Hi. I’m Sandy Chase. I have a small production company in New York City called Fluid Film. I was a professional dancer and martial artist for 15 years, and now I make films about science and human movement. I decided to spend a year learning everything I could about light and cinematography.
I’ve been making films since I was a kid, from a Super-8 claymation of cell division to experimental dance films and martial arts fight scenes.
The past 6 years I’ve worked as a video editor and motion graphics producer for education and science journalism. I began to do more shooting when I picked up a Canon T2i and a Panasonic AG-AF100. But lighting was a mystery to me.
I would go down to the East River to watch the sunrise with my friend, but it seemed impossible to capture all the colors I saw in the camera. I loved shadowy nights with the streaks of car headlights, but my images always came out grainy. I knew I could get better video out of my equipment, but I didn’t know how to optimize the custom settings and scene profiles.
I have a university engineering degree, but I couldn’t make sense of things like color temperature on cloudy days, gamma curves, and depth of field calculations.
I wanted to be able to reproduce what I saw in the movies: dramatic lighting, actors emblazoned with the last glow of dusk or darting between the shadows of a dark alley.
I didn’t want just a tutorial on 3-point lighting, I wanted to understand the science of cinematography. What is light? Why are there twice as many green sensors in a camera as blue or red sensors? Why do people shoot their films so flat and low contrast, then add dramatic color grades in post?
The answers are out there. This site is a place to explore what I’ve learned in my investigations and experience. We’ll also hear from contributors who are specialists in their own domains, so that we can all learn from them.
My hope is to share insights into cinematography that can be applied to any image making, by learning about the principles and science of light.
Thanks for stopping by.