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Articles written by Mike Wilkinson

Fstoppers Review of Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Denoiser III

Fstoppers Review of Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Denoiser III

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 Recording Basics: Using Shotgun Microphones for Documentary Video Production

Audio Recording Basics: Using Shotgun Microphones for Documentary Video Production

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.

How the Focal Length of Your Lens Affects the Look of Your Video

How the Focal Length of Your Lens Affects the Look of Your Video

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.

Tips for Scouting Locations for Your Next Interview Video Shoot

Tips for Scouting Locations for Your Next Interview Video Shoot

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.

When a Client Can’t Afford Your Rates for Photo or Video Work, What Do You Do?

When a Client Can’t Afford Your Rates for Photo or Video Work, What Do You Do?

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.

Chase Jarvis Explains Why Creating and Sharing Your Photos Is Only Half the Work

Chase Jarvis Explains Why Creating and Sharing Your Photos Is Only Half the Work

In this episode of Chase Jarvis RAW, a fired up Jarvis goes off on a thoughtful stream of consciousness and details why so many photographers or filmmakers might not see the engagement they are looking for with their work. To him, it's because they likely stop working once the content has been created and shared, and they don't go on to interact with their community or audience. What's the trick to doing that? Check out the video for some very real suggestions on how.

The Trailer for the Holiday Movie 'Elf' Is Recut, Now It's a Creepy Thriller

The Trailer for the Holiday Movie 'Elf' Is Recut, Now It's a Creepy Thriller

Even if you're not much for holiday films, chances are you've seen the Will Ferrell movie, "Elf," that came out in 2003. It's a silly but fun tale of Buddy the Elf searching for his real father in New York City. The trailer seen here though, created by Cinefix, would have you believe that Buddy might just be an insane psychopath, spreading Christmas cheer in the form of violently stalking a person he believes to be his dad.

Tips for a Better Color Grading Workflow on Your Video Edits

Tips for a Better Color Grading Workflow on Your Video Edits

For many filmmakers who are getting into raw workflows for the first time, or perhaps wanting to up their postproduction skill set, color grading can at first appear to be a big, scary monster full of weird tools and a puzzling workflow that makes college physics seem simple. In this Q&A video from Film Riot, Colorist John Carrington answers some frequently asked questions regarding his approach and process to doing color work on video footage.

Behind the Scenes of the 'Planet Earth II' Video of Snakes Chasing an Iguana

Behind the Scenes of the 'Planet Earth II' Video of Snakes Chasing an Iguana

The sequel to the BBC-produced nature documentary series, "Planet Earth II," released a few clips into the wild recently to promote its U.S. release in January. You may have noticed one of these scenes making the rounds on social media in the last few days, which was a masterfully edited clip that features snakes chasing an iguana. If you were curious how they filmed some of this material, there are a few behind-the-scenes clips out that show how it was done.