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Production Archives - Page 2 of 4 - Blog

Samsung NX1 – Drunk Drive


Bokeh Driver


Sometimes creativity can be triggered by one seemingly irrelevant thing. Sometimes that one thing can be right in front of you…hidden in plain sight. In my case that one thing was a stretch of winding road by my home that has thousands of reflectors on the median. I’ve driven this road hundreds of times. At night, the reflectors whiz by in a frantic blur and it suddenly reminded me of a video game I played as a youth…Atari’s NIGHT DRIVER. Read more…

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By vashi

The Visual Style of Wes Anderson

On 14, Nov 2015 | No Comments | In Cinematography | By vashi

Wes Anderson Visual Style



For more full film screen grabs covering the history of Cinema…

Visit FILM GRAB and enjoy!

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In Cinematography
Star Wars

By vashi

Cinematic Sunset Scenes

On 07, Nov 2015 | One Comment | In Cinematography, Star Wars | By vashi


THX-1138 / Star Wars IV / Raiders of the Lost Ark /  Star Wars VII

THX-1138 / Star Wars IV / Raiders of the Ark / Star Wars VII (CLICK TO ENLARGE)


Sunsets in movies are often cinematic moments that can also signal some kind of change about to occur. When used as a storytelling device, they become more than just beautiful shots. They can become iconic moments. When combining character, story and visuals…the beauty and grandeur of a daily natural phenomenon enhances the narrative and makes the viewer FEEL the moment. Here are 4 cinematic sunsets that had a profound effect on me:

Read more…

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The Editing of MAD MAX: Fury Road

On 30, May 2015 | No Comments | In Cinematography, Editing, Production | By vashi

Film Editor Margaret Sixel was given over 480 hours of footage to create MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. The final edit ran 120 minutes and consisted of 2700 individual shots. That’s 2700 consecutive decisions that must flow smoothly and immerse the viewer. 2700 decisions that must guide and reveal the story in a clear and concise manner. One bad cut can ruin a moment, a scene or the whole film. No pressure!


Right in the middle of it

Mad Max center framed


The most popular editing tendency for action scenes and films over the last 10 years has been the “Chaos Cinema” approach. A barrage of non-congruent and seemingly random shots that overwhelm the viewer with a false sense of kinetic energy and power. It can be effective in smaller doses, but exhausting and confusing when absorbed for 2 hours. If the story is incomprehensible due to editing…you are doing it wrong. So how do you keep action scenes energetic and fresh without shaky cameras and hypersonic editing?  Read more…

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In Cinematography

By vashi

The Cinematography of IDA

On 15, Jan 2015 | No Comments | In Cinematography | By vashi

Sometimes the composition of a static frame can overwhelm you. The power of a carefully crafted image can be staggering.The Polish film IDA was just nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar by The Academy.

90% of the film is shot on a locked off tripod. With so many tools (dollies, sliders, cranes, drones, steadicams, Movis…) available to filmmakers, it is refreshing to experience a movie that chose so many exquisite and deliberate static frames to best tell the story.

Each new shot reveals something about the lead character. Emotions, state of mind and the story’s drama are expressed by the use of camera placement and lighting…not by spoken words. Do yourself a favor and track down this stunning film to experience the power of the static camera.


Here are 52 of my favorite shots from IDA (click image to enlarge)


52 static shots from IDA



Shot on Arri ALEXA in 1.33:1 aspect ratio with Zeiss Ultra Primes. In post production, the color footage was converted to black and white with Nucoda.

IDA recalls for me, the classic cinema of the 1940’s, evoking visual elements of both film noir and Italian Neo-realism.


3 minutes of IDA


DP Ryszard Lenczewski took 3000 photographs to previz and storyboard the film.



Lighting diagram of kitchen scene

Lighting diagram for kitchen scnes


Learn more about the cinematography of IDA from the DPs

Lukasz Zal & Ryszard Lenzewski HERE and HERE.


SOURCE: LENSCULTURE article written by Alexander Strecker


“Ida: Sketches” – photos by Ryszard Lenczewski

one of 3000 photographs used to previz and storyboard IDA




Ultimate Aspect Ratio Guide
The Cinematography of The Ipcress File (1965)


Until next time…


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On 21, Oct 2014 | No Comments | In Editing, Low Budget Filmmaking, Production | By vashi

directed by Ric Roman Waugh


THAT WHICH I LOVE DESTROYS ME is a documentary film focusing on PTSD that I edited for director Ric Roman Waugh. On October 25th 2014, The Austin Film Festival hosted the first public screening of the film. Read more…

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David Fincher – PANIC ROOM 1-Page Film School

On 04, Oct 2014 | 2 Comments | In 1-Page Film School, David Fincher, Production | By vashi

With the release of GONE GIRL this weekend, many filmmakers and film fans want to learn more about David Fincher and his filmmaking style. His precision, artistry and impeccable style of storytelling is the result of decades of fine-tuning the filmmaking craft. He started his career at Industrial LIght and Magic (ILM) in 1983 and worked on Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Enjoy my 1-Page Film School on PANIC ROOM.

Title image from PANIC ROOM

The floating title sequence of PANIC ROOM (2002)

Read more…

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In Cinematography

By vashi

THE THING – Storyboards to Film Comparison

On 06, Jul 2014 | No Comments | In Cinematography | By vashi

John Carpenter’s THE THING is one of my favorite movies. The story, characters, score, location and practical visual effects are some of the most memorable in film history. In this classic horror film, there are several scenes that just DESTROYED me and left me cinematically scarred as a child. One scene in particular was so spectacular that just by saying ‘Chest-Teeth” or “Spider-Head” leaves people shaking their heads in disbelief and sighing loudly. The character of Palmer in the film sums it up nicely with…”You gotta be fuckin’ kidding.”


The Thing storyboard

The famous Spider-Head scene in The Thing


The visuals of both the desolate Antarctic and the ever-morphing alien creatures in THE THING were envisioned long before the movie was shot. Extensive storyboards were drawn by artist Michael Ploog and Mentor Huebner so that all the departments of the production were on the same page in their preparation for the shoot. This is nothing new…but the similarity between the storyboards and the final imagery shot by legendary DP Dean Cundey is staggering. Storyboards are often only a guide, but in this film they were so specifically rendered that they became gospel. The detail and artistry of Ploog’s work up front, allowed the crew to have clear and defined goals on those frigid shooting days in both Alaska and Canada. Read more…

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4K and Beyond – Video Data Rates

On 27, Jun 2014 | No Comments | In Cinematography, Low Budget Filmmaking, Production | By vashi

Today, Apple released a new video codec into the filmmaking post production world. It’s called ProRes 4444 XQ and it’s a mother-scratching beast.
At 4K (4096 x 2160) it registers 1697 Mbps which equals 764 GB/hour of 4K video footage. A single camera large Hollywood production can often shoot 100 hours of footage. That’s 76 TB of 4K ProRes 4444 XQ footage.

The upcoming David Fincher film GONE GIRL crept up on 500 hours of raw footage during its multi camera 6K RED Dragon production. That equates to roughly 315 TB of RED 6K (4:1) footage. Shit just got real for data management and post production workflows. It’s time to embrace the madness! Read more…



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In Cinematography

By vashi

THE THING – Atmospheric Anamorphic

On 25, Jun 2014 | No Comments | In Cinematography | By vashi

John Carpenter’s THE THING came out 32 years ago today. It is an epic horror film that has stood the test of time and plays as well today as when it first screened in 1982. Beautifully shot in Anamorphic by Dean Cundey, it completely captures the claustrophobic environment that encased the scientists in their Antarctic station. What is not often discussed are the massive landscapes and perfectly composed wide shots that are sprinkled throughout the film.


The Thing - Atmospheric Anamorphic

John Carpenter’s THE THING (1982)


Most of the photo essays that pay tribute to THE THING focus on the amazing creature design by Rob Bottin that set new standards for practical effects. I want to focus on 44 of my favorite Anamorphic shots that are rarely remembered but immediately recognizable and indelible to creating the atmosphere and impact of the horror that terrorized the characters and the audience. Read more…

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