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Mike Wilkinson
Lexington, KY

Articles written by Mike Wilkinson

Creating Dramatic Black and White Images for Instagram

If you've ever been swiping through Instagram and noticed that certain black and white images had a particularly dramatic, vintage, or even sharp look to it, chances are there was a bit more going on than simply selecting a basic filter. In this in-depth video walkthrough, Sean Tucker shows several techniques he uses to really pull the most out of Instagram images in black and white.

This Crew Made a Music Video on Set When the Client Wasn't Looking and the Results Are Hilarious

Best idea ever? The crew over at Droptree Productions took every chance on breaks and in between takes to capture clips for a ridiculous (and amazing) music track, just for funsies. And we love funsies. It's not just a lip dub of a popular track either, it's all about film production and has everything from a fresh beat to a rippin' guitar solo from a dude with a giant beard. Stop what you're doing and watch this.

Which Video Camera Would You Buy Today? Here’s a Comparison of 4K Systems from Canon, Sony, and Others

Every time I’m on a set or grabbing coffee with another local filmmaker, we always end up talking gear for a bit, and inevitably the question comes up of “What camera would you buy if you had to buy right now, and why?” I decided to research things a bit and put together an article that explains what I’d buy if I absolutely had to right now, and the answer might surprise you.

Behind the Scenes of Nat Geo's ‘The Last Honey Hunter’

It takes skill and experience to create compelling documentary films, and just one facet of that process is capturing the footage. Traditional films are usually shot on the ground, perhaps on a tripod or some other mount, and there are plenty of challenges inherent to that process. But have you ever tried to capture footage while hanging from a rope and getting swarmed by Himalayan honey bees? And you thought your job was tough.

Smarter Every Day Explains Rolling Shutter and Uses After Effects to Recreate It

Everybody's favorite rocket engineer and slow-motion video enthusiast, Destin Sandlin, is back with a pair of videos that you'll find interesting if you've ever noticed the effects of a rolling shutter while filming video. Like many of us, Sandlin noticed the weird effect that happens when trying to film engine propellers with his iPhone. He decided to use a high-speed camera and science to figure out exactly what was happening. Then for fun, he worked with a friend and figured out a way to use After Effects to create a simulation of the rolling shutter effect.

Price Drop (Again) On the Canon C300 Mark II Cinema Video Camcorder

A filmmaker favorite, the Canon C300 Mark II has always been a little more expensive than other cameras with similar specs. Last year around this time, Canon dropped the cost from $16,000 to $12,000, and lowered prices on a few lenses. Now they have dropped it again, bringing it down so that for only $9,999 you can get a shiny-new, internal 4K video camera.

This Zoom Lens Overview Takes a Close Look at Cinema (and Two Still) Lenses for Documentary Video Production

In this detailed series of articles and videos from Matt Porwoll at AbelCine called "Behind the Lens", viewers will get a chance to compare specs and review footage captured using a number of popular zoom lenses. From the nearly $30,000 Fujinon Cabrio 19-90mm to a modest Canon 17-55mm, find out what Matt discovers about each of the lenses he reviews. This is the first video in the series, that covers the Fujinon MK 18-55mm Zoom.

Do You Need to Be a Dick to Be a Successful Leader?

Think about some great leaders that you know. Are they kind of an a-hole? Film Director Max Joseph noticed a trend in the industry where it seemed as though the more abrasive and cutthroat someone was, the more successful leader they were. After his own experiences directing a film, he decided to explore this topic and produced an entertaining and insightful documentary about what it takes to get to the top. If you've ever directed a film, video, or photoshoot, there are quite a few nuggets of inspiration in this short that might help you to become a better leader yourself on your next project. Warning, some language is NSFW.

Panasonic Quietly Release Details for EVA1, a 5.7K Video Camera with EF Mount

Just a few days ago we got information on the new Canon C200, a 4K video camera with a number of interesting features including internal raw recording. While people were scoping the new Canon camera and talking about how it fit into the market with BlackMagic and Sony products, there was no mention of Panasonic for good reason – they didn't offer a feature-rich 4K capable camera, with interchangeable lenses, around the $7,500 mark. But coming this fall, that's going to change with the AU-EVA1.

Take a Look at the New Canon C200 With Internal 4K Raw Video Recording

The rumor mill was spinning the last few weeks, talking about a new Canon Cinema camera that was on the way, and sure enough, they were right. A new EOS C200 has just appeared on B&H and I’ve got some interesting specs to share on this new beast, as well as a video from Kai at CVP.

Documentary Film Explains Why Apple Killed FCP7 - But Will It Be Anything More Than a Promo for Final Cut X?

There’s an interesting documentary in the works if you’re a video editor. With an obvious pun for the title, "Off the Tracks" interviews professional editors, trainers, and application developers to dig into why Apple made such a shift, when their existing app suite was already successful. I’ll provide some background, but also some editorial commentary below, as I feel like this documentary has potential to either be very interesting or completely pointless.

Fstoppers Review of the BlackRapid Sport Breathe Camera Strap

BlackRapid has been making unique, useful camera straps for a while, but recently released an updated product line. For this review, I took one of their more popular straps out into the field for a rock climbing photoshoot, as well as used it on a location scout.

How Erik Kessels Discovers Art and Story in Amateur Photography

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.

What Makes an Image Look Cinematic to You? Working Cinematographers Share Their Professional Opinions

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.

Fun Video Shows 10 Ways to Light Yourself, and the Moods they Create

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.

DJI Ronin 2 Announced With a New Design and 30-Pound Payload

DJI continues to push the video production industry forward with the drones and camera accessories it has been introducing into the market over the last few years. Just announced at NAB 2017 is a brand new version of their popular gimbal stabilizer, the Ronin 2.

This Backlit Keyboard for Adobe Premiere Is an Easy Way to Up Your Video Editing Game

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.

Explaining the Difference Between Parfocal and Varifocal Lenses, and Why Filmmakers Should Care

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.

Using VFX to Create Macro Shots and Speed Ramps with Drone Video

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.