Mitch Martinez - Director of Photography

Reducing weight on the RED camera rig (target: 5kg/11lbs)

Reducing weight on the RED camera rig (target: 5kg/11lbs)

I recently found myself in the position where I needed to get my camera rig down to 5kg (11lbs) for a few upcoming shoots.  I knew this would be a challenge but turned out to be much more than I expected.  Here’s what I found:…

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Product Review: Cinematics CT.2 – 50mm f1.4 Canon Lens

Product Review:  Cinematics CT.2 – 50mm f1.4 Canon Lens

It’s a recent development that I’ve been putting together a “run and gun” Canon mount lens set for use with my RED Epic camera.  This is primarily for lower budget shoots that aren’t bringing on cine glass for the production.  My Canon mount adventures with…

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Product Review: GiniRigs 19mm Baseplate + Dovetail

Product Review:  GiniRigs 19mm Baseplate + Dovetail

Today’s post will take a closer look at the GiniRigs 19mm Baseplate + Dovetail.   Specs and Overview: The base has fifteen 3/8″-16 holes for attaching your camera.  The front and back edges of the base plate has a row of 1/4″-20 holes drilled for…

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Ten beginner tips for being on set (camera and lighting dept)

Ten beginner tips for being on set (camera and lighting dept)

You’ve got to start somewhere and experienced crew members won’t expect you to know everything when it’s your first day on set…  I see a lot of common mistakes by recent college grads, interns, and sometimes experienced crew that should know better.  The fact that…

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Five reasons to talk to your DP during the pre-production process

Five reasons to talk to your DP during the pre-production process

Make no mistake about it, pre-production preparation can make or break a shoot.  Many projects can have months of preparation but allow less than two weeks of principle photography.  Time is of the essence!  With the trend of shrinking budgets, a common result is compromised…

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Buying 3rd Party Camera Accessories – A resource list + notes

Buying 3rd Party Camera Accessories – A resource list + notes

You have a camera.  You want some accessories to make your shooting experience easier.  Most camera manufacturers want you to buy only their accessories – but the truth is there are a LOT of great 3rd party manufacturers that can save you money on your…

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Tips for editing show reels / demo reels / cinematography reels

Tips for editing show reels / demo reels / cinematography reels

There are a lot of demo reels out there.  Some are very impressive – others are not so impressive.  What can you do to make the best impression with someone that’s seeing your work for the first time?  In this entry, we’re going to go…

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360° Vertical Roll – Motorized Camera Move

360° Vertical Roll – Motorized Camera Move

This all started with a director showing me a reference video and asking if there was anything we could do in a similar vein.  It was wild.  It was crazy.  It was something I had never done before… and I LOVE a challenge.  So began…

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Renting Gear vs. Buying Gear

Renting Gear vs. Buying Gear

To rent or to buy is kind of the eternal question when it comes to film gear.  In this entry we’ll be going over the various factors and questions you should answer to help identify whether it’s a good idea to purchase gear or simply…

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A few notes about high frame rate (slow motion)

A few notes about high frame rate (slow motion)

Slow motion footage is inherently awesome.  The simplest things look epic.   From an entry level DSLR shooting 60fps to the Phantom series cameras that shoot up to several thousand frames per second, today’s technology lets us push the boundaries of high frame rate shooting.  If…

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Product Review: Paralinx Arrow

Product Review:  Paralinx Arrow

Wireless video transmission has only recently become a reality for film sets.  True, it’s been around for a while in limited capacities but in the past handful of years it’s really blossomed into something great.  There are a handful of companies offering products in this…

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HDR Workflow in After Effects (RED Epic Footage)

HDR Workflow in After Effects (RED Epic Footage)

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range.  In short, it’s a way to get more latitude visually than your sensor can do on its own with a single exposure.  Still cameras often do this with bracketing or an external triggering device that allows many exposures…

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Let’s talk about f stops…

Let’s talk about f stops…

Aperture.  Iris.  F Stops.  T Stops.  Light Meters. Histograms…  A lot of people don’t know enough about these topics and of course, the more you know – the better you can craft your images. One of the first things that people think of when talking…

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Product Review: Lens Baby System

Product Review:  Lens Baby System

The Lens Baby system has been around for a while.  I remember checking it out at their booth at NAB 08 and being intrigued by it but never really saw any high resolution footage that was shot on it.  The effect is really quite niche…

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Dutch camera angle without a dutch head

Dutch camera angle without a dutch head

Dutch heads are awesome.  So are their resulting dutch angles and camera moves.  The downside is that they’re expensive to buy ($7K or more for the really high end models) and not always stocked in every local rental house.  Granted, they’re far less expensive for…

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Product Review: The cheapest sandbags I could find (Part 1)

Product Review:  The cheapest sandbags I could find (Part 1)

We use sandbags on every shoot and often times we need a lot of them.  They keep our tripods anchored, stands from falling over, and help us in countless ways on a film set.  It seems crazy how expensive sandbags can be though.  Don’t we…

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NAB 2013: The hot topics this year

NAB 2013:  The hot topics this year

Spring fever is in the air! Or is that NAB Fever? For people in the film, animation and broadcasting industry – it’s pretty much one in the same. Each April, Las Vegas is flooded with excitement, anticipation and speculation about what all of the manufacturers…

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A perspective on camera tech: Past, Present, Future

A perspective on camera tech: Past, Present, Future

Now is the best time ever to buy a camera.  It is also the worst time ever to buy a camera.  Read this entry for a quick glimpse of what’s going on… A quick history lesson/glimpse prior to the official perspective: Let’s rewind the clock…

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Behind the Scenes: Memorama

Behind the Scenes: Memorama

Written and directed by Peter James Normandia of Edit Cellar, Memorama is an independent short film with a bit of futuristic tech and a bit of sci-fi thrown in the mix.  Featuring Alan Thurston, Robert Walker, and Malin De La Torre – the film explores…

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Product Review: Impact C+ Stands

Product Review: Impact C+ Stands

Buying this type a gear is often treading the fine line wanting getting the cheapest price possible while still getting a decent product that will hold up over time.  The Impact line of lighting stands and miscellaneous grip equipment has been around for a long…

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