Author: Blain Brown

Blain Brown

Blain Brown began in New York as a commercial still photographer before starting in the film business. After working as a gaffer, he became a cinematographer doing primarily commercials and music videos. After completing his first feature film, he moved to Los Angeles where he has been Director of Photography on 14 feature films as well as national commercials, promotional films, industrials, music videos and documentaries. As a Director of Photography specializing in features and commercials, he is now based in Los Angeles. His books include A Sense of Place; Motion Picture and Video Lighting and The Filmmaker's Pocket Reference.


Posts by Blain Brown:


The DIT Cart – Things to Think About in Planning a Cart


If you plan to own and operate a DIT cart, there are many things to take into account as you plan the rig. Remember that it will be more than just an equipment holder. It will also be your workspace, your office and your refuge for those inevitable long days on the set. It will…

screen direction

How Does the 180° Rule Work, anyway?


The Purpose of Screen Direction Screen direction serves two important purposes: it gives the audience clues about the story and it helps keep the audience from getting confused about where someone is or what they are doing. Avoiding confusion is the fundamental reason for all film continuity. Directional Conventions The classic example of this is…


VIDEO: How Metadata Works When Shooting RAW


The below video tutorial is a quick look at how Metadata works when shooting RAW. It is just one of the video tutorials that is included on the companion website for Blain Brown’s book The Filmmaker’s Guide to Digital Imaging for Cinematographers, Digital Imaging Technicians, and Camera Assistants.


Data Management & Procedure Best Practices


Data Management In principle, data management sounds simple: you download the camera media, put it on a hard drive and back it up. In reality, it is a process fraught with danger and rife with chances to mess up badly. Handling the recorded media is an enormous responsibility; a single click can erase an entire…


VIDEO: Using metadata for color correction with RAW video


Blain Brown, Los Angeles based DP as well as educator and author, shares with his audience how to use metadata for color correction with RAW video

tips for HD shooting

10 Things to Remember When Shooting HD


Here are some tips specific to lighting for HD and shooting with High Definition cameras: Never overexpose high def. Control highlights: HD has trouble with them. Avoid using gain whenever possible. Nail exposure when you can, but if not, err on the side of underexposure, not overexposure. 23.98 fps is the most frequent choice for…

Photo by Vancouver Film School

The Top Eight Goals of Lighting Your Scene


THE FUNDAMENTALS OF LIGHTING I’m sure you’ve heard this, “If you light it right…” or “With good lighting, the scene will…” What does that mean? What is “good” lighting? Lighting has nearly infinite permutations and variations. There is certainly no one “right” way to light a scene. As a result, there is no chance that…


Film Noir Storytelling


     Certainly, one of the highlights of lighting as storytelling is the era of film noir: American films of the forties and fifties, primarily in the mystery, suspense and detective genres, nearly all of them in black-and-white. The noir genre is best known for its low-key lighting style: side light, chiaroscuro, shadowy.  This was,…

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