dutch Angle, The Close Up, The Whip Pan, One Point Perspective, Long Tracking Shots

Equipment Review

What is this Thing: Self Leveling Ball Head Adapter
Things Type: Equipment – Tripod
Product Link:
Product Review:
Notes: Although I don’t own one of these at the moment I will be buying one for one of my older tripods that don’t have a leveling ball.image

Visual Special Effects

What is this Thing: 8 Ways to Create Digital Distortion in After Effects
Things Type: Educational
Notes: Sometime you need to distort your footage to tell the story. This article discusses eight ways to do it.

Stock Video Effects

imageWhat is this Thing: Video Effects
Things Type: Stock Video Effect
Notes: I don’t buy stock effects or stock video unless I really have a need and then I go out and look through available content. Although I have to write down suppliers so that I can review their type of work so when the need arises I can go and find what I need.

Lens Basic

What is this Thing: Basics of Focal Length
Things Type: Tutorial on focus lengths
Notes: A little goofy, basic description of focal length.

Video of the Week

Portal– a short film by Ryan Connolly and his Film Riot team created this short film to show off the abilities of the Hit Film editing application.
Short Link:
Making of:
Aerial Foot and Sound Design How To:


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Filed under Camera Support (Tripod, Gimbal, Steady Cam), Color Correction/Grading, Data Management, Editing, Equipment, Lens, Production, Special Effects, Tutorial

This Week’s Things: 3/23/2015

Camera Operations

What is this Thing: Tips To Be a Good 1st AC
 Things Type: Operation’s Tips
Notes: It’s always good to hear what other people do on-set.


What is this Thing: Field Monitor
Notes: Looks like a good form factor for run-and-gun situations and it states it will support 3D LUTs. We’ll see what the price is when it comes out. image


What is this Thing: Using a Wacom Pen/Tablet for Editing
 Things Type: Equipment > Mouse Replacment
Notes: I know many artist who use these devices for creating drawings. I didn’t think of using them for actually editing and replacing the mouse. But now, I’m interested. I bet you’d have to commit to changing your approach to editing. The first couple of months would be slower until you got up to speed.


What is this Thing: What is negative fill?
 Things Type: Tutorial > Negative Fill
Notes: Ryan Walters discusses negative fill – a good 5 minutes for anyone learning negative fill.

What is this Thing: Chineese Latern
Things Type: Equipment
Notes: FilmTools.Com has a boatload of equipment and supplies.

What is this Thing: Light Dimmer
Things Type: Equipment
Notes: Impact D1000 Dimmer.

Music Video of The Week

What is this Thing: Herschel’s MV Pick of the Week
Things Type: Music Video
Notes: This week’s music video comes from yours truly. I worked on the MV with my little girl and wife over the past couple months when we had some extra time. I didn’t spend a ton of time on it per se so it isn’t perfect. But, what I was trying to do was to have a fun project to work with my family on. Hope you like it.image 

To Review:

Just keeping a list of things I want to review before really posting them.
Shot Lister –

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Filed under Camera Operations, Editing, Equipment, Lighting, Lighting Techniques, Monitor, Production

This Week’s Things: 3/09/2015

Onset Audio – Lav Mics

What is this Thing: How to place a Lavaliere Mic on Talent
 Things Type: Tutorial > Onset placement of Lav Mic.
Link: Vimeo: 118841933
Notes: I know personally how hard it is to break the personal barrier between people. Placing a LAV mic is kind of difficult especially for a man to place the mic on a woman.


What is this Thing: Free Location Release Form
 Things Type: Location Release
Notes: Don’t be a guerilla filmmaker. Get a free location release form so you can better protect yourself if things go south or your location contact decides your production can’t shoot when they said you could.

What is this Thing: 15 Common Mistakes New Filmmakers Make
Things Type: Filmmaking Advice
Notes: Darious Britt chimes in on the 15 common mistakes that newbie filmmakers commit.


Crowd Funding – What Not To Do?

image What is this Thing: Herschel’s MV Pick of the Week
Things Type: Music Video
Notes: Emily Best discusses bad crowd funding techniques. She actually explains this very well.

Music Video of The Week

What is this Thing: Herschel’s MV Pick of the Week
Things Type: Music Video
Notes: I’ll admit that posting these music videos of the week shows my age. I’m a kid of the 80’s when MTV revolutionized the music business. Yea, the 80’s were full of big hair and weird costumes. I’ll admit that I like all types of music and this week’s MV of the week comes from the 80’s and pop music. What I really liked about A-Ha’s Take On Me video is that it’s was heavy on a story component AND they mixed in cartooning with live action. It just had that Tarantino Kill Bill cut-away feel before Tarantino made it cool… You can curse and make fun of the 80’s and MTV, but it sure is fun too look back and realize that it was a time when Music and Video collided to create a new art form.


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Filed under Funding, Music Videos, Pre-Production, Production

This Week’s “Things” – Week of 2/2/2015

Production Etiquette

imageWhat is this Thing: How To Work a C-Stand
Things Type: Training
Notes: You would be surprised as to how many people don’t know how to work a C-Stand (“Century”-Stand – look it up on Wikipedia). In this video Shane Hurburt demonstrates how to use it.

Software – Production

What is this Thing: Web Based Production Software
Things Type: Software
Notes: Studio Binder is a pre-release web based software production management tool. When it launches it will provide the ability to do schedules, call sheets and other yet announced features. It will be provided as “freemium” model which means a lot of features will be free, while other features will cost dollars. image


image What is this Thing: KineMINI 4K Camera Review
Things Type: Equipment Review
Notes: What are camera’s in the “Digital World”? In my opinion, from a simplistic point of view today’s cameras are a computer with software and a lens attached. This is changing the landscape and allowing more competitors to create camera equipment. The KineMINI 4K is manufactured by Kinefinity, Inc., a Chinese company. For me, I would have reservations about buying this camera as it is a 4K RAW camera and for independent film makers, the whole 4K pipeline is a lot of extra work. Plus, part of my reservations center around what type of support do you get from Kinefinity in the U.S.? This review does a good job of discussing the post-production pipeline issues that you need to consider before shooting 4K Raw.

imageWhat is this Thing: CAME-8000 Gimbal
 Things Type: Equipment
Link to Demo Video:
Notes: Here’s another gimbal on the market. Came-TV – a Chinese manufacturer – has a line of Gimbals for all sizes of cameras. The image8000 series is their largest capable gimbal. With the price at $ 1,980.00 they are about $ 500.00 less than what I’ve seen the DJI Ronin sell for. As I’ve  told some of my filmmaking buddies I think for long shooting, you will actually need a vest and arm to go along with the gimbal. While at a seminar a few months ago I shot with a Movi M10 and after about 10 minutes you start to become fatigued. Hence why I think you’ll need a vest and support  arm to shoot with a stabilizer for long periods of time. Came-TV also sells a Vest/Arm that can be used on this gimbal unit. AS a side note, I sent a note to Came-TV to see if the 8000 would work with my FS-700 and they told me that it would not.

imageWhat is this Thing: Remote/Robot Camera Operator
Things Type: Equipment
Notes: Something to put on the radar – especially one man shooting people  like me. Here’s a Remote/Robot controlled camera operator. Looks interesting, but the documentation says it can’t be used indoors. It would be a great addition to my live music shooting equipment arsenal. I guess I’ll wait until the indoor unit comes out before I take more of a serious look at it.

What is this Thing: Lens Technical Review – Canon NE-E Primes
Things Type: Equipment – Lens
Notes: Matthew Duclos does an in-depth review of Canon Prime lens technology. If you are technical and want to learn more about these prime lens’s, this is a great resource. He talks to Canon about the development of the primes and then talks to ASC DP’s David Klein and gets their view on the primes.image

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Filed under Camera Support (Tripod, Gimbal, Steady Cam), Cameras, Equipment, Lens, Lighting, Production