Crafting the Film Look with Video
Focal Press – 2011 – 288 pages
Video-capable DSLR cameras give filmmakers a quality previously impossible without high-end cinema cameras. Exploring the cinematic quality and features offered by hybrid DSLRs, this book empowers the filmmaker to craft visually stunning images inexpensively.
Learn to think more like a cinematographer than a videographer, whether shooting for a feature, short fiction, documentary, video journalism, or even a wedding. DSLR Cinema offers insight into different shooting styles, real-world tips and techniques, and advice on postproduction workflow as it guides you in crafting a film-like look.
Case studies feature an international cast of cutting edge DSLR shooters today, including Philip Bloom (England), Bernardo Uzeda (Brazil), Rii Schroer (Germany), Jeremy Ian Thomas (United States), Shane Hurlbut, ASC (United States), and Po Chan (Hong Kong). Their films are examined in detail, exploring how each exemplifies great storytelling, exceptional visual character, and how you can push the limits of your DSLR.
"A huge thank you to Kurt Lancaster for giving a voice to HDSLR in this new trail-blazing book.? -Shane Hurlbut, ASC (DP of Terminator Salvation)
"This book should be in every camera bag. A rich, comprehensive, and poetic examination of how filmmakers and cinematographers are creating stunning moving imagery with HDLSRs." -Rodney Charters, ASC (DP of TV series, 24).
"Kurt has written a masterpiece in HDSLR books-something that everyone starting to make a movie should read.?-planetMitch (www.planet5D.com)
"Out of nowhere, two DSLR cameras came out, and over a period of 18 months, they have been embraced by everyone from Lucasfilm to keen enthusiasts .. This is easily the most exciting time I have experienced in my 20 or so years in the business.?-Philip Bloom, DP, Director, Filmmaker (www.philipbloom.net)
"It tells me exactly what I want to know - how to get the LOOK that I need. Hats off to the author for tackling this subject. It make the book INVALUABLE for the DSLR filmmaker." -Julian Grant, Producer/Director
"It will spread the revolution and introduce people to this way of thinking…it would be a must read for anyone who has been filming for a year or two and still thinks in the old ways of looking through a camera." -Andrew Jones, Cinematographer
"If you are new to filmmaking with a DSLR camera and are looking for a place to get started, or if you are a seasoned filmmaker and just want to add some knowledge to your experiences, DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video is a great place to start that will give you solid information that you can put into practice immediately." - Tracey Lee, dslrcinema.com
"[T]his is the best book/training material about HDSLR video I have seen so far.. It summarizes of all the information available on the net about HDSLR on top of which Kurt has added interesting case studies and behind the scene tips from other shooters."---Canon5DTips
"A valuable reference to DSLR camera abilities, offering case studies from an international cast of DSLR shooter and covering all the basic tools, techniques, and composition opportunities of DSLR."--CA Bookwatch
"This is a fantastic resource for anyone just getting into the DSLR game. It has tons of information on using these cameras for the good of film kind. Kurt does a great job of breaking down everything from equipment to technique."--WideOpenCamera.com
"It's rare for me to make a simple, blanket, superlative statement like this, but I absolutely love this book. I'm usually suspicious of technology specific books like this that would logically become outdated with the release of 'next years model' of camera or technology, but this book is different for so many reasons. Its difficult to narrow down what I loved most about this 320-page soft cover] book, but pressed I would have to say the professionals' comments. Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) shooters from around the world explain their experiences with this new technology and I couldn't get enough (luckily Lancaster has a website where the fun continues).. The book is inspiring, well written, excellently paced and chock full of pictures, screen shots and illustrations that tie everything together. One of the best cinema production books I've read."--VideoMaker Magazine
"Over the past year DSLRs have become a powerful tool utilized in cinema. From indie production to hollywood work, they have become a tool that is taken seriously by filmmakers everywhere. And now thanks to Focal Press and Kurt Lancaster, there is finally a physical guide to using them. There are some cons to publishing a detailed guide like this on paper. But its sooo nice to have a physical book with this many features in ones hands. Learn to think more like a cinematographer than a videographer, whether shooting for a feature, short fiction, documentary, video journalism, or even a wedding. DSLR Cinema offers insight into different shooting styles, real-world tips and techniques, and advice on postproduction workflow as it guides you in crafting a film-like look."--DSLRvideoshooter.com
"This book will teach you to think more like a cinematographer than a videographer, whether shooting for a short fiction, feature, documentary, video journalism, or wedding. This account offers insight into different shooting styles, real-world tips and technique, and advice on postproduction workflow. 'DSLR Cinema' guides you in crafting a film-like look, case studies feature an international cast of cutting edge DSLR shooters, including Philip Bloom, Bernardo Uzeda, Rii Schoer, and others. Their films are examined in detail. The book covers the fundamental tools and visual techniques related to great stories offers wide array of technical information composition, camera movement, lighting; includes companion website which shows the films discussed in the book; offers inside perspective from master class of DSLR shooters."--NeoPopRealism
Part I Using the Cinematographer's Toolkit to Craft Astounding Images with DSLRs
Chapter 1 Composition, Blocking and Camera Movement
Chapter 2 Lighting
Chapter 3 Tonal Scale, Exposure, and Lenses
Chapter 4 Using Picture Styles
Chapter 5 Recording Quality Audio
Chapter 6 Postproduction Workflow and Techniques
Part II Master DSLR Shooters at Work
Chapter 7 Case Study 1: Getting the Film Look in a Short Fiction: Casulo (2009), directed by Bernardo Uzeda, Brazil, 17 min.
Chapter 8 Case Study 2: Getting the Film Look in Documentary Journalism: 16 Teeth: Cumbria's Last Traditional Rakemakers (2009), directed by Rii Schroer, England, 2:29 min.
Chapter 9 Case Study 3: Getting the Film Look in a Short Documentary: A Day at the Races (2010), directed by Philip Bloom, United States, 6 min.
Chapter 10 Case Study 4: Getting the Film Look in a Short Fiction: Chrysalis (2010), directed by Jeremy Thomas, United States, XX min.
Chapter 11 Case Study 5: Getting the Film Look in a Short Fiction: The Last Three Minutes (2010), directed by Po Chan and Shane Hurlbut, ASC, United States, 3:37 min.
Part III Getting the Gear and Telling Your Stories
Chapter 12 DSLR Cinema Gear by Budget
Chapter 13 How to Tell Better Stories with Your DSLR
Afterword by Philip Bloom
Appendix I Image Resolution
Appendix II ISO Tests for the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D
Appendix III Exposure and Dynamic Range
Appendix IV Luminance and Chrominance Compression
Kurt Lancaster has shot documentaries that have screened nationally and internationally. He has also consulted for the Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, training some of their print journalists in video journalism, as well as shooting and editing documentary journalism pieces. He is also an assistant professor of digital media in the School of Communication at Northern Arizona University, where he teaches courses on documentary multimedia production, scriptwriting, and production techniques. Kurt earned his PhD from New York University. His students have gone on to earn video journalism awards, screen documentaries at film festivals, as well as creating independent video companies. Dr. Lancaster's essays and articles on journalism, popular culture, performance, and communication have appeared in the International Journal of Communication, the Performing Arts Journal, Modern Drama, Journal of Popular Culture, Journal of American Culture, and The Christian Science Monitor. His previous books include: The Documentary Journalist: The Art and Craft of Video Journalism for the Web. Building a Home Movie Studio and Getting Your Films Online (Watson Guptill, 2002). Warlocks & Warpdrive: Contemporary Fantasy Entertainments with Interactive and Virtual Environments (McFarland, 1999).