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. An original part of the FreshDV team and contributing author to such magazines as DV and others Kendal enjoys providing industry training and education for others, and feels he often learns through the writing process as well.


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Ten Commandments of Making

Sage advice from maker Adam Savage

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 15, 2014

At the 2014 Maker Faire, mythbuster and creative Adam Savage spent some time talking about what it takes to be a Maker. He kicked off his talk by defining what he calls his Ten Commandments of Making. Maker Faire tends to have a craftsperson appeal, but what struck me was how well Adam's ten principles translated to the film & video industry. Here are Adam's Ten Commandments, paraphrased and expanded for creatives in production.

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Stocking Stuffers for Shooters and Cinematographers

Production gifts that are useful

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 09, 2014

With Christmas fast approaching, here are ten stocking stuffer gift ideas for the filmmaker. These are all tools I own, love, or use on a daily basis. 

1. Bongo Ties

$6 at Amazon

With a thousand uses for these handy rubber band ties, I try to... Read More


A Little Inspiration

Websites for mood boards, shorts, and creative inspiration.

By Kendal Miller | May 09, 2014

Let's face it, we don't always feel creative. I'm always on the look out for great sources of inspiration. Sometimes l need a little fuel in my creativity tank, and other times I'm looking for ways to visually represent my ideas to team members and clients. Here are a couple of... Read More


Daily Inspiration - NOMOS Glashuette

Daily Inspiration - NOMOS Glashuette

A simple, captivating piece on Swiss watchmaking

By Matthew Jeppsen | May 04, 2014

Sometimes you have to whisper to get someone's attention. I was struck by the clean simplicity of this short film about the process of making a NOMOS Glashütte Swiss timepiece. There are no flashy camera moves, no stirring emotional score. Just understated, clean compositions that get out of the way and let the content shine through. And the audio capture & sound design is perfect. Watch below.

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Using Google Earth and Helios For Location Scouting

Using Google Earth and Helios For Location Scouting

By Kendal Miller | May 01, 2014

It has been said that 90% of good cinematography is pointing the camera at something that looks good, and for me a large part of that equation means shooting the right time of day for the right location. I have used Helios for a while to help determine when and where I should be for the best light, but on a recent project I was able to push this technology to a whole new level. Cultivate Studios recently received a call from a client. They wanted to be shooting on location in Turkey in ten days and I had no budget for a scout to work remotely and I had never been to the country. It was time to do some homework.

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Working in the field with the Editshare Field 2

A multi-month case study of the Field 2 mobile system

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 03, 2014

Last fall I produced a large video project for a large youth summer camp based in the Ozarks. This organization offers an intense multi-week program for kids of all ages. My Arkansas video production company was hired to shoot and edit a number of video assets to be used in the camp's marketing efforts for the following season. Thanks to an existing relationship with Editshare (they have assisted FreshDV's NAB coverage in the past), I had the opportunity to work with a portable Editshare Field 2 unit throughout both production and post on this project. I wanted to talk about how the Field 2 fit into our workflow in this case-study.

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KinoGrip Wooden Camera Grips

Pimp Your Rig with something Comfortable and Custom

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 28, 2014

Wood handgrips have come back in to vogue lately. There's something lovely about a warm wooden grip when operating a handheld camera. It feels amazing, and it looks damn fine. There are several folks making wood grips these days, a lot of designs are similar to the look of the classic Aaton wooden grip. One company that has sprung up recently is KinoGrip, and they now offer a wide variety of custom trigger and non-triggered grips that hearken back to the Aaton spirit, but with an updated shape. I've been shooting with a KinoGrip for a while now, and love it. Read on for some photos and my thoughts...

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PVC Experts & Answers Webinars: Inside the Mind and Gear Bag of DP Matthew Jeppsen

Watch the archived version of the live event

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 10, 2013

DP Matthew Jeppsen talks through the kind of problems and solutions he runs into as a DP on a daily basis whil traveling domestically and internationally. Matt covers a wide range of topics but focuses primarily on docu-style shooting, with a lot of discussion about travel/destination shooting.... Read More


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How to Calculate Light Output Through Diffusion

You can't. You must test. Here are some test results.

By Matthew Jeppsen | November 12, 2013

Recently I was looking for a formula that would allow me to calculate how much light output I would get from a given size HMI once I punched it through a 12x12 diffusion frame. Calculating light output for an un-modified light source is pretty straightforward; tools like the iOS app Pocket LD offer a catalog of heads, and tell you what their photometrics are at a given distance. But diffusion is a much different animal...there are so many variables, really the only way to know how a light source output will be affected is by experience and testing...

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Cinevate Kickstarting a GoPro Stabilizer

Morpheus is a multi-use stabilizer for small cameras

By Matthew Jeppsen | November 12, 2013

Cinevate launched something very interesting today, a stabilizer system for small cameras. Morpheus is a stabilizer, tripod, and mini-dolly that they've been developing for years. 

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Daily Inspiration - Small Feet “Rivers”

Flames and slow-motion heli work. Simple, beautiful.

By Matthew Jeppsen | November 12, 2013

Sometimes it's the simple ideas that are most beautiful. This music video seems almost too simplistic; it's just a man on fire, an RC octocopter, and a FS700 shooting slowmo. And yet it is executed beautifully. Watch below...

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Alexa, Epic, and F65 get the Single Candle test

Digital Cinema low-light comparisons at 800 and 3200 ISO (and the F55 too)

By Matthew Jeppsen | October 18, 2013

CML just posted a few low-light comparison images from the Sony F65, RED Epic, and ARRI Alexa cameras. There is also one from from the F55, shooting the only ISO option that was available at the time of the test. All cameras were shooting log, and they have included DPX frames that you are free... Read More


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The Sound of “Gravity”

Mixing sound on Alfonso Cuaron's latest film

By Matthew Jeppsen | October 10, 2013

Here's an exceptional behind-the-scenes featurette that talks about the sound and foley work in Gravity. One interesting note...the Foley artists used transducer contact mics to create many of the sounds in the film…that is, they recorded vibration from contact, not airborne audio, which is similar to how astronauts would experience sound in space. They also talk about using Dolby Atmos to fine-tune panning and positioning of audio, and how that helped to mirror the disorientation of on-screen characters. It's a fascinating piece, watch below.

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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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