Brendan Shick | Freelance Film, Broadcast, & Digital Media

4 Must Watch Director’s Commentaries – Even if You’re Not a Film Geek

4 Must Watch Director's Commentaries - Even if You're Not a Film Geek

4 Director's Commentaries for any sensibility or taste! At least one of these will appeal to you...
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Learning the Pitfalls of HFR

Learn the Pitfalls of HFR

Don't make the mistake of paying more for a lower quality theater experience. Here's a look at what HFR really does to your image straight from a cinematographer's mouth...errr...pen...err...whatever.
Baseball Broadcasts: Behind the Scenes

Broadcasting Baseball

Ever wonder how the game gets from the field to your television set? We're sharing a behind-the-scenes look.

Baseball Broadcasts: Behind the Scenes, Part 3 Editor's Pick

Baseball Broadcasts: Behind the Scenes, Part 3

Part 3 begins a look at what other crew members are busy with behind-the-scenes. Most of these people are “on the truck” in the parking lot.

In the fast pace of sports broadcasting, each individual crew member needs to know their role in literally hundreds of situations before the broadcast even begins. There’s often not enough time to tell everyone what to do. It helps when the crew members have experienced years of practice and exposure to new situations so that they always know what to do without a plethora of guidance during the game.

That is to say: a solid, experienced crew is just as important as its leaders.

Baseball Broadcasts: Behind the Scenes, Part 2 Editor's Pick

Baseball Broadcasts: Behind the Scenes, Part 2

Obviously, when covering a MLB game on FSN, NESN, MASN, Root Sports, or ESPN there are more than 5 cameras. We’ve already discussed how these additional cameras are only used for about 15% of shots – and mostly just during replays at that.

We also talked about a few basic ways to supplement the 5-6 camera setup. Now, we’re looking at some of the places you stash the excess cameras in a high budget broadcast to get the best angles.

Oscar Lineup and Predictions 2013 Editor's Pick

Oscar Lineup and Predictions 2013

Other than the documentary shorts and foreign films, I’ve only missed two nominees (titles not screened are noted in the categories below).

My “Will Win” and “Dark Horse” picks were chosen based on aggregated results of various industry experts, winners of other award shows, trends from years past, and my own personal knack for such things

As for who the Academy will actually pick Sunday night, there are a lot more close races than in recent years. If I match last year’s total of 16 correct picks (or if anyone does) I’ll be more than a touch surprised.

UPDATE: 20 out of 24 – not bad at all.

5 Ways to Watch More Quality Films Editor's Pick

5 Ways to Watch More Quality Films

Earlier in the week, I shared why I don’t make time to watch or re-watch as many high-quality films or as much high-quality media as I would like, opting instead for lesser fare. It’s a problem far too common among people today. I’d like to help solve that problem, as I’m sure others would like to kick the habit as much as I do. So, here are five suggested ways to fix the problem.

Baseball Broadcasts: Behind the Scenes Editor's Pick

Baseball Broadcasts: Behind the Scenes

As a sports broadcasting professional, I thought I’d share a little insight into what it takes to broadcast a baseball game. Different networks and stadiums obviously necessitate slightly different setups. The crew needs of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball looks totally different than say that of the American Legion World Series on ESPN3. Having worked in the past with people who’ve worked on one or the other, obviously the main difference is one of scale.

MLB broadcasts easily push the number of cameras to double digits. Other broadcasts use only four or five. Regardless, the concepts behind-the-scenes are the same. It’s perhaps easier to learn about and understand these concepts by looking at the smaller scale productions and building from there.

How to Watch Star Wars: The Merits of Machete Order Editor's Pick
May 04 2012

How to Watch Star Wars: The Merits of Machete Order

I may not have any kids yet, but I have recently discovered the answer to the most important parenting question of all time. That’s right, I’ve decided in what order to make my kids watch Star Wars.

The link above is an absolute must read in its entirety for anyone who is a fan of the series or has seen the series and cares about learning how to tell a story. Needless to say, there are plenty of major spoilers for all six films in the link above as well as in the quotes and content in the remainder of this post.

White Balance: Important Tips and Tricks Someone Forgot to Teach You Editor's Pick

White Balance: Important Tips and Tricks Someone Forgot to Teach You

I’ve met a great variety of people, some with graduate degrees in cinematography, perpetuating this rumor (and yes, sometimes I’m even guilty of such). Although it’s good and simple beginner advice, there’s a lot more to the story.

The ‘white card’ tip is only partly true and, quite frankly, is an extremely simplified version of the truth that is probably partly perpetuated by people who don’t feel like spending the time to explain the full story to you.

Assuming you read on, I’m about to put an end to that as best I can.

Inspirational Photography: My Number One Secret to Taking Better Photographs Editor's Pick

Inspirational Photography: My Number One Secret to Taking Better Photographs

All the secrets of outstanding photography can really be boiled down into one fairly simple goal. It sounds like a high calling, and in some ways it is. Only the best photographs live up to this standard.

And yet, if you keep it in mind regularly while shooting, it really doesn’t seem that hard anymore. Even when I don’t fully accomplish this goal, just keeping it in mind as a benchmark improves the images I bring home.

Find out what it is…

Academy Awards: How to Fill Out Your Ballot Editor's Pick

Academy Awards: How to Fill Out Your Ballot

Entering a contest to guess the most Academy Awards winners this year? I’m entering at least one. Here are my picks for the most likely winners in every category.

The “Illusion of Movement Shot:” How to Make a Simple Shot Better in a Pinch Editor's Pick

The “Illusion of Movement Shot:” How to Make a Simple Shot Better in a Pinch

Today’s post is merely a simple tip for making any shot better with a minimum of added conceptual effort. Not that extra effort is a bad thing, but so many times on set we are pulled by the pressures of the shooting environment. Whether it be lack of budget, lack of time, or lack of patience from the subject, the crew must be ready and knowledgeable enough to compensate with a minimum sacrifice to quality.

For these situations, it’s good to have a “go to” plan. A shot choice that you can whip out quickly, but one that is also proven and effective. I don’t go with the textbook solution. I go with the one that works.

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