RSS Matthew Jeppsen & Kendal Miller

Fresh DV

by Matthew Jeppsen & Kendal Miller

Matthew Jeppsen is the founder of FreshDV and a digital video shooter and editor. By most reports he is powered entirely by coffee. Kendal Miller has over 10 years experience in the production industry. Currently he is working as Director of Photography in Chicago, IL where he resides with his wife Kendra. He works on a wide variety of projects ranging from commercial to independent film projects, working on one of the first commercial Red projects in the midwest area. When he's not shooting film or video he enjoys still photography as a hobby....

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PMW-F3 Dynamic Range Test

Abel Cine tests Sony F3 Dynamic Range on the charts

By Matthew Jeppsen | April 01, 2011

Abel Cine has been doing a short series of tests on the new PMW-F3 camera from Sony, and the latest episode is a very thorough dynamic range test. In it, they chart the F3 at a solid 12-stops of dynamic range, and then go on to show how the various Cine Gamma modes affect the way information the camera is capturing. It's a very well done test video, watch below... Read More


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NFL Behind the Scenes DSLR POV

Stillmotion collaborates with NFL on a POV series shot on DSLR

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 31, 2011

Stillmotion has posted a very cool behind-the-scenes video that shows their helmet-cam in use for NFL Films, used to tell the story of new players going through training. It's a great application of compact DSLRs as POV tech, and they did a nice job creating a custom helmet-cam unit that appears to work beautifully. If you want to see more pictures of the helmetcam, head on over to Stillmotion's website. And check out the behind the scenes video below. Read More


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Editors: Quietly Making You Look Better Since 1903

How editing changed the face of Johnny Cash's "Hurt" music video

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 26, 2011

Here's a short excerpt from the 2005 DVD 'The Work of Director Mark Romanek' that talks about the making of the Johnny Cash music video for "Hurt." Romanek discusses how he initially conceived and shot a very straightforward performance music video in the home of Cash. It wasn't until the edit that they decided to add some archival footage, to add more emotional depth to the video... Read More


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NEX FS-100 Overview and First footage

Complete camera walkthrough and accompanying music video

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 23, 2011

Den from F-Stop Academy was lucky enough to be one of the first shooters to get his hands on the new NEX FS-100 camera from Sony, the little brother to the PMW-F3 camera (they reportedly share the same sensor). He's posted an incredible 18-minute camera system walkthrough, behind the scenes footage, and a completed music video shot with the camera. Watch below. Read More


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Your Daily Motion Graphics Inspiration

Stunning dynamic text tribute to Conan O'Brien's farewell speech

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 22, 2011

We've all seen these fantastic "dynamic text" videos, that use animated text, generally cleanly laid out on a simple background, to convey information-dense concepts. For corporate video producers, it's a good way to deal with the common situation when a client essentially requests what I call Video Powerpoint...that is, when the client demands a lot of text on screen, and isn't creative enough to explore telling the story in other ways. Read More


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PMW-F3 vs AG-AF100 vs 5D MKII

Comparison of Gain & Sensitivity and now updated with a Latitude comparison

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 21, 2011

Here's a quick side-by-side candle-lit comparison of the Sony PMW-F3, Panasonic AG-AF100, and the venerable Canon 5D MKII DSLR. The test footage was shot by Dennis Ersöz. This video clip very neatly shows how the native sensitivity of each camera compares, and also how clean the gain/ISO is at high levels. Watch below. Read More


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The subtle VFX work in Black Swan

Good VFX execution that doesn't draw undue attention

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 17, 2011

The filmmakers of Black Swan have been discussed for the choice to shoot much of the film on 16mm stock, as well as some coverage being shot on the Canon 5D and 7D DSLRs (see IMDB tech specs). But I've seen very little coverage of the visual effects in the film, which you may be surprised to learn are rather extensive, including full-head replacements for a number of Natalie Portman dancing shots. They are also very subtly and tactfully executed. Here's a behind the scenes video that shows clean plates, followed by composite and VFX plates... Read More


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Confirmation on Sony F3 native sensitivity

800 ISO native and 6400 ISO equivalent at 18dB gain!

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 27, 2011

A couple weeks ago FreshDV linked to a C47 video where Jem Schofield discussed seeing the PMW-F3 in use in a high-ISO test. At that time, Jem indicated he thought the native sensitivity rating of the camera was 800 ISO and that it offered a 6400 ISO equivalent with 18dB of gain engaged. He also talked about how clean the image was, even at 18dB of gain...which piqued my interest greatly. Well it's all been confirmed now by Andy Shipsides from AbelCine, as he posted these figures over on a DVinfo forum thread... Read More


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Shutter Speed vs FPS

Shutter Speed 101 for n00bs (and confused pros)

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 27, 2011

Here's a short video tutorial on the topic of Shutter Speed, which is at times confused with Frames Per Second. The tutorial is from a DSLR shooting series by the University of Waterloo, and it's a good primer on the topic. You can watch it below. Read More


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Which ProRes quality level is Good Enough when editing DSLR footage?

My experience using ProRes LT for Canon DSLR production

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 22, 2011

So I wanted to share some personal findings after working heavily with DSLRs for about a year and a half now. I've been converting most of my DSLR footage to ProRes LT for post-production, and have found it to be a good size-to-quality happy medium. In most cases, my projects will end up on DVD, web, or some kind of Standard Definition delivery, so LT allows me to strike a quality compromise that tends to be invisible after output. Even for HD applications, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find visible quality issues when editing with ProRes LT, assuming that you aren't pushing the image too much in color-correction and grading. And let's be honest, you probably shouldn't be heavily grading DSLR footage anyway...for as much as I love DSLRs, the footage doesn't like to be pushed hard. Read on... Read More


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Analyzing what you see in a film frame

Eye-tracking study provides data on where viewers look when watching a film

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 17, 2011

This new study by David Bordwell provides fascinating data on where viewers look when watching a film. Researchers used infrared pupil tracking to correlate attention to what was happening in the film, and their findings will surely be of interest to DoPs, Directors, and Editors alike... Read More


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Courage Under Lighting

A case study in set lighting for a music video. We deconstruct a set and examine the lighting approach.

By Kendal Miller | February 06, 2011

Recently I had the opportunity to direct a music video for a local Chicago band called Flatfoot 56. On this particular project, the narrative would be completely shot on a sound stage and the performance piece of the band would be shot at one other location. Lighting the performance location wound up taking roughly eight hours to rig, utilizing around 22 heads and drawing about 23,000 watts. So where did we end up and how did we get there? Come and take a ride along with us; our first stop is in Gary Indiana. Read on... Read More


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Constructing a helmet cam

Stillmotion on how they built a helmet-cam for an NFL shoot

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 02, 2011

Stillmotion has a blog post up with info on how they pulled together a makeshift DSLR helmet camera for POV shots. They built it around a standard skateboard helmet and a Canon T2i, with the addition of one of those el-cheapo wireless video monitors (I snagged one a while back, and it works great for the money). Head on over to their blog for more info and pictures. Read More


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10 Screenwriting Tips from Joss Whedon

Ten Tips from geek filmmaker royalty

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 01, 2011

Yeah, that title got your attention didn't it! Over at Scriptwriting in the UK there's a nice post with ten detailed tips on screenwriting, by none other than geek-filmmaker darling Joss Whedon. And a damn fine collection of tips indeed. My personal favorite is #5...quoted below: Read More


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Extra Extra, Free Light Leak Clips!

Read all about it!

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 31, 2011

Jesse Rosten is a studmuffin filmmaker, and he's giving away some light leaks that he created. These are excellent transitional elements, similar to the clips you'll find in Artbeats Film Clutter collections. You can also make your own light leaks by removing the lens from your camera and playing light across the sensor with a flashlight.But if you are lazy like most of us editors, snag these pre-made clips while you can. And if you aren't sure how you'd use them, watch the "Growing is Forever" video embedded below for a taste of Jesse's light leak goodness. Read More


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Panasonic AF100 Sensor Size Comparison

An answer for those who think the AF100 sensor is too small

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 15, 2011

One of the common questions that I've personally gotten in the past few weeks is in regards to the AF100's sensor size. There seems to be a common belief that this camera's 4/3s sensor is objectionably small in size. I personally think that this size issue has been overstated, that the 4/3s size is actually rather large...and that the real issue is one of expectations and perception. Read on, I'll explain... Read More


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The Heartbreaking Beauty of Pixar’s Films

As we review another year past, here's a sentimental look back at 15 years of Pixar brilliance

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 01, 2011

In 1995 Pixar released their first feature film, Toy Story. Since then, this amazing group of creatives has led in visual innovation and unique stories. As we review the year 2010, it seems fitting to share this inspiring mashup of Pixar films from the past 15 years. Enjoy. Read More


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ARRI Alexa vs Canon 7D latitude & grading comparison

Pushing pixels around to see where these two cameras fall apart

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 28, 2010

It seems a little absurd to be comparing a $1500 camera to the ARRI Alexa, but such is the world that we currently live in...DSLR video has made major inroads in production, and there are many situations where it is well-suited. But as with any tool, part of deciding when to use it is knowing where it fails. To that end, here is a video test chart comparison by Nick Paton ACS that shows how these two cameras fall apart when over/underexposed and then graded back to neutral. In short, this test highlights one key area where the Alexa is vastly superior to the Canon 7D. Watch and learn... Read More


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Daily Inspiration - The most realistic CG you’ve ever seen

Simply stunning work

By Matthew Jeppsen | November 19, 2010

This commercial spot was done entirely with CG, and it's simply beautiful. I would never have guessed this was done without live action high-speed filming. Read More


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Daily Inspiration - Graphic Animation, Subaru Style

This film looks better shot with a 1-degree shutter angle. Find out why.

By Matthew Jeppsen | November 10, 2010

180-degree shutter angle is the rule of thumb when shooting film & video. It almost always makes your images look better...unless you are a pro and you understand just when to break the rules. The following amazing Subaru spot is a great example of how to use knowledge of shutter angle/degrees to your benefit. It is all kinds of awesome! Watch below. Read More