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Production

Lighting Fundamentals Remain While Technology Continues to Change

ligthinghd_allan1Cinematographer Allan Westbrook’s first HD shoot entailed using a Sony HDC-500 camera in collaboration with HD pioneer DP Randall Dark. "The HDC-500 was faster than the HD tube cameras before it, but its dynamic range was fairly narrow," says Westbrook (pictured left). "We certainly needed more light than we do with a typical camera today. Also, it was so heavy that simply moving it around was a challenge. We definitely used more lights than we would need for the same scenes with many of today’s HD cameras.”

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Documentary Cinematography

 

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Believe it or not, it’s been barely 15 years since high definition made its first appearance in North America, yet most of us — even production professionals — have had little hands-on experience with HD until the past five-to-seven years, the most intense stage in its evolution. Cinematographer Randall Dark caught the high-def bug 15 years ago after watching an HD demo in his native Toronto, and he hasn’t looked back since launching his high-def production company HD Vision Studios in the early ’90s. “The goal of all documentaries is to capture reality without manipulation, and HD captured it especially realistically,” says Dark.

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Canon U.S.A. Opens Hollywood Support Center

canon2As Canon DSLR cameras become more popular in Hollywood’s entertainment industry, Canon U.S.A. has just announced the opening of a new support center to better serve its film and television production clients. The Canon Hollywood Professional Technology and Support Center, located at the historic Sunset Gower Studio lot on 6060 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, will provide a local site to foster support, research, service and training for camera owners/shooters and others interested in using Canon cameras.

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Shot Lists, Blocking and Floor Plans

shotlist_blocking_clay-liford-by-allison-vIn the world of independent films, creativity is key. Every indie director and cinematographer knows that when you don’t have the budget, you better have the know-how ─ especially when it comes to shot lists, blocking and floor plans.

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Lights on Knife Fight

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In the signature scene from the upcoming film Knife Fight (starring Rob Lowe), a political campaign manager advises his candidate that in order to win, he must be willing to “bring a gun to a knife fight.” One of the key moments in this political drama takes place in an attorney’s office atop a tall office/apartment building with a falcon’s-eye view of San Francisco. For Cinematographer Steve Kazmierski, shooting this scene in a penthouse suite — while maintaining a spectacular view from its wall-to-wall picture windows — was a lot like bringing a knife to a gunfight due to all the lighting challenges.

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