My absence these past several months can be described simply: I have been making a movie. But now that principal photography has completed, I've got a little bit more time and wanted to discuss some aspects of the production itself. To date, the most popular post on this blog has been about my time with BlackMagic's Cinema Camera 4K. Whenever I look at the stats for this site, that story has always gotten at least a few hits. But what that tells me is that people are always looking for impressions of certain equipment/experiences, so I figured it was probably worth writing about my time with Freefly's Movi M5 handheld stabilization unit. For our shoot, we rented a whole bunch of equipment from BorrowLenses, including an M5.
Early on, we had a conversation with our Director of Photography who said the best thing we could possibly get would be a stabilizer of some kind, and that he recommended that even over professional lighting equipment. And because I have wanted to try out a Movi since I first saw a video about one a few years back, that seemed like the way to go. (The rental price also dropped drastically between our original intent and the time we actually reserved it, which didn't hurt.) Our shoot lasted six days. Of those days, we used the Movi on two... the first two. One of the days we decided against using any motion at all and the other three we used a shoulder mount instead.
We had the Movi with us on set every day, but we ended up just setting it aside regardless. Because the M5 is amazing, but it's frustrating as hell. Read More
I’ve always thought of myself as a “power user,” whatever that was supposed to mean. I wanted bleeding edge tech and software, and was willing to put up with some instability to get it. For a long time, I thought that was as true of cell phones as it was of computers. I read numerous reviews of every phone/tablet/whatever released, especially ones. But I no longer salivate at the prospect of the strongest hardware, because I’ve realized that I don’t need the most powerful phone on the market. I need the most useful.
When the Moto X was announced, it seemed to fit that description. Top of the line then, and it’s definitely not top of the line now, but it still felt like the right phone for me. And that has a lot to do with how I use phones. So first, a little history: Read More
For the last three weeks, I have been spending pretty much every waking hour (and most of my sleeping ones) involved in the production of two thesis films, one of which has wrapped principal photography, and the other of which has only just begun. The content of the films doesn’t really matter for the purposes of this (one is my own film, and I’ll probably be discussing that further down the line), but I wanted to talk a little bit about the experience I’ve had shooting, specifically this past weekend when I filmed with a BlackMagic Cinema Camera 4K. Over three days, I spent between 20 and 30 hours with the camera, so I feel like I have a decent grasp of what it is, at least enough to have some general thoughts about its successes and failings. So I’m going to talk about them. And I’m probably going to make it sound like I’m way more knowledgeable about this than I actually am. Especially in this first part. Also, still kind of sleep deprived, so this will probably ramble a bit more than usual... Hopefully it makes sense to the people who are actually going out of the way looking for something like this. It's almost like a review, except totally not in depth about the things people would be looking for in an actual review.
Anyways. Read More