On Location- "Unity Charity"

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Helping to create a new introduction video for Unity Charity. An awesome group that travels to high schools promoting ‘hip hop against violence’… which is all about striving to create positive influences for kids who might otherwise end of drifting along, or stuck in the wrong crowd.

Shot all documentary style handheld, we followed around TK – 2008 Funk Fo Yo Feet popping champion and 30 second rubex cube master. He can also be seen on last year’s “So You Think You Can Dance Canada.”

Thanks to The Fantastic Poppers for letting us in to light the jam and film the battles!
Got some really sexy shots inside of the venue, which was the old Trinity Church on Bloor. Hard natural sunlight was shining through the giant windows as the sun was setting, giving off a beautiful warm glow. Got some amazing flares and sillhouette shots off my 5.9mm wide angle angenieux lens as two dancers battled it out… gorgeous!

Promotional Video: “Unity Charity”
Camera: SI2K Mini
Format: 1920×1080 Cineform Raw, 23.98
Director: Mike Prosserman/Justin Lovell
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

On Location- "Josh Reichman- Our Whole Life" – Music Video

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Very cool concept video by Frame Discreet Cinematographer Michael Leblanc. Based on the painterly, poetic photography by Edward Steichen, Leblanc is compositing Josh into his still photographs. In some cases, his head will be replacing the heads in the photographs. Also to be inserted is a dancer, some walking shots and some recreated images to have slight 3d drifts. A very interesting bit of textural work involved to pull it all off, however we have an excellent VFX artist on board to give it some real life. FD cinematograper Guy Godfree was gaffing this job, helping out tremendously in matching the lighting from the photos to our live set. This SI2k not only does live reference keying, but it also allows you to ‘onion skin’ or ‘overlay images’ so we could match the exact framing with the reference images… super handy!

Music Video: “Josh Reichman”
Camera: SI2K Mini
Format: 1920×1080 Cineform Raw, 23.98
Director: Michael Leblanc
Cinematographer: Michael Leblanc

On Location- "Nokia" – Commercial

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Fun little Nokia commercial spot directed by the talented Rob Pilichowski – soon to be known for his “all out war” bboy documentary. We shot the spot all on green screen with the SI2k mini. Having the spot meter on the camera interface is awesome for keeping a constant even exposure on the green screen. Also nice to have this feature when you’re playing with variable frame rates and shutter speeds because it allows you to keep the exposure bang on no matter what variable you change. It tells you the exact IRE level wherever you tap on the screen. Post guys and colorists will love ya for that one.

Managed to get in a fun little game of footy after the shoot when fellow Frame Discreet cinematographer, Barry Cheong, dropped by to say hello.

Commercial: “Nokia”
Camera: SI2K Mini
Stock: 1920×1080 Cineform Raw, 29.97
Director: Robert Pilichowski
Cinematographer: John Price

On Location- "This Movie is Broken" Short Film – Bruce McDonald

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Ever been onstage at the Harbourfront in Toronto for Broken Social Scene with 6 red cameras filming the event? I have.. and it was awwweesoommee! Grateful for the experience to work again with Bruce and a very talented group of cinematographers and focus pullers. FD crew Mikhail Petrenko, John Price, Michael Leblanc and myself were all on hand lighting the after party and rockin out on the main cameras on the main stage. Afterparty was all rigged with china balls with 60W bulbs which barely gave enough exposure. They were immediately swapped out to 40W bulbs as soon as we wrapped shooting to maintain a darker enviroment for the guests. We also had a few 1k lights bouncing light around off walls and heavily diffused, to bring up the ambient light.

“This Movie is Broken” – Short Film
Camera: 6 Red Cameras, 35mm Konvas, Canon 814XLS Super 8 & HVX-200 (for the afterparty)
Format: Red Raw 4k 23.98
Director: Bruce McDonald
Cinematographers: Mike Leblanc & John Price

On Location- "Tomasi" Music Video

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Shot in the beautiful Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Mikhail Petrenko did another gorgeous job lighting these tight spaces. We chose to shoot SI2k over the Red Camera for its small size and ability to be moved around quickly and easily. In one case – being tight for time – we had to get an over the shoulder shot of the model as she sat on the bed watching TV. We simply gripped a Cstand with a magic arm and armed it out behind the model with the SI2k on the end. Quick stable and easy setup that could have taken much longer with any other camera capable of 2k resolution! The shoot ran a little longer than usual, but we had the FD crew rockin’ it with a great team enjoying every minute of it (even as standins for the performers…haha)!

Music Video:
Camera: SI2k Mini- Angenieux 12-120mm, Switar 10mm/25mm, Schneider Xenon 50mm t-0.95. Recording to Solid State Toshiba Portege M750
Format: 2048×1080 Cineform raw
Director: Jeff Chan & Ludovic Chovino
Mikhail Petrenko

On Location- "Beautiful Monster" short film

Monday, July 13th, 2009

An interesting short film where we combined 16mm 3374 high contrast film (for a 70’s documentary feel) and 35mm 5218 for a slicker contemporary feel as the film evolves at the end. Had a great time on set with the FD crew, Michael Leblanc and Misha Petrenko. Attached frames are from the film stock/camera test showing the 3374 film stock rated at 160ASA cross-processed at Niagara Custom Lab. Transferred here at Frame Discreet. 3374 is an awesome black and white film stock that can be purchased from Kodak in 2000′ minimum orders for under $200! That’s 1 hour of shooting time, an affordable REAL film look!

Video: “Beautiful Monster” Short Film
Camera: Eclair NPR 16mm & Konvas 35mm
Format: 16mm 3374 / 35mm 5229
Director: Tony Romano
Michael Leblanc

On Location – "Body CSI" Olympic spot

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Continuing from our RED/SI2k Shootout… We sent the Cineform RAW footage to BIG for a VFX compositing test. They loved the footage! Said it was beautiful, and super easy to work with. They were able to use the raw footage with the look applied (which puts it into a non destructive ‘normal’ color space for an easier key). We shot today and everything went flawlessly. It was a super relaxed shoot with Mikhal (Misha), Leblanc and myself, all from the Frame Discreet cinematographer collective hangin out. The VFX fellas from BIG were on set to oversee the setups and they were stoked to see how easy the SI2K mini is to work with. I’m looking forward to working on personal projects with these talented guys!

“Body CSI” Olympic Spot
Camera: SI2K Mini
Stock: 1920×1080 Cineform Raw, 29.97
Director: John Turner
Cinematographer: Mike Leblanc

On Location – "Timber Timbre"

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Music video for super talented Timber Timbre. Shot on short ends of 35mm with the beautifully loud Konvas 35mm. Great little camera, a little cumbersome getting used to the viewfinder – it doesn’t orient itself when tilted so the image turns sideways… try walking handheld super slow wrapping around someone with everything sideways.. yeesh! All poetic natural lighting, with 2 mirror boards to help us out as the light was failing towards the end of the day.

Video: Timber Timbre – Demon Host
Camera: 35mm Konvas
Stock: 5218 500t Vision 2
Director: Scott Cudmore
Cinematographer: Mike Leblanc

On Location – "The Path to Shaolin"

Friday, May 29th, 2009

An awesome project to be on. I learned a lot from the them about training, spirituality and willpower. A story about one man’s journey from Saskatchewan to become accepted in China as a non-Chinese Shaolin Master. Truly an incredible journey that Tim has undertaken. Just found out Equator HD bought the doc and is currently airing it so watch out for it!


Video: Path to Shaolin
Cameras: Sony Ex-3
Director: Leif Kaldor

Scout Leader – RED Music Video

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Interesting video shot by our own Michael Leblanc. Another great concept by Scotty has some dramatic slow paced wire work involved. Dreamy and wierd. Supervised color correction session held @ Frame Discreet to handle the RAW files. Slight film grain applied to help take the edge off the slick video feel.

Director: Scott Cudmore
Cinematographer: Michael Leblanc
Camera: Red One
Colorist: Justin Lovell @ Frame Discreet

On Location – Footy (SI2k Mini)

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Another cool project headed up by Frame Discreet. I was cinematographer on the shoot with fellow Frame Discreet cinematographer, Mike Leblanc operating. Everything was shot POV style mounted onto a helmet (except for a couple stylized jib/dolly shots). Tony Del Rio directed the spot and it was shot on our SI2k Mini head recording direct to a touchscreen tablet laptop. I had the VGA port off the laptop cloning the monitor which was then converted to a wireless composite signal. The composite signal was rigged into our MYVU video goggles for Mikey to compose his shots. I monitored the laptop running alongside him. Only had a couple of hickups. One being battery power for the laptop (we had two batteries, however we were only able to charge them on the recording laptop). The other hickup was with a loose connection on an RCA cable that lost us 30mins in troubleshooting. Besides that, everything went great! Kept with the natural flourescent lighting, having a few bulbs off to create pools of light and accented it with our kit of 3 1k LED lights (www.flolight.com). Fantastic because each 1k only draws 100W of power. Power outlets were scarce, so we actually had batteries charging, and 3 lights all running off the same circuit, no problem 🙂
Shout out to production photographer Sam Grant for his stills. Thanks to Aalis @ Tiger Direct for his magical rush orders on components and laptop…. and Special thanks to Ari and Steve at Silicon Imaging for the ongoing support and skyping to make this shoot a success!


Camera: SI2k Mini – Toshiba m750 12″ tablet laptop – Switar 10mm, 25mm, Angenieux 5.9mm, Schneider Xenon 50mm, MYVU Shades 301 (w/ VGA>RCA adapter)
Format: 1920×1080 HD
Stock: QT Cineform RAW to internal 120gb Solid State HD
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

On Location- Swagger of a Rockstar

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Music Video collaboration with Director Jason Gosbee & RED Camera Package from Toronto local Ben Goldstein (redshorts@rocketmail.com).
Shot most of this in 4k, except for the sections we wanted at higher frame rates. Having to keep in mind that when you shoot at 3k or 2k you are cropping in on the sensor and losing some of your field of view. Lots of help from 1st AC Mike Dawson made the day fly by smoothly. Another tip of advice, when exposing for darker skinned people your green screen ratios may have to be adjusted. I was often opening up nearly 2 stops from incident readings to get a healthy exposure on the darker skin tones. A little extra fill light also helped to maintain detail. I’ll post the video once it is released!

Quinn-Maybach – Swagger of a Rockstar
RED 4k
, nikon primes
Director: Jason Gosbee
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

On location- Greenhouse

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Greenhouse – an inspirational short film that looks at greening Toronto’s social housing community. from SHSC GLOBE on Vimeo. (sorry, squeezed 4:3 ratio)

On location shooting with Director Christy Garland and Producer Kathleen Smith (not in photo). Thankfully I had some of our cinematographer collective helping out with lighting – Barry Cheong and Misha Petrenko. Was a great time working with the crew over the 7 day shoot. Made great use of Barry’s Kino-Flo package and my EZFX Jib arm for some cinematic intro shots around Toronto.

Frame Discreet on Location in Guyana

Monday, January 19th, 2009

I’m working on a fantastic documentary in Guyana right now with Christy Garland and Kathleen Smith. We are travelling through the Interior and Georgetown following the life of the songbirds used in songbird racing/fighting. It’s an interesting project where you’ll find a mix of macho men carrying around tiny cages competing their birds against eachother in ‘singing battles’. Lots of money is on the line in these races leaving many locals quite happy, or quite angry. So far I’ve been able to visit some beautiful villages in the interior and met some incredible people. I’m here till the 29th of January and look forward to every minute of it. Frame Discreet’s transfer studio is still open working away (seceretly finalizing some HD/2k scan testing in talks with Silicon Imaging, Iridas and Digital Vision for a RAW DI workflow.. shhh)…

Emily Haines "Our Hell"

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Video shot by our super talented cinematographer Mike Leblanc. Shot with a military issue infra-red camera. Nominated for the UK Music Video Award. Currently up for best music video in Poland’s CAMERIMAGE. Recent award winners include Sven Nykvist, Vilmos Zigmond, Owen Roizmen, etc. He has also been requested to speak on a panel about his work as a cinematographer. Pumped for Leblanc and his recognition by this esteemed festival.

On Location- RED one BRAVO! short "Becoming"

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

7 days of putting the RED one to a real field test. Some great features on this camera including ‘false color’ which maps out the your IRE values (clipping/shadows/midtones) on the screen in a color scheme. Anything overexposed/clipping goes RED, Midtones are shades of yellow and underexposure is shades of blue. Fantastic tool.

We recorded 4k images to a Compact Flash (CF) card at times to save weight on our 10′ EZFX jib arm.

90% of the footage was a beautifully choreographed dance between the actress, the dolly, the jib and the remote head’s movement. Required 3 operators working together in harmony to pull it together. Keep your eyes out for this short… the visuals are stunning…

Visual effects by internationally renound Carlos Lascano.

Production Company: Wandering Eye Productions
Camera: RED ONE 4k, PL Mount, Zeiss Primes
Cinematographer: Guy Godfree

On Location- METRIC – Documentary

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Got pulled on board with talented Toronto cinematographer John Price to work on a music series to be aired on IFC. We shot the recording of the new Acustic Album that Jimmy Shaw and Emily Haines are working on. Sounded amazing and looked beautiful. Lit with 100W diffused practical lights with no fill. Director Bruce MacDonald had us shooting some very powerful tight shots of couple as they subtly interacted during their recordings. Going to be an awesome album. I remember Jimmy stating something about how if people can’t listen to their music around a campfire then really what good are they…?

Camera: (3) HVX-200 720p,
Cinematographer: John Price, (B cam) Justin Lovell

On Location- DIRTSURFER Colorado

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Just got back from Colorado @ Snowmass Resort. Working on a documentary ‘unveiling’ film for DIRTSURFER. Was shooting the pro team in Colorado at the US OPEN of Mountainboarding. Competitive boardercross and freestyle/big air. Awesome shoot, always stoked to get offered these opportunities. Met up with the boys from one5media who shot ‘the shralpdown’ another awesome production company working with Mountainboarders. Shot a ton of high speed super 16 on the riders ripping it around the hills. Going to make for some slick footage to really help promote the emerging sport. Will try and post some samples for you guys!

Stock: 7246 Kodak 250D
Format: Super 16mm
Camera: Bolex Super 16 (POE 16-100 zoom, 5.9mm Angenieux)
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

On Location- Team Ryouko

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Just got back in town, and went right back onto set. Shot a fight scene for the Team Ryouko boys, (recently stunt doubled on Jumper, WAR, The Mummy, 300). James and Chris Mark headed the production as the heroes and Directed by Mark David (Mayhem videos). We Shot with 2 Panasonic HVXs alongside my 2nd camera op Devon Burns. Story takes place in a night club- during the day. Two brothers who have been separated since birth, one chose the gang path of violence, the other a clean lifestyle. Both excelling in martial arts. They are reunited later in life. They both enter the club to fight off against a gang of thugs. Stylistically we chose to shoot the tough, troubled brother handheld long lenses and the ‘good brother’ was shot with steadicam, dolly and smooth jib shots. I cranked down the shutter to 90 degrees giving us crisper frenetic frames and let the action take control.

720P P2
Camera: 2 HVX-200
Mark David
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

On Location- Team Ryouko

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Just got back in town, and went right back onto set. Shot a fight scene for the Team Ryouko boys, (recently stunt doubled on Jumper, WAR, The Mummy, 300). James and Chris Mark headed the production as the heroes and Directed by Mark David (Mayhem videos). We Shot with 2 Panasonic HVXs alongside my 2nd camera op Devon Burns. Story takes place in a night club- during the day. Two brothers who have been separated since birth, one chose the gang path of violence, the other a clean lifestyle. Both excelling in martial arts. They are reunited later in life. They both enter the club to fight off against a gang of thugs. Stylistically we chose to shoot the tough, troubled brother handheld long lenses and the ‘good brother’ was shot with steadicam, dolly and smooth jib shots. I cranked down the shutter to 90 degrees giving us crisper frenetic frames and let the action take control.

720P P2
Camera: 2 HVX-200
Mark David
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

On Location- Dirtsurfer Roadtrip

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I’ve been touring around with 3 of the other Dirtsurfer Pro Team riders shooting a promo video. Just hit up Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont, and now I’m in Sault Ste. Marie at Buttermilk Ski Resort. It’s amazing at both resorts. They gave us free reign to ride whatever we want to and to do whatever we want to. Got to play in the on hill springs and water trampolines in our down time 🙂 At Buttermilk, they started up the chair lift for just us 4 Riders to use all day long. No one else was on the hill. It was like a dream come true. Got one more day left in us, then back to Toronto.

*UPDATE* Stills from the transfer

7246 Kodak 250D
Format: Super 16mm
Camera: Bolex Super 16 (POE 16-100 zoom, 10mm Switar, 5.9mm Angenieux)
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

On Location- Lighting Tricks

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Frame Discreet Cinematographer Guy Godfree devised this cool rig with his gaffer for their latest hip hop music video. Essentially a short 2′, 4 bank Kino flo stripped apart and taped together. Creates a pleasing soft source ‘ring light’ effect, also gives off an interestingly shaped catch light in the eyes. As a note, be careful when rigging something like this so that the bulbs are flagged off from flaring the lens.

On Location- "ICON"

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

I got a great opportunity to shoot a short film for Kathleen Smith last week. After many discussions, we decided to shoot on the HVX 720p and super 16mm. The film is a narrative piece influenced by the work of Werner Herzog. Shot over the course of a day, Smith walks 35kms from Bloor/Bathurst (toronto) to the Metro Zoo (5:30am-7:30pm).

I really wanted to steer clear of the typical handheld, reality tv, documentary feeling. So in taking a more cinematic approach to documentary storytelling, I shot 80% of the film on our Jib arm and dolly track. Fellow cinematographer Guy Godfree was on location and helped develop a solid workflow with the Jib that took us mere minutes to have it out of the wagon and ready to shoot.

A large portion of the film was shot at 30 -48fps to give a more poetic look and to allow the narrative to breathe. We would have shot more film, but unfortunately the spring snapped on our bolex during our first roll. Sad day, but worked out for the best as we really couldn’t afford the reload time. Camera is back with our Pal, Jean-Louis, at Concordia University for repairs. He is the only guy I will trust with my camera (he did our super 16 modification).

Premiere screening June 5th at The Theatre Centre 1087 Queen St. West 8pm.

7246 250D
Format: Super 16mm / 720P P2
Camera: Bolex Super 16 / HVX-200
Kathleen Smith
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

Super 8 Timelapse- K40

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Some super 8 timelapses I shot across Canada for Tell Us the Truth Josephine: A Bitter Immigrant Story. First shot was done on the 1 frame every 5 seconds interval setting. The rest were shot on the Nizo variable interval settings. (Awesome camera for timelapse- has a B setting to keep the shutter open for night timelapses and a fully variable intervalometer).

Stock: Kodachrome 40
Format: Super 8mm
Camera: Canon 1014xls, Nizo S800
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

On Location- The Adrenaline Project- YTV

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Now that the show has aired on YTV, I can post some stills from the shoot. The show is called The Adrenaline Project- an extreme sports reality show for kids. I was hired on to teach the kids how to dirtsurf, and to also shoot some B camera ride along footage with Toronto DP Kevin Wong’s HVX-200. Super fun time out with the guys. Frame Discreet cinematographer Barry Cheong was also shooting on 2nd unit.

On Location- Dundas Square Bboyin

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Hit up Dundas square this weekend. Shot super 16 of a bunch of bboys gettin loose in a fun 1 on 1 battle on stage. Afterwards got out and shot a little more street dance of Troy Feldman and Yukon Nick. Slapped on my 5.9 angenieux wide lens shooting low angle with Toronto’s mini “times square buildings” towering up the background. Fired off some 64fps and a little bit of hand cranking of the boys dancin in the street. Got some wicked Udon Noodles after the show and did some scouting for parkour filming for the upcoming summer days.

Rough Cut sampler of some of the footage (May 17/08).

Stock: 3374 (black and white High Con) + 7246 250D Vision 1
Format: Super 16mm
Camera: Bolex super 16mm with POE 16-100mm + angenieux 5.9mm, 24, 32, 48, 64fps and hand cranked.
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell

On Location- "Suck it Up Princess"

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I was on set today shooting Documentary style alongside Bongo (shoots So You Think You Can Dance). Project is Suck it up Princess. Headed by Hop To It Productions, the show will be airing on OMNI in Canada.

We shot inside a large banquet hall on the 33rd floor. Used 3 1200W HMIs bounced into foam core on a balcony to help create a nice even fill on the floor and to balance out all the window light pouring in. Little frustrating working with the DSR 570 because I couldn’t set the ZEBRAS to 100IRE. I like to be able to see where my whites clip at 100, but this camera only does max 90IRE. Brought out our JIB arm and got a few dynamic shots when I was able to. It was tough to sneak in the jib shots because I had a wide angle lens, two boom poles and a second camera man that I had to try and keep out of the frame.

Camera: Sony DSR 570
Show: Suck It Up Princess

On Location- Dundas Square Bboyin- X-process 64T

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Absolutely love the colors and gritty grain that come out of having the film cross-processed. Samples above show normal exposures, overexposures and uncorrected with/without the 85 filter. Really helps to nail your exposure and to have the proper filtration in the camera. Vignetting from the C-8 wide angle adapter was unavoidable, Though could be cropped out with a tighter widescreen matte.

Stock: Ektachrome 64T (Cross-processed at Niagara Custom Lab)
Format: Superduper 8mm/Max 8mm
Camera: Canon 1014XLS- Superduper 8 + C8 Wide attachement, 24fps- transfer at 18fps
Cinematographer: Justin Lovell
Transfer: Justin Lovell @ Frame Discreet

On Location- Sony F900 on "Apollo’s Pad"

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Frame Discreet Cinematographer Michael Leblanc just linked me with some production stills from “Apollo’s Pad”, a puppet show he is currently shooting. Leblanc is well respected for his 35mm and 16mm cinematography. Taking on a new challenge, he is shooting this all in HD with the Sony F900. The results have been stunning.

Camera: Sony F900
Filter: 1/4 black frost to help blowout the highlights a little bit and soften the blacks. Shot in 24p mode
Show: Apollo’s Pad

On Location- Lens testing on Beaulieu

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

I’ll be shooting some long lens/telephoto work coming up and was looking for the best solution for super 8. Came up with a few options on our 4008ZMII package: Ang. 12-120mm, Sigma 28-300 with cmount-nikon adapter, + 2x tele extender or the original 6-66 schneider lens. The 300mm lens is meant for a 35mm still camera so 300mm becomes almost 1200mm + the 2x extender it becomes a crazy 2400mm lens! (I would normally be shooting at f-11 in this lighting, but with 300mm, the 2x extender and light loss from the zoom I ended up around f-3.5). Will be getting back results this week.

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