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There are several apps that I swear by. The two most important ones are ‘CityMapper’ and ‘Invoice2Go’. One gets you to work, the other gets you paid!
Here’s the link to ‘CityMapper’. Which by the way covers far more cities than London!
Is the future of addresses. It gives you a reference up to a metre square!
There is a free version of ‘Invoice2go’ that is worth checking out, but it has limited invoices. It takes some work to set it up, but it’s very easy to use, and there is a mobile version as well. You can even send copies of your invoices to your accountant so come tax time they will already have them on file!
The ARRI app is free, and comprehensive. I’ll look at it sometimes when I’m just killing time. It gives you all the necessary info about their lighting units. I’ve used it to calculate the exposure a light will give from a certain distance, as well as just to figure out it’s characteristics. You’ll find it on this page as well as some other apps they offer and/or recommend. Here’s a link to a ‘Foot-candles to T-Stop’ chart that will come in handy.
Dark Sky is a terrific weather app. Super accurate, and…free!
The Arri website has plenty of information and apps. Here’s the page for the Camera workflow and apps
‘Sun Seeker’ is worth the money. It’s a simple and straight forward app that helps you see where the sun is, was, and will be. You can change the date to any time in the past or future! You can also use it with your phone’s camera to see an overlay of the sun’s path on your actual location.
The company we use most of all for gels and diffusions is ‘Lee’. They have an app that I’m not too fond of (but it’s cheap!) though I really like their web site. (I’ll have the link in the ‘web site’ section)
I really prefer this ‘swatch’ app. It’s a great way to get the ‘RGB’ values of gels so you can enter them into the luminair app when trying to match lights.
I won’t post all the links, but if you go to YouTube and subscribe to all the lighting, camera, and grip companies etc. channels it’s a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of new products.
Here are a few good ones!
This guy is so generous with his time and knowledge. His YouTube channel is called
I don’t really know this guys story, but he does some terrific videos about every/any thing to do with film!
John Bailey BSC has done some great films; ‘Mishima’, ‘Groundhog Day’, ‘Cat People’, and many many more. He has a blog that doesn’t only talk about cinema. It’s pretty much always interesting and worth looking through the older posts. Especially the ones about John Alton ASC. (DOP and author of Painting With Light)
Roger Deakins CBE, ASC, BSC has a website as well. He answers questions posted to him as often as he can, which is more often than you’d think! He’s very honest and open about his career and methods. It’s also a great source for technical questions you may have. Just use the search engine!
‘Open Culture’ is not primarily a film web site, but it’s interesting nonetheless. There are links to several ‘free’ films. All legal, usually just in public domain. It’s a great blog in general.
Christie’s Auction house is a surprising source of some fantastic art and design. Subscribe to their mailing list to be kept up to date on articles, videos etc.
CML ‘Cinematography Mailing List’ has several forums to join.
The ‘ultimate’ industry magazine American Cinematographer. I don’t know if they have a ‘student’ rate, but the ‘digital version’ is reasonably priced, and I suppose you could just all chip in and pay for one subscription… I think a lot of it is accessible without a subscription. Just type in whatever ‘film/DOP and American Cinematographer’ you’re thinking of and quite often the article comes up anyway.
WikiArt is a wonderful source of paintings. You can highlight favourite paintings and artists. There’s a web version and also an app.
I’m sure there are several cinematography books out there. This is the first one I’d ever had, and it’s regularly updated. The author has also done a book on ‘Film Lighting’.
Here’s his book on:
This book is kind of old, but not outdated. You can probably get it used. It’s contents are probably as accurate now as before because he deals mostly in reference type material. It’s about rope, and nails, and set walls, and windows, and set building, and material, etc. It’s a must have.
Harry Box has a great book called ‘Set Lighting Technician’s Handbook’ which is an indispensable reference.
The real classic is John Alton’s ‘Painting With Light’. It’s over 50 years old, but still fascinating.
I’ve made a couple of ‘YouTube’ pages where I’ve pulled together examples of lighting and camera movement.