Articles written by Mike Wilkinson
In this short documentary video from TIME, Dutch creative Erik Kessels explains his interest in amateur photography, including where it started and what he sees in it. What started as simply buying discarded family photo albums has now stirred an interest with the mortality of an image, where with the proliferation of sites like Flickr and Instagram, photographs now have a much shorter lifecycle. This culminates in a very interesting exhibition, featured at the end of the video.
A widescreen aspect? A certain kind of lighting? Maybe shallow depth of field? What do you think makes for a cinematic look? In this piece from CookeOpticsTV, a few professional cinematographers were asked this very question, and while their answers are not the same, they all provide some thoughtful perspective on the topic, and perhaps agree that it's not just one thing that makes for a cinematic look.
Simple differences in the quality of light on a face can have a significant impact on how a person is perceived. I'm always a sucker for seeing how those different looks are achieved, and the team from The Lighting Channel has put together a video that demonstrates 10 different lighting looks on a face, along with the moods they create.
Being a master of keyboard shortcuts isn’t just a party trick to impress friends and clients, it’s a path to a faster and more efficient editing process which makes you more of an asset as a video editor. Whether you’re hoping to earn a Pro Certificate or just become faster in post, one way to get you there sooner is to invest in a dedicated keyboard.
Lenses in the still photography world are just one group of lenses out there, and if you haven't done much work in cinema or broadcast, then you might not have ever considered why you might want to invest in other kinds of glass. However, as more photographers are finding themselves getting into short film production, the benefits of using parfocal lenses should be considered.
Last week I shared a video that used a couple of alternative techniques for aerial video, and coincidentally I was contacted shortly after to check out another video that had some unique drone video shots. In this kite surfing video, you'll see some interesting macro-style clips, speed ramps, zooms, and more. The fact is, all of this was done in post.
Anyone who has flown a drone for aerial video capture has likely done one of the few shots that are pretty much the standard of any aerial video. In these two videos from Mark Richardson, he is going to explain techniques for three different kinds of shots you may not have thought of before.
The National Park Service in the United States is one of the few organizations to have made clear policies regarding the use of drones, or small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) on their property. Yet some people continue to ignore these rules, and it’s only going to make things harder for the rest of us if this trend continues.
If you're a fan of the informational videos put out by folks like The Slanted Lens, Film Riot, and theC47, then you'll also want to check this one out. Grip Tips focuses on tools of the trade for grips and electricians working on a film set, but the equipment that's explained could also be found in a photography studio as well.
A few weeks ago I shared some insight on using shotgun microphones for documentary style interview productions. This week, I’ve got a companion video that explores techniques for using lavalier mics, the standard go-to mic for most interview scenarios.
We've all been there. You were hired for a run-and-gun shoot only to find the location has terrible lighting. Or your shoot is running later into the evening and the sun is going down fast, without any lighting to plug in. The ISO gets cranked up, and your exposure is saved at the expense of adding unwanted noise to your image. This is where noise reduction software becomes useful, and a new product from Red Giant has changed the way it approaches this task with Denoiser III.
Audio is arguably the most important facet of any film or video production. There is a saying that goes: “Audio is 70% of what you see,” which means that sound makes up more of the experience than the visuals do. So while we may spend a lot of time planning for what our shot looks like, it’s even more important that we mic it properly for the best audio recording possible.
Camera sliders are often one of the first accessories that independent filmmakers purchase, just after a tripod and microphone. The simplicity in their design and valuable ability to create subtle motion instantly add production value. Cinevate recently updated its Duzi slider to its fourth version, and I got a chance to review one this past week.
Have you ever seen those amazing shots that show a subject holding its place in the frame while the background falls away or becomes extremely compressed? This is called a "dolly-zoom," and you've likely seen an example in films such as "Jaws" and "Goodfellas." While we don't typically use a dolly-zoom when filming interviews, we can learn a lot from studying what happens to an image at different focal lengths. In this video and article, I'll discuss the visual effects created when choosing a wide versus telephoto lens for documentary-style interview productions.
In a previous article, I shared some tips on scouting locations for a documentary video shoot where interviews would be captured. The next step is to decide on a frame that complements your talent, topic, and tone. In this video, we discuss background elements we see in potential frames, any why one “look” might work better than another.
When doing a documentary-style video production, an interview or series of interviews is often at the heart of the content. Uncontrollable lighting, background noise, and the size of the space you have to work in all play a significant role in capturing a quality testimonial, so location scouting to check on these is an important facet of our production process. In this short video, Joshua Pardon and I explore two rooms at a location and discuss what we look for when making a decision on where to set up for a shoot.
If you work in a competitive area for your photo or video work, chances are that you’ve experienced losing a client at some point. Whether there were creative differences, budget issues, or you weren’t available, there are some things that you can do to alleviate some of the sting from breaking up with a client, and perhaps put you in a better position to work with them in the future, even if the root cause is simply that they couldn't afford your rates.
At CES 2017 Panasonic has started to show off some new MFT lenses, which by no coincidence pairs nicely with their recent reveal of the Lumix GH5 specs. In this video, a rep from Panasonic goes over the details of the new lenses, some of which are updates to existing models. I'll list the all of the lenses and include what's new about them in the full post.