How to film your Vegas fling and get away with it

Last fall, I was approached by VivaVegas.tv, a Las Vegas events promotion company, to create a branded video about one of their nightclub parties at Haze.  I’ve never had a particular interest in shooting at clubs, or events of any kind, because

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The $350 docu-filmmaking kit: Depreciation is Wonderful

Last week, I went out with some friends for yet another night on the town.  I brought along my Sony NEX-5n with a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 pancake lens and made the short “Tuesday”. I recently discovered that this combo can be bought

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“Roadside” – Impromptu GH2 Short Film

I’m currently on a reality shoot in Texas and had my Panasonic GH2 along for interviews.  During a drive from San Antonio to Austin, I got an itch to go jogging and pulled off at a random exit.  I noticed the wind

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Handheld Filmmaking with Dual Cameras, Part One: Production Gear

I’ve been doing a lot of “dual-cam” documentary shooting over the last several months. By dual-cam, I mean filming two angles at once by operating two handheld cameras.  The main advantage of this is being able to record both characters in a

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Filmmaking with just one lens

While it can be tempting to bring a wide arsenal of lenses on a shoot, sometimes you really only need one.  Being restricted to a single focal length forces the filmmaker to think creatively about framing, and provided you’re using a “normal”

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Sony RX100: Pocket Cinema Camera

I have long dreamt of the ability to video-blog my life in a cinematic yet low-profile way.  To me, this means the ability to attain shallow depth-of-field, clean low light performance, and full manual controls.  And everything has to be able to

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My “one bag” GH2 docu filmmaking kit in explicit detail

Run and gun can be tough when you’re also trying to be cinematic. Here’s a kit I’ve been using for the last few months that allows me to be agile, creative, and low-profile.  Plus, it fits in a single medium-sized SLR bag.

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DIY “wireless” mic: lav mic + portable recorder + DIY belt clip holster

  If you want quality lav mic audio, the cheapest, easiest, and most worry-free solution is to plug a decent quality lav microphone into a portable recorder and have your talent wear the recorder.  You then sync it in post with Pluraleyes or FCP X’s

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15 tips for run-and-gun DSLR docu-verite shooting

Docu-verite DSLR shooting is a difficult road to travel when you’re a one-man crew.  By docu-verite, I mean filming the unpredictable, i.e. spontaneous conversations; going from exterior to interior lighting; dialogue scenes in noisy environments; night shots from vehicles.  You can attempt

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