Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2X Macro APO lens

Venus Optics has announced the Laowa 65mm f/2.8 2X macro lens which has a 2:1 magnification and invisible CA for APS-C sensors. Unlike other 65mm macro lenses which magnify up to 1:1, the new lens from Laowa can focus at 2:1 magnification. The lens is comprised of 14 elements in 19 groups with 3 extra-low … Continued

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“Time Is Always the Biggest Challenge”: DP Zach Kuperstein on The Climb

In Michael Covino’s The Climb, best friends Kyle (Kyle Marvin) and Mike (Michael Covino) embark on a bike ride in the south of France to celebrate Kyle’s impending marriage to a French woman. In the process, Mike admits to having slept with Kyle’s fiancée, causing an understandable riff in their friendship. Presented as one long take, DP Zach Kuperstein divulges the intricacies of the unorthodox process of filming The Climb.  Filmmaker: How and why did you wind up being the cinematographer of your film? What were the factors and attributes that led to your being hired for this job? Kuperstein: […]

“The More Real We Could Make the Film, the More Unsettling It Would Feel”: Editor Benjamin Moses Smith on Spree

In Eugene Kotlyrenko’s Spree, a rideshare driver, Kurt (Joe Keery), dreams of social media fame—but he’ll settle for notoriety. He decks his car out with eight cameras and livestreams something called #TheLesson, which quickly results in carnage. Editor Benjamin Moses Smith talks about the editing of a “live stream” movie, the sensitive material integral to the film and his impending title as “the best “8 cameras mounted inside of a car editor in the world.” Filmmaker: How and why did you wind up being the editor of your film? What were the factors and attributes that led to your being […]

“The Art Department Came Up to Me and Said ‘We’re Running Low on Ice Cream, Your Grandfather Is Eating It Too Fast’”: Michael Covino | The Climb

Whether capturing or creating a world, the objects onscreen tell as much of a story as the people within it. Whether sourced or accidental, insert shot or background detail, what prop or piece of set decoration do you find particularly integral to your film? What story does it tell? We decided to begin a scene with a shot of two old men sitting on a bench eating ice cream cones. One of them was my 90 year old grandfather, who took one screenwriting course in the 1940s, which he felt entitled him to give me lots of notes, sometimes in […]

“I Wanted to Fight for the Pictures”: DP Jake Swantko on The Dissident

The global controversy—and subsequent cover-up—surrounding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is the subject of Bryan Fogel’s documentary The Dissident. After the news broke about Khashoggi’s murder, Fogel reached out to DP Jake Swantko, and the two immediately began collaborating on the documentary, traveling to interview Khashoggi’s fianceé, close friend and insurgent Omar Abdulaziz and others. Swantko shares his experience with the often dangerous aspects of making a documentary about a highly politicized figure.  Filmmaker: How and why did you wind up being the cinematographer of your film? What were the factors and attributes that led to your being […]

“Omission Is a Powerful Storytelling Tool”: Editor Sara Shaw on The Climb

Two best friends embark on an extensive bike ride in the south of France—one of the friends, Kyle (Kyle Marvin) is getting married to a French woman, and his best friend Mike (Michael Covino) is working up the guts to tell his friend he’s slept with the bride-to-be. Presented as one continual long shot, The Climb (also directed by Michael Covino) examines this codependent friendship in what appears to be real-time. Editor Sara Shaw takes Filmmaker through the challenges of editing continuous shots, figuring out the trajectory of a narrative and the power of what isn’t shown. Filmmaker: How and why […]

“Editing Is a Process of Trial and Error and Personal Instincts”: Editor Jeff Gilbert on Boys State

Documentary filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine look to 1,000 17-year-old boys from across the state of Texas in order to examine the state of American democracy in Boys State. The film follows a cohort of teenagers tasked with building a representative government from the ground up, each boy vying for the top title at the Texas Boys State competition—governor. What seems almost too akin to Lord of the Flies to result in anything similar to a functioning government actually perfectly reflects the current state of American politics. Editor Jeff Gilbert shares his insight on what made the film so […]

“The One Million Dollar Winning Game Piece From the Monopoly Game at McDonald’s”: James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte | McMillion$

Whether capturing or creating a world, the objects onscreen tell as much of a story as the people within it. Whether sourced or accidental, insert shot or background detail, what prop or piece of set decoration do you find particularly integral to your film? What story does it tell? The key prop for this project also happens to be the root source of the story. It was sought by most Americans during the 1990s, it caused a major corporation’s sales to increase by 30% to 40% and it helped spawn a decade-long fraud which ended in 53 people being indicted. […]

“The Mystic, Magical Vibes of His Home”: Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch | Mucho Mucho Amor

Whether capturing or creating a world, the objects onscreen tell as much of a story as the people within it. Whether sourced or accidental, insert shot or background detail, what prop or piece of set decoration do you find particularly integral to your film? What story does it tell? Driving into the gated community in the San Juan, Puerto Rico suburbs where Walter Mercado lived, you hardly needed an address to find his house. The two-story Moroccan villa painted yellow with blue trim couldn’t help but stand out among the 1950’s tract homes that surrounded. With so much pizazz and […]