Last week, camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed after being struck by a train on the set of a movie. The reaction to the preventable accident has been varied, but there’s been an outpouring of positive support via a Slates for Sarah page and a petition to get her mentioned at the Oscars.
Anybody working in a creative field knows the relentless pursuit of perfection can be time-consuming and fruitless. But it’s that detail over your craft that helps propel it to excellence, so long as you can let the reality of the practical settle in.
The ARRI Alexa has been a major player in digital cinema ever since its release and a large part of its success is because of its film-like image quality. As cinematographer Art Adams discovered, that quality may be due to the unique way Alexa handles color saturation and luminance.
Two of the hardest things to get a handle on in the film industry is how much you can expect to make and where the jobs are. Well, thanks to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can remove some of that guess work and find out about the average wage of a camera operator, where the most jobs are, and how much the industry is projected to grow.
Over on The Black and Blue Facebook page, I asked followers to share a story about the worst thing that ever happened to them on a film set. The answers – whether scary or funny – show that we all have our bad days on set and, yes, sometimes it could be worse!
This week’s Focal Points include a short documentary about grips, a retrospective of the Hitchcock dolly zoom, a tutorial on reading a light meter, two Reddit AMA’s from Bill Murray and Mark Hamill, and an interview with legendary director Christopher Nolan.
Those of us in the camera department have known for years that we dress to impress – by being ready for cold weather, hot desert, or a really long day. Adam Carolla agrees and, on one of his podcasts turned into this video, explains why cameramen dress the best.
As a camera assistant, you’ve probably had to explain what you do to a friend or family member, but have you ever had to explain it to somebody in production? Sometimes there’s a disconnect between what production asks of an AC and what you’re trained to do.
Each scene in a well-crafted film contains dozens of examples of how the art of cinematography can affect an audience and draw them further into a story or a character. All you have to do is study those films and be willing to learn to become a better cinematographer.
The smartphone is one of the best tools you can have in your pocket if you’re going to be on a film set. It can be anything you need from a depth-of-field calculator to a clapperboard – if you’re armed with the right apps, like these five cinematography apps available for Android.
88 cinematographers and ASC members reveal thoughts, advice, tips, and tricks they've received that helped them throughout their professional careers. Their responses range from the simple to the complex, the obvious to the specific, and the easy to the hard – but all of them stand to help you make the most of life in the film industry.
The Digital Cinema Pocket Guides give you easy reference for your camera in the chaos of the shoot. And now there's a massive update available today for half the pocket guides that brings them up-to-date with new camera firmware. Plus, a new, better way to download them.
As a camera assistant, you've probably had to explain what you do to a friend or family member, but have you ever had to explain it to somebody in production? Sometimes there's a disconnect between what production asks of an AC and what you're trained to do.
One of my goals when I started this blog was to be a place that could redirect its readers to valuable resources they might not otherwise find. Well, I have taken this to the extreme and listed out 100 resources for cinematographers, camera assistants, and film professionals that features everything from places to find work, to books, to podcasts and forums.
Roger Deakins is a living legend. He's one of my favorite cinematographers and for a good reason: his talents are undeniable, his philosophy level-headed, and his contribution to film significant. So when he talks (or types), I listen. As should you.
Without resourcefulness, I wouldn't be able to solve camera problems effectively. I wouldn't be able to handle the pressure of pulling focus handheld on wide open SuperSpeeds. I wouldn't be able to ruthlessly cut inefficiencies on set. It's worked wonders for me and it can help you, too.
Every camera assistant will have different tools depending on how they work. That’s why it’s important to peak into what other camera assistants have to offer. So I’m going to show you what I have in my toolkit today and also give you advice on what I think you should have in yours.
You can only sneak around set as a tape measure ninja for so long before it gets old. Sometimes you just
want need to stay next to the camera and get your marks. Introducing the laser measuring device: a technological godsend for the camera assistant who doesn't have the time to walk on set with their soft tape measure.
When it comes to cameras, there's more options now than ever before. That's great for cinematographers, but it leaves camera assistants struggling to wrap their heads around a staggering number of camera systems. Inevitably, you're going to come across one you haven't even touched before. So, how do you handle it?
Filmmaking isn't only about directing or operating the camera. Crew, and all their various talents, fit into an incredibly complex filmmaking machine designed to grind hours into footage. So the question is: where do you fit within that machine? And what do you want to do on set?