Ron Dexter, ASC

Straight answers to frequent and seldom-asked film and video questions you will not find answered anywhere else


Questions? Comments? Contributions?

Ron Dexter's No Camera Camera Course Try This!

Stop Motion Animation

Film Business
Introduction to Stop Motion Animation
Animation Exposure and Lighting
Animated Fireplace
Avoiding Film Mistakes
Beam Splitter

Big Board Meeting
Blue Screen
Camera Support
Constant Voltage Control
D-100 Procedures
Diopters and Lens Shades
Dollies for Stop Motion
Drywall Screws
Fake Traveling and Go-Motion
Handy Machinery
Lenses for Animation
Lighting Units
Magnets and Stop Motion
Nodal Camera Moves
Problem Solving
Puppet Flying Shots
Suppliers for Lights
Easy Shoot - Bad Film
What is Good Enough?


Learning on the Job

Library and Other Useful Information

Glossary of Terms
Lighting Definitions
Library Introduction
Book Reviews
A Great Book on Teaching
Image Formation for Different Imaging Systems
Review: The Photographic Eye
Film vs. Video
Formats and Focal Lengths
Retrofocus and Tele Lenses
Donated Equipment Agreement
Selecting, Buying and Selling Equipment
Canon Optura Manual Addenda
Sony VX-1000 Manual Addenda
Perspective and the Normal Lens

Cranes and Dollies

Film School
DV Cranes and Dollies Preface
Camera Support Selection

Introduction to DV Dollies
DV Crane Hype
Crane Supports
Using Skate Board Dollies
Why Use a Crane
Crane Terms and Technologies
Operating a Camera on Cranes and Dollies
How to Make a Skate Board Dolly

Crane and Dolly Sources

Recommended Site:
Who is Ron Dexter?
Introduction to Film School
Opportunities in Film and Video
The Digital Myth and Driving School for Camera
Film School Opinions
There's a Reason for All Those People
Why Are We Still Teaching 3-Point Portrait Lighting?
Where Does Ron Get His Funny Ideas About Composition?
Different Film and Video Job Skills
How to Make Video Look More Like Film
It's All Basic Photography in the Digital Age

Intermediate Equipment Advice

Intermediate Production Techiques

The Bowl
Camcorder Hints
Focus Pattern
Follow Spot Alternative
Headphone Monitors
Using Tripods on Rugs
Viewfinder Image Size

Intermediate Pre-Production Techniques

Casting Tips

Commercial Story Boards
Location Scouting
Permits Etc.
Travel Health and Comfort
Wardrobe for Real People

Confusing Numbers
Directing Non-Actors
Editing Cut-a-Ways
Interview Techniques
Jungle and Forest Shooting
Lighting on Location
Location Frustration
Location Logistics
Set Etiquette
Shooting Group Discussion with Multiple Cameras
Shooting in Public Places
Shooting Music Events
Video for Stage Productions
Wedding Photography

Professional Production Techniques

Professional Pre-Production Techniques

Communications Over Seas
Directing Babies
Directing Kids
Keep Location Available
Location Problems
More "Lack of Control" Examples
More Safety in Production
Motion Picture Efficiency
Picture Car Prep
Precision Drivers
Radio Communication
Shooting in the Far East
Shooting in High Places
Shooting in Sand
Shooting in Snow
Shooting on Bridges
Shooting on Rivers
Shooting on the Water
Shooting Sports and Action
Shooting with Animals
Some Camera Car Considerations
Traffic Control

Cheating Locations
Consensus Building
Equipment Packing and Shipping
Estimation for Motion Pictures
How to Run a Casting Session
Travel Tips
Wardrobe for Kids

Professional Rigging Techniques

Definition of a Rig
Rigging Introduction
Rigging Principles
Interfacing Pipe to the Real World
Inertial Tripod Head
Isolating Vehicle Motions
Pipe, Tube and Conduit
Telescoping Pipe and Tube
Rain Deflector Matte Box
Rig Materials
Rigging Camera Checklist
Rope, Strap and Knots
Shoot out of Small Planes
Shoot out Small Windows
Smooth Moving Rigs etc.
Speed Rail Bearings
Steady Effects Stand/Grip Elminator
Tools for Rigging
Unique Grip Equipment

Professional Equipment Advice

Professional Operating Techniques
About Blimps
Adjusting Back Focus of Video Lenses
Arri 35 Viewfinder Low Budget Modifications
Battery Information

Bending Dimension Schedule for Dexter Track
The BodyCam
Camera Maintainence
Camera Measuring Tools
Camera Modifications
Camera Registerstration Check
Collimators and Auto Collimators
Common Numbers
Compound Head
The Crank Dolly
Dolly Modifications
Equipment Truck Ideas
Electricity for Camera People
Focus Pattern
General Equipment Tips
Home-Made Zoom Motors
Image Sharpness
Intercom System
Lens Adapters
Lens Mounts and Adapters for Motion Picture Cameras
Lens Mount Conversion
Lens Mount Dimensions
Lens Work
Machine Shop Tips
Making Dolly Track
Nesting Apple Boxes
Putting a Nikon Mount on Rack-Over Mitchells
Setting up a Stop Motion Studio
Skate Wheel Dollies
Through the Lens Light Meter
Thoughts about Equipment Design
Tripod Head Theory
Tripod Theory
Video Door for Arri IIc
Video Helmet Design Considerations
Viewfinder Tricks

Shooting Air to Air
Camera Car Tricks
Deflection Focus
Framing Tricks
Ground to Air Shooting
Ground to Air Checklist
Helicopter Shooting
High Speed Photography
Operating a Camera on Cranes and Dollies

Operating a Studio Camera
Operating for Kids
Operating Tricks
Homemade Practice Gear Head
Product Photography
Radio Focus Pulling
Vision for Photography
What Viewfinders Tell Us
Zoom Lens Tricks

Professional Special Effects

The Ball Canon
Close-Up Exposure Guide
Copying Slides
Donut Lenses
Dust Effects
Fake High Speed Photography
Feeling of Motion
Infinity Mirror Trick
Selective Blur in Camera
Shooting Beer
Shooting Bugs
Shooting Diamonds
Shooting Sunrise and Sunset
Shooting the Moon
Shooting Time Lapse
Slow-Speed Blur
Slow Speed Exposure Calculator
Sun Balls on Stage
Zoom Lens Tricks

Professional Lighting

Zone System for Motion Picture Photography
Car Rig Lighting
Exposure Language
Filter Introduction
Learning Lighting
Lighting for Kids and Others
Lighting Tricks
Photographing Black
Scotchlite Tricks
Zone System for Motion Pictures
Zone System Definitions
Fine Tuning in the Real World
Graves, Page by Page
Light Meter Check

Sun Position for
Motion Picture Photography

Map Reading

Introduction to Sun Position
Sunrise and Sunset Positioning for Production
Sun Position Glossary
General Sun Information
Computer Print-out Lessons
Home-Made Clinometer
Home-Made Transit
Make a Sun Position Monograph
Measuring Sun Direction
Measuring Sun Elevation
A Monograpn for Sun Position
Monograph Numbers
No-Instrument Sun Locating
A Simple Sun Dial
Sun and Map Instrument Suppliers
Sun Rise and Sun Set Angle Demo
Compass Chart

Introduction to Map Reading
Automobile Compases
Computerized Map Sources
Map Reading Basics
Map Reading Books
The Map Table

Inertial Camera Stabilization

Gyroscopic Camera Stabilizations
Introduction to Intertial Camera Stabiliztion
Beta Cam/Arri BL Rig
Center of Gravity (CG)Test Rig
Definitions and Principles of Inertial Camera Stabilization
Heavy Camera Horizontal Rig
Inverted Wye Cam
Low POV Rig
Shaki Cam History
The Horse Collar
Kenyon Gyro Basics
Kenyon Information
Advantages and Disadvantages of Gyro Stabilizers

Arri 35 Gyro Assisted Rigs
Gyro Betacam Type Rig
Gyro Operating Issues
Gyro Safety and Moving Rigs
Gyro Stabilized Camera Guidance Issues
Gyro Sound Issues
Kenyon Gyros and Still Lenses
Kenyon Gyro for Lightweight Cameras
Kenyon Gyro Mounting Issues
Kenyon Wiring
Overhead Gyro Support Issues
Viewfinders for Inertial Stabilization

© Copyright 1999-2007 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.