Schedule for upcoming CreativeLIVE HDDSLR Workshop

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We’re here in Seattle setting up gear and working out last minute details.   In case you missed it – I’m doing a 3-day live workshop on HDDSLR Cinema in Seattle that starts Friday – it will be streamed out over the internet for free.   Exciting to say the least!   Below is the schedule (subject to change) as we have it now!  All times are P.S.T.   For more information and to sign up pls go to creativeLIVE. If you can’t make if during these times – the course will be downloadable after the live stream for a relatively small fee.

DAY ONE Friday April 30th:

PART I:   9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. P.S.T.


A discussion of the building blocks that make a film succeed and the skills that are required.

We’ll discuss the differences between still photography and film both in terms of how each is produced, the different types of challenges and tools, and types of personalities.

What is means to be a photographer vs a director or DP.

Discussion about gear.

We’ll discuss some of the different tools that are available and their pros and cons relative to the potential quality of a shot vs the time and effort each tool will take.

PART II:  HDDSLRs  11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

What’s the big deal with HDDSLR’s?  Why are we here talking about them vs other options?

We’ll discuss the size of the sensor, performance in low light, small size and weight and what that brings to the table.   We’ll also discuss some of the unique challenges these new tools present and compare them to Camcorders and the RED Camera series.

We’ll go through how to set up and HDDSLR Camera for best result – through each menu setting and camera setting the cameras offer.    From picture styles, to ideal ISO settings we’ll also look at what it means to shoot compressed vs RAW footage in vide.

We’ll also make sure you have a solid technical foundation and understand the difference between 2K, 1080p, 1080i, 720p vs SD for example – or 24 fps, vs 29.97 vs 30.0 fps.   You’ll know what 444 means vs 422 or 420 and different film ratios.

BREAK from 1 pm. – 2 p.m.

PART III:  Audio  – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

We’ll go over an introduction to audio.   What is a dual system?  What is a shotgun mic or an omni mic?   We’ll look at a variety of tools and techniques – all the way to digital timecode slate.

PART IV:  Introduction to Video Gear.  4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

We’ll start with sticks, fluid heads and follow focus rigs.  We’ll discuss the need for neutral density filters and grad NDs.   We’ll look at Canon EF lenses, vs Zeiss ZE lenses and then look at the new Zeiss Compact Prime (CP2) lenses and why you would need one over the other.  We’ll also go from LCDs finders to external LCD monitors.   We’ll also have a basic demo on blocking out a scene and setting focusing mark.  We’ll be discussing Gitzo, Manfrotto, O’Connor, Really Right Stuff, Tiffen, Formatt, Canon, Zeiss, and Marshall Electronics.

DAY TWO:  Saturday May 1st.

PART I:  Introduction to Cinema Language and Concepts.   9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

We’ll make sure you know what panning vs tilting is and what a locked off shot it.   CU / ECU / Medium Shot / Establishing shot will become part of your vocabulary – as well as a lateral move, a push or a pull.  We’ll define what a hyperfocal is to you and how to use  is to tackle focusing challenges.   We’ll ask the important question of:  how shallow is too shallow in terms of depth of field – especially when it comes to working with actors.    We’ll get into lens choice and discuss compression and distortion.

PART II:  Cinema lighting and camera support.  11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

We will not be going into complex lighting on this one – in fact lighting is one of the areas we will be spending the least amount of time on during this workshop given the complexity of the concepts involved and time / gear constraints.

We’ll discuss how to use a variety camera support tools – at various price points.   Students will get hands on time with the gear and discuss HOW and WHY it is used (and to what EFFECT.)  We’ll start off by looking into a wide variety of handheld rigs and tools.  We’ll also look at a variety of sliders, dollies, JIB, Pan/Tilt Heads and time lapse tools.  We’ll then discuss wireless focus solutions, wireless video transmitters, and video conversion solutions. We’ll be discussing gear from:  Redrock Micro, Zacuto, Arri, Broncolor, GlideTrack, O’Connor, Cinevate, Kessler Cranes, MicroDolly Hollywood, and Porta Jib, Lite Panels, Black Magic, IDX, and Viewfactor amongst others.

BREAK – LUNCH FROM 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

PART III:  The Makeup of a Film Crew  – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

We’ll quickly discuss the business of film and also make sure you know what a director’s responsibilities are – as well as what a 1st AC does vs a gaffer or script supervisor.  We’ll also discuss what a treatment is and when film permits are needed and/or clearances.

PART IV: First Shoot  – 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

The students will gather to shoot their first min-documentary.    They will shoot a sit down interview as well as some B-Roll and learn how to mix an interview with B-Roll footage effectively.

PART V BONUS – Live Video Editing Session  – 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

DAY THREE:   Sunday May 2nd

PART I:  NARRATIVE SHOOT – Pre Pro  – 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Students will get back together and work on the pre-production of a short narrative piece that they will shoot in the next section.   We’ll discuss storyboarding, managing a shot list and equipment list – and the concept of shooting a scene / piece in a non-linear manner to save time (and expense.)

PART II:  NARRATIVE SHOOT –  11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Students will break up into various roles and shoot a short narrative piece together – utilizing the tools and techniques discussed over the prior two days.  This will give us a chance to see everything come together – and also to pick up on some very common mistakes that first time filmmakers make.

BREAK – Lunch 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

PART III:  WORKFLOW –  2 p.m.  – 4 p.m.

We’ll discuss converting footage and a variety of editing tools for both Mac and PC.   We’ll cover Final Cut Studio, Compressor, Adobe CS5 (we’re still working on this detail given how new the software is) , MPEG Streamclip, and Plural Eyes.  We’ll also discuss backup strategies, from the Canon/Apple FCP Log and Transfer plugin, to Servers, LTO Tape and Drobo.

PART IV:  FINISHING   4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

We’ll also get a basic introduction to editing – and bring together the pieces we shot together earlier in the day.  Students will get an introduction to editing by qualified FCP and CS5 instructors (see above- we’re trying to get CS5 in…)

The class will culminate with a discussion on how to grade the footage in Apple’s Color software.  And we’ll discuss how to deliver the final media to a variety of devices – from iPhones, AppleTV, streaming web movies, all the way to BluRay.