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‘Moonlight’ is the Big Winner at IFP’s 2016 Gotham Awards, Takes Home 4 Awards


FP’s 26th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards ceremony kicks off tonight, and this is the place to come for our coverage of the nominees as well as up-to-date information on all the winners.

Here are the nominees and winners (in bold) for each category:
Best Feature

Certain Women — Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani, producers (IFC Films)
Everybody Wants Some!! — Richard Linklater, director; Megan Ellison, Ginger Sledge, Richard Linklater, producers (Paramount Pictures)
Manchester by the Sea — Kenneth Lonergan, director; Kimberly Steward, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, Kevin J. Walsh, producers (Amazon Studios)
Moonlight — Barry Jenkins, director; Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, producers (A24) [WINNER]
Paterson — Jim Jarmusch, director; Joshua Astrachan, Carter Logan, producers (Amazon Studios)

Want to know more about the nominees for Best Feature?

In ‘Manchester by the Sea,’ Waves of Grief Punctuate the Year’s Most Tragic Performances
‘Film is a Gateway to Understanding People’: Kelly Reichardt on the Immersive Filmmaking of ‘Certain Women’
‘Moonlight’: Barry Jenkins on Why the Exquisite Film Nearly Killed Him

The Hardest Parts About Producing Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Paterson’? The Bus and That Very Special Dog

‘Moonlight’

Best Documentary

Cameraperson — Kirsten Johnson, director; Marilyn Ness, producer (Janus Films)
I Am Not Your Negro — Raoul Peck, director; Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck, Hébert Peck, producers (Magnolia Pictures, Independent Lens)
O.J.: Made in America — Ezra Edelman, director; Caroline Waterlow, Ezra Edelman, Tamara Rosenberg, Nina Krstic, Deirdre Fenton, Erin Leyden, producers (ESPN Films) [WINNER]
Tower — Keith Maitland, director; Keith Maitland, Megan Gilbride, Susan Thomson, producers (Kino Lorber, Independent Lens)
Weiner — Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg, directors and producers (Sundance Selects and Showtime Documentary Films)

Want to know more about the nominees for Best Documentary?

‘Search for Revelations’: Invaluable Cinematography Advice from DP Kirsten Johnson

‘Cameraperson’

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Robert Eggers — The Witch (A24)
Anna Rose Holmer — The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — Swiss Army Man (A24)
Trey Edward Shults — Krisha (A24) [WINNER]
Richard Tanne — Southside with You (Roadside Attractions and Miramax)

Want to know more about the films directed by the Bingham Ray Award?

How Mark Korven Avoided the Temptations of Temp Music to Score ‘The Witch’
Why is ‘The Witch’ So Terrifying?
‘Bad Ideas No One Else Wants to Make’: Meet ‘Swiss Army Man’ Co-Directors DANIELS
‘The Fits’: Why Oscilloscope Took a Leap of Faith on the Low-Budget Sundance Hit

‘The Witch’

Best Screenplay

Hell or High Water — Taylor Sheridan (CBS Films)
Love & Friendship — Whit Stillman (Amazon Studios)
Manchester by the Sea — Kenneth Lonergan (Amazon Studios)
Moonlight — Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney; Screenplay by Barry Jenkins (A24) [WINNER]
Paterson — Jim Jarmusch (Amazon Studios)

Want to know more about the Best Screenplay nominees?

Read 20 Oscar-Hopeful Screenplays: ‘Loving,’ ‘Manchester by the Sea,’ and More

Best Actor

Casey Affleck — Manchester by the Sea (Amazon Studios) [WINNER]
Jeff Bridges — Hell or High Water (CBS Films)
Adam Driver — Paterson (Amazon Studios)
Joel Edgerton — Loving (Focus Features)
Craig Robinson — Morris from America (A24)

Adam Driver in ‘Paterson’
Best Actress

Kate Beckinsale — Love & Friendship (Amazon Studios)
Annette Bening — 20th Century Women (A24)
Isabelle Huppert — Elle (Sony Pictures Classics) [WINNER]
Ruth Negga — Loving (Focus Features)
Natalie Portman — Jackie (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Want to read the screenplay for Jackie, Elle, and several others?

Download ‘Jackie,’ ‘Birth of a Nation’ and More Oscar-Hopeful Screenplays for Free

Breakthrough Actor

Lily Gladstone — Certain Women (IFC Films)
Lucas Hedges — Manchester by the Sea (Amazon Studios)
Royalty Hightower — The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Sasha Lane — American Honey (A24)
Anya Taylor-Joy — The Witch (A24) [WINNER]

Royalty Hightower in ‘The Fits’
Breakthrough Series—Long Form

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend— Rachel Bloom & Aline Brosh McKenna, creators; Marc Webb, Rachel Bloom, Aline Brosh McKenna, Erin Ehrlich, executive producers (The CW) [WINNER]
The Girlfriend Experience — Lodge Kerrigan, Amy Seimetz, creators; Steven Soderbergh, Philip Fleischman, Amy Seimetz, Lodge Kerrigan, Jeff Cuban, Gary Marcus, executive producers (Starz)
Horace and Pete — Louis C.K., creator; M. Blair Breard, Dave Becky, Vernon Chatman, Dino Stamatopoulos, executive producers (louisck.net)
Marvel’s Jessica Jones — Melissa Rosenberg, creator; Melissa Rosenberg, Liz Friedman, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, Jim Chory, Jeph Loeb, Howard Klein, executive producers (Netflix)
Master of None — Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, creators; Michael Schur, David Miner, Dave Becky, executive producers (Netflix)

Breakthrough Series—Short Form

The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo — Brian Jordan Alvarez, creator (YouTube)
Her Story — Jen Richards and Laura Zak, creators (herstoryshow.com) [WINNER]
The Movement — Darnell Moore, Host (Mic.com)
Sitting in Bathrooms with Trans People — Dylan Marron, creator (Seriously.TV)
Surviving — Reagan Gomez, creator (YouTube)

Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance

Moonlight — Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders [WINNER]

Gotham Audience Award

Moonlight [WINNER]

MoVi Pro is the Next Evolution in Stabilized Motion

The new MoVi Pro is a more sophisticated, battle-tested design.

When Freefly first released the test film for the MoVi camera stabilizing rig three years ago, it was an exciting moment for indie filmmakers. Shots that previously required expensive equipment were now possible on a reasonable budget. Some shots that were previously impossible were now almost easy.

This looks like a major step forward for stabilizers.

But the system—and its many, many copycats—suffered from problems that often plague first-generation products. It could take a long time to get the calibration properly set up. Restart times on battery swaps were time-sucks on set. Cabling was messy and prone to getting snagged, throwing off your shot, or exposure to the elements. The MoVi was great, but it at times felt more like a beta than a final release.

Today, Freefly has finally released the next generation: the MoVi Pro.

Now, the company that first popularized gimbal stabilization appears to be the company that is going to help it grow up.

Freefly is clearly driven by shooters and has had a close relationship with its customers out in the field; the evolution of the design really shows. For the first time, MoVi looks clean and well-integrated.
MoVi Internal Cable RoutingCredit: Freefly

By switching to internal cable routing, the new MoVi Pro not only looks like a designed device (and not something rigged DIY), but it’s also less likely to snag on nearby objects when executing a complicated move. It’s safer from inclement weather, and it’s going to be faster to set up.

The rig assembly comes with a built-in stand, making it easier for the operator to rest the MoVi.

To that end, the MoVi now offers a two-second boot time, so you won’t miss a shot waiting on the rig to boot. That feature might not matter much, however, since the system offers hot, swappable batteries; in theory, you could keep the stabilizer turned on all day and never need to boot up by swapping batteries live whenever one gets low.
MoVi ProCredit: Freefly

The Pro is also designed to offer camera and accessory power directly, so the only batteries you’ll need to worry about throughout the day are the MoVi Pro batteries.

In addition to power for camera and accessories, MoVi has worked to integrate RED Camera Protocol (RCP) for remote control of RED camera bodies. Even if your MoVi is on a drone in the air or at the end of a 20′ crane, you can change your RED camera settings, including checking playback, from the MoVi remote or the new MIMIC remote.
Credit: MoVi Pro

In order to expedite the rig setup, the Pro offers an auto-tune mode that is able to auto-calibrate as the camera setup changes. Time is money on set; time lost to calibrating a camera after a lens change is time you don’t get to spend shooting.

In a final, much-appreciated addition, the rig assembly comes with a built-in stand, making it easier for the operator to rest the MoVi when it’s not being put to dynamic use.
Built in stand for the MoVi ProCredit: Freefly

This looks like a major step forward for stabilizers, and one that is well positioned to keep Freefly ahead of the fierce competition in this space.

Packages for handheld or aerial work will come in around $6,500 and are expected to ship in mid-November. For more info or to order, head over to the Freefly site.
Tech specs

25.2V hot swappable MoVi Pro Batteries
Power Outputs: Camera D-Tap, Spine D-Tap, Tilt D-Tap, Tilt USB
Detailed info screen
Auto-tune mode for calibration
Custom designed direct drive brushless motors, twice as much torque as before
180° instant roll to go from hand held to TERO
Toad In The Hole Quick Release
Increased 30mm ring diameter
New MIMIC controller
Pro App
2 second boot time
60dB at 1Hz disturbance rejection
Built-in stand

Mars Gigapixel Panorama – Curiosity rover: Martian solar days 136-149

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NASA’s Mars Exploration Program (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
4 billion pixels panorama of Mars
Mars VR Panorama

The images for panorama obtained by the two rover’s Mast Cameras:

Narrow Angle Camera (NAC), which has a 100 mm focal length
Medium Angle Camera (MAC), which has a 34 mm focal length

The mosaic, which stretches 90000×45000 pixels, includes 295 images from NAC taken on Sols 136-149 and 112 images from MAC taken on Sol 137.

Copyright: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 90000×45000
Taken: 06/01/2013
Uploaded: 27/02/2013
Updated: 09/09/2016
Views:

1060145
Tags: curiosity; rover; mars; sol 136; sol 149; nasa; jpl-caltech; mars panorama; red planet; out_of_this_world; gigapixel; @tags-mars-panorama

Mars VR Panorama

Light & Motion Introduces 2 Stella Kits for Filmmakers on the Move

LED Expert Light & Motion creates two full featured bundles, the Stella Pro and the Stella Action, to make solid state lights an easier choice for a small, active crew.

Whether you started with a kit from ARRI, Dedo, Lowel or Ianiro, chances are you first learned about lighting with a small kit of lights, contained in a single case, that had everything you needed to light a scene. The likelihood is also high that your kit was Tungsten-based, as were all the aforementioned standards. Even if you have graduated to regularly working with a grip truck, there are still shoots where logistical or budget constraints warrant the use of a kit. But as lighting technology changes, our kits have to change along with it, and Light & Motion is hoping that your next one will be LED-based instead of Tungsten.
Light & Motion Stella Pro KitCredit: Light & Motion
Using custom built rolling cases from Tenba with protective foam inserts to help with organization and protection, both kits feature the new single point chip, on-board LED units. As opposed to more typical LED fixtures, which usually feature an array of lights, the Stella is a single point source of light. When working with LED units, an exceptional amount of diffusion often has to be used to smooth out the fringed shadows you can get from the multiple-point source. With a single point unit and no diffusion, you should get a single, clean shadow. Depending on the design of the rear reflector, it’s possible there will be a double shadow, but it’s still better than the dozens of overlapping shadows you get with a flat LED panel.

Stella 5000 on a droneCredit: Light & Motion

Light & Motion has also focused on durability with the designs, including a claimed waterproof rating of 328 feet and a drop rating of 3 feet. Even if you aren’t planning on using this underwater, the ability to work with the kit worry free in a rainy situation (while waterproofing your camera and cabling, of course) is a real bonus. The lights all come with internal, rechargeable lithium ion batteries that deliver a minimum of an hour of use, and sometimes up to 4 hours, depending on the intensity of the output. This combination of long battery life and small form factor make them a natural fit for aerial work, and Light & Motion also makes a drone version of the Stella 5000 available.
Stella Action kitCredit: Light & Motion

The Stella Pro kits are built around three lights, ideal for a three-light interview setup but flexible enough for a variety of situations, while the Action kits are built around a single light, and are designed to make it easy to grab-and-go a single light unit with all the necessary accessories. The kits are available in a variety of configurations depending on the power of the light unit required.

Full options and pricing are available on the Light & Motion site.
Tech Specs:

Waterproof to 328′
Dropproof to 3′
Lithium-ion recharageable batteries
1000, 2000 and 5000 lumen intensities available
.6, 1.1 and 2.5lb weight respectively
5000K light balance
120° beam spread
KUPO “click” stands

DJI Mavic VS GoPro Karma:DRONE OVERVIEW- What do I get?!

GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic Pro: Which Drone Wins?

The global drone market (also referred to as an unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV) is forecasted to eclipse $21B by 2022 representing a 20% uptick from 2016 according to market research company, Markets and Markets. While a great portion of this market is attributed to military or defense drones, the consumer drone industry is set to increase over 400% in the next five years due to technological advancements making drone flight manageable for beginners and increasing competition between top drone makers (Business Insider).

American camera maker GoPro recently unveiled its first drone, Karma, entering a burgeoning UAV industry and providing GoPro owners and enthusiasts a dedicated craft for flying their compatible GoPro cameras (sold separately from the Karma drone). Not to be outdone, leading drone manufacturer, DJI (short for Dai-Jiang Innovation), promptly broke news of its latest pocket-sized drone, the Mavic Pro, lending itself to numerous direct comparisons and discussions between the two from aficionados, aerial photographers, videographers, and content creators.

While the top speeds of both GoPro and DJI’s new drones (35 mph and 40 mph, respectively) are well within the new FAA rules “Part 107” recently released on June 21, 2016 for small unmanned aircrafts, both drones represent significant advancements in commercial drone technology particularly in portability, size, and maneuverability. As drones become increasingly popular and accessible in both price and portability, aerial footage (both drones feature live streaming capabilities) may begin to saturate photo and video media raising the bar for both content creation and audience expectations.

Beyond very notable size differences, each drone showcases a variety of new technological features. DJI’s Mavic Pro boasts the ability to be controlled and piloted through a user’s smartphone device with a number of auto-sensory features including obstacle avoidance and user follow automation. GoPro’s Karma features a removable gimbal and cloud-storage service (with GoPro’s new Plus monthly subscription) in addition to the camera brand’s suite of editing tools and apps.

To help consumers discern the salient differences between DJI’s Mavic Pro and GoPro’s Karma drone, influencer marketing company Mediakix shares the following infographic that breaks down each UAV over 20 primary categories ranging from basic specifications to camera capabilities to model pricing and availability dates.
GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic Pro

GoPro Karma vs DJI Mavic Pro Infographic

Halloween is here!

10 Iconic Shots That Remind Us Why We Love Horror
What do you see when you watch a horror movie?

Horror is a complex film genre that blends beauty and the macabre together to elicit fear in thrill-seeking audiences. They can be simple, blood-soaked tales about the dangers of vice, or they can be complicated challenges to society and the status quo (though, also usually blood-soaked), but one thing they all have in common is the fact that they feature some of the most disturbing, cringe-worthy, and terrifying cinematic images we’ve ever seen. To celebrate these scary, often beautiful images, One Perfect Shot put together what they think are the top 10 shots in horror film. Check it out below:

If you’re a horror fan, surely you could add a myriad more to the list, probably starting with your own top 10 horror films. If you’re into zombie flicks, you’re probably imagining shots from 28 Days Later, Night of the Living Dead, and Dawn of the Dead. If you’re into slashers, shots from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Sleepaway Camp might come to mind. If you’re a fan of the slew of body horror films that came out in the 80s, the special effects shots from The Fly, The Thing, Dead Ringers, and Videodrome are probably permanently imprinted onto your brain.

Here are a few of our own favorite shots from a range of different horror films. Feel free to share your favorites down in the comments! screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-12-30-40-am

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ARRI Completes Alexa SXT, Adds to SkyPanel, Master Grips, and More

In the wake of IBC 2016, ARRI has new announcements in lighting, camera, and accessory lines.
Lights

SkyPanel LED gets a new edition with the S120-C, its biggest fixture to date. Joining the S60 and S30 family, the S120-C is twice as long as the S60 but weighs nearly the same. The S120 outputs a soft, even beam of light with an aperture of 50.8” x 11.8” (1290mm x 300mm) and consumes less than 400 watts. It is slightly brighter than the S60-C and has an efficacy of 9 lumens per watt.

ARRI claims to have completed the development of the Alexa SXT cameras (Super Xtended Technology).​​

The fully tuneable LED adjusts from 2,800 K to 10,000K with high color rendering and is dimmable from 0 – 100%. The thin profile of the S120 offers DMX control, onboard battery options, an EtherCon port for network connectivity, and a USB connection for updates. As you might imagine, ARRI has also released all the necessary accessories with the fixture: honeycombs, egg crates, barn doors, diffusion panels, and a new fabric barn door dubbed the FlexDoor.
Features

Vibrant Color Selection (RGB+W Color Gamut)
High Color Rendering
Large Aperture (1290 x 300mm)
Low Power Consumption (400 W Nominal)
Tremendous Output – Brighter than 2kW Tungsten Soft Light
Lightweight and Compact
Interchangeable Diffusion Panels
On-Board Battery Connection (23 – 36V DC)
RDM Implementation
Available in Blue/Silver and Black
Fan Mode Selection

Camera

Good news for all Alexa XT EV, XT Plus, and XT Studio camera users: ARRI claims to have completed the development of the Alexa SXT cameras (Super Xtended Technology). For those who bought the cameras in 2015 and 2016, you can now upgrade completely free of charge to SXT at seven different locations including Munich, London, Los Angeles, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. If you happened to receive your XT prior to 2015, there is a paid option to upgrade to the full SXT version.

While SXT keeps the same sensor and user interface of the original Alexa design, its capabilities have been greatly extended. It’s now equipped with better electronics and a more sophisticated image processor that aligns with the Alexa 65. The SXT cameras can also manage more recording formats (HD, 2K, 4K UHD, or 4K Cine) with 16-bit in-camera processing up to 120fps. The SXT can also record a WCG (Wide Color Gamut) with images ready for color space standards like Rec 2020.

In addition to being able to record HDR, you can now also monitor in HDR. There’s also a new media bay that can accept SxS PRO cards, SxS PRO+ cards, CFast 2.0 cards, XR capture drives, and SXR capture drives.
Accessories

As part of the ECS (Electronic Control System) line, ARRI has announced four new Master Grip handgrips to provide full control of focus, iris, and zoom settings on cine lenses, including adjustable motor speed, zoom response, and motor limits.

Based on the classic ARRIFLEX handgrips, they can be mounted on tripod pan arms or studio pedestal heads. The Master grips can be used as focus and zoom demands for multi-camera setups with camera control functions, including user button access and record start/stop for ARRI and third-party cameras.

ARRI Master Grips
Combining camera stabilization with lens and camera control, they’re available in right-side and left-side grips with either a rocker for smooth zooming or a thumb wheel for iris or focus control.

Master Grip Left Wheel MLW-1

Left-side camera handgrip
Assignable user buttons and a finger wheel for iris or focus adjustments.
Includes a steel ARRI rosette and two LBUS interfaces

Master Grip Right Wheel MRW-1

Right-side camera handgrip
Assignable user buttons and a finger wheel for iris or focus adjustments
Includes a steel ARRI rosette and two LBUS interfaces

Master Grip Left Rocker MLR-1

Left-side camera handgrip
Assignable user buttons and a control rocker for super-smooth zooming
Includes a steel ARRI rosette and two LBUS interfaces

Master Grip Right Rocker MRR-1

Right-side camera handgrip
Assignable user buttons and a control rocker for super-smooth zooming
Includes a steel ARRI rosette and two LBUS interfaces

Want to Be a Steadicam Operator? Start With These 5 Tips

There’s no better way to learn Steadicam than to practice, but you need to begin with the basics.

Steadicam operating is a true craft that can take a lifetime to master. I’ve been Steadicam operating for over seven years and I’m still always learning, honing, and practicing my technique.

With the advent of gimbals, Steadicams have taken a back seat for many of today’s filmmakers, but I believe they remain the right tool for the right job. Gimbals are new and exciting tech but not a full 360 solution. And while I think the future is a hybrid of the two, there is still a reason to understand the basics of flying and operating the Steadicam.

When I first started out, I read books, watched Youtube videos, and searched forums—but there just wasn’t enough out there for me to grasp the basic operating concepts. With the high cost of entry coupled with the specialized aspects of operating, Steadicams are one of those true craftsman skills that you just can’t learn completely online. That being said, I will share some basic tips here that will give you the fundamental understanding you need to get started. By no means will you be up and running with these tips, but hopefully this will inspire you to discover your own best path to flying.

“My first Steadicam, a Tiffen Pilot, had me strapped in velcro, which was weird, but totally enough.”

1. Know the parts

GPI PRO TITAN ARM
GPI Pro Titan Arm
The arm. For me, the arm is the heart of the Steadicam. The arm becomes an extension of your body, connection to the sled, and is the central stabilizer for all movements. The arm usually consists of two segments that are supported by springs. While they all do basically the same thing, arms vary in size, strength, and price.

Tiffen Steadicam M1 sled
Tiffen Steadicam M1 sled
The sled. The sled is the vessel that becomes one with the camera rig. Camera, matte box, follow focus, power, monitor, all become a part of the sled, much like a tripod. The sled consists of a top stage, arm, monitor, battery rack, and gimbal. Ultimately, the sled has to balance on the gimbal to achieve dynamic balance (which we will get into later). While the sled must be robust enough to carry up to 80 lbs., it must also have hairline precision.

Aliens M56 smartgun with Steadicam bodymount
Aliens M56 smartgun with Steadicam bodymount
The vest. The vest connects your body to the arm, which connects to the sled, which makes you look like one gigantic cyborg looking bad ass. In the beginning, when cameras were over 50 lbs., the vests were just as robust, but as cameras have gotten lighter, so has the tech on the vests. Ultimately, the vest allows the weight and momentum of the rig to be placed on the body which has lot more power than your arms. My first Steadicam, a Tiffen Pilot, had me strapped in velcro, which was weird, but totally enough.

2. Understand balance and drop time

There are three aspects that I find to be the most important when balancing a sled: dynamic balance, drop time, and horizon. But what does balancing a sled even mean? Well, the sled must be able to achieve a neutral balance at the point of the gimbal on the sled so that when there is lateral movement, the camera floats effortlessly. How does one achieve this?

First, you need to position the camera, power, monitor, accessories and gimbal position on the sled to achieve dynamic balance. Basically, you need to get the all the elements of the sled on the top and the bottom to be balanced with the adjustable gimbal. This is done with major and minor adjustments on the top stage and bottom stage.

Next, Drop time, which is the amount of time the sled will drop from horizontal to vertical on the gimbal. You place the sled on a solid, beefy baby to fine tune the gimbal post position on the arm. The goal is to get a drop time of about 3 seconds. This will allow the operator the best options for flying.

I know all of this is hard to visualize, but doing it and seeing it in real life will answer all your questions.
3. When flying, let the rig do the work

Flying the rig is actually quite simple. Strap the vest on, attach the arm to the vest, then throw the sled on the arm. Rest your hand on the gimbal arm, and with your other hand feather the gimbal grip.

My main advice for the beginner is to let the rig do the work. The initial intuition is to control the rig and fight the springs and movements. The Steadicam is an ingenious invention, but true control is built around allowing the rig to do the work.

I could write pages about the movements, but you probably won’t get it until you try it on. Flying a Steadicam is much like riding a bike. There is nothing better to help you understand it than to just go ahead and try it.
4. Be diligent about mastering your skills

The one thing I’ll say about Steadicam is that it’s a tool, and a tool is useless if you don’t know how to work it properly. Read this book,The Steadicam Operator’s Handbook. Find a mentor, like I did with one of the best steadicam ops I know, BJ McDonnell, who gave me my first lesson. Take a class. Develop the right habits. Then, practice forever.
5. Consider investing in gear

Steadicams are expensive, and the initial investment is always tremendous. The pro gear rigs can cost upwards of 80K, while the smaller ones can cost 1-2K. My first Steadicam was a Tiffen Pilot and, although that was a major purchase, I couldn’t fly anything bigger than DSLR. At the time it was fine, but as time went on, I upgraded to a Steadicam Zephyr. While the Zephyr can’t fly the big rigs, it can fly most of the cameras that I get jobs for with a max camera weight of 25 lbs.

There are a multitude of rigs out there and I’ll do a big review of those on No Film School. Like cameras, they all have their quirks like cameras but fundamentally they all do the same thing. Find the rig that you can afford and see if you even enjoy the process. Steadicam is not for everyone and its a big commitment. I find the steadicamforum.com a great resource for user reviews on all the rigs out there.

We don’t view the world in handheld. We see it in a balanced, dynamic, mobile perspective. The Steadicam enhances this perspective and creates a visual that is unique and special.

At about 16:00 in of this video, you can see me showing the basics of flying the rig.

Drone Captures Skier in the Dead of Night


Mattieu Bijasson is a freeride skier out of La Clusaz, France. He has competed all over Europe for the Freeride World Tour, and does not shy away from steep couloirs and big cliffs.

RELATED: Drone Footage That Will Make You Drool

Bijasson recently submitted a video to the Rise Of The Drones Film Festival. The winner of the contest receives 4000 euros and a DJI Inspire 1. In Bijasson’s edit, he shreds a sick line in complete darkness, the only light produced is bright green LED lights on his skis and poles.

Bijasson hucks cliffs, hurtles spines and double backflips off of booters, and films all of it in the middle of the night on a drone. Prepare to be mesmerized as this French shredder fearlessly rips down the mountain.
Courtesy of: Teton Gravity Research
These guys always kill it

Record Good Audio on a Budget with These Affordable Setups Under $300

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Good audio isn’t cheap, but there are plenty of inexpensive options to get you much of the way there without breaking the bank. Here’s Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter with some great budget audio options, all for under $250 each:

These are the three setups, with a full parts list over on Caleb’s site (it looks like the mic stand he recommends may be out of stock, so there are some other options available that should do the job):

$129.05: RØDE VideoMic GO + Extras
$229.04: RØDE VideoMic GO + Zoom H1 or Tascam DR-05 + Extras
$131.26: Zoom H1 or Tascam DR-05 + Extras

Obviously some setups will be better than others in terms of what you’re trying to record. The Zoom H1’s internal mic won’t do very well if you’ve got to record from a distance — that’s where you’ll need the VideoMic GO. If you’re recording interviews or the subject is relatively close to the camera, these setups are all going to be good if you don’t have a lot of money to spend.

If you do have a little more money to spend, moving up to a true shotgun mic like something from the RØDE NTG series and possibly an audio recorder like the H4n or H6 will give you more options and better quality. Tascam also makes some great affordable handheld recorder/mics. If you need something with a wider pickup pattern that’s more configurable, RØDE also makes the Stereo VideoMic X, which will mount on your camera (though it’s a pit on the pricier side compared to these other options at $800).

These more expensive options will take you into the $400-$600 range depending on what you’re looking at, but if you do have a higher budget, there are some terrific recorders that will give exceptional audio from both of these companies. Unfortunately, once you move into a certain style of recorder, that will also make it more difficult to operate both camera and audio, so if you’re by yourself, try one of the smaller recorders from Zoom or Tascam first, and if you have a little money to spend, springing for a better microphone will help you get better sound from a distance.