Episode #3 - Black Magic Camera - John Brawley Interview

John Brawley is a Director of Photography working in both Australia and LA. His work has taken him all over the world.[powerpress]

John Brawley 4

Black Magic Camera - John Brawley reveals all.

For the last 12 months John has been advising Black Magic on their highly anticipated new Cinema Camera.

We first reported on the Black Magic Cinema Camera at NAB earlier this year.

John has been helping them fine tune the picture and while he had nothing to do with the physical design he has been drawing on his 12 years as a busy working Cinematographer to help Black Magic Design fine tune the raw image quality of the new Cinema Camera.

In this exclusive interview I asked John about his career, how he got to where he is now shooting prime time Australian TV drama and feature films around the world and he also reveals how the Black Magic Design Cinema Camera originated as a passing comment.

John  has also been working closely with the design team at Black Magic and how responsive they have been to his suggestions to make sure the image from the Black Magic Camera is just right before release later this month.

Podcast Highlights:


  • 1:05 John Brawley intro
  • 2:05 How the relationship between John and Black Magic came about.
  • 9:20 Resolve and Black Magic relationship and the benefits from working with them.
  • 11:30 ‘Pool Shark’ talking through the shoot.
  • 15:20 Grading choices and the amount of latitude in shots
  • 18:15 Clearing up the aliasing points of BMCC
  • 21:45 Talking about the ergonomics of the BMCC and the benefits on set
  • 25:40 Sensor size, the reality of using it and any issues that may occur
  • 29:40 What do you think about when choosing tools for a project?
  • 34:00 How long did it take to shoot ‘Pool Shark’?
  • 41:50 Importance of planning, blocking shots and blocking a scene to benefit from light

You can learn more about John on his blog .  This is a great resource for all aspiring and working DP's as John shares his philosophy on light and shooting drawing more on what inspires him rather than just the gear talk. He has a number of exclusive posts on his development with BMD Cinema Camera. Johns Blog

About John Brawley

Since completing his MA in Cinematography at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS) in 2007, John has racked up an impressive and diverse range of credits working extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia.

His first 35mm short film Bird In The Wire was nominated for a Palme d’Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and garnered an AFI nomination for Best Cinematography. In the same year, he won the Best Cinematography award at Tropfest for Like It Is.

John has a strong background in VFX and post, and in 2005 was VFX Supervisor on the Palme d’Or nominated short film Clara, which earned a rarely awarded special mention for technical achievement.

John’s first feature was the supernatural cult thriller Lake Mungo, directed by Joel Anderson. Lauded for its sophisticated and layered visual style, the film went on to a 2010 U.S. theatrical and DVD release through Lionsgate.

Another 2010 highlight was the world premiere of the gothic suspense thriller The Perfect Host at the Sundance Film Festival. Shot in Los Angeles, directed by Nick Tomnay and starring David Hyde Pierce, the film is scheduled for a forthcoming U.S. theatrical release.

Recent short credits include Celestial Avenue, winner of the Grand Prize for best film at the Academy Award-accredited Rhode Island Film Festival, as well as Best Australian Short at the 2010 Flickerfest Awards; and A Parachute Falling In Siberia which was selected for official competition at the 2010 Sydney Film Festival Dendy Awards.

[3 Reports Red]