FilmFellas behind the scenes – Film Fellas ASC Edition Cast 8

by Lan Bui on June 21, 2010


Zacuto, makers of FilmFellas, is one of the best companies I’ve ever interacted with. The employees are happy, everyone is friendly and I even found out some inside information… employee benefits are amazing at Zacuto. So… naturally only the best of people work there and they really do give the best service.

Vu and I travel a lot for business. We’re fortunate enough to have companies fly us around the world to teach and work (and sometimes play)… this trip to Chicago really stood out as amazing. Every little detail was planned out by the great Zacuto staff, from having a fantastic driver pick us up from the airport to having us pre checked in to the hotel… everything was smooth and I felt completely taken care of. That really made an impact… Zacuto genuinely cares about people.

FilmFellas Cast 8

The cast of FilmFellas season 8: ACS Cinematographers:

Rodney Charters ASC, CSC, (Television Series: 24)
Nancy Schreiber ASC (The Nines)
Stephen Goldblatt ASC, BSC, (Julie & Julia, Lethal Weapon)
Jens Bogehegn (DP/Producer of FilmFellas/critics)

FilmFellas is directed by Steve Weiss.

FilmFellas 8 BTS
Polaroid during show setup

Vu and I had never had the chance to meet Nancy Schreiber or Stephen Goldblatt before arriving in Chicago for FilmFellas season 8. Since my flight was delayed Nancy and I were picked up by the same driver and we talked the entire way to the hotel. It was really cool to get to know such a fantastic person like Nancy. She is really smart.

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Nancy Schreiber, ASC

After the boat ride, which I’ll talk about in a bit, Stephen, Rodney, Nancy, Vu and I went to a bar and talked for a couple hours. It was such a great chance to get to know Steven and was very inspiring. Stephen has worked on so many great films (and is an accomplished photographer)… hearing him tell stories about his career was awesome. He also shared some never before seen photos he took way back in the day of some of the most iconic musicians… I was again inspired.

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Stephen Goldblatt, ASC

Rodney has become a friend over the last year and I love to hang out with him. I’ve learned so much from Rodney… it seems like if you spend 5 minutes with him you learn something new.

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Rodney Charters, ASC

Jens and Steve are the kind of guys I want to be like when our company gets bigger. Awesome people that really care about what they do and care even more about the people around them.

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Jens Bogehegn

FilmFellas 8 BTS
Steve Weiss


FilmFellas 8 BTS
Holga shot from the boat

One of the special parts of attending FilmFellas 8 filming was getting to go to the party the day before. Yes, it was on a boat!!! We took a river and lake cruise and got to see one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how Zacuto planned it… but they ordered up the perfect sunset.

Cast on the Z-Boat

While on the boat I figured I’d make a time lapse of the cruise. So here it is, FilmFellas Cast 8 Chicago Lake Michigan Time-Lapse Video.

That cruise was so cool, we got to go in the rivers under the bridges… which are very low… and have a great meal. It was so cool to see the city that way, especially since it was my first time there.

FilmFellas 8 BTS 0008
The Bui Brothers and Rodney

The Shoot

On day 2 we met at Zacuto headquarters early-ish in the morning… where the Zacuto crew had seemingly been working for a while already… as they were completely set up and ready to go. Shooting FilmFellas is no small ordeal… they completely rearrange a giant room in their building to accommodate the shoot. There were black drapes covering all the walls, 6 cameras (all HVX-200’s) set up on tripods, a dolly and a jib… and in the center of it all, a small table with a single light above it.

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the setup

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the setup

This hanging light is the only light source during the shoot, and with the white tablecloth and tablewear as bounce provides the perfect light setup for the shoot. They have 4 cameras on sticks, each set up to shoot one person from the front, then one camera on a track that constantly circles the table and one on a jib for some awesome movement in the shots. It’s no small production… when Zacuto wants to shoot something, they get serious about it. Filmfellas is one of the best looking shows (with some of the most insightful content as well) on the web.

Everyone was busy and setting up until the last minute when the food was served and the taping began. The entire shoot lasted around 90 minutes or so (I don’t really remember exactly). We just sat there in silence and soaked up the conversation happening at the table. It was a fantastic experience.

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the food before it was devoured

Zacuto is awesome

Our experience in Chicago with Zacuto and the 3 ASC cinematographers was short but so very memorable. We’ll be forever grateful for the experience!

To see the rest of the photos we shot from the trip (half shot digital, half on film), see the flickr gallery HERE.

To see the episodes of FilmFellas season 8 click HERE.

Thanks for reading, click here to follow me on twitter: Lan Bui's Twitter

  • Pingback: Time Lapse of Downtown Chicago Lake Michigan river boat tour | The Bui Brothers Blog

  • Steve

    Wow, that is so sweet, thank you so much for those kind words and you know we loved having you in Chicago and fell in love with you. You Bui's are the best and great friends too. Thank you so much for coming and we are going to do it real soon again.


  • Lan Bui

    Dude, we had such a great time.

  • Misa Garcia

    amazing Video guys… loved every second of it. Watched it a couple of times now, it was like being there all over again. I wanna live in Chicago now! ha!

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