Tag Archives: Camera

The No.1 Most Important Piece of Filmmaking Equipment

20 Nov

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We live in a wonderful age of technology; a time when anyone can pick up a camera and make a movie. It’s amazing, fabulous, incredible… but it has put a lot of focus on equipment.

It seems almost every man and his dog in the low budget filmmaking world is talking about which camera they should choose? Which format or lenses should they shoot with?

Frankly all this BS drives me totally nuts! Guys please listen, stop wasting all your energy on techy camera pros and cons.

Here’s a little secret… Most audiences these days can’t tell the difference between digital or film, they don’t know the difference between a ARRI Alexa or a Box Brownie! What’s more, most of them don’t actually give a damn what the hell the movie was shot on. What’s far more important is whether you are giving them what they really need. A compelling STORY with believable CHARACTERS.

So what’s the most important bit of gear you need to make an amazing movie?

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Lighting for Film & TV: Colour Correction Filters Pt 2: How To Use Them

17 Sep

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Colour Correction Filters
How To Convert Tungsten to Daylight

Hello everybody. First of all, as I’m sure you’re aware, I’ve not posted a blog in quite a while. I must apologise but I’ve been incredibly busy over the past few weeks (filming left, right and centre), but I’ve had a bit of time recently so thought I’d continue with the series! Hope you guys enjoy it, be sure to leave a comment or get in touch on facebook/twitter!

Ok so this is the second blog all about colour correction, if you haven’t read the first one, here it is . If you have read the first one I hope you now have a very basic understanding of Colour Temperature. So, where do we go from here? Well there are two forms of colour correction, colour correction in camera (known as White Balance) and colour correction in lighting.

Colour correction in camera is something we’ll discuss another time, for now let’s concentrate on Colour Correction in lighting.

Daylight Colour Correction

First things first. Basically there are 3 types of lights that we use in the film and TV industry: LED, Tungsten and HMI Lighting.

LED lighting will be covered in a separate blog but for now I want you to explain the difference between Tungsten and HMI Lighting, before I go on to look at how we  convert Tungsten light into daylight…

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Lighting for Film & TV: Colour Correction Filters Pt 1: What is Colour Temperature?

31 May

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Colour Correction Filters
There’s more to it than meets the eye!

So I thought I’d do a series of blogs all about filters; what they do, how you use them and why they’re so damned handy…

OK, I know you may think that this isn’t perhaps the most exciting subject to read about, but it’s vital for all you budding Directors of Photography and Cinematographers out there, to understand that your ultimate aim is to master your craft, and that means having a deep understanding of ALL aspects of camerawork and lighting.

Mastery will get you to the top of your profession; being part of what I call the ‘Mediocre Majority’ will not, and knowing your craft will get you ultimate respect from your colleagues. If you don’t know this basic stuff, then when you work with experienced Lighting Gaffers and ‘Sparks’ you’ll gain zero respect from them, they’ll see you as unprofessional and treat you with contempt… quite right too!

I know I keep banging on about this but remember… a big part of mastering this craft means having a real in-depth understanding of anything and everything to do with camerawork.

So now I’ve had my industry rant let’s get down to work…

I’m going to divide this into a mini series of into 6 easy to understand parts:

Part 1 : What is Colour Temperature?

Part 2: Why Colour Correction filters are used to change colour temperature and how to use them.

Part 3: The most commonly used Filters.

Part 4: Effects filters and how to use them.

Part 5: How and why you use diffusion to soften a light source.

Part 6 : Bringing it all together a practical workshop on colour correction and filming using mixed lighting

So without further ado, let’s get on with…

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Story #2: “Mad Dogs & Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun!”

12 Apr

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When I first joined the film and TV industry I was 19 years old and had never traveled abroad.

I hadn’t once been away on holiday, not even to Bognor Regis! (for those of you who don’t know, Bognor Regis is a seaside resort in West Sussex, on the south coast of England. Typical weather; always raining! Well it is in the UK what do you expect?!).

Little did I know that when I finally managed to wedge my foot into the iron clad industry door how things would change.

Within less than 12 months of joining the industry as an assistant cameraman, I was assigned to a BBC documentary that was to be shot in the Gulf of Mexico. Before I knew it I was jabbed in the butt with every inoculation under the sun and found myself on a Boeing 747 drinking Margaritas in First Class with the rest of the film crew bound for Miami, USA. Not bad for my first trip abroad!…

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Lighting for Film & TV: 10 Tips for Making Your Subject Look Good

26 Mar

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So I’m trying something a bit different here… I’m thinking “bite-sized blogs” – I thought shorter, quicker to read blogs (interspersed amongst more substantial ones) might be enjoyable for people who want a ‘quick fix’. Let me know if you like the idea, just a thought!

So this one is short and sweet. We’ve been busy over here at Free Spirit – we’re getting a lot of interest in our courses so I’ve been a bit snowed under of late! I appreciate that it’s been a week or so since my last post so I thought I’d bash this one out to give you something to chew on while I’m working on more substantial posts.

Just a quick, cheeky note, I’ve added a donation button to the side of the blog. If you feel like these posts are helpful in any way, financial support would really be greatly appreciated and will help keep this blog going!

Ok anyway, onwards! Continuing my series on Lighting for Film & TV here are a few tips for making sure you’re giving your subject the best chance of looking great on camera (sometimes they need all the help they can get!!). If you havent already checked out part 1 and part 2 (all about the basics and 3 point lighting respectively, I’d recommend checking them out). These are more ‘tidbits’ if you will, things I’ve picked up over the years. It’s nothing too substantial, but …

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