Keep checking back for the release date of the latest documentary by Red Zand: My Life As Michael Documentary

My Life As Michael


Konnectedas1 music video produced by Red Zand: K1 Music Video


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Shooting Canon 5D style!

| July 4th, 2010 | 6 Comments »

I wonder if Canon realised what fervor their 5D Mark II camera would create when they first brought it to market. It seems everyone with even a passing interest in shooting video has one! With the speed of change in the technology arena, will it be a passing fad? Only time will tell. I bought mine not long after they came out… I had recently produced a HipHop music video for local Sydney band, K1 Konnectedas1, shot on the Red One camera. The quality was superb, and I loved the look. Shortly after, another singer, TerrarD, was referred to me. He had a very minimal budget, but after seeing the quality of the K1 video, he had to have this quality! I explained this was impossible… then began thinking how could I do something almost as nice within the region of his budget, using a bare bones crew? I’d heard

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Hand Drawn Storyboarding – A Dying Art?

| July 4th, 2010 | 4 Comments »

We all know what storyboarding is… well, anyone who has an interest in filmmaking at least will know. Some directors swear by it, some directors never use it, but it does still remain the easiest way to visualize a shot, and to convey that to the crew. Here’s a great example of a working artist, Josh Sheppard. Storyboarding is an art form, and many still use traditional drawn methods, however these days there is lots of software, such as Storyboard Pro, that can do the job. The software will never have the beauty of some of the more artistic storyboards, but for directors who used to use stick figures, it’s a relief. Just for fun… I had to do a short storyboarding exercise at uni, storyboarding a childhood memory, and being an artist who can draw well from a visual reference but not off the top of my head, I

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Speaking of Kurosawa

| July 4th, 2010 | No Comments »

In an earlier post, I mention the book “The Films of Akira Kurosawa” by prolific author (and filmmaker)Donald Richie, which I was lucky enough to get signed by Donald in the little bookshop Good Day Books near Ebisu Station (one of my favourite book shops there). [Photo of Donald Richie courtesy of] But that’s not what I want to talk about… it made me recall some of my moments living in Japan, and I suddenly remembered sitting at my kitchen table all rugged up in winter (which let me tell you is a luxury, I found the perfectly shaped rectangular table that fit into my kitchen and could even extend when needed!) and writing notes from this book. I was looking for little insights into Kurosawa’s filmmaking techniques and philosophies. So I hunted through all my notebooks that I brought back from Japan, and found the notes – this

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Bolex – Not well-known, almost extinct, but still a lotta fun!

| July 4th, 2010 | No Comments »

The Bolex camera was created around the 1930s by a Swiss company, and has endured until today, however sadly it’s mostly only used by enthusiasts, and animators still like to use the camera due to it’s great single frame shooting mode, just by pressing a button. With film processing labs dropping out of the market, it may become even rarer to find someone still enjoying the fun that can be had shooting with a Bolex. It can try you, it sometimes lets in light, it sometimes likes to catch your film and scrunch it up, as we found out on our experimental film shoot. Apart from the great craftsmanship which keeps the Bolex operating more than 70 years later with little change, it features a number of frame rates, works well in low light, has a single frame button, and 3 lenses that swivel into place. Oh, and great optical

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A Peek Into My Bookshelf

| June 18th, 2010 | No Comments »

I often find myself drifting toward a person’s bookshelf and taking a look at what they read, it really is one of the best ways to get an understanding of how they think and who they are… so thought I’d give you a little peek into mine. Over the past 10 years or so I became a terrible addict to buying books, perhaps it started while living in Japan, since English language books were hard to find except in the major bookshops, and then they were super expensive! I’m wondering now how this habit might change once I relent and buy an iPad or Kindle. Will I have that same fascination for having lots of books around regardless? I’m sure many of you have found your way to at least one of these books over time, but for those who haven’t, here’s something from each book that I found really

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Sun Tzu’s “The Art Of War”

| June 4th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

The fantastic book ”The Art Of War” is a compelling read which can be applied to any discipline, I’m sure you’ll find some relevance to your filmmaking methods. Here’s an example of a quote from Sun Tzu, which I think can easily be applied to being a director on set: “Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.” – Sun Tzu If you would love to read it but find you don’t have the time, there are many audio downloads that you can listen to while

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A little exercise with Film Noir and Maltese Falcon

| May 21st, 2010 | 2 Comments »

As an exercise for one university film production subject, we had to re-create a scene from Maltese Falcon, in whichever style we wanted to use. I decided I wanted to shoot in the style of  Film Noir. We shot on 16mm film, and were limited to the range of lights and props available. When arriving at a (locked and guarded!) room in uni to collect the gear, we discovered the tripod had been commandeered and there was no-one around to get another, so we had to improvise and use the lighting boxes as stands for the camera – if anyone has felt the weight of a 16mm film camera, it’s a heavy little instrument not made for handheld work! Kudos to the crew for carrying on regardless, this is what is needed on a film set, all people working together in collaboration, no matter what the obstacle, the shoot must go

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What’s Red Zand?

| April 30th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

So, about Red Zand? Firstly, before you ask, there’s no meaning to the name, I simply wanted a name for my business that sounded a little edgy, and didn’t relate to anything in particular. After lots of pondering over various names, I had to make a decision in order to start this blog, and there you have it! So far I still like it, that’s a good sign! I have the name, now what? the first blog, another long period of pondering, then I decided why not just tell you a little about me… simple right? Not so, but here goes… It set me to thinking, how did a kid from a farm in the South East of Queensland, who spent the first 10 years of life not even having a television to watch, end up as a filmmaker in Sydney? and on that journey to Sydney, spend several years

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