Cameras

There are only a few ways to safely capture high-quality video during this period of social distancing. The most popular method for collecting cinematic interviews (A-roll) is a drop kit.

Read More

Shooting video with crew off-set is possible, but it comes with some limitations and caveats.

Update – Because this post has been quite popular, I’ve also created a Drop Kit FAQ.

Drop kits are a zero-touch way to record high quality video interviews remotely. If you’re using a drop kit to record the A-roll for your video, it’s important to know what you can (and can’t) expect from your rig. A drop kit in the right hands can give amazing results, so much so that your audience doesn’t ever need to know that your talent was alone in the room.

Read More

The Arri Alexa Mini LF is one of the most anticipated cameras ever.  It’s a killer combination of Arri camera performance, true 4K+ resolution, and a price tag under $100,000. Getting started with the Alexa Mini LF can be intimidating, but here’s what I’ve learned shooting with mine so far.

Read More

When you’ve been a director of photography for as long as I have, you end up with a lot of stuff! Here’s an abbreviated list of equipment I own and operate regularly.

Cameras

Arri Alexa Plus Camera

  • Arri Alexa Mini LF Camera Kit
  • Sony FS7 Camera Kit
  • Sony A7s II Camera Kit (2)
  • Sony A7r II Camera Kit
  • Sony a6500 Camera Kit
  • GoPro Omni 360-degree VR Camera Kit (2)
  • Sony EX3 Camera Kit
  • Arri Alexa Plus Camera Kit
  • Red Scarlet Camera Kit
  • Custom BulletTime 24-Camera Rig
  • GoPro Hero 7 Black Camera Kit (2)
  • Canon 5D mark III Camera Kit

Lenses

  • Zeiss CP.2 Super-Speed Compact Cinema Prime Lens Set in PL and EF
  • SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33x PL Lens Set
  • SLR Magic APO Hyperprime Cine Lens Set in PL and EF
  • Zeiss ZE Super Speed Set in EF
  • Fujinon MK series zoom lenses in E
  • Canon Photo Zoom Lenses (including 16-35, 24-70, 24-105, 70-200, and 100-400mm)

Camera Support

  • Sachtler V18 Tripod System
  • Sachtler FSB 8 Carbon Fiber Tripod System
  • Sachtler 7+7 Tripod System
  • Dana Dolly with Speedrail
  • Kessler CineSlider Dolly
  • iFootage Lightweight Camera Jib
  • 100mm Hi Hat
  • 75mm Hi Hat

Lighting, Grip, and Electric

  • Quasar X-Fade 4′ LED tubes (8)
  • Litepanels Astra 6x Panels with Bluetooth (2)
  • 1.2K HMI (PARs and Fresnels, with magnetic ballasts) (4)
  • 8-inch and 6-inch Mole Richardson Daylight Fresnels (4)
  • Flag Kits, Reflectors, and Floppies in Various Sizes
  • Junior, Baby, and C-Stands
  • Electrical Cables (Stingers)
  • Clamps, Sandbags, Apple Boxes, and Everything Else

Other Stuff

  • 17″ Teleprompter
  • Ford Transit Connect Van
  • Laptop Computer with Windows 10, MacDrive, and ShotPut Pro

I have a valid drivers license and US passport. In addition to working as a freelance cinematographer, I often work as a fixer; arranging for rentals, providing insurance, finding crew, and payroll services.

I carry my own liability, workers’ compensation, equipment rental, and umbrella insurance. It’s easy for me to get most video production equipment with a few days’ notice. I am also comfortable and experienced operating cameras from Panasonic , JVC, Blackmagic Design and others.

This equipment can travel with me to set in Chicago, Milwaukee, or the surrounding areas, or be rented separately.


*Note* – Lytro was purchased by Google and subsequently disabled their web viewer and gallery. Unfortunately, it’s no longer easy to post and share light field images, and the images included in this post have been removed.

Looking to photography for the future of video

As a cinematographer, it’s my job to stay on the leading edge of camera technology. Light field photography and video have the potential to change the way we tell stories. Consumer light field video is a long way off, but light field still photography gets more accessible every day. I’ve been experimenting with the Lytro Illum camera, and finally have enough experience to share some of what I’ve learned.

Click or touch around and get a sense for what is possible with light field photography. 

Read More


The Canon 5D mark III has been one of the most popular cameras for shooting video in low-budget applications ever. In 2012, it was the camera to use for reality, corporate, interviews, B-roll, and even some commercials.

Since 2012, it’s been completely outclassed, eclipsed, and out-priced.  It’s always been a great stills camera, but it’s time to send that dinosaur back to the still photographers.  In 2015 so far, I would guess I’ve been asked to use the 5D mark III as an A or B camera more than a dozen times. Whenever I can convince a producer/editor to make the move to something newer, I do.

Here’s a few reasons why producers are still shooting video on the Canon 5D mark III, and why they don’t make sense any more.
Read More


Once your project has a director, producer, cinematographer, and post-production supervisor/editor on board, it’s time to choose the right video camera that makes the most sense for your production. Here’s what you should consider before you pick your camera kit. Read More