Create Something Entirely New!

If you’re in the video industry, your head is probably exploding as you try to keep up with all the latest technological advances in cameras and post software.

Just keeping up with the changes can be a full-time job in itself; much less learning how to use and implement all the new features. That’s why I think it’s important to step back from the announcements and ask ourselves two essential questions:

1. What do I want to create?

If you want to produce the next reality TV show you probably don’t need to study NUKE or look too deeply into the latest line of cinema cameras. If you have no money, but you want to create the next “Avengers”, then Nukes new non-commercial free version will make your heart dance the cha-cha. If you love post-work and controlling images then Da-Vinci Resolve 12 should definitely be on your list to download. (You get the idea.)

2. What can I do that is new/ exciting/ totally original?

If you spend your time studying the principles more than the techniques, then every new feature opens an incredible opportunity to create something entirely new… Something that has never been done before. There are combinations and uses of software that have never been tried or done before. If you know the “why” before the “how” then you can quickly see how techniques can combine in new and incredible ways.

Filmmaking Uncategorized

The Rule (Principle) of Three

Oh sure, everyone knows the “Rule of Thirds”.


Everyone knows that you divide your frame into thirds and make sure that important elements in your frame happen on those lines. It often makes for a more interesting image than one that just lies in the center in your frame. Even consumer cameras often have overlays available for their view-screens dividing the image into “thirds”.

This post is not about the “Rule of Thirds”;  It’s about the “Principle of Three”.

The “principle of three” is something I carry in my mind every time I step out the door with my camera.  It’s an instruction I give to my DP every time I’m a director on set.

It comes in two parts:

In Filming:  Wide/ Medium/ Close Up

This is actually as old as classic Hollywood. When you’re filming, make sure you go for the wide medium and close up (throw in some cutaways and you’ve really got something you can work with). That’s pretty straight forward, but it’s easy to forget when you are on set and the pressures and demands of direction come upon you.

In Editing: A series of three cutaways is (generally) better than two.

When I sit down for the edit, I find that a series of three quick b-roll clips can really tell the story more quickly and more interestingly than just one or two.  This is not always the case, but when we start out with it as a principle, I think it helps.


Note how the three clips together give you a more complete and interesting sequence than just a shot of the van going by.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.