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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Film Class 2012: Introduction To The Camera World

Over the past couple of months I have had several great conversations on twitter with fellow director of photography Corey Steib on a number of topics related to filmmaking. Having a conversation in 144 character bursts can be quite challenging as it doesn't allow for complex answers to many nuanced issues. We both felt limited by these constraints and we wanted to open it up ...

And so was born Film Class: 2012, Straight Talk On The Creative & Technical Issues Of Filmmaking. It is our desire to open up our conversations to anyone who wants to join in directly, or just wants to listen in and observe as the conversation unfolds. With those goals in mind, we have created a Google hangout event for Monday, July 23rd at 4:30 pm PST / 7:30 pm EST. For those of you not familiar with Google hangout, it is an event that allows up to 10 people to directly join in the conversation via video chat, while also allowing for instant messaging by anyone else who wants to participate. Everyone else may just listen in and watch the conversation online as an observer without having to directly contribute.

We hope to make this an ongoing conversation where anyone who is interested can join in the discussion, or just listen in an hopefully learn a thing or two about the world of filmmaking - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Corey and I feel that our film class is different from many other "classes" out there as we are approaching the conversation from the perspectives of two people who have worked directly in the film industry at different levels of production. This is in contrast to other classes we have experienced where the people teaching and leading come from a photo or tv background. This isn't meant as a disparaging comment, rather, just an acknowledgment that Corey & I have a different history and a different perspective. We would like to offer that perspective to anyone who is interested in participating and drawing from that perspective. The more perspectives we can get on the topic of filmmaking, the better equipped we will all be as we set out to tell our stories and work in this industry we all enjoy.

Our "classes" will not be in the typical format of teacher / student, lecture / listen. We want it to be more dynamic then that. It will be a more open and interactive "class" that will be based around an open discussion format. Between the two of us we bring more then 20 years of experience in the film industry, and we will be offering our own perspectives to the topics we discuss. But we also invite you to join in and add to the conversation through the sharing of your insight, or through participating by asking questions. We want our "class" to be beneficial to everyone involved, at any experience level. No topic will be taboo, and no question will be too basic.

In our first class, we'll be covering topics directly related to the camera world, the list is as follows:
  1. History of Cameras / How we come to this point present day
  2. Different Roles In The Camera Department
    1. Director Of Photography / Cinematographer
    2. 1st Assistant Camera
    3. 2nd Assistant Camera
    4. Digital Assent Manager / Digital Media Tech / Digital Imagining Tech
    5. Camera PA
  3. Set Etiquette
  4. Knowing the limits of your gear
  5. Owning VS Renting
  6. Post NAB 2012
  7. Film School or No Film School
So join us on July 23rd for our first of many hangouts. You can join the event by going to our Google Hangout Event Page, find out about up coming discussions / classes on our FaceBook page, or you can find out more by searching for #FilmClass2012 on Twitter. You can also follow Corey or I on Twitter. If you'd like a little more about each of our backgrounds, our bios are below.

Until Next Time - Get Out There And Shoot,
Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer 

Corey Steib's Bio:
Born and raised in Orlando, FL, Corey has always had a passion for creating things. He studied TV Production in High School and that's when he knew what he wanted to do. He graduated from Film School in Orlando with an A.S. Degree in Film and Video Production. Corey has been in the business for almost 9 years now first starting out in the Audio Visual world as a Video Tech and Camera Op before gaining more film work as a Assistant Cameraman/Film Loader. Corey served as a freelancer working on Feature Films, TV Shows, Corporate, Commercials, Music Videos and many other productions.

In edition to being a Camera Op he has also become a media manager/digital loader working with many different formats from P2 to SD Cards. He also has been working in HD for 7 years now in many different formats and codec’s with Adobe,FCP and Avid.

“Corey is very enthusiastic-- you can always sense how much he enjoys what he does, and that's reflected in the quality of his work. Reliable, punctual, and simply a great guy to have on your team.”

“Every time I've worked with Corey, he has been focused and sharp on the job. No one cares more about getting it right. He is attentive to those around him and eager to share what he knows and glean from others new techniques and pertinent information. Hire him and he will tackle that job"

Ryan E. Walters' Bio:
Ryan E. Walters grew up in Seattle, Wa. where his passion for the visual arts was sparked at a young age through his parents encouragement and enrollment in drawing classes. This interest was furthered as he watched his grandmothers passion for photography. In high school he became dissatisfied with the static image, and his curiosity with the moving image was excited by the introduction of reel to reel tape based editing at his high school. Upon graduating from high school, Ryan moved to the Portland area and pursued studies in theology and youth ministry.

The passion and drive to create compelling moving images never left Ryan, and he has been working in the film industry since 1998. Ryan began as an Office PA and is now working full time as a freelance cinematographer based out of Portland, Or. His work has taken him around the world and country doing work for Adidas, Nike, MetLife, The Travel Channel, Lifetime, and he has shot 5 feature films to date. Ryan is a featured cinematographer on Sekonic’s “ProSpeak” web page, and he was the Master Cinematographer for the Red Epic on Zacuto’s 2012 Revenge Of The Great Camera Shootout. These experiences have enabled him to become intimately familiar with a wide range of digital cinema cameras from DSLR's up to the Red Epic and the Arri Alexa. However, in the end, what Ryan cares about most is telling a compelling visual story that engages the audience regardless of the capture device.

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