Filming, Fooding, and Living to Eat Another Day

Wrote this fun piece for Gorilla Film. Check out: Filming, Fooding, and Living to Eat Another Day, featuring contributions by Chris Blunk, Matt Jacobson, and Michael Stoecker.

Film Food Article for Gorilla Film Written by Jeremy Osbern


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More Festival Announcements for COURTESAN

Our short film COURTESAN, which premiered at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival, will screen at some several more festivals in the near future:

COURTESAN screening at the 2015 Omaha Film Festival in Omaha NebraskaCOURTESAN screening at Goa Short Film Festival in IndiaCOURTESAN screening at 2015 NEZ International Film Festival in IndiaCOURTESAN screening at the 2015 Kansas City FilmFest

Slamdance Film Festival Digital Bolex Fearless Filmmaking Showcase Short Film COURTESANFor more on the world of film festivals, check out My Guide to Film Festivals, Publicity, & Meeting Richard Gere

Posted in Cinematography, Director, Director of Photography, film festival, Kansas City, Kansas City FilmFest, Omaha, Omaha Film Festival, Short Film, Slamdance, Slamdance Film Festival | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What is a Director of Photography?

Sometimes, I am asked to speak to students in high schools and colleges and forget that some of the very basic building blocks of filmmaking have yet to be covered. For instance: what is a director of photography?

I like to explain it this way: a director is the author of the film (see: auteur theory) and the director of photography (also called the cinemtographer, the DP, or the DOP) is the author of the film’s image.

The director of photography is in charge of the electric department, the grip department, and the camera department, and hopefully he or she can harness the crew working in each of those departments to come together each day, for each shot, to create a unified vision for what this story should look like. In addition to the director, the DP will work closely with the art department, headed by the production designer, to devise a color palette and set a look for the story as a whole.

In the camera department, the DP will have the most say in what cameras are used (though sometimes this can be a producer / studio decision), the lenses used, and how the footage will be treated in post.

In lighting the film, a cinematographer will work closely with the gaffer and the key grip to “paint with light.” The gaffer will implement the lighting design, the best boy will design the distribution of power to those lights and manage the team of electrics that lay the power cables or set and aim the lights.

Meanwhile, the grip department is in charge of shaping or altering the light. The head of the department, the key grip, oversees the implementation of flags, nets, and diffusion frames in the overall lighting design. The best boy grip manages the grips on set as well as planning for upcoming locations and logistical challenges.

There are literally thousands of pages subject, trying to sum up everything that a cinematographer actually does, but hopefully that is a pretty concise summation of the DP’s role on a film.

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How to Navigate the Film Festival Marketplace – Article on Pro Video Coalition

I wrote an article for Pro Video Coalition, called “How to Navigate the Film Festival Marketplace”. It’s currently on the site’s homepage. You can check it out here:

ProVideoCoalition Home Page Jeremy Osbern Film Festival Market Article

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Johnny Williamz – “Cigarette Love”

Newest music video, shot for Johnny Williamz, produced by Through A Glass Productions.

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Shooting the Slamdance Short Film COURTESAN on the Digital Bolex D16 Camera

I was an early adopter of the RED ONE.

I was an early adopter of the DVX100.

Hell, I was an early adopter of Digital8 Standard Def video tape.

I like new tools, new cameras, and new ways of telling stories, but I always seem to go back and reference them against my favorite tried and true medium: FILM.

So, when I heard that the a new camera called the Digital Bolex was in the works, I was intrigued.


I cut my teeth on shooting 16mm film, and used all sorts of cameras to do so: the Bell & Howell, the ARRI S, the BL, the SR3, and yes… The Bolex.

The original Bolex was hand-crank operated. Think a jack and the box, but you’re hoping the film doesn’t pop out. It was small and compact and versatile. And the images were as crisp and as vivid as the stock you used and the lenses you shot through.

Jeremy Osbern shooting with an ARRI S 16mm Camera

Jeremy Osbern shooting with an ARRI S 16mm Camera

So flash forward to a couple indie Filmmakers who struck a deal to use a Super 16mm-sized Kodak CCD sensor in a brand new motion picture camera, named after the famed film camera of yesteryear and housed in a body that looks a lot like an old-style Bolex.


Filmmaker Misti Boland and I wanted to shoot a short film, and decided it would be a good opportunity to pick up a Digital Bolex D16 to run it through its paces.


COURTESAN Camera Department: Camera Operator Emily Herold, 1st AC Bailie Richards, & 2nd AC Emma Penrose

But we didn’t want to just shoot with it: we wanted to abuse it, to push it to it’s extremes. So we came up with a short film that would push in on the image, shoot outdoor exteriors in sub-zero temperatures, shoot with mixed lighting, and move the camera using dolly shorts, hand held, and even some pseudo-Matrix bullet time for good measure.

And how did it hold up? Pretty well!

The camera does feel a lot like I’m shooting film again. Lighting is best when done by eye (like I did with film) and exposure is best when double checked with my light meter, as there are no additional exposure tools in camera (like zebras or false color). The ISO options are 100, 200, or 400, but like with film there is some latitude to pull a little more information out in post, thanks to the CinemaDNG RAW image workflow.

Working with the raw image felt like sitting in during a telecine session in the film days. There are multiple ways to process the footage, but our editor and colorist Stephen Deaver used Davinci Resolve and the raw files integrated seamlessly.

For the last couple years, I’ve been playing with some different techniques for doing some Matrix-style bullet-time work. Here are some example shots from a music video I shot for the Syn City Cowboys using a RED EPIC:

I didn’t know how these shots would turn out using the D16, but we incorporated some into the finished film, and they turned out even better than I thought they would. You can see a hint of the effect in the last shot of the teaser trailer above.

All in all, a fun camera to use. The camera’s c-mount means that with adapters you can use a variety of lenses. For this particular project, I used a full set of cinevised Leica Rs with an EOS adapter. The D16 is compact, can fit in tight paces, and gives an image that has better color rendition than DSLRs at a similar price point.

And the film we shot with it? I’m excited to say that it will premiere in competition at the Slamdance Film Festival as a part of the Digital Bolex Fearless Filmmaing Showcase!

Here’s the initial poster:

Courtesan-short-film-jeremy-osbern-misti-boland-premiering-slamdance-film-festival-digital-bolex-feareless-filmmaking-showcase-posterAnd here are some stills from the film:



COURTESAN, starring Jessi Burkette, Joseph Anderson & Jeff Dobson.

Directed by Misti Boland and Jeremy Osbern, cinematogapher: Jeremy Osbern, camera operator: Emily Herold, 1st AC: Bailie Richards, 2nd AC: Emma Penrose, editor: Stephen Deaver, composer & sound by Nathan Towns, assistant director: Jess Shuler, gaffer: Marcus Guider, key grip: Chris Bradley, production designers: Natalie Edmondson & Xandria Richardson, art director: Alex Backus, makeup: Siobhan Naughton Kozisek, stills: Kendal Sinn, with production help by Savannah Rodgers & Christie Scanlin Dobson. Produced by Through A Glass Productions.

Posted in Bolex, cinematographer, Cinematography, D16, Digital Bolex, Director, Director of Photography, film festival, Leica R, Leica R Lenses, Slamdance, Slamdance Film Festival | Leave a comment

COURTESAN Short Film Announced Today in Variety

Variety just announced that our short film, COURTESAN will premiere in competition at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival!

Courtesan-director-Misti-Boland-Jeremy-Osbern-Slamdance-Film-Festival-VarietyThe film was shot entirely on the Digital Bolex camera. More to come soon!

Posted in Bolex, cinematographer, Cinematography, D16, Digital Bolex, Director, Director of Photography, film festival, Leica, Leica R, Leica R Lenses, Short Film, Slamdance, Slamdance Film Festival | Leave a comment

Pyragraph Article on Shy Boys “Life Is Peachy” Music Video

Pyragraph pubished my write-up on making the “Life Is Peachy” Music Video with Christopher Good. Here’s a link to the original, and you can check out the write-up on Pyragraph here:


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My Guide to Film Festivals, Publicity, & Meeting Richard Gere

An article I wrote for up and coming Filmmakers is currently featured in the front page of Gorilla Film Online:


Here’s an excerpt:

Think outside the box. My first major short film I shot on 16mm film, and it ended up playing at a bunch of festivals so I got a crash course fest etiquette (festiquette?). I showed up with some clothes, a backup copy of my film, and almost nothing else. What I was greeted with was wall after wall of posters and postcards advertising everything from two-hour features to 2-minute shorts. So, I improvised.

I grabbed a small notebook and hand-wrote reasons why I thought my movie was worth seeing, the screening time, and the venue. My producer Chris and I wrote dozens of these and taped them to the walls next to all the professionally produced flyers.

And you know what? We got sixteen octogenarians to come out to our eleven on a Wednesday morning screening and… they loved the movie. I had a Q&A with them afterwards and said that we were doing some unusual publicity and could they all stay afterwards and hand write their reviews of the movie on little pieces of notebook paper? All of them did. We took those sixteen pieces of notebook paper and taped them all over the theatres and the next screening was packed. Reporters came, filmmakers came, and we even got a positive write-up in Ain’t It Cool News that specifically mentioned our unique approach to marketing.

Check out the full article here.

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Big Red Bow!

There have been a lot of ads on TV this month with all sorts of products featuring big red bows, but still haven’t seen one quite like this ad I shot for VFX Guru Bruce Branit:

To read about the behind the scenes for the project, click here!

Posted in Ad, advertising, BranitFX, Bruce Branit, cinematographer, Cinematography, Commercial, Director of Photography, Star Wars, VFX, vfx cinematographer, vfx cinematography | Tagged , , | Leave a comment