THE BEST Cinematography

The Three Color Rule

The Three Color Rule

It may seem like a subtle artistic choice at first, but some of the best movie scenes take advantage of a principle known as the “Three Color Rule.” Film essayist wolfcrow explains how this simple color theory can help to set a mood and create focus, and how you can apply it in your cinematic projects.

META: Liftoff

META: Liftoff

This short film from motorcycle culture and lifestyle magazine META uses audio and composition to evoke images of astronauts being launched into space, but instead of orbiting Earth in a rocketship, athletes Austin Hackett-Klaube and Harrison Ory take to the skies on their dirt bikes against a harsh desert backdrop.

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Lighting with Flares

Lighting with Flares

Filmmakers Hugo Manhes and Madcow collaborated on the short film Trajectoires, which uses a simple concept to produce a dramatic effect. By dangling bright flares from a couple of drones, they created a unique source of illumination for their natural surroundings. Set to an ethereal soundtrack by Linky Larson.

The Troubles with Darkness in Horror

The Troubles with Darkness in Horror

It’s tough to make a really scary movie or TV show without shadows for creepy things to hide in. But as filmmaker David F. Sandberg explains, it’s not always the easiest thing to film dark scenes and have them come off as realistic, while still being visible on everything from projection screens to smartphone displays.

Transient 2

Transient 2

Photographer Dustin Farrell follows up his epic stormchasing video, Transient. Like the original, it features dramatic, slow-motion images of lightning, wind, and cloud formations, capturing the fury of Mother Nature in all of her glory. Dustin says he traveled over 35,000 miles over two years to capture and compile this footage.

The Camera Work of Game of Thrones

The Camera Work of Game of Thrones

The latest of HBO’s behind the scenes clips shines a spotlight on the talented camera operators who have stood right in the heart of the series’ most impressive cinematic sequences, from the Red Wedding to the Battle of Blackwater to the tragedy at Hardhome.

Lighting by Drone

Lighting by Drone

We’ve seen before how strapping bright LEDs to a drone can create a sweet UFO-like effect. Brooklyn Aerials used a 1600-watt light attached to a Freefly ALTA 6 drone in a different way – to illuminate the fall foliage in sharp contrast the the darkness of night.

Chasing Lights in the Himalayas

Chasing Lights in the Himalayas

While fillmakers Robin Pogorzelski and Simon Bourrat were in Nepal working on the documentary Everest Green, they shot this short film, which is packed with beautifully lit and composed vignettes, each of which could be a still photograph hanging on a gallery wall.

A GoPro Adventure in Les 3 Vallees

A GoPro Adventure in Les 3 Vallees

Director Claudiu Voicu took what could have been a typical snowboarding video into a visual masterpiece. He says his primary goal was to include the most challenging scene transitions he could think of, and we think he succeeded. The monsters just makes it that much better.

Operator Music Band: Moto Komplete

Operator Music Band: Moto Komplete

James Siewert’s intense and dizzying music video for Operator Music Band’s electro-industrial track was captured using a custom camera rig designed to endlessly rotate around its subject – in this case, choreographer Jordan Morley, as he writhed around on the carpet.

Film Color Palettes

Film Color Palettes

The unique YouTube channel Film Color Palettes compiles scenes from visually compelling movies, and then proceeds to break down the images into collections of color swatches. It’s a neat resource for designers and artists, though it could use more videos. (Thanks Lane!)

Game of Thrones’ Best Shots

Game of Thrones’ Best Shots

With Game of Thrones kicking off its penultimate season, The Solomon Society put together a tribute to the show’s phenomenal cinematography, curating some of the show’s most dramatic images. Seeing Daenerys emerge from fire gave us chills all over again.

Unreal Real-time Cinematography

Unreal Real-time Cinematography

During SIGGRAPH 2016, a team of game developers and CG artists used Unreal Engine 4 to demonstrate a technique for shooting a live actor and turning their performance into a cinematic sequence in just minutes, rather than the weeks or months it might normally take.

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Deakins: Shadows in the Valley

Deakins: Shadows in the Valley

Cinematographer Roger Deakins is responsible for some of the most striking imagery in the films of the Coen Brothers, as well as Kundun, Jarhead and Skyfall. Plot Point Productions pays tribute to this true master of composition, light and shadow in this short montage.

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