Episode 77: Justinsuperstar Travels, Makes Documentaries

Episode 77: Justinsuperstar Travels, Makes Documentaries

My good friend Justin Johnson is prolific video producer and talented, world-traveling documentary filmmaker. We met up in New York to discuss his innovative techniques and creative philosophy. Plus, your questions about finding good stories, distribution strategy, and matching multiple cameras.

Follow Justin’s work on YouTube or at justinsuperstar.com.

I recommend his recent mini-doc series Fan Creators, produced for SyFy, and his latest travel video, A Journey to Kitzbühel, Austria. You can also read about his creative approach in this Tongal Creator Interview.

Hey Indie Filmmakers is brought to you by Squarespace. Try it for free, then save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain—visit squarespace.com/griffin

This week you can hear me on Ian O’Neill’s new podcast, How They Did It: Filmmaking.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 76: We’re Rebels in Stormtrooper Disguise

Episode 76: We’re Rebels in Stormtrooper Disguise

After going undercover as stormtroopers in Star Wars virtual reality combat, Nick and Griffin are joined by their childhood friend and video professional Adam Kruminas. Plus, your questions about cropping 4K video, the easiest way to add storage space to your editing machine, and advice for your first documentary.

At The VOID in Las Vegas, we experienced Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire—a particularly immersive virtual reality game.

Thank you Chris Johnston for setting us up with your studio, and to camera operator Sam Seeger!

Although our friend Adam has access to pricier broadcast equipment, he prefers lightweight gear for some shoots—the sub-$100 Tzumi SteadyGo gimbal to stabilize his 4K mobile phone. He’s also using an inexpensive MAONO lavalier microphone for audio, and often a selfie stick as a tripod substitute. I personally think Adam would really enjoy my favorite, simple piece of gear—the Pedco Ultra Clamp. *ding*

For Panasonic GH5 V-Log footage, I’ve enjoyed a LUT called VLog_to_V709_Varicam, included in this free zip file of LUTs created by Mitch Lally.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 75: Pre-Production Meeting

Episode 75: Pre-Production Meeting

Nick and Griffin plan which microphones and cameras they’ll need for next week’s three-person shoot. Plus, your questions about sound on a budget documentary, upgrading your editing machine, and when you need a location release to sell stock footage.

The Faustian Man wondered why I don’t more actively promote my film Sriracha on the podcast. He says, “I watched it last night still amazing! I love that doc.” It’s free on Amazon Prime.

Kasey asked about music libraries. Episode 47 discusses the topic in-depth. For my music, I use and recommend Artlist. I’m also an affiliate, so I receive a commission if you sign up.

Listen to Alex Ferrari’s interview with Griffin on Episode 258 of Indie Film Hustle—“Making Money with Documentaries & Sriracha with Griffin Hammond”

Griffin Hammond
Episode 74: Improvising DIY Film Gear

Episode 74: Improvising DIY Film Gear

When Griffin’s filmmaking equipment fails to arrive, he’s forced to improvise and build his own DIY solution. Plus, your questions about making money with cheap equipment, putting Canon glass on mirrorless cameras, and proper exposure for your productions.

I tried to order this $24 Tablet holder to mount my iPad to my DJI Mavic Air remote, but after USPS lost the package, I decided to build my own version by recycling pieces from a GH4 camera cage, a Reflex shoulder rig handle, and mounting this Joby GripTight for iPad.

In this episode, I also demonstrate how Drone Deploy created an auto-flight plan for my drone, and 3D-mapped my friend’s house.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 73: Become a Licensed Drone Pilot

Episode 73: Become a Licensed Drone Pilot

Griffin is now a licensed drone pilot, after passing the FAA knowledge test—granting him flight privileges hobbyists don’t get. Plus, your questions about shooting infrared, collaborating with another editor, and recording audio with a boom pole.

In response to Aisha’s question about shooting infrared,
I mentioned infrared filters by B+W and Hoya.

Drone flight apps I find useful

  • KittyHawk is the perfect pre-flight and flight-logging app for drones. It displays easy-to-read airmaps and weather information, and even counts my drone battery cycles to help maintain airworthiness.
  • Verifly provides instant liability insurance for drone flights. $1,000,000 of coverage, usually as low as $10 for an hour-long, ¼-mile flight. But you can also increase the coverage, time and distance, and schedule in advance.
  • The website SkyVector is the simplest way to reference the FAA’s VFR sectional charts, TACs (terminal aeronautical charts) and TFRs (temporary flight restrictions).

Why would you want an FAA drone license?
Licensed sUAS (small unmanned aircraft system) pilots operate under Part 107 of the FAA rules. Some rules mirror those for hobbyists—like don’t fly over people—but a licensed pilot can fly for profit, and apply for authorizations to fly in controlled airspace, which hobbyists can never do.

What is the process to become licensed?

  • Two weeks of studying. You’ll likely need two weeks of study time to learn how to read VFR sectional charts, decode METARs, and learn Part 107 rules. You’ll find free practice tests and study materials online—in fact, I’ve posted all my study notes below. But I paid $149 to RemotePilot101 to access their 13-hour video course.
  • $150 to sign up for the test. Find your local testing center, and call CATS, one of the testing companies that manages Airman tests. It will cost $150 to sign up for the test—it’s just a 60-question knowledge test. No flight test required.
  • Score at least 70% on the test. You have two hours to answer 60 multiple-choice questions, drawn randomly from a pool of approximately 600 the FAA has designed. You can miss up to 18 questions—70% is a passing score. You’d have to pay another $150 to retake the test.
  • Apply for your pilot certification through IACRA. Within 48 hours, the FAA should receive your test results, and you can register in IACRA. There you’ll submit a free application online, and within seven days, you’ll be approved, and the FAA will mail your pilot certificate. It’s possible to receive a certificate quicker, by visiting your local FSDO, but as you can see, this whole study-test-approval process should take over three weeks.
  • Lastly, your drone (sUAS) needs to be registered with the FAA as well. This costs $5.

Is the real test harder than practice tests?
After scoring 96% on RemotePilot101’s final exam (in 19 minutes), I expected to breeze through the real knowledge test. Although I passed, I scored worse than expected: 87% in 45 minutes. What slowed me down is the practice tests display diagrams on-screen, but the real test uses this book—Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement. A question might say, Refer to Figure 75 (which is not on page 75, as you might imagine), so perhaps 15 minutes of my test was spent flipping back and forth through the book. Also, approximately 12 questions covered concepts I’d never heard of. So if you’re not scoring at least 80% on practice tests, don’t expect to pass (70%) the real test.

What eight questions did I get wrong?
The FAA provides codes/topics for the questions I got wrong, and I can remember some of the question text. Two questions I don’t remember at all, but they must fall into these six topics—

  • PLT161 Recall airspace classes - limits / requirements / restrictions / airspeeds / equipment
    "Refer to Figure 75. You’ve been hired to inspect a new highway construction along the southern edge of Gila Bend, AZ. Do you need authorization to fly your sUAS?"
    (I said no, because I wasn't sure what “southern edge” meant, or where the Gila Bend city limits are, but now I see it's likely referring to Class D airspace, which would require authorization.)
  • PLT263 Recall hazardous weather - fog / icing / turbulence / visibility restriction
    Something about 40-knot gusts around a mountain, which I wasn’t familiar with.
  • PLT072 Interpret information on a Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF)
    "Refer to Figure 15. According to the TAF for KMEM, during what time period does the weather become overcast at 2,500ft?"
    Strangely, this may have been the only TAF question on my test, and I’m not sure how I got it wrong. It sure looks like it’s forecasted to be overcast at 2,500ft (OVC025) at 22:00Z time.
  • PLT146 Recall airport operations - traffic pattern procedures / communication procedures
    "Without a control tower UNICOM, what frequency should you monitor for planes?"
    ( ATIS 123.75 ) ( MULTICOM 122.9 ) ( Flight Service 122.0 )
  • PLT328 Recall performance planning - aircraft loading
    "If a sUAS is carrying cargo,"
    ( make sure it's secured ) ( flight performance is diminished ) ( third choice I don’t remember )

  • PLT534 Recall regulations – small UAS operational control / condition for safe operation / VLOS / frequency interference
    Something about visual line of sight when passing control to another Remote PIC (pilot in command), a procedure I never learned about.

Here are ALL of my notes from studying FAA Part 107.
My notes alone can’t teach you all the necessary skills, but they can show you what to learn, and work as a study guide.


sUAS (small unmanned aircraft system) is 0.55lbs up to but not including 55lbs



Fly sUAS below 400ft AGL (above ground level), or up to 400ft above buildings, when within a 400ft radius of the building.

100mph ground speed max (that's 87 knots)

(400 ft is 120meters)


MSL is mean sea level

Airport elevations, airspace notations are written MSL

Written on maps as big number with small number below in parentheses—that's MSL (AGL)


Only fly during daylight, or in “civil twilight”—that’s the 30 minutes before sunrise/after sunset, which requires 3-mile collision avoidance lights


VFR Sectional charts cover the whole U.S.

Terminal aeronautical charts (TAC) are a zoomed in view of airports



Class A airspace is 18,000ft+ for commercial airliners

Class B airspace is major airports (SOLID BLUE LINE) multiple shelves, like an upside-down, tiered cake.

Class C is smaller airports (SOLID MAGENTA LINE) one shelf, usually 20 nautical miles across

Class D is still controlled but even smaller (DASHED BLUE LINE) no shelves, single cylinder. Typical height is 2,500ft AGL.

Surface Class E is also controlled (DASHED MAGENTA LINE)

Faded magenta means Class E airspace begins at 700ft, so not a problem for sUAS

-Unlike other altitude notations, Class E 700ft is AGL

-Outside of faded magenta, Class E begins at 1200ft AGL

Class G is uncontrolled, requires no approval.


The most comprehensive information on a given airport is provided by the “US Chart Supplement.”


On a VFR sectional chart, those blue compass roses surround VORs (VHF omnidirectional range), which transmit navigational info to pilots.

-V and T blue lines are IFR routes "highways in the sky"

-long dashed magenta are "isogonic lines" showing magnetic north.

-Blue airports have control towers. Magenta do not.


TRSA is big grey lines. Have Class D at the core, but the Class C-style shelves are for FYI only. You don't have to talk to those towers.


Other areas shown by blue hash is restricted or prohibited or warning

Magenta hash is military operations area (MOA)

-what kinds of activities in a MOA? Those that necessitate aerobatic or abrupt flight maneuvers.

-In restricted space? Unusual, often invisible hazards to aircraft (eg artillery, guided missiles)


Military training routes (MTR) are denoted by thin grey lines. IR means instrument route. VR means visual route. These are usually under 10,000ft. But a four-number character (ie VR1207) is 1,500ft AGL and below. Three characters or less have segments above 1,500ft.


aviationweather.gov - Also uses HEMS (turbulence data for low-flying helicopters)

METAR (french acronym) is an aviation routine weather report, released every 55 minutes

Look like this:

KLGA 251510Z 18010G19KT 10SM OVC010 26/23 A3000 RMK AO2 T02610228 $

Decoded: LaGuardia, (July) 25 at 1510 zulu time. winds from the south (180°) at 10knots, with gusts up to 19knots. Visibility 10 statute miles (10 = unlimited). Overcast at 1000ft MSL. 26°C, dew point 23°C. Calibrate altimeter to 30.00Hg. RMK are remarks.



15°C and 29.92Hg


TAF (Terminal aerodrome forecast) is like METAR, but generally a 24-hour forecast

Looks like this:

KLGA 251607Z 2516/2618 17014G21KT P6SM VCSH SCT015 BKN035

TEMPO 2516/2520 2SM SHRA BR BKN015 OVC025

FM260000 17012KT 6SM BR VCSH OVC020

TEMPO 2600/2604 3SM SHRA

FM260400 20010KT 6SM BR VCSH OVC015

FM260800 23006KT 4SM BR VCSH OVC015

FM261400 25006KT P6SM VCSH BKN025 BKN040


LaGuardia (day, zulu time) forecast from 25 16:00z to 26 18:00z. 170° 14knots, gusts up to 21knots. P6SM (visibility more than 6 statute miles—6 is TAF max). In the vicinity (VC), showers (SH).


THREE TYPES OF WEATHER BRIEFS: Standard, Abbreviated and Outlook


If you had a waiver that required you to fill out a NOTAM, you can do it on that site.


What is a characteristic of stable air?

-Stratiform clouds (thin, low stratus clouds)

-fair to poor visibility

-continuous precipitation


Unstable air

-building cumulus clouds (extensive vertical development)

-good visibility

-inconsistent, showery precipitation


When the temperature and dew point get close, that's when we get visible moisture—when fog forms.


-Radiation fog, when heat rises from the ground at night (prefers no wind)

-Advection Fog, warm moist air moves over a colder surface, like a body of water

-Upslope fog, which moves up a mountain

-Precipitation induced fog / steam fog


When will clouds or fog form?

-When water vapor condenses


What would you expect on a hot day over a barren area?

-Unstable air (because of the rising, uneven heat)

-Low-level wind sheer, thunderstorms might occur if we add humidity to that


CLOUD types:

-high (cirrus or clouds with extensive vertical development)

-middle (altocumulus and altostratus)

-low 6,500ft below (stratus) (cumulus)


Must fly sUAS 500ft below clouds ceiling


cumulo-nimbus (CB clouds) means rain (also nimbo-stratus)


A standing, lenticular cloud (often forms over a mountain, almond-shaped). Terrible, nasty weather.


What is the definition of a ceiling?

-The lowest broken (BKN) or overcast (OVC) layer. Not "few" or "scattered"



On cool, clear calm nights, objects on the ground can cause surrounding air to drop below the dew point, condensing air on ground, buildings, aircraft, etc.

-If the temperature is below freezing, that's frost.

-Dew poses no threat to sUAS, but frost is a definite flight safety hazard. A small sUAS would need to be cleaned of frost before flight.


Compass numbers that are written/read are "true north" (METAR, TAF) whereas heard ones, like on the radio, are "magnetic north."


FAA says payload "should" be logged, in the event of an accident.

-sUAS "MAY NOT" carry HAZARDOUS material

-to ensure center of gravity (CG) confirm balance info in POH (pilot operating handbook)


Normal plane flight pattern is rectangular: upwind, left crosswind, downwind, left base, final.



-Report accident within 10 days, to the FAA if:

-"serious injury" (hospitalization) to any person or loss of consciousness

-damage to any property (other than sUAS) if the cost is greater than $500

-shall be filed electronically, via FAA accident reporting

-or by phone to nearest FSDO (Flight Standards District Office)

Griffin Hammond
Bonus: Carpal tunnel syndrome from too much editing

Bonus: Carpal tunnel syndrome from too much editing

I believe too much editing gave me carpal tunnel syndrome. Nick says I should see a doctor. Instead, I bought a weird “handshake” mouse.

My primary strategy for recovery has been giving my hands a chance to rest, and changing some of my repetitive motions. I’ve switched from my trackpad to a titled, handshake-shaped wireless mouse. I also picked up a cheap capacitive stylus to use with my iPhone, a gel-filled wrist pad for my keyboard and these wrist/thumb support braces.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 72: MoviePass vs. AMC Stubs A-List

Episode 72: MoviePass vs. AMC Stubs A-List

For less than the cost of one movie ticket, MoviePass lets you see up to three movies per month in theaters. AMC Theatres is now competing with their own monthly movie plan. Plus, your questions about calculating SD card recording time, lav mics for four people, and how to backup footage while climbing a mountain.

Emily asked about backing up footage in the wilderness, without laptops or internet. Episode 63 of this podcast discusses some hardware options, and the LaCie 2TB DJI Copilot BOSS may be the ideal choice.

Obi asked for lens recommendations for event videography. Nick and I like the combination of the 12-35mm and 35-100mm, both f/2.8 constant. Both lenses appear in my equipment list.

Blake asked about this SanDisk 64GB SD card. Its label says 95MB/s, but 95 megabytes per second is the read speed, not the write speed. It’s a V30 card, meaning it can guarantee a sustained 30MB/s write speed for video recording. 30 megabytes is 240 megabits, so it can handle recording quality up to 240mbps.

To figure out recording time, you need to know that:

  • There are 8 bits in a byte, therefore 8 megabits (mb) in one megabyte (MB).
  • And there are 1024 megabytes (MB) in a gigabyte (GB).

GB * 1024 * 8 / bitrate / 60 seconds = the number of recording minutes.

If I’m shooting 150mbps on my GH5 with a 64BG card, I can record 58 minutes of video, according to this formula: 64 * 1024 * 8 / 150 / 60 = 58.25



Griffin Hammond
Episode 71: Apple Updates the MacBook Pros

Episode 71: Apple Updates the MacBook Pros

Are Apple’s new MacBook Pros worth the upgrade? I have no idea, so Nick explains the new specs. Plus, your questions about recovering lost audio, organizing camera gear, and if your computer can handle 10-bit video files.

Regarding hard-to-play video files, for playback I recommend VLC for Mac or PC, and for transcoding files—EditReady for Mac.

This simple “underwear organizer” helps store my lenses, camera bodies, cords and accessories inside dresser drawers.

For more information about camera bags Nick and I use, check out episode 69, How to Vacation with a Camera.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 70: Alex Ferrari shot his film AT Sundance
From his Instagram @ifilmhustle , Alex Ferrari holding the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera he shot his film  On the Corner of Ego And Desire  with.

From his Instagram @ifilmhustle, Alex Ferrari holding the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera he shot his film On the Corner of Ego And Desire with.

Episode 70: Alex Ferrari shot his film AT Sundance

Filmmaker Alex Ferrari is known for his website and podcast Indie Film Hustle. Alex’s latest feature film On the Corner of Ego and Desire was shot in four days at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Plus, your questions about filming concerts, creating pretty text, and which microphone I prefer.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 69: How to Vacation with a Camera

Episode 69: How to Vacation with a Camera

As Nick prepares to travel with his family, what camera gear is essential for summer vacation? Plus, your questions about CTO and CTB gels, shooting in low light, and whether it’s legal to use a news broadcast in your film.

Nick uses a Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L, and this Peak Design camera wrist strap.
For lighter, sightseeing travel, Griffin prefers the Lowepro Photo Hatchback BP 150 AW II or Lowepro Photo Hatchback 16L AW.

John Luna’s instagramthank you, John for editing today’s episode!
And thank you Pierre Barr for mixing today's audio!

How I Produced, Distributed and Promoted Sriracha:

I used this Video Talent Release Form to produce Sriracha. As I’m no lawyer, it certainly could be more legally airtight to mitigate risk, but a simple release like this serves as proof that talent participated willfully, understands the project and how you intend to distribute it, and whether they should expect compensation.

This article by Jake Hicks on CTO and CTB gels explains exactly how much each gel affects white balance, including Kelvin numbers.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 68: Macro Infrared Photography with a Bellows

Episode 68: Macro Infrared Photography with a Bellows

Using a DIY-mounted macro bellows, Griffin shoots some weird close-up photos with his infrared camera. Plus, your questions about being a perfectionist, how to lock the stabilization of a handheld shot, and if a zoom lens messes up gimbal balance.

Watch our bonus episode, Converting My GH4 Camera to Infrared (September 6, 2017)
*I paid a company called Kolari Vision to permanently remove the “hot mirror” filter from my Panasonic GH4 sensor, and install a 720nm infrared filter.

Carson recommends using YouTube’s “Transcribe and auto-sync” feature to generate and export subtitle files for free. Lorenz recommends Lumberjack Builder, a subscription-based service for generating video transcripts.

For controlling vocal audio levels automatically, Joel recommends a plug-in called Vocal Rider.

Fstoppers writes about why “I.S. Lock” on the Panasonic GH5 is so useful.

If you’re having trouble setting up internet file sharing with a Synology NAS, Nick thinks it could be a port forwarding issue, and recommends this support tutorial.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 67: Automatic Captions for Videos

Episode 67: Automatic Captions for Videos

Griffin tests out SpeedScriber, an app that automatically generates subtitles for his latest video. Plus, your questions about editing out background music, when to use what kinds of stabilization, and issues with 24 vs. 30-frame videos.

SpeedScriber(for Mac OS) includes 15 free minutes of automatic transcription. After that, it’s $0.50/minute.

Joseph Linaschke, known as PhotoJoseph, has also experienced the DJI Spark/FCPX framerate issue we discussed last week. He sent me this thread in the DJI forums.

Nick helped me understand how 60hz televisions can avoid 24fps judder.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 66: The Framerate Mismatch Problem

Episode 66: The Framerate Mismatch Problem

Griffin attempts to solve a weird frame-skipping problem showing up in Nick’s latest drone footage. Plus, your questions about handling audio tracks in Final Cut Pro X, producing a compelling story, and how to create a video podcast like ours.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 65: Ronin-S, DJI’s new handheld gimbal

Episode 65: Ronin-S, DJI’s new handheld gimbal

The new Ronin-S ships on June 11, 2018. Is DJI’s new handheld gimbal worth the $699 price tag? Plus, your questions about producing political ads, how to sound professional over email, and post-production tips for audio.

The DJI Ronin-S is a 4.1-lb. 3-axis gimbal that can handle camera/lens combos up to 7.9 lbs. The Ronin-S can connect to these supported cameras to control recording and/or focus.

Upcoming workshop in Los Angeles
PHOTOCON LA 2018 is a three-day photo and cinema learning event in Los Angeles, which opens with my keynote Traveling Light While Filmmaking on June 8, 2018.

Griffin cuts these rubber sheets into pieces to squeeze between slippery metal camera parts—to keep a tight connection between a tripod head and legs, for example.

For DVD production, Nick uses MediaZilla. For email hosting, he recommends Zoho.

To learn Final Cut Pro X tips, Griffin recommends Larry Jordan.

Griffin Hammond
Bonus: The Four Ingredients of Documentary Film

Bonus: The Four Ingredients of Documentary Film

From his recent filmmaking workshop at Illinois State University, Griffin explains the four elements of news and documentary—SOT, b-roll, voiceover and natural sound.

Upcoming workshop in Los Angeles
PHOTOCON LA 2018 is a three-day photo and cinema learning event in Los Angeles, which opens with my keynote Traveling Light While Filmmaking on June 8, 2018.


Griffin Hammond
Episode 64: SD Card Problems

Episode 64: SD Card Problems

From Singapore, Griffin describes two recent problems he’s encountered with SD cards. Plus, your questions about the visual grammar of storytelling, pulling focus with electronic lenses, and the lenses I used on my latest film from Japan.

Directed by Errol Morris, The Fog of War is a documentary that features a special camera device called the Interrotron, which allowed former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara to speak directly into the camera during his interviews.

For the footage I shot in Kyoto, Japan, I relied on three Panasonic lenses—the 42.5mm f/1.2, 25mm f/1.4, and 8–18mm f/2.8–4. For Panasonic GH5 V-Log footage, I’ve enjoyed a LUT called VLog_to_V709_Varicam, included in this free zip file of LUTs created by Mitch Lally.

Here are the instructions for getting a podcast on Spotify.

Upcoming workshop in Los Angeles
PHOTOCON LA 2018 is a three-day photo and cinema learning event in Los Angeles, which opens with my keynote Traveling Light While Filmmaking on June 8, 2018.

Massachusetts Special Olympics video gig
If you’re interested in helping film the Massachusetts Special Olympics in Boston June 9–10, or the Cruiser Convoy in Mansfield, Braintree, Sagamore Beach, Danvers, or Reading, email Bruce Goguen at gig@EventsOnDVD.com


Griffin Hammond
Episode 63: Filmmaking in Japan

Episode 63: Filmmaking in Japan

Griffin and Amy are in Japan, filming a client project with the Zhiyun-Tech Crane v2 handheld gimbal. Plus, your questions about aspect ratios, offloading footage during international trips, and how audio syncing helps edit a podcast.

For backing up footage without a computer, there are many hard drives with built-in SD card readers:

Nick is interested to try Ferrite, an audio editing app for iPad.


Griffin Hammond
Episode 62: Cheap vs. Expensive Sliders

Episode 62: Cheap vs. Expensive Sliders

Griffin buys an $820 Kessler Stealth slider, compares it to a $249 carbon fiber slider by Benro. Plus, your questions about SD card speeds, how to record two mono audio tracks, and whether to shoot your documentary in 4K or 1080.

Items I purchased today:

Nick thinks I need to upgrade my 37" 720p/1080i television. He just sent me this link—he recommends this new TCL 4K TV.

Griffin Hammond
Episode 61: Digital Cinema Specs

Episode 61: Digital Cinema Specs

A document from Australian theaters shows what tech specs they expect for your digital cinema files. Plus, your questions about SD cards and X-ray machines, the difference between European and American camera models, and how to film a weeks-long time lapse.

Thank you to John Cochrane in Brisbane, Australia—CEO of John Cochrane Advertising—for sharing these tech specs from Valmorgan Cinema Network:

View PDF—Production Specifications and Requirements


Griffin Hammond
Episode 60: The Story of the Fire

Episode 60: The Story of the Fire

Fire destroyed Griffin’s mom’s apartment in Bloomington, Illinois. She is safe, and the recovery process is going well. Plus, your questions about crop focal lengths, tracking freelance hours, and the best headphones for under $100.

Central Illinois news agencies reported on the fire, including this story in The Pantagraph.

How to protect yourself
The Red Cross has several fire preparedness tips—most importantly making sure you have working smoke alarms.

*My mom also appears in episode 54—she's interviewed on-campus at Illinois State University.

Upcoming workshop in Los Angeles
PHOTOCON LA 2018 is a three-day photo and cinema learning event in Los Angeles, which opens with my keynote Traveling Light While Filmmaking on June 8, 2018.

Regarding Austin’s question about counting freelance hours, I’ve come across ZEI° by Timeular, a tabletop device that tracks your working hours.

Although I prefer to trust wired lavalier mics (like the Sony ECM-44B) when possible, I’ve recently purchased a Sennheiser EW100 G3 wireless transmitter and ME 2-II lavalier mic.

John—looking for sub-$100 headphones—is considering the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO. Griffin likes his Sony MDR-V6. One of Nick’s favorite review sites, Wirecutter, has several suggestions.

Griffin Hammond