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News: Cheap Ass Videocameras and Citizen Journalism

The idea that you could buy a cellphone sized video camera that shoots 720p for a hundred bucks would literally seem like nonsense to me five or six years ago, as I sat trying to get a shot worth looking at out of my old Sony pd150. They're here, though, the Flips and iPhones and Kodaks and whatever else and while most of their impact can be measured in the increased frequency of Bieber-tribute videos hitting youtube, having a $100 hd camera also puts me in a mind to go - me a regular old idi...

Cyrus: The Puffy Chair meets Money and Famous People

Cyrus comes out tomorrow, having wowed people at Sundance and at SXSW where the directors, the Duplass brothers, had earlier success with their mumblecore feature The Puffy Chair. It's very funny, and very well made and it should be of particular interest to lo/no-budg filmmaking dudes and dudettes because it is literally the model of what can be done with talent and hard work.

News: Why would I buy a video camera. Tell me, Canon, please.

So the Canon 5d mkII, iirc, can shoot video that looks like 35mm film, due to its huge sensor and ability to use all of the Canon still lenses. The Canon XH-A1 can't do that. The Casio Exilim ex-f1 can shoot up to 1200 fps looking... ok well not so hot but seems to look good at slightly less fast framerates, letting moms and dads shoot slo-mo video in their backyards. The Canon XH-A1 can't do that. Of course folks have to go through a big rigamarole to get sound synched with the 5d and it has...

LEE Filters Gel Swatch book: A Rad as Hell Thing

We made a video about the basics of ND gels the other day, and given that we don't have a grip truck to haul stuff off of we had to go actually buy gels from the photo supply store. I took the opportunity while there to grab another of my favourite things on the earth, a little sample-book put out by Lee Filters (Rosco makes them, too) containing little swatches of all the gels and scrims and reflectors that they make, which is a lot of different gels, scrims and reflectors.

News: iMovie on iPhone, coming in June

So as of now June 24th or whenever it is precisely that the new iPhone comes out, we'll likely be in a situation where two of the most popular, talked-about filmmaking tools will be non-traditional video cameras: the new 720p-shooting/cutting Apple Flip-smasher and the Canon 5d. I feel positively old fashioned, a dinosaur, an archaic wreck, stumbling about with my mammoth Canon XH-A1. I can't slip it into my pocket, I can't take the lens off and put a f/1.8 50mm on it and get kabonkers depth ...

News: Welcome to The Film Lab!

This quick intro video only scratches the surface of all the DIY filmmaking technique tutorials that are waiting for you in The Film Lab -- join Mike and Rajo as they shed some light on important stuff that will help you pull together your masterpiece!

News: The Snoot-less Snoot

I was shooting last Friday and for a particular shot I wanted a special on a product; I wanted it focused, but soft.  Unfortunately we had run out of flags to cut it so my Key Grip came up with a great DIY solution: cut a hole in black wrap, put it on a stand a few feet away from the light (Dedo 400W HMI) and cover that hole with a light diffusion (Opal).  The distance from the light guaranteed a defined shape while the diffusion softened up the light itself.

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