Monthly Archives: June 2013

Erika’s Call – Scene Filmed during Canon DSLR Boot Camp Level ll


This scene was filmed by participants of the Canon DSLR Level 2 Boot Camp  ( on May 29, 2010, taught by the folks at The Association.


The video was shot on a mix of Canon 5Ds and 7Ds. One of the cameras used was a converted 5D with a PL mount and Zeiss lens provided by Hot Rod Cameras.


Audio was recorded in-camera using a mixer and Beachtek pre-amps. Marshall Monitors were mounted on a couple of Red Rock Micro shoulder-mount rigs for hand-held shots. In the opening sequence, we utilized a Micro-Dolly while the second scene was filmed with a Losmandy Port-a-jib. Manfrotto 6′ suction cups were used for the car mounts.

See the full gallery on posterous

The Canon 5D and 7D footage was transcoded in Final Cut Pro using the EOS1 Plugin from Canon into ProRes422 files. Grading done with Magic Bullet Looks. Post completed by Snehal.

A special thanks to our DSLR partners who contribute products and services for our Boot Camps:

Posted via email from Fearless Productions Blog

A New Venture

We’ve had a quick break from the Canon Boot Camp and worked on in-store instructional videos for a technology company. This took a very talented team to pull off. We had an heavy-duty system set up between the DIT and camera. Although the camera was stable for the entire shoot, it was very crucial for the Director of Photography to keep the subject framed in the same position every time. There was a lot of note-taking and measuring involved to make sure this could be replicated for pick-ups, etc. This was a green screen shoot, so lighting was key so that we could get the best and most believable composite possible. The post-production team worked their magic with motion tracking and compositing to deliver an outstanding and professional video.

These videos are made to help consumers better understand their products before they purchase them. This is a great concept because purchasing a new high-end technology device can be very daunting for many consumers. This makes the device much more approachable when they have a tech-savvy and friendly person to walk them through the innovative aspects of the gadget. This was a multi-lingual project which took a lot of collaboration to make sure the translations were on-point. Our language coach made sure the dialect was spoken properly for the corresponding market. Hopefully, this will help many people from many different backgrounds break down the barrier between them and technology. We are looking forward to this project being on the market soon so that we can hopefully share more!


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We are going worldwide!

You heard it here first. The Canon Boot Camp will be changing its name to the Cine Boot Camps and going online! We have been working hard to bring the highest-rated, longest-running HDSLR boot camp to the world. Although we have received many out-of-towners and international students at our workshops in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Prague, we want to reach more filmmakers dying to make their film come to life. The way we approach teaching our class is through Active Learning and a lot of hands-on and one-on-one attention. We are making sure that even though we won’t be in the same room as you, you will still get all the information you are looking for.

Right now, we are looking for the best platform to suit our needs and our students’ needs. We are also reviewing our course pack and checklist. We will be working on quizzes and videos to help you understand the material, and make sure you know what you are doing before you move to the next step. We are working on a list of FAQs that we get the most consistently at the workshop. They are not your regular FAQs that you can find all over the web, but very specific questions that people are perplexed by when they come to the class. For example, often time people have a hard time changing settings on their camera although just five minutes ago, everything was working fine. Most of the time, the problem is that they have accidentally bumped their dial from “M” (Manual) to another setting, causing the camera to make decisions for you based on aperture, etc.

So, whether you are in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Madrid, or wherever, soon, you’ll have the new and improved Cine Boot Camps at your finger tips! Our series of videos will make you feel like we are right next to you!

Cine boot camps

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The HoverCam is coming to the June Cine Boot Camp!

The coming Cine Boot Camps HDSLR workshop will feature something new. Great for indie filmmaking or diverse and exciting shots, the HoverCamera can take your camera where it has never been before. It can hover through narrow passageways to offer interesting shots and a point-of-view that cannot be achieved with anything else.

The HoverCam that will be used at the June 29/30th Cine Boot Camp will be using a GoPro. We will be using it to track a car shot. This is a very cost-effective way of shooting dynamic scenes and it will surely bring our short film to the next level.


Take a look at HoverCam’s reel and see what they are able to achieve with this small device. The shots they managed to capture could not have been captured without a costly helicopter just a few years ago. The beauty of this is that you can use it indoors as well as outdoors. Now, because of this, beautiful air shots are becoming more available to independent filmmakers on a low budget. Along with HDSLR cameras, this is helping to bring dynamic filmmaking to everyone.  Although we will be featuring the GoPro rig this time, HoverCam also makes rigs for HDSLRs. Come to the June workshop to see it in action and to get your hands on it!

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5 days of the coolest DSLR filmmaking this Fall

California Photo Festival Banner

You’ll want to be there to capture the horses in slo-mo….running up the beach at sunset in sunny California…capture great scenes in picturesque San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Cayucos and Paso Robles.

It’s five days of paradise for photographers and filmmakers.

Actually, It’s CLICK4 (also known as the CaliforniaPhotoFest) where top instructors and image makers gather to capture California beauty and learn new photography tips and techniques.

We’ll be expanding imagemakers skills with our hands-on, Basic and Advanced DSLR video workshops. Our HDSLR cine workshops are rated among the best according to our student surveys.

And,  it’s a lot of fun.


It’s fun because we believe the perfect workshop is one that answers your questions and frees you up to learn new things.  We use Active Learning techniques, which are endorsed by the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University as the most effective way of teaching.  Our students learn by doing. They have fun.

Imagine that!

We focus on what you want to learn.  We customize our workshops to advance your mastery of DSLR filmmaking tools whether you’re a beginner or a master.  We make sure you understand and can apply the skills we’re teaching.  Then we shoot an aesthetic film, which is edited and released on Vimeo for all to see your work.

Now’s the time to sign up. Enter the PROMO Code “fletch2013″ and receive an early bird discount*.

the bay


Yes, there will be filming.

Yes, there will be challenges.

Yes, there will be great shots..


But most of all there will be laughter and smiles when we play back the great videos we’ll be shooting with the Canon DSLRs…the cameras that brought Hollywood filmmaking to everyone. 







*The fletch2013 promo code will save students $60 on the $499 Gold Week Festival pass (brings it to $424).

Just enter the code into the discount area and press “apply code” and continue on to checkout. (registration link)
The code cannot be combined with any other discounts and is only valid for the Gold week 5 day pass.

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Still Photographers are Fans of the Canon Boot Camp!

cbc_camera_with_helmutWe like to tailor The Association’s Cine Boot Camp to our students, so we always send out a pre-class survey to see what their background is and what they are looking to take away from the weekend. For the past year, I’ve seen a steady growth of still photographers participating in the our HDSLR training classes. Because of increasing demands from their clients to shoot videos alongside photos, many still photographers have come to us to learn the other side of their camera.

When we first got invited to the Palm Springs Photo Festival in 2012, we had to think about how we would teach a tool that photographers were so familiar with, in a different light. After all, DSLRs are made for photographers first, and videographers second. Still photographers are already experts on their camera and know the ins and outs of the device, but we were tasked with teaching them about turning off some parts of their cameras to optimize it for video. I remember one still photographer who changed his shutter speed to gain proper exposure to take a still, and I had to remind him that this couldn’t be done in video because it would cause the frames to stutter, so he would end up with something resembling a zombie movie.

Still Photographers are wonderful students because they teach me things that I don’t use on the camera. In turn, they learn invaluable information about their camera. Gloria Baker, a photographer from New York, said, “I feel much more comfortable working on a video project…it was worth every penny. I think she especially enjoyed the technical aspects of the camera that we covered. Ray Carns, a still photographer from Arizona, came to our Palm Springs Photo Festival two years in a row! He came back recently for our advanced workshop. It meant a lot that he trusted us enough and had an enriching experience the first time to come back for more!



Still Photographers at the Cine Boot Camp

Gloria Baker’s Experience at the Palm Springs Photo Festival from Fletch Murray/CineBootCamp on Vimeo.


In October, we will be teaching at another Still Photography Festival, the California Photo Festival. We love being the go-to DSLR filmmaking source for still photographers!

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Boot Camp Films: Killer Part 2

“Killer 2″, the continuation to “Killer”, both starring Anna Easteden, was shot at our Burbank studio. If you haven’t seen “Killer” yet, watch to see what happens to Angie, Anna’s character in the first installment to understand the wrath of James, a rifle-wielding aggressive man. In “Killer 2,” Angie’s life is threatened by the consequences of her actions from the first short film.


Killer – Episode 2 from Fletch Murray/CineBootCamp on Vimeo.


With the help of one of our major sponsors, Alzo, we were able to light the scenes in new and interesting ways. For example, we used an overhead drum light to shoot the praying scene, which gave our actress the appearance of having a soft halo and an angelic look. We shot six scenes in one day including car shots and a fight scene in a narrow hallway. Thanks to the portability of the Alzo LED lights, we were able to light these scenes easily.




My favorite scene was the fight scene in the hallway between James and Julie. It was beautifully lit and the rain that was created in the background added a lot to the atmosphere of the scene. We had 4 cameras on this shot: 2 getting crossing shots, and 2 more at the end of the hallway capturing wide and medium shots. Capturing the dialogue of this scene was a bit tough since James spent most of this scene yelling while Julie was more reserved, however, our participants pulled it off by recording separate levels.




I was very impressed by the beautiful shots the participants were able to capture just one day after learning about the video aspect of the Canon HDSLRs. You can learn the same skills by attending the Canon Boot Camp. Two days of training nets you better video skills and great footage (plus credits!) for your reel. Come have fun with us!

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DSLR RAW Video – the bleeding edge. Should I or shouldn’t I ?

(Email me at if you want to watch us install the Magic Lantern RAW software on my Canon 5D Mark III. I’ll shoot a video of every single step of the process.  Send me an email, “Just Do It, Fletch”..  If you don’t want me to, send an email “Don’t Do it, Fletch!”)

Just in case you’re the only filmmaker on earth who hasn’t yet heard, there have been a series of stunning steps forward from Magic Lantern enabling filmmakers to shoot video at 24 frames per second in 14 bit RAW video (uncompressed), like the sample below from EOShd


There are many examples on Planet5D.

I’ve not been able to get my mind off of it since I first heard about it.  12,000+ filmmakers read about each day’s advancements.

The video below has nice comparisons of the same scene shot in RAW and h.264.

RAW Video

Daily, even hourly over the last two-three weeks Planet5d has been aggregating RAW videos from ML-empowered pioneers led by Luke Neumann .

There’s also an alternate more simplified conversion workflow from  Sebastian at cinema5D


And Dave Dugdale has a video out covering installing the current stable version of ML 2.3.

dugdale video link

Dave says he’ll release a second video any day about working with ML RAW.

So, are we going to surf down the bleeding edge?  Your emails will decide.

Here’s three reasons you might review before you make your final decision:

Reason #1-  The Magic Lantern “Beginner’s Guide” has a warning that is pretty chilling, “THIS IS DANGEROUS AND MIGHT DAMAGE YOUR CAMERA”.   So, if you’re a not ready to surf on the bleeding edge before the RAW release is stable you might want to consider just trying 2.3 which has been out for a while.  Dave shows you how here.  I’m sure if 2.3 had ruined very many cameras there would be a ton of flak on the web but there isn’t.  Still watch Dave and decide for yourself.

Reason #2 is the excellent comments by Luke Neumann in his  interview by bigleagueFilmSchool

Big League Film School

Luke tries to put RAW in perspective.  Luke is honest enough to tell us it’s not quite ready yet but certainly promises great things like better green screen keying and hi resolution b roll but it’s somewhat hampered right now with the 4k file size limit.

Reason #3 - Most important of all.  Put the RAW upgrade in perspective.  Luke reminds filmmakers they might want to focus on their weaknesses. Humbly he says he needs to work on his lighting and the day to day problem of making money as a filmmaker.

Luke’s words of wisdom are appreciated.  He’s a veteran of the HDR (High Dynamic Range) video breakthrough that as far as I know hasn’t yet set the world on fire. Although it also is a remarkable development, it doesn’t “put bread on the table” so to speak.

In my 30+ years of filmmaking there has always been a great new something coming out that would change everything and you’d never have to buy another camera.  But if you know lighting you can make any camera look great as well as make a great camera look bad.  So practice your lighting while ML is finishing their work. We find lighting will take your videos from “amateur” to “professional.”  Alzo has some great values on lighting as does Mole Richardson.  Don’t be concerned too much with price in buying lights. They will be a part of your toolbox for a long, long time….outliving the “latest” cameras by decades.

And, unless your a hobbyist filmmaker, you have to focus on the business procedures of finding clients, meeting with them, surveying, pitching, and closing them for a good budget.  These skills are extremely important unless you’re a trustafarian filmmaker (your parents gave you a trust fund to pay the bills).  Knowing how to close clients and pay the bills is the first step in surviving as a filmmaker no matter what camera you’re using.   In fact, we’re adding those two courses to our boot camp curriculum - How to Survive as a Filmmaker and How to light like the Masters. We’ll work on these two filmmaker skills while we walk the bleeding edge of the ML upgrade.

BONUS REASON #4 - Most of my life I’ve applied this rule from Alexander Pope.  

Be not the first by whom the new are tried,

Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.

In summary, hats off to my fellow film revolutionaries at Magic Lantern.  You are discovering new power tools for filmmakers and I just love what you’re doing.  I’m going to get busy closing clients and I’ll look forward to meeting up when your work comes out of pre-Alpha, and I have some clients closed and some lighting setups designed that will exploit the great capabilities the ML release will enable.


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