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Filmmaking Archives - mjreed.com

#Film
April 9, 2016

First Impressions of the Sony a6300

I was so thoroughly impressed with the Sony a7s ii that we rented for the Sweden trip that I decided to buy its smaller relative, the Sony a6300. It was just released this past month as the successor to the popular a6000. It's a mirrorless E mount with 4K recording capabilities and shoots 1080p at a silky smooth 120fps. It's…
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#Film
April 8, 2016

Lenses for Filming Interviews

What are the best lenses for filming interviews? There are a ton to choose from at varying costs. I've experimented with a few over the years and currently I've landed and two lenses that get the job done. I like to have the ability to shoot photos as well as video, so I like to use the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8…
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#Film
April 7, 2016

Filming an Interview on a White Background

I recently purchased a backdrop for filming an interview on a white background. The backdrop is white muslin. I learned a little trick from a friend and directed two of my three lights at the white background to "blow it out" on the camera. The last light was positioned slightly to the left of the subjects. All three lights are bi-color,…
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#Film
April 2, 2016

Zoom F8 in Action

Last month I was tasked with filming a five-person interview. Before that, I had done a number of shoots with two people, but five was a whole new ballgame. I have a Tascam DR-40 which has served me well over the years, but it only has two inputs. I did some searching and decided to rent the Zoom F8 in addition…
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Sony a7sii
#Film
March 2, 2016

Sony a7sii Hands On Review

This past weekend Jill and I had our first hands-on experience with the Sony a7sii. We rented Metabones lens adapters and used our two primary Canon lenses, the 24-70mm and 135mm. Our points of reference are Canon DSLRs in run and gun situations, so this was learning to swim by jumping into water. I've taken a liking to these little…
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#Film#Influence
November 16, 2015

Reflections

It's funny how often you see something once your attention is turned to it. Most frequently for me it happens with the time - 12:34pm. I don't know if there's some special significance to that time, but I see it over and over again. I'm guessing at some point in the future I will discover it's Matthew McConaughey trying to…
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#Film
November 11, 2015

Celebrate and Honor

It was an honor to film at the Veteran's Day ceremony held by Special Forces Association, Chapter 20 at the Vietnam War Memorial on the State Capitol grounds. It was an awe-inspiring mix of reverence and celebration led by veterans and complimented by the Central High School band. Thank you to all who have served and so selflessly given themselves for our freedom.
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#Film
November 10, 2015

The Green Line

I'm continuing to explore composition and framing with my 15-Second videos. I just upgraded to the iPhone 6s. I initially had no intentions to do so, but the 4k video and 1080p 120fps slow-mo was too good to pass up. So today I put it to work on the Metro Transit Green Line linking St. Paul and Minneapolis. What I love is the…
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#Film
November 6, 2015

Bridge (v.)

I went out early again this morning to capture some footage around the Roberts St bridge in downtown St. Paul. This was the second time out shooting these 15-second films with no daylight. I've learned to not push the ISO too high otherwise the shots will get too grainy. As a rule of thumb for Canon DSLRs, I never go…
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#Film
November 5, 2015

Remember Us

So on my way home from work I stopped by the Capitol grounds and filmed the scattered memorials.They honor vets, firemen, and other notable people like Charles Lindberg and Hubert Humphrey. Wanting to save time, I only paid for a little less than 20 minutes worth of street parking. When I got home I edited the whole thing in about 20…
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#Film
November 4, 2015

MSP International

Thanks to the Pioneer Press I just discovered that the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport just opened a viewing area to the public a couple of weeks ago. So early this morning I made my way there and filmed for a while as part of my #15SecondFilm initiative. The airplanes were pretty much endless and the area they set aside is…
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#Film
June 17, 2015

Filming Interviews – Preparation

Most of my film work in the last two years has centered around an interview. We film ministry spotlight videos for work which we show at some of our larger events and post online. They highlight what's happening in churches across Minnesota and we usually sit down with the pastor and have them share for 20-30 minutes. We've learned a lot…
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#Film
June 11, 2015

Finding Music for Films

The underlying audio tracks of your film set its mood. If you're editing a recap of a youth activity, you'll want something energetic. If you're telling a story of someone's personal triumphs you'll need something moving and uplifting. A poorly picked track can make even a well shot film feel awkward. I might be a bit nit-picky, but I usually spend about an hour or more just trying to find the right track for whatever I'm creating. Most of the time I know exactly what I'm looking for to match the mood of the film in my head. It's a tedious process, but there's not much room for error. For example, in our I Dare You to Dream promo, we…
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#Film
June 10, 2015

Dotty

This is a beautiful short film by Mick Andrews and Bret O'Gorman that's well worth your ten minutes. Enjoy!
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#Film
June 8, 2015

Five Websites for Filmmakers

I love how many resources are out there for anyone to get started and learn about filmmaking. I've followed a few that have been really helpful on my journey. Here are five websites for filmmakers that rock: Stillmotion Blog - These guys are all about story and have great insight on the process of filmmaking. There's plenty to digest on…
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#Film
June 5, 2015

What Film Editing Software Should I use?

Besides cameras, the next question I'm frequently asked is, "What film editing software should I use?" As with most everything in life there is no simple answer, but you can quickly narrow it down with two factors: Platform and Price. I've been on an OSX platform for the last 10 years. Back then I had access to Final Cut at work…
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#Film
June 5, 2015

Single Mom Dreams

Last year I was given a bunch of post-it notes and asked to created a quick video with them. I had nothing else to go with. On each post-it note was written a dream by a single mom who had attended a retreat in central Minnesota. We took those post-it notes and kind of made it up as we went shooting…
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#Film
June 1, 2015

The Transition from Photography to Filmmaking

I’m a purist. I love the snapshot, the image captured in a fraction of a second that tells an enduring story. I’m that weirdo who never minded when my friends’ moms showed me photo albums of trips I hadn’t taken and people I didn’t know, because I did know them. I have been to the Grand Canyon several times in…
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#Film
May 27, 2015

What Video Camera Should I Buy?

I am asked all the time, "What video camera should I buy?" Usually it's a non-profit or church looking to start doing more in-house work. I always say start with what you have, but sometimes there really is nothing to start with. There are so many variables to be considered before purchasing a camera. Do you need a DSLR or an action…
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#Film
May 23, 2015

The Heart of the Story in Film

Filmmaking is all about story. Much of our work in the past year has been capturing things that are happening as we film: weddings, church spotlights, event recaps, and personal stories. Many times it's showing up in unknown territory without a complete picture of what we're getting into. We've done this a number of times. Most frequently it's going to churches on…
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#Film
May 19, 2015

My Evolution of Cameras for Filmmaking

I was thinking today about why I'm writing more about filmmaking. Like I've mentioned before, I don't consider myself an expert, but there are number of things I've learned in the last few years that might be helpful to someone out there. Much of my experience has happened within the context of the non-profit/faith-based world. Many non-profits have utility players like me…
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#Film
May 15, 2015

A Humble Beginning in Filmmaking

If you've read my philosophy on filmmaking then you know I'm a huge advocate of starting with whatever you have. There are some recommendations I'll make in upcoming posts once you have some money to invest in some starter gear, but I'd strongly recommend just using what you have at first. Our first venture into filmmaking really started in 2004 between…
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#Film
May 13, 2015

The Four-fold Philosophy of Filmmaking

Let it be known that I'm no expert in filmmaking. I honestly don't even know if I meet the criteria to be called a filmmaker. There's some debate on the definition of a filmmaker, but most agree that filmmaking is the art of telling stories on video. Since that is where my heart and passion lies and the representation of most…
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