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09

Aug
2014

4 Comments

In Tests

By Colton Davie

Shooting Through Pantyhose

On 09, Aug 2014 | 4 Comments | In Tests | By Colton Davie

I recently had the pleasure of working with the Alecies, Alex Le Bas and Alex Brisker, on their new short film My Friend Jenkins. We wanted to bring a classy “Hollywood” feel to the film and looked a lot at Janusz Kaminski’s work with Steven Spielberg, as well as Joe Wright’s Atonement, shot by Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC, as references.

One staple of Kaminski’s work is his expressive use of lens diffusion. His use of net diffusion, such as in Minority Report and others, lends a particularly unique texture to the image. McGarvey also used nets behind the lens for the scenes of Briony’s childhood in Atonement, giving a romantic softness to the images.
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Moonlight Exposure on “Jesus Fish”

On 04, Oct 2013 | No Comments | In On Set, Tests | By Colton Davie

Jesus Fish is a folkloric tale about a church-swindling con artist, his guilt-ridden brother, and a soul-judging lake monster said to devour sinners. Naturally, the action ends up in the lake during the dark of night.

Night exteriors pose a variety of challenges for the cinematographer, not the least of which being how to get an exposure while maintaining the feeling of darkness.
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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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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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