The Art of Going Boom:
The Proper Use of Boom Mics


No matter what kind of mic and pole you use, the basic concept is simple. Hold things so the mic is above the actor, slightly in front of and pointed towards the mouth. Make it as close as physically possible without being in the frame. Thirty inches from the actor can be too far away,…


Basic Setups for Shooting Green Screen


The foundational elements for shooting all green screen setups are the materials used and the lighting of the background and the foreground subjects, including how these elements are positioned in relation to each other. Using the right combination of background materials, lighting, and positioning will save you hours of time during the keying or matte…


Preparing a Location for Recording and Ambience


Preparing a Location for Recording You’ve probably heard the comment “We’ll fi x it in post.” If you’re on a fi lm shoot with a heavy audio postproduction budget, then almost anything is possible. But in video, what you record on location is pretty much what’s going to end up in the final product. Preparing…


Production Mic Technique – Which mic should you use?


Rose’s Rules: • You can fake almost any other aspect of the track, and undo or change it if you’re not happy with the result. But bad dialog recordings are forever. • You can write, direct, shoot, edit, create graphics, and mix the whole project all by yourself, all in your own sweet time, and…


The Digital Art Department – Interview with Alex McDowell


Merged Media Merged media converging in the new and improved art department is blurring titles, rewriting job descriptions, and re-establishing it as the crucible of all cinematic imagery. What was once done in optical houses after the fact is now performed as a matter of course by using pre-vis techniques at our work stations. Pre-vis…

Producing for TV and New media

Top Ten Helpful Hints for Creating a Short Film from Sharon Badal


SHARON BADAL is Tribeca Film Festival/Short Films Programmer; NYU Professor/Producing for Film; and author of Swimming Upstream: A Lifesaving Guide to Short Film Distribution Navigating the film festival labyrinth…for most new producers, entering their project into the film festival circuit represents their first foray into the “real world” of the entertainment industry. Most of these…

LIghting for photography

Lighting for Makeup


Lighting can be one of the most important tools for a Makeup Artist. It is always a good idea to know what type of lights are being applied as well as the kind of gels or filters that will be used in front of the lights or the camera lens. Makeup is often adjusted to…

Photo by Brett Jordan

The Sound Design Legacy


When you ask a film enthusiast about sound design, the tendency is to recall legendary pictures with memorable sound, such as Apocalypse Now and the Star Wars series. I could not agree more. Many of us were greatly influenced by the work of Walter Murch and Ben Burtt (who worked on the above films, respectively)….


What Can Be Done with an On-Camera Microphone?


Shooting a wide shot from the back of a church and expecting the on-camera mic to record the wedding vows is just crazy. However, some useful things can be done even with an on-camera microphone: –          If all that happens within a shot is to establish a locale, for instance, and no principal dialogue occurs,…

Use wash of silicone adhesive (caulk) to prime painting surface. Image reproduced by permission of Neill Gorton.

Special Makeup Effects: Painting Silicone


To save yourself time and paint, I suggest that your appliances be precolored at the time you cast them. Because the silicone we use for prosthetics is clear or translucent, it is an excellent material for intrinsic (internal) coloring. You can color the silicone with either a pigment that approximates the character’s coloring or with…

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about MasteringFilm

MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Routledge authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.