The Democratization of Film — What Makes A Filmmaker in an Age of Accessible Equipment?

By Doug Gritzmacher

Director of Photography, Cinematographer
Denver, Colorado, Google+

By Doug GritzmacherDirector of Photography, Cinematographer
Denver, Colorado, Google+

$1,468.
 
That’s the lowest price I could find for a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR camera on eBay. Add in a decent lens and for less than $2,000 you can be a filmmaker.
 
Or can you?
 
That was the question posed to a forum last month at the Breckenridge Film Festival. I attended the fest to accompany “Out of the Fire“, a documentary feature film for which I am director of photography and directed by my friend Courtenay Singer. After that film’s second screening, I walked across the street on beautiful Fall Saturday in the Rockies to the Breckenridge Auditorium to hear what the panel had to say about this provocative question.
 
Make no mistake about it, it is a question directly tied into the aforementioned camera, the “5D”. In 2008, Canon released the 5D …

New documentary on Zbigniew Brzezinski

By Doug Gritzmacher

Director of Photography, Cinematographer
Denver, Colorado, Google+

By Doug GritzmacherDirector of Photography, Cinematographer
Denver, Colorado, Google+

This week I began shooting for the producers of a new documentary film about Zbigniew Brzezinski. Our first interview was with Brzezinski himself (screengrab above), who is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter. The documentary covers his involvement in and views on national security and foreign policy beginning with the Kennedy Administration to modern day affairs. During my time as a political science and foreign affairs junkie (since recovered) I found myself in agreement with much of his ideology, especially his emphasis on human rights. Today, I am more interested in good stories and to that end Brzezinski did not disappoint in telling this tale:
At a news conference, when Carter was asked about the new pope, Brzezinski says that …

“SOLDIERS OF PAINT” COMING TO NETFLIX!

By Doug Gritzmacher

Director of Photography, Cinematographer
Denver, Colorado, Google+

By Doug GritzmacherDirector of Photography, Cinematographer
Denver, Colorado, Google+

First Run Features struck a deal today with Netflix to carry my film, “Soldiers of Paint“. The film was released in May on DVD, iTunes, and Amazon, but excitement about those platforms paled in comparison to the response we got to the Netflix news. The posting on the film’s Facebook page received more than 100 “likes”, and 22 “shares”, far and away above any other post ever made. You would think the film had just won an Oscar! The response to this news is telling about where Netflix stands in the minds of audiences in comparison to other delivery methods. Is Netflix now the de facto platform for movie content? It seems that way. If landing a first rate distributor in First Run Features and getting on iTunes and Amazon did …

“OUT OF THE FIRE” OUT IN FILM FESTIVALS

By Doug Gritzmacher

Director of Photography, Cinematographer
Denver, Colorado, Google+

By Doug GritzmacherDirector of Photography, Cinematographer
Denver, Colorado, Google+

 
“Out of the Fire” is a feature-length documentary about Kevin Crowe, a renowned potter in central Virginia. I had the pleasure of serving as the film’s director of photography. The film has recently been accepted by the Hot Springs Documentary, Breckenridge, Utopia, Driftless, and Rehoboth Beach film festivals. Having seen the completed film, I’m not at all surprised by it’s success. Producer and director Courtenay Singer has created an intimate portrait of a master artist (Kevin: “The reward for a creative life is authenticity; it’s not economic” ). One in which we get to know the motivations and inspirations behind the work, and immersed and moved by the surroundings in which it is conceived and created. If you’re near either of those areas, I highly encourage you to check it …