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Old Settler
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TimelineIn-Depth InterviewsKey ScenesProduction RolesAbout the Show
Working With the Director
The Look
The Job of Lighting
High-Definition Video
The Shoot

DP Role & Bio

The Director In-Depth

The Production Designer In-Depth

Printable Version

John Simmons: The Director of Photography In-Depth


High-Definition Video

The Advantages of Using High-Definition

John Simmons 
"We decided to do this show in High-Definition because it was something that the studio wanted to try. It was something both Debbie and I wanted to try.

I shoot mostly in film and I love film, but High-Definition is a wonderful medium for interiors.

We had a couple of nice Panavision lenses on this picture that made the High-Definition look like something other than tape. It was beautiful."


Video Monitor
A technician monitors the output from the High-Definition video equipment


The Downsides to Using High-Definition

John Simmons 
"Outside it's a bit of a struggle to make High-Definition work. Contrast becomes a problem. You're dealing with videotape, which doesn't have the latitude of film. As long as we were off bright stuff, it worked very well. Inside, because they live in an apartment and the window is very important, we would always have to ride the dimmers on the lights from the window and raise the lights in the room to bring them into an acceptable range for the camera."

"When working in High-Definition or any electronic medium, being able to decrease the amount of depth of field helps a lot with the look. So we shot everything wide open and I put everything on the longest possible lens that I could.

The problem of working in the confined space we had is always trying to put the camera back far enough so that I could compress the background against the subject enough to lose that depth of field that video wants to give me.

That was an issue in terms of creating a look."

"Another thing that bothers me about High-Definition is all the cables that are connected to the camera. I can't move around as much as I want to. There's a lot of technology that delays the situation. Everything is being fixed all day long. But I think a lot of it has to do with people not being that familiar with the medium. It's the kind of medium that people are still working bugs out of. And there is no state of the art in video. As soon as you learn one electronic medium something else comes up, so it never gets a chance to truly arrive."


The Job of Lighting   |   High-Definition Video   |   The Shoot



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