Richard Lackey

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Shoot Pro Video With Your Smartphone

You’ve heard it said that the best camera is the one that’s with you. The camera in any recent smartphone now meets the requirements to record high quality cinematic video. What’s more, with the right approach to post production, color correction and finishing you can transform those pixels into something far more polished.

Of course, the camera and post production is only part of it. Most of what you need comes down to discovering how and what to shoot.

My goal is to share practical, tested, field knowledge about high-end iPhone filmmaking. Tools, techniques, workflow, hardware, and software.

Amsterdam, Netherlands | iPhone XS Max Video | Shot with FiLMiC Pro | Graded in DaVinci Resolve

Motion Picture Film Emulation for smartphone video

I am obsessed with the art and science of emulating not only the color and grain, but as much of the “feeling” and “emotion” as possible of images captured on motion picture film using smartphone video as a source. This may sound like a strange mission, but as a post production professional, and colorist who understands the images I manipulate are simply data, I believe that any digital source meeting certain minimum technical requirements can be manipulated to meet almost any creative look desired with the right tools, approach and workflow.

Whether the camera source is photo-chemical, or electronic, that information is sampled, and becomes data, regardless of how the sampled values originated. From source to display, these values can be measured, matched and altered. Image noise, motion artifacts, and compression artifacts can be removed. Brand new pixels can be interpolated, inferred, and created using sophisticated ML algorithms trained on vast datasets.

Smartphone video, with its limited dynamic range, limited bit depth, and aggressive compression is a challenging source for experimentation and testing of these tools and methods.

About Richard Lackey

I am a filmmaker, colorist (CSI), digital cinema technology and workflow specialist with an extensive knowledge and experience of digital motion-picture imaging and post production.

Born in the US, raised in the UK, I have worked internationally since 2003, most notably Cape Town, South Africa, and Dubai, UAE. I started my career as a television editor, progressing from offline to online editing, and post supervision. I earned my first feature film credits as a post production coordinator and post producer before finally moving into a production role as a producer.

I love creating compelling imagery, and the technology that makes it possible. My work is at the intersection of the technical and the creative, and I’m competent with both. I have previously written for a leading online technical portal, cined, for many years, and am a full member of the Colorist Society International (CSI) and the Digital Cinema Society (DCS).

I work as Regional Marketing Manager, Middle East and Africa, Electronic Imaging and Optical Devices for Fujifilm.

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