fcp.co: If High School Kids Can Do It, So Can You… The Apple Short Film Project Workflow Pt. 1


“Sam here. I’ve been waiting to write this article for a very long time, and it signals the beginning of something… and that is the beginning of complexity finally getting out of the way of high end filmmaking and truly making it accessible to everyone. We’re talking turning high end filmmaking into a teachable, repeatable process….

… There is a new world of content that is emerging and the paradigm shift from an ivory tower post production mentality where everything is complicated and no one knows how to communicate with each other is shifting to a model where anyone can make something that looks amazing if they take the time to become good at their craft. All you need is the right workflow, some affordable tools, a basic understand of storytelling and filmmaking fundamentals, and a willingness to learn….”

RED Raven camera with Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EF mount.


I laboured under the ivory tower postproduction mentality mentioned in the quote above as well as the cap-in-hand production finance paradigm that has ruled documentary moviemaking for what seems like an eternity and I can think of no systems in the creative sphere that can be as punitive and as brutal to storytellers.

I have experienced the worst of the system with the lowest of low points being the time when then Australian Prime Minister John Howard personally demanded my human rights documentary movie project that was about to be commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Commission under its New Directors scheme be cancelled resulting in being blacklisted as a moviemaker.

I sincerely hope Australian expatriate Sam Mestman is correct about a coming major paradigm shift in the nature of independent documentary moviemaking, and I look forward to the rest of his four-part series of articles about the methods used by LA high school students and their advisers and assistants in the Apple Short Film Project.

Although the Apple Short Film Project was based around using RED Raven raw cinema cameras equipped with EF-mount Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lenses, I hope that the workflow used in these short documentary projects will be adaptable to using more affordable cameras such as Panasonic’s Lumix DC-GH5 and GH5S hybrid Micro Four Thirds and media storage systems other than LumaForge’s reportedly excellent Jellyfish Tower.

I will post links to each article in the series as they appear.


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Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art fast zoom lens for APS-C sensors and for adapting to M43 with Metabones SpeedBoosters, lens available in Canon EF or Nikon mounts. Also available in a geared cinema version.

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  • iZotope RX 6 Standard Audio Restoration and Enhancement Software (Download)B&H
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  • Metabones T Speed Booster Ultra 0.71x Adapter for Canon Full-Frame EF-Mount Lens to Micro Four Thirds-Mount CameraB&H
  • Metabones T Speed Booster XL 0.64x Adapter for Full-Frame Canon EF-Mount Lens to Select Micro Four Thirds-Mount CamerasB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery GripB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone Adapter – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • RED RavenB&H
  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for CanonB&H
  • Sigma 18-35mm T2 High-Speed Zoom LensB&H

4/3 Rumors: (FT5) First image of the new Panasonic GX9 leaked! – COMMENTARY


“These are the first images of the new Panasonic GX9 and the new TZ200. Both cameras could be announced this week! Stay tuned on 43rumors!…”

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX8, leaked by digicame-info.com


These are the features that the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 needs for it to be a viable, up-to-date, competitive documentary and photojournalism stills and video flagship camera as the GX8 was when it was released:

  • 4K 60p
  • 4K 8-bit 4:2:0 video, though 10-bit 4:2:2 would be nice 😉
  • 5 axis in-body image stabilization with Dual IS 2 for OIS-equipped lenses, for stills and 4K video
  • 20 megapixels sensor
  • 40 megapixel/80 megapixel high resolution mode
  • Cinelike D, for use with Leeming LUT for good quality video colour and tone rendering
  • Decent handgrip, even better than the GX8’s handgrip
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Fully articulated LCD monitor like the GX8’s monitor
  • HDMI out for clean signal external video monitoring and recording
  • Headphone port
  • Joystick
  • L-Fn function setting capability, for Panasonic and Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses with L-Fn buttons
  • L Monochrome D picture profile
  • Low-shock electromagnetic shutter to combat the dreaded GX8 random shutter shock
  • Magnesium body
  • Microphone port
  • No built-in flash
  • No low-pass filter
  • Optional larger eyecup
  • Remote release port
  • Tilting electronic viewfinder (EVF), as good as or better than the GX8’s EVF
  • Weather sealing, same as on the GX8


  • 4/3 Rumors(FT5) First image of the new Panasonic GX9 leaked!
  • DPReview – Great Eight: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review7. Shooting Experience – “The Panasonic Lumix-DMC GX8 is a hugely appealing mirrorless camera. Combining enthusiast-friendly ergonomics, an innovative tilting viewfinder and a solid feature set in both stills and video modes, the GX8 is a great all-rounder. Pretty much the only black mark against the GX8 is a persistent problem with shutter-induced softness in some shooting situations – an issue that Panasonic gets credit for trying to address in firmware, but has failed to completely eliminate.”
  • The Online Photographer – The Delicate State of the GX8 – looks at the shutter shock issue in the GX8 and other digital cameras of various brands.

newmatilda.com: John Pilger On Why The Documentary Must Not Be Allowed To Die


“Breaking the silence and speaking truth to power is the job of the film-maker, writes John Pilger, something that’s perhaps needed more today than ever before….

… Whenever young documentary film-makers ask me how they can “make a difference”, I reply that it is really quite simple. They need to break the silence.”


Fstoppers: Let’s Make a Short Social Documentary Film


“Short documentary films have the power to reveal a unique story, inspire with insights and even motivate change in the brief duration. How easy or difficult it is to make one? In this post, we will discuss the steps involved in making a short social documentary film….”


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