Tag Archives: joseph dono

Hawaii Documentary

                                                           Honolulu Hawaii / North Shore

Earlier this month I was hired as the Director of Photographer of ” A Gift ” Directed by Cidney Kent; a Feature film based in Hawaii

It was a 5 day trip, 3 day shoot. We ranged from underwater, fantastic interviews to some of the best views in the world. I was approached by Cid nearly 3 months ago to shoot her documentary. It was a great opportunity to finally shoot a cinematic documentary. Cid express the style of the documentary to me, it was such passion that she was putting into such a documentary. She was telling me for weeks how I would be amazed how green everything was, and she sure wasn’t kidding.

I will start from the beginning of the trip till the very end!

We had taken off from Orlando Airport at 6:05 AM and landed in NJ, from NJ we then went to Honolulu, my god what a very long flight!

Day 01: We were to film underwater shots / capture interviews of the indigenous hawaiian’s.

Miles our underwater camera guy did and amazing job capturing the underwater sealife! Just breath-taking! I was very impressed with what we shot on our first day, I shot most of my shots on sticks, while Miles was floating on shore and in the water going handheld. All the beach shots were shot on my Canon 5D with a 70-200 shot at 24fps.

Day 02:

This was a day of our dramatic interviews, both interviews were such great people! The love for their familes was vibrant and indeed simple to see.

Again I shot all interviews on the Canon 5D, I was shooting on the 70-200 & the 50mm 1.4 lit the interview with the Rosco Light Panels which are daylight, use 2 full squares and a quarter square with half CTO on it, the right Full square was on a dimmer at about 65%

We got some fantastic interviews, this was also shot on the cineprofile setting and below will be a screen-grab from a before and after shot of one of the interviews.


Day 03:

We had went into Honolulu for some time-lapses from the hona hona room. I had reached out on Twitter for anyone who was in Hawaii with some tips on some great locations and Jason Johnson (@jasonjohnson6) had connected me with a professional photographer that literally lived 2mins from where I was staying (Sharks Cove) I then had met Andy, Andy knew Hawaii like it was the back of his hand! He had made a phone call to the General Manager of the Hona Hona room which then lead me to lock in the time slot to be able to shoot two of the most amazing time lapses ever!


To wraps things up:

I traveled to Hawaii with 4 check in cases and 2 carry on’s. I originally was going to bring my Kesllercrane Cineslider but at the very last minute I had to pick from the equipment I was bringing that I really needed the most. Unfortunately the slider did not go this time but it will surely make a trip next time!

I also used the 16-35 2.8 for nearly every timelapse I shot. I used the 70-200 most of the trip, I was able to move around quicker with the 70-200 vs my primes. I also made great use of my Marshal monitor / EVF on the beach! Digged the Zacuto Baseplate, wouldn’t been able to have went handheld as quick as I did if it wasn’t for the baseplate.

To the list of equipment I used, I was finally able to fully test the Shoot35 mattebox and follow focus and I must say both of those are great for the price! Stunning quality parts.

My trip was totally fulfilled, can’t say big enough thanks to the executive producer Dan for going over and beyond on the trip! Cid did a stunning job getting everything in place for me when I got to Hawaii. Also gotta’ hand it to my girlfriend who had came with me as my assistant! She did a stunning job, wouldn’t have been able to do this with out her & the support!

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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


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What to do when FCPX failed you?



What do you do when FCPX failed you? I have been asking my self since Tuesday afternoon what do I do? I have had projects lined up to be edited on FCPX. I told my self FCPX was going to fix all my concerns that I had for FCP. I’ve seen the blogs that many have predicted that FCPX was supposed to be. I knew that FCPX was going to have a new layout, which I didn’t care for since I do not like change.

The day FCPX came out and the day I tried it, I hated it from the start. I couldn’t figure out how to use it. Reviews on Apples website were mixed, more hate than love. Twitter feed was blowing up by the hour, heck it even made it on nationwide T.V! Apple FCPX was not what everyone thought it was supposed to be.

At this time I knew FCP7 was hopeless for MY needs, I needed something that I could edit on that needs both my needs and the work-flows of my projects. Most of my projects come from DSLR based footage. I can’t express the pain that I have to go through when transcoding. Very much like walking on a beach of hot sand on a very sunny day!

So I decided to look at my many few options that I had to work with. The choices I were given were, AVID or Premiere Pro CS.5. Well to start I can’t stand to work on AVID, my mind was so fixed on editing on FCP I couldn’t think to back pedal to learn AVID. However Avid does fit my needs but just not able to accommodate my mental block.

So my next choice was to try Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 I’ve had CS5 since last May when I received a free copy of the master collection in Cannes France, but I’ve never used Premiere! However Maxim Jago Sam Hobbin a UK Adobe trainer had showed me the ropes when I was in France but I didn’t fancy the idea of having to learn another program when my heart, and mind was set on FCP.

So after letting my guard down I decided to try premiere, I opened up the timeline of Premiere, I noticed it slightly resembled FCP in a sense. However the shortcut keys were all different the lay out could be arranged like my custom layout in FCP. I started to put a slight grin on my face, I imported all my footage. I then began to cut–first thing I noticed was no transcoding! Let there be light!! I think I see pings flying!!

I then decided to dig deeper into Premiere, I come to notice that Premiere can be a little more interesting with Keyboard customization! voila! I can now edit on Premiere using FCP7 shortcuts, who would think this was possible. You can also use AVID shortcuts for those who transfer from AVID to premiere.

If you want to make PPRO a little more like FCP7, you can also take the color of PPRO and make it lighter or darker, if you want the light color skin of FCP7, lower the settings in the appearance window and BAM you got it.

If I was a car salesmen for Adobe I would tell you that Premiere is nothing like FCPX, but a lot like FCP7. ppro has DSLR workflows for those who work on DSLR workflows, but if you edit more RED workflows then they have that too! You do not need to ever render if you have a supported GFX card or the advanced hack that will allow you to never render again! The fact I have my FCP7 shortcuts, no transcoding, editing on a DSLR workflow / wonderful customer support of Adobe, made the transition from FCP to PPRO smooth and easy!

A lot of Apple users won’t give ppro a chance because you have been with FCP for years or even decades! But the fact that you have to make a choice, FCPX, AVID or PPRO. Yes you can use FCP7 for now but why? It surly is outdated, there are other tools in the tool box that does the same job but faster. Might have a different label on it but it gets the job done quicker then FCP7 why aren’t you using it?


Do you like to subject your self to toruture of transcoding and rendering? Then stay with FCP7, but in a years time, FCPX will be the only program apple will update, I can’t see them updating imovie2012 not after all the money they invested into FCPX, they are only halfway done with it but it still will work the same way, yes missing features but the beast will walk and talk the same way. Those same ways are what I don’t like. If I can work fast and enjoy my time with PPRO, then my time will be better spent on a software that gets the proper attention of updating that it needs. Adobe seems to do an update once per year! I can’t wait to see what CS6 will bring!





Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Uncategorized


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