Posts in Cinematography
Three Ways to Improve Your Cinematography in 2018

Control Your Light

I feel really old saying it but twenty years ago I started freelancing as a cinematographer. Everything was tungsten back then. I had some 1k fresnels, some cheap hardware store clamp lights, and 3-light Lowel kit. The majority of the light I was working with was hard and at the time my idea of softening it was bouncing it off a wall or a ceiling. 

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The Making of Unpatriotic

UNPATRIOTIC

Roughly a year ago I made a video for NYC artist Timothy Dark called "The Future" which is at the very bottom of this post. I made a ten minute BTS video detailing how we made that video which involved building a prison in my backyard.

Unpatriotic is the continuation of that video but unfortunately we didn't have any extra hands to shoot BTS so all I can muster is this write up with some stills.

If you're interested in shooting and directing music videos or have some questions about the DJI Ronin, C100 Mark II, or Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro you may find some pertinent info here.

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Six Months with the Ursa Mini Pro

It may only be a tool, but it's the best tool I've ever owned. I've really enjoyed shooting with the Ursa Mini Pro, so much so, I've barely picked up my Canon C100 Mark II in the past few months. 

My initial thought was that I'd use my Ursa to shoot narrative pieces and leave the run and gun stuff to my C100, but the more I shot with the Ursa, the more I realized it can handle the majority of shooting conditions I find myself in.

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Two Commercial Lighting Breakdowns (Ursa Mini Pro)

The challenge for this commercial spot was to find a location that could pass for a police interrogation room. The budget for this spot was very small so I decided that with a little elbow grease I could turn a corner of my basement into this set.

The initial problem with the basement is that it has very low ceilings of only 8 feet in height and I guess because I live in a log cabin, there is a lot of wood paneling which doesn't look very police-like. The drywall was also painted this horrible peach color by the previous owner.

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C100 Mark II vs Ursa Mini Pro

As a preface, I've only owned the Ursa Mini Pro for roughly a month as of this writing, but I spent a week on a feature with it. It only took one day of testing different codecs, frame rates, etc to understand how to use this camera. I've already started to develop some muscle memory of where the different buttons are located.

On the other hand, I've owned the C100 Mark II for over a year, and I use it almost daily. I've shot close to 100 videos with it.

Let's pit these two very different cameras against each other and see which comes out on top.

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Ursa Mini Pro - Some Impressions

If you're a lazy bastard then let me save you some time and tell you that the Ursa Mini Pro is the best camera I have ever used. (As reference I have shot films with the following - Bolex 16mm, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Canon XL-1, Canon 7D, Canon 5D Mark III, Canon C100, Canon C100 Mark II, GoPro 1, 3, and 4, Panasonic DVX100B, Panasonic GH4, Red Scarlet, some Nikon camera I don't recall, Sony A7s, Sony FS5, and some other shitty cameras too shitty to mention.)

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