Tag Archives: shooting

Tips from an experienced shooter/editor

DMJ Studios’ David Jasse is an editorial and production veteran with over 20 years in the industry. Jasse opened DMJ in 1992, after gaining experience at CNN, MTV, CBS and Fox. Among his company’s most recent work was editing and designing graphics for Emmy Award-winning Born to Explore With Richard Weise as seen on ABC.

We asked him to share some tips for shooting and editing, and he obliged….

1. Don’t blame the gear — you have to position yourself. Don’t worry about having a zoom lens.

2. “Dirty the lens,” as the pro’s call it. Don’t be afraid to frame your shot with tree branches obscuring or framing the shot. The same goes for fences, backs of chairs, poles. It’s great, especially if you can do a side-to-side dolly and reveal your subject, with our without a slider.

3. Be sure to change focal lengths. The normal 50mm DSLR lens is what your eye sees, but your videos may not look exceptional although, and while it’s not about the gear, the gear helps. Try a 200mm to really blur out backgrounds. Try a 14mm extreme wide, just before distortion for a different look. The 14mm is great for a cheap man’s steadicam for dolly shots. Be sure to get in very close to your subject and fill the lens.

4. Think like an editor. Cover yourself with cutaways. It’s fundamental, but folks forget. Get a wide, establishing, move in for the two shot, then singles, then reversals. Don’t forget that extreme close-up and, of course, the over the shoulder.

5. Don’t center your shot… it’s blah. Amateurs typically see the focus cross hairs in the center and think they’re aiming at their subject. You’re not aiming for a bulls-eye — you’re composing. Divide the frame into thirds, put talking heads way off to the side, leaving lead room.

6. Once you know the rules then you can break them. Know them first before you try a shaky-cam, a hand-held look or swish pans.

7. Spend time editing your own material. Until you try cutting it yourself, you’ll never know if the speed of your pans is good, or if you’re holding your static shots long enough.

David Jasse editing.

1. I learned by editing by number. This is coloring by numbers, but for editing. I’ll explain: Find a video with editing you respect, then cover it with your own materials replacing their shots to the frame. Edit within the editor’s cuts. You’ll learn about two-frame edits, editing to the beat, and you’ll get some great ideas.

2. Be organized. It’s good for you and it’s a must for people who are going to work at a company. People are going to need to retrace  your steps and find what you do. Date your edited sequences and don’t name it “final,” because there are likely to be five “final” cuts.

3. Take an editing class; learn the software. Many programs are very intuitive today, and folks think they are professional editors because they have cut a lot of nice work. A real editor, one who is marketable, knows the shortcuts and the software, not just how to come up with a nice cut. Professionals who know the software are much faster and come in to save the day when the film has to get out and you need that person who can find that bug that won’t let you output your sequence.

4. Basic color correction. Pretty much all software today has the automatic white balance. Find white in the shot — could be the eyes, the teeth, the wall, the shirt — and, at least, white balance. For a pro, there’s no excuse for green images, and I see a lot of them.

5. Templates. Everything has been done today for the most part, so why reinvent the wheel? Most of us don’t have network budgets for graphics; even networks don’t always have them. Find a Motion or After Effects template you and your client like, then modify it. Any average editor can use Motion, for example, but, once again, learn the software on your own using YouTube videos for help, and then go take a class. Your value will increase out there in the market.

6. Cut first, think later. Some of my best edits over the years happened by mistake, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

7. Tell stories with your cuts. Your film should look good without sound. Remember a video is worth a thousand words. Instead of having someone explain the matter at hand, show it with nice visuals that make sense… that tell the story. Too often you see videos with very random B-roll, not telling a visual story.

Aerial Robotics, Drone Pavilion new for NAB 2015

This year’s NAB show in Las Vegas, April 11-16, will feature a new a new Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, presented by Drone Media Group in partnership with NAB Show.

The new exhibit area, located in the South Upper Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, will feature dozens of aerial robotics companies, a flying cage, demonstration area with seating and daily sessions.

“Unmanned aerial systems are increasingly being used to cover live events and breaking news,” reports Mannie Frances, Drone Media Group. “Drones were one of the hottest technologies at the 2014 NAB Show.”

Exhibitors currently participating in the Pavilion include DJI, Canon, Amimon, DSLR Pros, XFly Systems, TeraLogics, Go Professional Cases, ArrowData, Sky High Media, ZM Interactive and Unmanned Vehicle University.

The Pavilion will also feature sponsored presentations daily from 9:15am–6:00pm. Topics include laws and regulations surrounding drones, the use of drones for news gathering, drones in space (NASA Project Case Study), capturing aerial video and employing range extenders.

12-bit Log CinemaDNG RAW recording now available for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera


FREMONT, CA — Blackmagic Design has released Blackmagic Camera 1.5 software, which adds 12-bit Log CinemaDNG RAW recording to the Pocket Cinema Camera. The Blackmagic Camera 1.5 update is available now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design Website (www.blackmagicdesign.com).

The Blackmagic Camera 1.5 software update adds CinemaDNG RAW file recording so customers can now capture super wide dynamic range in a single file. Wide dynamic range RAW image recording allows users to capture the brigh highlights and the dark shadows simultaneously. CinemaDNG RAW files give users freedom to be able to adjust the exposure manually during color correction with DaVinci Resolve allowing more flexibility for incredible feature film look color grading.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera uses the open standard lossless compressed version of CinemaDNG RAW. CinemaDNG RAW lossless compression works in a similar way as a ZIP file where the RAW files are compressed during recording without the loss of any part of the image, so all images retain the same quality when they are decompressed. That means, according to the company, that customers get back the mathematically perfect high-quality RAW file image that they recorded.


High-quality lossless CinemaDNG files are fully compatible with DaVinci Resolve 10 for seamless color grading and editing workflows. Lossless CinemaDNG RAW files are an open standard however not all video applications can open them, although those that can are increasing all the time. Customers can download the free DaVinci Resolve Lite and transcode to popular editing formats like ProRes andDNxHD for compatibility and round tripping with editing software like Final Cut Pro 7, Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premier Pro.

This new release gives customers the choice of recording CinemaDNG RAW or high quality ProRes 422 (HQ) in video or film mode. Cinematographers can remove the SD card from the camera, insert it into a laptop or computer, open the file and immediately start editing or color correcting media in any location. Working directly from the SD card eliminates the time wasted copying files and speeds up post production workflows.

Featuring a high resolution 1080HD Super 16mm size sensor, wide 13 stops of dynamic range, MFT lens compatibility, LCD screen for camera menus, metadata entry and monitoring, standard connections and more in a compact size, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has everything users need to shoot high quality digital film images in even the most remote or difficult places.

Summary of Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera key features:
• High resolution 1080HD Super 16mm sized sensor with superior handling of image detail.
• Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
• Compatible with extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses. Compatible with other mounts via common third-party adapters such as PL mount and Super 16 cine lenses.
• Built-in SD card allows long duration recording with easy to use media.
• Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless compressed CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. No custom file formats.
• Standard connections including mini jack mic/line audio in, micro HDMI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay, headphone mini jack, LANC remote control and standard DC 12 power connection.
• Built in LCD for camera settings via easy to use menus.
• Supports 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.
• Compatible with DaVinci Resolve Lite color grading software.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is available now for US $995 from Blackmagic Design resellers.