Filming a movie “Just Like That”

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It isn’t necessarily the most glamorous job on set being the DP of a short film.  It is actually one of the most demanding jobs if you ask me.  When you have AD who’s sole job is to keep you on time and you have to guide your AC and production crew to get prepared for the next shot you tend to wear a few different hats in the process.  The Director, Tasi Alabastro, (Read his first days review here) came up with the script a while ago, but recently wanted to make it into reality.  I actually got really excited about the opportunity to do a narrative script as a DP as most of what I had worked on was more docustyle and interview type work.  I wanted the chance to explore composing shots, lighting and continuity on a whole different level.

One of the pre-production decisions that were made about this film (Which will be the first time I have tried this) is to focus on framing the movie so that when we output it we will be using a 2:35.1 aspect ratio

So far this is the list of cameras and lenses we used for the shoot:


Sony PMW F3 – A Cam

Canon 5D – B Cam

Sony EX3 – C Cam

Canon 7D – D Cam



Convergent Design:  (2) Nano Flash w/ 8 32GB CF Cards


(2) SmallHD DP4 Monitors

(1) Panasonic 8″ HD Monitor

(1) SmallHD DP6 Monitor


The off the cuff interview

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What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas!  Here I was in Las Vegas for the EMS World Expo where I was actually providing video production services for vendors when I was contacted by a few friends of mine Sam Bradley and Bill Sugiyama.  They had been talking to Tim Phalen and felt it was a must that we get him on camera.  Now mind you I met Tim Phalen a few years ago, but that is another story.

My partner Chris Eldridge and I are equipped with:

  • Canon 5D Mark II
  • Canon 7D
  • Zoom h4n
  • Canon L-Series 16-35mm f2.8
  • Canon IS 70-200mm f2.8
  • Sennheiser Wireless Lav

We were equipped with a Monopod and a Libec tripod and available lighting was what we got from the location.  When we met up with Tim Phalen and said “We need to ave a candid conversation with you”.   Much of what happens at these conferences truly happens in situations like this and that is why I wanted to capture Tim in a raw form.  He is an amazing individual and I appreciate where he came from, he saw a need and filled it with 12 Lead education.