Film Making

Monday Inspiration. “Legends of the Isles”, by Tony Franklin.

Over the weekend I posted a short film and a little write up about how video production and quality has changed so much in the last ten years. Another great example of that is below. Film maker  and a crew of six have produced a really nice short film. The seven minute short takes you on a journey of friendship and the bond that is developed around a game and tradition. Franklin blends some really wonderful slow-motion footage with interviews, archival footage, and really fluid shots following hockey players on the ice. Through out the film there is a simple repeated gesture that becomes more clear in the last two minutes of the film through the skilled editing of Nate Maydole and Eric Schleicher. Great stuff for a frigid winter morning here in the midwest.

Director: Tony Franklin
Director of Photography: Eric Schleicher
Second Camera: Josh Becker
Editor: Nate Maydole / Eric Schleicher
Music / Sound Mix: Nick Mihalevich / Cape Status
Graphic Design: Mike Forester
Archival Footage: Tom Dunn

Friday Inspiration, “Glaz”.

This is a short film about Vladimir Kurashov, a young photographer from Moscow. It tells the story of how photography helped him recover from a serious injury that almost cost him his left eye. It was shot on 16mm Film, in Moscow in 2013. Hat tip to Director, Cinematographer, and Editor Maxim Tomash for shooting on film, and producing such a great little piece.

Awesome in Every Sense of the Word. Paul Klaver’s Alaska.

When a film comes together, many times things are missed, or parts don’t add up to complete the whole. In the case of the short film “Alaska Nutrient Stream” everything adds up. The photography, sound editing, post production, film editing, all combined with the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness and the power of nature. Major hat tip to film maker Paul Klaver and his short film.

Shot over a 3 week period on his Canon 5D and a GoPro, the results are pretty stunning. Klaver has a fantastic eye for framing shots and editing in a way that completes the story.

“In Saturn’s Rings” Stephen van Vuuren’s 4K Journey Into Space.

South African filmmaker Stephen van Vuuren is working on an IMAX film titled  In Saturn’s Rings. The film is being created by stitching, processing, and animating over one million images. The result is a spectacular immersive journey from the view point of Cassini-Huygens mission using Saturn and 25 additional sources.

Vuuren’s  film has been in development for a few years now, and its slated for release in IMAX at 6K resolution early next year. The visual process, which compiles still photographs into a moving images, is a proprietary  system by Van Vurren himself and if the trailer shows that this is going to be one beautiful film. The trailer is below, but if you click through to YouTube you can watch in 4K resolution which looks fantastic.

“The goal is to use large screen imagery, synchronized to powerful but moving music, to create an experience for those who see it, hear it and feel it.”

Friday Inspiration. “Jonah” from Factory 15

This is a fantastic short film from Factory Fifteen and Jellyfish Pictures. The storyline is solid, the quality of the cinematography and special effects are absolutely top notch. There are multiple themes presented in this 20 minute film, all of which are supported by moving performances by Daniel Kaluuya, Malachi Kirby and Louis Mahoney.

The film has plenty of visual effects that enhance rather than detract from the main story line.  greed, pride and loss are rendered through the story as the small town the film takes place in blossoms into a tourist destination over time. Jonah is a big fish story about the old and the new, the links and the distances between them. It is a visual feast, shot though with humor and warmth, Jonah tells an old story in a completely new way.

Directed by Kibwe Tavares
Written by Jack Thorne
Produced by Ivana MacKinnon

Daniel Kaluuya
Malachi Kirby
and Louis Mahoney

Town VFX: Factory Fifteen
Fish VFX: Jellyfish Pictures

Executive Producers – Katherine Butler, Ollie Madden, Chris Collins, Phil Dobree, Eva Yates
Co-Producer Fiz Oliver
Line Producer – Sarah Jane Wheale
Editor – Adam Biskupski
Cinematographer – Chloe Thomson
Production Designer: Paul Nicholls and Jonathan Gales
Fish Concept Art – Warren Holder
Composer – Mark Sayfritz
Sound Design – Jens Petersen
Sound Recordist – Will Whale
Costume Designer– Celia Lusted
Casting Directors – Saheen Baig & Aisha Walters

Coming to NAB, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

I’ve been really curious about the Black Magic Cinema camera since it was introduced a couple of years back. There have been mixed reviews, but one thing always comes through. That is that the image quality is outstanding, and worth some of the cameras shortfalls.


Today I got an email letting me know that Black Magic will be announcing a number of new products at NAB this year. One that I pretty excited about is the all new Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera. The specs look really solid, and the size is great for a secondary field camera.



“The world’s most compact Super 16 digital film camera features an elegant magnesium alloy chassis, 13 stops of dynamic range, Super 16 sensor size, high quality Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW recording, as well as interchangeable optics with an active Micro Four Thirds lens mount, all packed into an incredibly tiny size. Includes power supply, removable/rechargeable battery and wrist strap.”




Camera Features

  • Effective Sensor Size: 12.48mm x 7.02mm
  • Effective Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Shooting Resolutions: Lossless CinemaDNG RAW and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) at 1920 x 1080
  • Frame Rates: 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p
  • Dynamic Range: 13 stops
  • Focus: Focus button turns on peaking.
  • Iris Control: Iris button automatically adjusts the lens iris settings so no pixel is clipped in film mode. Scene average auto exposure in video mode.
  • Lens Mount: Active MFT
  • Screen Dimensions: 3.5″ and 800 x 480 resolution.
  • Screen Type: Integrated LCD.
  • Metadata Support: Automatic camera data and user data such as shot number, filenames and keywords.

Storage Features

  • Storage Type: Removable SDXC, SDHC cards.
  • Storage Format: SD card can be formatted in either exFAT or HFS+
  • Storage Rates: 220 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
  • Compressed Recording Formats: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) in QuickTime MOV, lossless CinemaDNG RAW. Recording in 1920 x 1080 with choice of Film or Video Dynamic Range.


  • HDMI Video Output: 1 x Micro HDMI Type D output.
  • Analog Audio Input: 1 x 3.5mm stereo audio.
  • Analog Audio Output: 1 x 3.5mm stereo jack headphone output.
  • HDMI Audio Output: 2 channels 48 kHz and 24 bit.
  • Remote Control: 1 x 2.5mm LANC for Rec Start/Stop, Iris Control and Focus.
  • Computer Interface: USB 2.0 mini B port for software updates and configuration.

Software Included

  • DaVinci Resolve Lite grading software DVD for Mac OS X and Windows.


Take My Picture. GARAGE Magazine’s Look at Fashion Week.

This is a nice little documentary short that speaks to the approaching absurdity of  people/photographers documenting New York Fashion Week. It’s a nice little short film. Great production values, and insights from people involved in the fashion industry.

One thing that really sticks with me is what appears to be desperate attempts to get the shot at any cost. People taking photos with no rhyme or reason. Many of the shots on the shots on the street have this almost blind follow the leader mentality. “Phil Oh is shooting photos of that person so I better take some photos too. Oh wait Tommy Ton is shooting pictures of… desperately run to the next blind opportunity not really knowing why you should take a photo…”

When we set out to make this short, our intention simply was to observe the phenomenon of fashion bloggers and street style stars. As we started to review the footage, two salient trends became apparent: fashion editors frustrated by the ensuing commotion outside of shows, and the rise of “peacocking” street style stars as a result of the proliferation of blogs. This film examines these themes from both perspectives.