"Pick up your camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister stars in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you're a director. Everything after that you're just negotiating your budget and your fee." ~ James Cameron

Archive for the tag “film making”

How To Be a Better Camera Operator – Part 3: EQUIPMENT

Through The Lens Film School

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Welcome back to part 3 of my “How To Be A Better Camera Operator” series (if you haven’t read part 1 and part 2… what are you waiting for?! Haha). In this post we’ll be looking at Camera Equipment – there’s lots of information flying around all over the place about gear, so sometimes it can be very tough to see what’s really important about the kit you use. In this post I’ll try to cover what you need, why you need it and how to make sure it keeps doing what you want it to do!

This one’s a long one, it’s hard to condense this kind info… So without further ado, buckle up and let’s begin!…

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Tropfest Film Idea!

Wow wow wow! So today I’m meant to be studying for my exams…and out of the blue it’s just like ‘BANG!’

All I could think about was film college and film making and Tropfest! It was like BOOM boom BOOM… left right and centre!

Of course I just wanted to procrastinate, because honestly, who enjoys studying?!!! But but but (and please ignore the fact that I just started a sentence with the word ‘but’…3 times…)…I came up with a mega cool idea for my Tropfest Film for 2013.

Now I can’t go giving away all the details just yet…but I will give clues and post clips about my film making process for this festival. Whoop whoop! Can’t wait!

So clue #1: It will be innocent, funny and serious…ALL IN ONE FILM! Exciting stuff I know!

Happy film making 🙂

PS- How is your Tropfest film coming along? Would love to hear the details 😀

How To Be a Better Camera Operator Part 2: TECHNIQUE

Through The Lens Film School

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Welcome to part 2 of my “How To Be A Better Camera Operator” series (if you haven’t read part 1 click here). In this post we’ll be looking at Camera Techniques – what tricks or techniques do you require, or could you improve on, to be the very best Camera Operator you can be? Read on!…

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Tropfest 2013 Guidelines

It’s not long to go till the most amazing film festival that brings so many people together just sharing their passion for film/film making. If you haven’t checked out the Tropfest website yet…here are the guidelines for the films:


• Your film must be made specifically for Movie Extra Tropfest 2013
• Movie Extra Tropfest 2013 must be your film’s first public screening
• Your film must be no longer than 7 minutes (including titles and credits)
• Your film must contain the 2013 Tropfest Signature Item (TSI) “BALLOON”

I can’t wait to see all the films in 2013! I’m sure they will be magical…make sure your film is the one that makes me and the rest of the world go ‘WOW’!!!

Happy film-making 🙂

Steps To Freedom – Citizen Journalism/Film Making

I think it is important for us to realize that film making is about the story, the meaning and what message you communicate to the viewers. It doesn’t need to be perfectly shot…the meaning of a film can sometimes be more powerful if it is raw and simply shows things as they are.

Although not technically brilliant, this is a film that I find to be very powerful…

How To Be a Better Camera Operator – Part 1: MINDSET

Through The Lens Film School

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Being a professional camera operator is a highly skilled job, which requires many qualities. It’s not just a case of just looking down the viewfinder and shooting. Sadly many people think that’s all there is to it, but in reality this is just the start.

The following guidelines are a result of my many years of shooting as a documentary cameraman and drama DoP.  Professional operators practice this stuff “day-in, day-out” because high standards really do matter.

I’m going to cover my top guidelines in 3 parts, which I will release separately over the next couple of weeks:

  • Part 1.  The Camera Operator’s Mindset
  • Part 2.  Camera Operating Techniques
  • Part 3.  Care and Handling of Equipment

So if you’re really serious about getting to the top of your career… and I’m assuming you are…read on. For all you Producers, Directors and Camera Operators out there I hope…

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KONY 2012 – Brilliant Film Making

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the KONY 2012 campaign, you have to acknowledge that this is a brilliant piece of film…especially the editing!

Whether you believe it or not, it is inspirational as well as motivational…and it is a film that has the potential to change the way that the world approaches issues.

Film is powerful.

You only have to look at the responses to the KONY 2012 film to see that it stirred people to speak out and say what they believe.

Happy Film Making 🙂

Lighting for Film & TV – Part 2: 3 Point Lighting

More lighting tips! 3 Point Lighting-Part 2
Happy Film Making 🙂

Through The Lens Film School

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If you can light an orange so that it looks or photographs as smooth and round as a billiard ball, you are ready to light close-ups and portraits of living people.

– John Alton, Cinematographer.

So… Lighting: It’s a huge subject, but I thought I’d attack the very basics in part 2 of this series – 3 point lighting. If you haven’t read the intro to this series you can find it here.

3 Point Lighting is a common technique that can be used for both documentary AND drama. It’s the foundation of most lighting techniques and is relatively quick and easy to setup. Please keep in mind that although I make a lot of references to lighting interviews here, these techniques are perfectly transferable to lighting your lead actors in a film, musicians in a music video or products in a commercial.


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Boo! – Tropfest Finalist 2012

The World’s Top 10 Directors

What makes a good director get on the list of the ‘World’s Top 10 Directors’ list?

As any normal human being who wants information, I headed straight to Google. I typed ‘inspirational film makers’ into the search box, and many articles appeared below. One that I found particularly interesting was the list of the ’40 Best Directors’ by the website.

They listed the directors name, with a photo on the left hand side so that whoever may be reading it can figure out who this ‘must know’ director is…As well as the basic details about why they make an excellent director. They included information rating the directors in 5 categories: Substance, Look, Craft, Originality and Intelligence.

The Top 10 Directors as determined by the ‘Guardian’ were interesting and so I thought it would interest other film makers too.

I would love to know about whether you agree or disagree with this list? Would you take any director off it and replace it with a candidate of your own? If so, who?

1. David Lynch

2. Martin Scorsese

3. Joel & Ethan Coen

4. Steven Soderbergh

5. Terrence Malick

6. Abbas Kiarostami

7. Errol Morris

8. Hayao Miyazaki

9. David Cronenberg

10. Terence Davies


Would you place all of these directors in the Top 10 List of the world’s top directors?

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