Monday, June 9, 2008

Rebels Without a Clue: The Downside of the Digital Revolution

The new age of cinema is upon us, right? Well, yeah, sort of. It’s new. But is new always a good thing? Much has been made of the new technology available to the low and no-budget filmmakers out there—people like me. With new HD cameras that cost only a few thousand dollars, more and more young people with big cinematic dreams are being presented with the opportunity to take a crack at filmmaking. And that’s a great thing! Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. After all, I’m one of these big dreamers who has gotten to make some rather good looking short films because of the new HD technology that is available for a rather small wad of cash. However, the fact that my short films have been praised by industry professionals as being beautifully shot and surprisingly polished has less to do with the camera we used than with the skills we have developed.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Light Meter and Digital Video: the Basics

For those of you with a background in still photography, or who may have gotten the opportunity to shoot motion picture projects on actual film, you may have some familiarity with an amazingly helpful tool: the light meter। As digital video cameras continue to develop, many shooters have moved away from using a light meter. Especially as the new generation of videographers develop their skills without ever touching a celluloid camera, a light meter can be a rather overlooked tool. I know several excellent videographers who often shoot without the use of a light meter. But this doesn’t mean it is an outdated device that is no longer applicable to the new workflow of digital cinematography. Quite the opposite! Whether or not to use a light meter comes down to two things: (1) your own working preference, and (2) the type of project you’re shooting. What I’d like to discuss here are the occasions where I do choose the use a light meter (even though I am shooting digitally), why I use it, and how I use it.