Roland Denning

Roland Denning

Roland Denning is an independent filmmaker and writer based in London. He was a lighting cameraman/ documentary cameraman for two decades, shooting everything from feature drama to rock promos. He still shoots when he can't afford to employ anyone else. His satirical novel, The Beach Beneath The Pavement was published in 2011.

The DSLR revolution had a huge impact on the video production industry. Conventional views of what a video camera should be were turned on their head, and doors were opened, making low budget filmmaking much more accessible. But the ripples from the revolution went far and wide. Roland Denning takes us on a journey of the effects those ripples caused.

What’s so great about soft light?

Published in Production

We all love soft light, don’t we? It’s natural and flattering; hard light is old fashioned and looks artificial. And LEDs are a convenient and energy efficient source of soft light that have made most other lights obsolete, particularly if you are on a low budget. Is that all really true?

Space - the final cinematic frontier

Published in Production

There has been a lot of discussion on these pages recently about what makes a film ‘cinematic’, centred around cameras, lenses, grading, lighting and the age-old debate of photochemical film versus digital. It’s all missing something obvious: space.

The news that Mad Max: Fury Road is being re-launched in a monochrome version (‘black and chrome edition’) has raised a few eyebrows. The trailer looks great, but what’s actually going on here? Is it a gimmick, or a new trend?

Remembering Media 100: one of the great NLE pioneers

Published in Production

As it announces a new, free version, Roland Denning remembers the very early days of one of the early pioneers of the non linear editing age, Media 100.

When mobile phones record high-quality HD (or even 4K) video it is hard to imagine the impact that a cumbersome, reel-to-reel black and white video recorder could have, but back in the 1970s, it was a game-changer.

Is TV the new cinema?

Published in Business

‘Cinematic’ is a term you’ll often find on these pages. It seems to be a look we all aspire to. We could argue about what ‘cinematic’ actually means (the best answer is probably ‘not like video’ - but then video doesn’t look like video anymore) but I’d rather discuss the underlying assumption: cinema is the highest form of the moving image and television is a lowly cousin.

Did we ever really want 3D anyway?

Published in Business

The major television manufacturers have moved away from 3D displays, which makes us wonder why it wasn't more successful. Roland Denning has answers.

New ways to move your camera

Published in Production

RedShark Review: The Danish designed and built 9.Solutions C-Pan Arm is an ingenious way of moving a camera.

Do we look at CES as a vision of the future, or do we look at it with a mixture of laughter and astonishment at how technology companies can find very complicated ways of doing simple things?

Olde Denning’s Almanak: Film & Video in 2017

Published in Production

Roland Denning dons his soothsayer robes for a not entirely serious look at what may happen in the video industry in 2017.

The Rory Peck Trust and the annual Rory Peck Awards are uniquely dedicated to freelance cameramen and women in news and current affairs. Roland Denning went to last night’s Awards ceremony.

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