Shutter Speed vs Shutter Angle

Posted by Brian Paris on Mar 11, 2009 in Blog

There is something special to the picture that you see in films. There is a blur to the motion that you don’t really see when you watch video. Some of this is explained by the lower frame rate, but the Shutter Angle has a lot to do with it also. Read more…

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Posted by Brian Paris on Mar 7, 2009 in Blog

Last year at one of the Chicago Final Cut Pro User Group Meetings, Gary Adcock gave a presentation with detailed information on Apple’s ProRes video codec. I had been using it for awhile when capturing XDCam HD footage through my AJA Kona 3. I was amazed at the quality that I was getting even when I was green screening, color correcting and adding graphics. This was uncompressed quality at one-fifth the file size. But my opinion was just based on what I was seeing personally. I was completely sold when Gary went through all of the technical test and proved that it was not only as good as I thought it was, but even better. Well, I just found his write up from the test over on the ProVideo Coalition website (ProRes: A Closer Look). Check it out and you will never go back to DVCpro HD.

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Can You Hear Me Now?

Posted by Brian Paris on Mar 5, 2009 in Blog

Here is a website that lets you test whether you can hear different high frequency tones. I am 34 years old and my hearing cuts off after 14K. Give it a try and see if you have taken better care of your ears than I have. Too much Terminus Victor probably did mine in. (It was worth it, though.)

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Sound Design

Posted by Brian Paris on Mar 4, 2009 in Blog

Sometimes the best part of a motion picture isn’t the picture. What you hear can be just as important as what you see, but for some reason audio is the last thing that people think about when making a movie. The one thing that can make a movie unwatchable quicker than any other is bad audio. So let’s talk a little about sound design. Read more…

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The Director

Posted by Brian Paris on Mar 3, 2009 in Blog

So you want to be the top dog, the film director. This is the guy who is oversees all of the creative aspects of a movie. He has the vision and uses his own talents and those of the cast and crew to bring that vision to light. The director is the manager on set. There are others who assist him and will make decisions in his absence, but the ultimate responsibly comes down on the directors shoulders. Read more…

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Director of Photography

Posted by Brian Paris on Mar 2, 2009 in Blog

On a motion picture set the person in charge of the lighting and camera crew is the Director of Photography (or Cinematographer). Sometimes this person is just overseeing the camera operator and sometimes he is operating the camera himself. The term DP or Cinematographer are used interchangeably in most cases. Sometimes people will get snooty and not consider someone a true cinematographer unless he is also the camera operator. Read more…

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Camera Assistant

Posted by Brian Paris on Mar 1, 2009 in Blog

Have you ever wanted to be a camera assistant? Do you even know what a camera assist is? Well, on a film (or digital cinema) shoot the 1st Assistant Camera is usually the guy who pulls the focus on the camera. Whenever the distance between the camera and subject changes, you need to adjust the focus to keep your subject sharp. Unlike video where the operator usually pulls his own focus, in bigger productions you have someone who’s job it is to keep track of the lens focus. This is done either by hand using a follow focus or done remotely with a motorized radio controlled follow focus. Read more…

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Flash Lighting for Photography

Posted by Brian Paris on Jan 31, 2009 in Blog

Check out this link to Strobist for a beginning lighting course in flash photography.

Here is a video of the quick overview that they do at the beginning of the article:

The whole lesson is broken up into many easily understood parts. They cover all the bases when it comes to using simple flash units as off camera lighting. The cover ways to mount your flash, different ways to sync (trigger) the strobe, along with accessories for shaping and placing light.

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365 Sketches

Posted by Brian Paris on Jan 19, 2009 in Blog

Joe Janes, a teacher at Second City, is taking up a big challenge today. He has committed to writing a sketch a day, everyday for a year. He is planning on posting his drafts every night along with commentary about the process. I am looking forward to reading every day. Because he is committed to doing this as a teaching exercise also, I think that there will be a lot gained by everyone reading as well as what he himself learns. I only had him as a substitute once in my writing class, but have enjoyed reading his blog ever since. So get a fast start on what may become the best learning resource for sketch writing, check out his blog at Bite and Smile.

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Three Point Lighting

Posted by Brian Paris on Jan 18, 2009 in Blog

Let’s talk a little about lighting today. The first design that people learn when lighting is the three point style. They call it that because you use three lights. It is easy to set up and can produce some great images if you do it right. Read more…

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