Richard Brooks is one of my filmmaker heroes and role models. Whenever I’m writing a film script I always imagine to myself, “How would Richard Brooks approach this.” Brooks was a writer-producer-director, one of the “hyphenate” filmmakers who I admire. But first and foremost, Richard Brooks was a writer. He was an MGM contract writer-director...

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READERS NOTE: This post is a departure from the other posts I’ve put up on this site. This is an Op-Ed piece. The views and opinions expressed on this page are solely my own and are not reflective of the views, opinions or policies of any individual or organization with whom I am associated with,...

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Steven Spielberg – Director-Cameraman

July 31, 2011 | 0 Comments

In my on-going series showing clips of major directors who also operate their own camera, as opposed to the stereotype of standing behind a bank of monitors with a cup of Starbucks in their hand. This clip shows Steven Spielberg on the set of Jurassic Park directing actors, blocking the scene, and operating his own...

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Hashim and Nabil, owners of the Babylong City Market in Sacramento.

KCRA Babylon City Market

July 22, 2011 | 1 Comments

Went out first thing on Tuesday to shoot a story about the new Babylon City Market at 1745 Watt Avenue, which opened just a few weeks ago. Sacramento has a number of Eastern and Arabic markets, but this is the first one that is specifically an Iraqi market. I had received an e-mail from the...

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I’m constantly following links to articles on the net and listening to podcasts in search of somebody or something new that grabs my interest. It’s rare and doesn’t come along that often. But when it does it’s like a 10K lighting up a street in the night. I had one of those eye-opening – and,...

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Before Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas became Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas they were two like-minded independent filmmakers who wanted to make personal films that they never expected anybody to want to see. Unfortunately for them, at that time, they turned out to be right. The little movie that Coppola took his band...

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KCRA – Land Park Volunteer Corps

July 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

This is a quick follow-up to a story I did for KCRA last year, shot with my Canon 7D, about the neighborhood clean-up of William Land Park, which is in-part organized by my friend Rick Stevenson. The Land Park Volunteer Corps is a collection of residents around William Land Park in south Sacramento who get...

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KCRA Del Paso flood still frame

KCRA – Del Paso Blvd. Flooding

July 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

Unlike most news stories I post here, I did not one-man report this story but worked on it as the cameraman*-editor in collaboration with KCRA reporter Mallory Hoff. Working on the night shift a few weeks ago on June 28, 2011, during a highly unusual summer storm. Historically, the rains come to an end in...

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I’ve always loved British movies. My first movie-going memory was Lawrence of Arabia. Many a countless night I stayed up later than I should have on school nights watching British movies on the late show on TV. Most of them haven’t played on US televisions in years and are only available as PAL DVDs from...

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In a follow-up to last week’s post about Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, I’ve spoken with several people over the past week who’ve seen the film and had an almost identical emotional and personal reaction to the film as I did. Here is a three-minute clip montage from the film to give you a...

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There have been a few movie-going experiences where I felt I was having a life experiencing moment. Lawrence of Arabia, War And Peace, 2001: A Space Odyssey, All That Jazz, Apocalypse Now. Films that transcended the standards of filmmaking, either by the driving talent of a single individual or by the collective talent involved, to...

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There has been a controversy roiling in the professional photojournalism world over the past months about a New York Times war correspondent who took a number of photos while on assignment with an iPhone using the Hipstamatic photo app rather than using his regular Nikon. Click on this link to see the New York Times...

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Mike Figgis – Writer-Director-Cameraman

June 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

In my on-going series bringing attention to film directors who don’t simply sit comfortably behind monitors, nursing cups of Starbucks, but who jump into the filmmaking process with a camera on their shoulders, getting dirt under their fingernails like the rest of the crew, this week I want to pay homage to UK filmmaker Mike...

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Thursday, June 2, 2011. Call time 6 AM. The El Dorado County Courthouse in Placerville, California. The sentencing of Phillip and Nancy Garrido in abduction of Jaycee Dugard twenty years ago in 1991.   Days like this are big. Everyone’s there. Everything’s coordinated. It was very complex, yet went amazingly smooth. And everyone got along....

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Director-Cameraman Carroll Ballard with his beloved 35mm Eclair CM3 on location in South Aftrica filming "Duma."

Carroll Ballard – Director-Cameraman

May 29, 2011 | 2 Comments

My greatest heroes in filmmaking and constant sources of inspiration are director-cameramen – directors who also serve as their own cinematographers or as one of their own camera operators. Among this group are Stanley Kubrick, Claude Lelouch, Russ Meyer, Steven Soderbergh, Haskell Wexler, John Cassavetes. This post is about another giant filmmaker, Carroll Ballard, director...

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Russ Meyer’s Final Interview

May 22, 2011 | 1 Comments

RUSS MEYER was a dear friend for twenty years. This interview with Russ was taped n Friday evening, 11-20-1990. This is the last interview he gave before his health started to falter. I’ve posted this raw, unedited footage so people can see the warm, honest artist and man at the top of his game. I...

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Salton Sea on KCRA-TV

May 15, 2011 | 0 Comments

This is our vacation home movie. Most people put some videos together, post them on Youtube or burn DVDs and mail them to family. I write up a script, edit my videos and have them broadcast on a network affiliate. Yes, I put my vacation photos and videos out on the news. This story aired...

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It’s short notice but I am teaching an Introduction to Naked Filmmaking at Access Sacramento for my good friend Ron Cooper. Three nights, three hours each night. I will be discussing how to make dramatic films with scripts and actors, documentary work and a bit of my brand of TV news style. The common thread...

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