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by Matthew Jeppsen & Kendal Miller

Matt Jeppsen is a freelance cinematographer, and Kendal Miller is a director at Cultivate Studios. They often collaborate on film & video projects, and you'll find related musings here....

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The Great Gatsby VFX

Before and After examples

By Matthew Jeppsen | October 07, 2013

Here's a lovely before and after peek at the extensive VFX and compositing work in Great Gatsby. As a DP who prefers to shoot things practically, I'm frankly surprised at the need to make up some of these locations in post! I'd love to know the budgetary and scheduling limitations that pushed these filmmakers to do some of these shots with visual effects instead of live. Watch below.

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Cine Gear 2013 Wrapup

Thoughts and Impressions from the Paramount backlot

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 03, 2013

I've always enjoyed the pace of Cine Gear more than NAB expo. Set on the Paramount LA backlot on street sets and amongst huge sound stages, it's smaller, more intimate, and a lot more cine-focused. It's one of the highlights of my year, and Cine Gear 2013 this last weekend was no exception. Here are a few things that caught my eye as I was browsing through the fake streets of New York. Read on...

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Free VFX Tracking Markers

Snag these DIY templates

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 19, 2013

Need some VFX tracking markers? Here, get some.

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Daily Inspiration - Paperman

This animated short is a master class in visual storytelling

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 31, 2013

There's an Oscar nominated short that's making the rounds this week. It's called Paperman, and is a six minute animated Disney short that preceded Wreck-it Ralph in theaters. In my opinion, it's a master class in visual language and shot coverage. The cinematography and pacing of this piece is flawless. Watch below...

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Daily Inspiration - Words as Images

Distilling the meaning of word into clean motion graphic elements

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 17, 2013

This is a really cool project...the challenge was to create an image out of a word, using only the letters in the word itself, and using only the graphic elements of the letters. The result is some very clean and clever motion graphic elements. Sound design also plays a big part. Watch below.

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Daily Inspiration - JP Auclair Street Segment BTS

Behind the Scenes of a creative skiing video

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 04, 2013

I love BTS videos. There is so much to be learned about how creatives put something together. Not just the technical minutae, but also the reasons for the choices they made...and the happy accidents that sprang up along the way. Here is a great little BTS video that covers how the JP Auclair Street Segment was shot. Watch below...

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Before & After VFX for Final Destination 5

A detailed BTS look at a VFX-heavy sequence in the film

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 21, 2012

Here's an awesome behind the scenes look at the bridge sequence in Final Destination 5. This scene is very heavy on visual effects, with a lot of work put into integrating practical sets, actors, and visual effects. Even with all the greenscreens they built at the practical locations, the sheer amount of rotoscoping work that had to happen here makes my head spin. Watch below...

 

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BTS of a car chase stunt for Fast and Furious 6

How the Big Boys do stunts

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 14, 2012

Here's a cool stunt sequence for Fast and Furious 6, in this short BTS you get to see them drop a car and a load of prop debris right into the middle of a car chase. It looks like they're rolling 6 cameras including the two car-mounted russian arms and remote atv. Very cool peek at how the big guys do production. I'd say that one of the biggest surprises for me is that they shot it on film and not digital.

Try to ignore the obnoxious music and watch below...

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The Art of Creating Awe

Oscar-winning VFX guru Rob Legato on how to connect emotionally with your audience.

By Matthew Jeppsen | August 22, 2012

Rob Legato took the TED stage earlier this year to talk about a few things he learned working on Titanic, Hugo, and Apollo 13. What I find useful for filmmakers, is that he learned the audience didn't necessarily respond well to realistic or accurate visuals, but to how they remember the visuals. It's a subtle, but important distinction. "When we're infused with enthusiasm or awe, it changes perceptions of the things that we see and what we remember." Watch his talk below. Read More

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Shining a little light on Adobe’s CS6 Education pricing

Very reasonable pricing options for Students and Educators

By Matthew Jeppsen | August 20, 2012

Software piracy. Nobody likes to talk about it, but let's be frank; it's a thing. And when a company like Adobe comes out with an all-encompassing software package like Creative Suite 6, which can cost several thousand dollars (Creative Suite 6 Master Collection is about $2500, and Creative Suite 6 Production Premium is about $1800 USD), some people are going to choose to steal the software. You know it, I know it, and Adobe knows it... Read More

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Pixar’s Story Rules

Insightful tips for writing and story development

By Matthew Jeppsen | July 01, 2012

Recently, Pixar story artist Emma Coats tweeted a series of tips for story development and screenwriting, and they are profound. Tip #8 is something that every filmmaker should know and practice: "Finish your story, let go even if it's not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time." Here are a few others that I like... Read More

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John Cleese on Creativity

Tips on how to "be creative" from a very creative Python

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 25, 2012

And now for something completely different. I grew up loving Monty Python, so I was delighted to find this presentation by Python John Cleese on the subject of creativity. In the video embedded below, he breaks down what he has found necessary for the creative process into five specific things: 1. Space, 2. Time, 3. Time, 4. Confidence, 5. Humor. Cleese expands on each of these five points at length in the video, with his trademark wit and sense of humor. What follows are my notes on each point, along with the video... Read More

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Alphatron EVF - Cine Gear LA 2012

EVF with HDMI, HD-SDI, and cross-convert

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 10, 2012

We dropped in at the BandPro booth to chat with our friend Randy about the new Alphatron EVF solution they will soon be carrying. The Alphatron uses a display that you are probably familiar with, from a popular fruit-related smartphone. It's coupled with the backend from a TV Logic monitor that allows you to input HD-SDI or HDMI, and also cross-convert from either of them to the other type of output. Read More

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FOR-A FT-ONE camera - Cine Gear LA 2012

An update on the 4K slow motion camera from FOR.A

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 08, 2012

We dropped by to check out the 4K FT-One slow motion camera from FOR-A. One of the interesting notes I picked up from this interview is the fact that the FT-ONE camera has a global CMOS shutter, which means it would not be subject to CMOS skew, jello, and flash-frames. Watch below... Read More

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Ikan - Cine Gear LA 2012

A unique Wireless Monitor from Ikan with onboard proxy/dailies recording

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 08, 2012

At Cine Gear LA, Ikan gave us the rundown on the brand new MR7 monitor, with built-in SD card recording for dailies, proxies, and on-set playback. They showed it attached to a wireless setup that allows you to work untethered. We also got a look at the entire D-series line of monitors. Read More

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Zacuto - Cine Gear LA 2012

A top handle for the FS100 and RED cameras, and the new 5D MKIII Zfinder Frame

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 08, 2012

At the Zacuto Cine Gear booth, we got a look at their top-handle solution for the FS100 and RED Scarlet/Epic cameras, as well as the new Zfinder frames for the 5D MKIII camera. Watch below... Read More

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Industry Tape - Cine Gear LA 2012

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 08, 2012

How can you possibly improve on the perfection that is Gaffer's tape? We dropped by the Industry Tape booth at Cine Gear for a chat with Gus about how they are improving this essential on-set expendable. Read More

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CueMaster Boom Pole - Cine Gear LA 2012

A unique audio boom solution that carries the weight and allows you to effortlessly aim the mic while fully extended

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 07, 2012

While at Cine Gear, we came across this very interesting audio boom system from Rabbit AV called the CueMaster. It's a booming solution that carries the weight of the pole, extending your reach and giving you the ability to swivel and aim the mic at the end. Watch below... Read More

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Cinevate FS100 PL Mount & MoCo - Cine Gear LA 2012

A look at the finished FS100 PL lens mount (with support for other mounts) and an update on the Cinevate motion control system

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 07, 2012

Cinevate's Luke Grandmont gave us an update on the shipping version of the FS100 swappable lens mount system (with support for all the major popular lens types, including PL), as well as an update on their motion control system for the sliders, thanks to a new partnership with Dito Gear. Watch below... Read More

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Misc Interesting Things - Cine Gear LA 2012

Cool flare flag clamp, ARRI/Zeiss Anamorphics, MidasMount Snapfocus, and the Fujinon 19-90mm PL servo zoom

By Matthew Jeppsen | June 07, 2012

This segment from Cine Gear '12 has a few very interesting short segments, including new Zeiss Anamorphic Concept Lenses from ARRI, a cool articulated flare flag by Dinkum Systems from Filmtools, the Midas Mount SnapFocus, and an update on the Fujinon Cabrio 19-90 PL lens with ENG servo controls. Watch below... Read More

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