Dinner with the Alchemist Premiere 27May16

Dinner with the Alchemist Premiere

Crisislab’s debut feature, Dinner with the Alchemist, premieres Friday, June 3rd, at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood as part of the Dances With Films festival. It’s been a long road, we’re grateful to everyone that gave support over the years of developing this project. We...

7 Ways Actors Blow Auditions 16Dec14

7 Ways Actors Blow Auditions

I’ve seen thousands of actors over the past few years. Every actor should be doing the simple things to give themselves the best shot in the room. These tips should help, and most of them are easy and have nothing to do with your acting. 1) Don’t be a @#$% to anyone. An actor, who...

Kevin’s “Drone-ography” FAQ 12Mar14

Kevin’s “Drone-ography” FAQ

Many people have asked me similar questions about getting into aerial imaging.  I’ll update this list every time I get asked the same question more than ten times, so bring it on!  It’s a great hobby.  I hope it one day becomes a great profession.  But it’s confusing, tough to get started, and generally overwhelming.  None of my answers are “perfect” so let me know if you have something to add/improve. How should I get started? Easy: join the DC Drone User Group (or another DUGN if you live elsewhere).  Start going to all the events and [politely] asking lots of questions. I’m just a beginner but I want...

Why Dr. Who is Horrible & Great

On today, “The Day of The Doctor“, I find myself content with having the Dr. Who theme stuck in my head all day.  It’s a bit curious: I’m not a huge fan, and yet I seem like one.  I get more Dr. Who-themed gifts on my birthday than any of pop culture meme, and people...

Kevin’s Kit 28Sep13

Kevin’s Kit

) I said so many nice things about the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens in my WoMP videos that eventually they asked me to do a little video for them to feature on their site.  This details my gear set-up I use to film tons of stuff.  It’s not perfect, and I’m sure it will evolve soon,...

My Drones in Wash Post 21Aug13

My Drones in Wash Post

I’ve been working a lot on learning about remote-controlled aircraft for cinematography.  The thing is “remote controlled aircraft” is a quaint way of saying something more recently referred to as a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or Drone.  This matters, because the drones...

The Jake & Charlie Show 17Jul13

The Jake & Charlie Show

This was our entry into the May 2013 48 Hour Film Project in Washington, DC. All creative, story, writing, sock-puppet-making, shooting, editing, beginning-to-end was done in 48 hours. Genre: Drama Character: Alex/Alexa Burbrick, Inspector Prop: Drumstick Line: “What do you think this...

WoMP: <$1,000 Camera 22Jan13

WoMP: <$1,000 Camera

In this episode of Weapons of Mass Production we compare a few sub-$1,000 cameras to see which is best-suited to motion picture/video use. The cameras were: Canon T4i with 18-55mm kit lens ($899) Sony NEX-6 with 16-50mm kit lens ($998) Panasonic GH2 with 14-42mm kit lens, both stock and with...

WoMP: Action Cams 08Jan13

WoMP: Action Cams

In this episode of Weapons of Mass Production we compare a couple of the best action cams. It’s that time of year again:  when I go to run a couple cameras through the paces and shoot tons of crazy stuff on them that is probably well beyond their original intent.  A full narrative piece...

WoMP: iPhone Cinema 05Dec12

WoMP: iPhone Cinema

In this episode of Weapons of Mass Production we try to shoot the best possible video on an iPhone. I definitely started this episode off hoping to prove how great a simple camera is to shoot a movie.  After our iPhone stills episode, in which members of the general public couldn’t...

WoMP: Zooms 13Nov12

WoMP: Zooms

We got a lot of requests in the comments to talk about lenses, so here’s our first forray into that realm.  What kind of stuff do we look at when it comes to lenses?  And how do the manufacturer brands (Nikon & Canon) stack up against the cheaper 3rd party lenses? Clarity &...

WoMP: Flash/Strobes 01Nov12

WoMP: Flash/Strobes

For the record, I use the term “flash” and “strobe” interchangeably. Shutter, Meet Light: The continuous light portion of this is Photography 101.  As your shutter slows, it allows more light in over a longer period of time.  That makes your image brighter, and...

WoMP: iPhone 5 05Oct12

WoMP: iPhone 5

Doin’ It With The Lights Out: While the Nikon D3s isn’t the shiniest/newest camera off the line, it still has class-leading ISO performance.  That’s about as good as it gets.  The iPhone dragged it’s shutter to a half-second in order to get an exposure.  That’s...

WoMP: Lighting 11Sep12

WoMP: Lighting

In this episode we focus on what sorts of cheap lights we might use for production, what some of their limitations are, and how good we can make them look. How Much Can You Put Out? I couldn’t find bulbs with exact matches in exposure.  People selling you fluorescents tend to say they are 5x brighter for the same power.  In my experience it’s much lower than that when you need a harder source with throw, and it’s higher than that when you want a softer source (since fluorescents are naturally larger sources and need less light-blocking diffusion to get a similar softness). Four Bulbs One Guy:  This one is pretty self...

WoMP: Sound Recording 19Aug12

WoMP: Sound Recording

This episode of Weapons of Mass Production really focuses on sound recording techniques.  One of the things I was trying to do was make it fairly brand-agnostic.  The only make/model I call out is a cheap piece of crap.  The point is that recording clean field sound is much more about...

WoMP: Greener Screen 31Jul12

WoMP: Greener Screen

This is the latest of my not-quite-safe-for-work-but-ultimately-harmless camera/filmmaking/review show thing (I need to work on that pitch). We focus on greenscreen, and in particular finding just the right shade of paint.  It actually ended up being immensely challenging. Some background: ...

Workshop: DSLR Video 20Jun12

Workshop: DSLR Video

I’ll be teaching a fun workshop on June 24th for Capital Photography Center.  The workshop is all about using stills cameras to shoot video.  It’s going to be catered towards people that are fairly comfortable on the still-camera side of things, and are trying to get a better...

The F%^&ing Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D mkIII Shootout Part II 18May12

The F%^&ing Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D ...

This is part 2 of my previous test. It is even more idiotic, but I find the results very interesting, particularly for stills shooters. Pedantic analysis below. Test 7: Got Bits? This is my favorite test. I might have to come up with a normalized (repeatable) version of this. Because I think...

The F%^&ing Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D mkIII Shootout 04Apr12

The F%^&ing Nikon D800 vs. Canon 5D ...

This was by no means a comprehensive test, but I did try to make it as (i) real-world relevant as possible, (ii) accurate, (iii) idiotic. For my rambling analysis of the tests, read on.  It’s pretty boring though.  You’ll probably learn more and be more entertained just watching...

Writers’ Roundtable 05Jan12

Writers’ Roundtable

NEXT ROUNDTABLE:  TBD I’m organizing a regular writers’ read-through roundtable: a few screenwriters get together, take turns reading each other scenes/short scripts aloud, and briefly talk about them.  Rinse, repeat.  This is an opportunity to get together with a handful of fellow screenwriters, and work on our writing in a relaxed round-table environment. Writing screenplays is tough when you’re in a lonesome bubble.  My favorite aspect of my college screenwriting class wasn’t discussing theory and structure and studying the greats.  It was doing table reads of scripts-in-progress, discussing what was working and...

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