So you want to make a movie…

I occasionally come across someone who wants to make a movie but has never done it. Here’s my advice. Know your goals. People can have many goals, but I’ve seen the following two. You want to make the best movie you can.  So you need to recruit the best...

Plot sequencing

There’s some spoilers here for the last film I worked on, “Pangs.” I’d recommend you watch the film before reading this. You can do so here. I had an interesting moment working as editor on the film “Pangs.” This is the first time I’ve edited a 48 Hour Film...

The Snowzilla Diary

Julie and I went for a walk on Friday, January 22, just as the first flakes of winter storm Jonas started to fall. It was expected to be historic, and the Washington Post had already dubbed it “Snowzilla.” We were contemplating how to spend a snowed-in...

Playing with key and fill

I spent some time today running a set of experiments for lighting.  Before I dive into describing them, here’s a few terms for those who haven’t spent much time on photographic or cinematographic lighting. The key light is the primary light used to light a...

The joy of traveling matte

Take a look at this video, then read further for some discussion. Hats in the Ring editing demo from Joe Dzikiewicz on Vimeo. In my latest film, “Hats in the Ring,” we had a scene where there were photos displayed on a computer. To do this, we put a green...

Slow FPS camera test

Another camera technique experiment!  First, take a look: This is testing something I saw on one of the many how-to videos out there.  The basic idea is that you can get a ghost look by playing with shutter speeds and frame rates. That turned out to be a bit harder...