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.

In the last three decades of the 20th century, when film was still the dominant medium, there was one piece of equipment that, close to being universal, was an essential piece of kit for the smallest documentary to the grandest feature film. It was the Swiss-made Nagra audio recorder. And perhaps the most definitive of these was the Nagra IV series.

Can documentaries ever tell the truth?

Published in Production

What can we believe these days? The internet has vastly increased the amount of information available to everyone, but not only is a lot of that information false, but we no longer trust the systems that distinguish truth from falsehood. Many look to documentary filmmakers to reveal the world as it really is but, increasingly and perhaps rightly, people question the veracity of what they see on their screens. Documentary film was originally defined as ‘the creative interpretation of reality’. Today even that simple phrase seems problematic.

Roland Denning continues his journey to find out whether the Sony really and truly is an Aaton documentary camera for the digital age.

The Sony PXW-Z90 - The perfect documentary camera?

Published in Production

The popularity of large chip cameras has often meant the sidelining of smaller sensor devices. But if documentary is your focus, a camera with a large sensor can be more a hinderance than a benefit. Here, Roland Denning tells of his experiences using a as an Aaton style documentary rig. Can it cut the mustard?

We have all got used to massive changes in technology over the last few decades. What seems like science fiction one year becomes commonplace the next. But in film and video, what are the things that have stayed the same?

Why do we keep thinking in 35mm for focal lengths?

Published in Production

Do we really need to keep using 35mm as our baseline for focal lengths, or is there a much better way?

Roland Denning has been into his attic again and dusted off his crystal ball to give you the most accurate predictions for next year. Remember, if anyone asks, make sure they know that you read all this here first.

This is why we don't do camera "shoot-outs"

Published in Production

We sometimes get asked why we don't do camera shoot-outs. There's a few simple reasons for that, and why we stay well away from them.

Deeyah Khan: An inspiring filmmaker confronting the enemy

Published in Production

Deeyah Khan and Darin Prindle won the Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs at the 2018 Rory Peck Awards on November 1st for their astonishing film, White Right: Meeting The Enemy where Deeyah comes face-to-face with leaders of the White Power movement in the USA. Roland Denning had the pleasure of meeting Deeyah the day after the awards ceremony to talk about her film. Her own story is as extraordinary as the films she makes.

The Rory Peck Awards celebrates the work of filmmakers working in the most extreme circumstances. Roland Denning covered the event, and found that the art of making films that matter is still well and truly alive.

With the multitude of hybrid cameras around now, you could be fooled into thinking that the stills and video world are merging. But in reality they are just as far apart from each other as they have always been.

The real reason why we pay high prices for high-end gear

Published in Production

High end kit costs a lot more money than the lower end, but you are not necceserily paying for better final results. Roland Denning tells us why.

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