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Monthly Archives: September 2003

FilmHelp FilmHelp: Production Films

Stuff in the air

By Greg Pak
Just saw a great low-budget slasher movie called “Savage Island” at ShockerFest in Modesto — and it reminded me of one big tip for cinematographers:
Get stuff in the air.
“Savage Island” was full of smoke and wind and general turbulence. Smoke gives movement and layers to the frame — it’s inherently cinematic. The filmmakers also gave depth to their frames by very often using leaves or other natural materials in the foreground.
Good to keep in mind.

FilmHelp FilmHelp: Production Films

How to make a filter stay in place without a filter holder

By Greg Pak
taped on filterOn an incredibly low-budget shoot, you may find yourself (as I recently did) needing to use a filter but having no filter holder. A simple solution is to roll a piece of camera tape on itself sideways, sticky side out. Then attach this tube of tape around the rim of the lens and then stick the filter into place.
Hey, presto! A workable, if fragile, solution!
For those who are interested, the filter in the picture is a 55mm Tiffen 812 warming filter which actually fits a still camera lens of mine. It’s a pretty cheap filter — I think it cost about twenty bucks or so — and works nicely with the little c-mount lenses on my Eclair ACL 16mm film camera, using this jerry-rigged method.
The 812 warming filter adds a bit of warmth to the scene (surprise, surprise). We used it on my short film “Cat Fight Tonight” and again on a new short I co-directed with Susie Lee entitled “Ode to Margaret Cho.”

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