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Cinematography Tutorials

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
The Harbortronics DigiSnap 2000 Series Intervalometer

The Harbortronics DigiSnap 2000 Series Intervalometer

In this article, contributing editor Jim Harvey takes a look at the The Harbortronics DigiSnap 2000 Series Intervalometer to create some time lapse photography, and concludes that adding a DigiSnap 2000 series intervalometer to his equipment kit is just good business sense.

Jim Harvey
LENSBABY 2.0 Digital Lens

LENSBABY 2.0 Digital Lens

In this article, contributing editor Jim Harvey reviews LENSBABY 2.0 Digital Lens and questions readers, ''Ever want to take those dreamy photos that have a shallow depth of field but didn't want to invest in the Photoshop time or the mess of Vaseline on your filters or worse yet the expense of a View camera? Read on for one of the most fun items I've come across in quite a while. I confess that this review took three times longer than usual because I have been so busy playing with my Lensbaby!.''

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
Vortex Media Warm Cards

Vortex Media Warm Cards

In this article, contributing editor Jim Harvey reviews Vortex Media Warm Cards and states, ''You know you do it. We all do it. It's not something that we brag about. It's not even something that we think about too much. White Balancing. Sure some guys carry a worn out piece of white paper, or they use the foamcore to set the camera. We've balanced on walls, notepaper, even the fat guy's t-shirt. It gets us by and we get on with the show. But as we are all professionals, shouldn't we have a professional system to white balance out gear and do it consistently? Well, we do and we can.'' Read on to discover an effective answer to your white balancing dilemmas.

Jim Harvey
Jim Harvey reviews Switronix Pro-X Battery System

Jim Harvey reviews Switronix Pro-X Battery System

In this article, contributing editor Jim Harvey reviews the Switronix Pro-X Battery System and with great enthusiasm reveals, "These are awesome batteries! Short of a lens, the battery system on our cameras is probably the single biggest expense that we have. With professional battery systems costing a couple of thousand dollars we need to be able to maximize our run time while minimizing our cash outlay... For the past year or so, I have been using a battery that I am absolutely sold on. Not to be too anthropomorphic, but I'd venture to say that I 'LOVE' these batteries. They are made by a company called SWITRONIX.

Jim Harvey
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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