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31

Oct
2013

4 Comments

In On Set

By Colton Davie

Shooting “The Whistler” on ALEXA

On 31, Oct 2013 | 4 Comments | In On Set | By Colton Davie

As a Halloween treat, Openlight Pictures just released The Whistler, a small but spine-tingling short film. Bryce McGuire wrote and directed, Rod Blackhurst produced, and I was the cinematographer. Bryce wanted to keep the shoot small and intimate, so the entire consisted of just the three of us, plus the two leads, Kate Cobb and Josh Schell.
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Intro to Workflow: Safely Carrying Your Baby from Set to Screen

On 30, Sep 2013 | One Comment | In Instructional | By Colton Davie

When shooting digitally, especially on a tight budget, there is a common temptation to shoot first then figure out post later. With the low perceived cost of recording data and the wide availability of affordable tools to process and work with such data, there is a mindset which suggests that with a little Google searching one can quickly figure out how to get from A to B. While it is possible to figure things out, it will likely end up costing a significant amount of time and potentially risk compromising the quality of the material. The shoot first-figure the rest out later mentality is a dangerous one in all areas of production and has resulted in many costly unfinished and unfulfilled projects.
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Dear Metis Creative

On 20, Sep 2013 | No Comments | In Inspiration | By Colton Davie

…please hire me.

 

But seriously,

I love story. In my mind, cinematography is primarily a storytelling craft. However, sometimes it’s fun to shoot something that looks awesome just to show how awesome it looks.

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Cinematography for Directors: Focal Length (Part 1)

On 14, Sep 2013 | 4 Comments | In Instructional, Tests | By Colton Davie

Like the other departments of film production, cinematography is a specialized field. As cinematographers, we are required to fully grasp and utilize concepts and tools that may never be completely understood by other members of production.  For instance, a director may never need to know how to read a waveform monitor, or the difference between griffolyn and ultrabounce. However, the choices the cinematographer makes regarding exposure, or his choice of bounce, or the myriad of other technical decisions ultimately have narrative and emotional impact on the film. Therefore, it is wise for directors to have a basic grasp of cinematographic techniques—as well as the other aspects like production design, sound, and editing—so that they can confidently and deliberately work with their collaborators to craft their vision.

With that in mind, I’ve set out to write a series of articles on foundational concepts of cinematography, for directors. I intend to approach these concepts from a story perspective as opposed to an overly technical one. My goal is to help new directors get up to speed, or provide a refresher for those that may have more experience, so that they can more effectively communicate with their cinematographer and better craft a film that is in line with their vision.
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09

Sep
2013

2 Comments

In Tests

By Colton Davie

Lighting Exercise: EXT. POOL – NIGHT

On 09, Sep 2013 | 2 Comments | In Tests | By Colton Davie

This post was originally written in April 2011.

I always thought that this pool looked pretty at night time, with the small landscape lights, pool lights, and little waterfalls, but the lighting around the pool is very dim. One night I decided, just for fun, to try and shoot a theoretical scene in a way that played off the location’s natural beauty. Mainly this exercise was a way for me to explore a couple of ideas that I had been kicking around in my head, and to further develop an approach to lighting of letting the location do as much work for you as possible, in terms of both inspiration and actual illumination.
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Shooting The Happiness Machine with Glow Sticks and ALEXA

On 21, Aug 2013 | No Comments | In On Set | By Colton Davie

A couple of months ago, I shot the music video for “Peace Hands” by The Happiness Machine, an indie garage rock band from St. Petersburg, FL. Director Bryce McGuire had memories of the cathartic, slightly rebellious act of cutting open glow sticks and splashing them around a dark room, creating colorful galaxies only to disappear as soon as the lights turned on, and built a simple narrative around that experience.
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21

Aug
2013

No Comments

In Tests

By Colton Davie

Testing the Sony F3

On 21, Aug 2013 | No Comments | In Tests | By Colton Davie

Prior to shooting Pas De Restes, my first project with the Sony PMW-F3, I decided to do some tests to figure out how the camera responded to light and color, how flexible the footage was in grading, and what picture profile settings would best suit the look I was trying to achieve.
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