“9+1” Production Journal: Day 2

Most of Day Two involved shooting a lengthy dialog scene in a restaurant. Nothing too crazy: two people chatting at a table. We all wanted to shoot in the restaurant’s glass-enclosed veranda, and I embraced the sun through the window as part of our lighting (using our own lighting as well, of course). This strategy mostly worked, but no […]

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“9+1” Production Journal: Day 1

I’ve been hired as the Director of Photography on a episodic detective thriller shooting in Tbilisi, Georgia. After two months of prep, today was the first day of principal photography. I hope to make periodic journal entries to track our progress. Day One was pretty good, all things considered. There were the usual small bumps and moments […]

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Picture wrap: “Germanuli Beer”

. One of the things I love about shooting commercials is how much visual diversity there is between projects. I recently shot a series of beer commercials for the Windfor’s agency in Tbilisi, Georgia. We shot three different spots in two days, and each one has a unique style. Whereas long-form projects such as feature films […]

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Inspiration from the Commercial World

I’ve come to believe that it’s often commercials and short films that are pushing the boundaries of cinema today. The best commercials are unparalleled in their ability to deliver narrative economy, emotional connection, and style. As a follow-up to a previous post, a few spots that I find inspiring: More than three years after its […]

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Note to Self: Fail Harder

Love this artwork made by students at WK12, the experimental ad school at Wieden + Kennedy Portland. The message is one I need to remind myself of every day. The view from Kostava Street: rain, and too much analysis. The continuing mission: Fail. More. Now.

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The Art of Layering

The visual complexity of successful motion picture work––particularly high-concept imagery––can be challenging to deconstruct, even for those of us who do it for a living. As the audience we know viscerally when a piece works, but it’s often difficult to understand what elements came together to create this effect, or even how the artists conceived […]

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A case study: color grading

There was a time early in my career when post-production work was less about color grading and more about basic color correction: making global color adjustments to rough in a general look (and fix photographic mistakes I made during the shoot). It was more broad strokes than anything else. These days the look I want […]

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