Cinematography with Gale Tattersall

I first discovered Creativelive when photographer Jeremy Cowart posted a link to an interview he did with Chase Jarvis. After I watched that interview I must have spent a few hours watching some of Creativelive’s workshops. I then became a devoted student.

I got an email announcing the news that Gale would be teaching a Cinematography workshop with the HD DSLR. The requirement was to send in a video. I for one hate bring on camera but I knew this was a chance in a life time.

My video was chosen and off  I was to Seattle to learn film making from House’s Director of Photography, Gale Tattersall.

Gale was one of the first people in Hollywood to use the HD DSLR for production filming. Word began to spread that these small cameras could produce high-end quality video.

Ending all excuses.

I enjoyed learning from Gale because he not only embraces new technology but has been working on films for years.

Here are some things I learned while in the workshop. You can buy the videos here if you like.

-“To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.” Alfred Hitchcock

-Use the right camera for the right situation

-The HD DSLR was first used on House to solve a problem: Great for filming in tight areas.

-Using more than one camera side by side to get the same performance but different framing.

-Use the depth to field & framing to better tell the story.

-Direct the eye. Control the depth to field, what you want the viewer to look at.

-Use lighting to tell the story, don’t over romanticize every shot. Sometimes things need to be ugly and uncomfortable. Good cinematography is invisible. Make it to follow the story.  It’s easy to take it in the wrong direction. Each scene can have a different “genera”.

-Do camera test. See which ISO works best with less grain. (160/320/1250). Camera test will save you time.

-Set white balance according to the lighting temperature.

-Separate your eye from your brain. See what is really there: color reflections, shadows, white balance degrees, lighting, background, etc.

-Know the rules before you break them.

-Talk with the director and writer so you have a clear vision of the project. The director is the captain. Get on his wave length.

-Play with the subconscious.

-Understand lighting, don’t make it noticeable. It’s all about what kinda film you are making. Use the particle lighting in the scene to light the scene: windows, lamps. Justify where the light is coming from. Direct the eye with lighting. Lighting gives attention. Darken the background and illuminate the subject.

-If film making is in your soul, don’t stop, keep on doing it.

-With the HD DLSR cameras you can “dream less and do more.”

photos by: Creativelive & Michael Kleven

Wow that was a lot.. and so much more. Here is a fun video we created in the workshop. When we were previewing the raw footage Gale complement my shot. 🙂 twice. (@:37/@:58)

 

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