Monday, October 21, 2013


A few weeks ago I directed a commercial for Elite Comics. The owner, William, wanted to do a local spot that would premiere during the season premiere of The Walking Dead, so naturally we did a commercial with zombies.

We filmed a good portion of the project with a green screen in an empty space next to Elite Comics. Staying in one location saved a ton of time and money. We shot it in about 8 hours and knocked out the whole project in 12 days.

I shot the spot with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. I picked up the camera about 2 hours before we started shooting, so I had no time to get to know it before the shoot. The first shot I got was the interior of the store with all the costumers. You can tell in the video above with no visual effects that it is really under exposed. I like the way the blackmagic footage looks, but there are a ton of problems with the camera. It's hard to tell what's in focus with the small monitor on the back. I couldn't delete footage in camera. I had to plug the hard drive into my mac book and delete if from there. Some of the lenses I used were automatic lenses that didn't have aperture rings which is a nightmare because the blackmagic can't change the iris setting through the touch screen. Even with all its problems, I'd take the Blackmagic over a DSLR any day.

The visual effects were mostly created in After Effects using Particular for the smoke and Element 3d to composite the 3d elements. The tree in the wide shot with the zombies was made by Devin Koehler in zbrush. I did have a problem with the obj file that was exported from zbrush. None of the detail from the tree was showing up in After Effects. So I imported the tree into 3ds Max then re-exported it as an obj and it fixed the problem. 

Here are a few stills from the shoot. William took care of rounding up all the extras. We had a great turn out. This was the very first shoot I've ever been on where more people showed up than expected. It was so awesome. Everyone was so enthusiastic and we all had a blast! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

As some of you know I've been spending the past 6 months or so putting together a new sci-fi film. I'm very excited about it. I plan on getting into more detail in future blog posts, but for now here are some progress pics of a robot I've been working on. More info to come.

Also, if you want to see more pics and videos of the robot, check out my flickr.


Robot Hand Almost Complete!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

What have I been working on?

It's been over a year since my last post on this blog. I'm going to try and not let that happen again. But I've said that before! Anyway, here are the things I've been working on this past year.


I'm so sick and tired of talking about it, but I'm excited to say that my student feature My Stepdad's A Freakin' Vampire! was finally released on DVD last November through Level 33 Entertainment! Making the film was a challenging experience, but taught me a lot about what it takes to make and sell a feature. 


Art by Tony Moore
BITE ME (season 2)

Back in November I took a great Job editing the hit show Bite Me season 2 produced by Machinima, Lionsgate and Fearnet. If you like zombies and fun I recommend checking out both seasons if you haven't seen it yet. Below are the first two episodes of the 2nd season.



After Bite Me ended, I decided to take some time to put together a project of my own. So I started taking lots of freelance editing and motion graphics work to pay the bills. I've been working on lots of cool projects for different companies. Below is a link to one that I finished up a few months ago.


In my free time I've been putting together a new sci-fi short film. It's an idea I've been kicking around the past 2 years. It's exciting to finally be working on it. My next few posts will be about the making of. In the mean time, you can see progress pics of an android I'm building for the film on my Flickr!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I can't believe it's been a year since my last blog post. It's time to dust off the old key pad and get to it.  New blog post coming this weekend! In the mean time look at this cool movie theater. It's in an old bank vault!

Monday, August 8, 2011


My Stepdad's A Freakin' Vampire! will be released on DVD 11/22/2011 through Level 33 Entertainment! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

DEPART FROM ME (revised)

DEPART FROM ME (revised) from David Matheny on Vimeo.

This is an updated version of Depart From Me. In this new video, Douglas Edward updated the sound design, I fixed some color correction issues and I shortened a few cuts. I had to do this because it's been bugging me for almost a month.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Behind "Depart From Me"

To see Depart From Me the short film, go here:

Like most independent films these days, Depart From Me was made on a low budget. Roughly $700. I'm not so sure that's even considered low anymore. Anyway, I wanted to take some time to let everyone know what kind of equipment and software I used for the film and what we spent all that money on. If anyone has any questions about the production of Depart From Me, shoot me an e-mail and I'll try and get back to you as soon as I can.

I guess I'll start with the money. There really wasn't anything that we really needed to buy besides the set and lights. The lights were from Wal-Mart and cost about $70 for the fixture and the bulbs. They were just really cheap fluorescent lights. We also bought lumber, cloth, buttons, batteries and cement. By the way, NEVER use actual cement on walls if you want that kind of look. The walls in the video weighed about 300 pounds. Most of that weight was the cement. It really sucked moving it around.

I filmed Depart From Me with a Canon 7D DSLR camera. I shot mostly 1080 24p, but for the slow motion I had to use 720 60p because the 7D doesn't allow you to shoot slow motion in 1080p. I used a Canon 28-135mm IS zoom lens for all the moving shots because of the image stabilization. I would also use a Nikon Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4D that I bought from Overland Photo Supply for shots where I needed a shallower depth of field. The only thing that sucks about using Nikon Lenses on a Canon DSLR Camera for video is the shakiness. I had to use a lens adapter to attach the Nikon lens to the canon body. The adapter doesn't allow the image stabilization to work in the lens. So I had to keep the camera locked down on a tripod for all the Shallow DOF shots. Bummer. I used the marvel cine picture style you can download here. This picture style allows you to capture more color information, so you can manipulate it more in post-production.

I used a super crappy tripod I bought from Wal-Mart because I couldn't find my Bogen, which totally sucked. I also used a really crappy skateboard dolly that I built about 5 years ago. It's similar to the picture above, but not near as well built. The thing barely moved. We had to put a ton of WD-40 on the wheels. To fix the shaky movement from the tripod, I would rest the camera or tripod on pillows. It absorbed a lot of the shock. For other shots I would have somebody push me and I would just hold the camera steady. The tripod and the dolly are the only two things we used. We didn't have sound, so a microphone wasn't needed. 

I used 4 fluorescent lights that I bought for $15 a piece at Wal-Mart to light most of the set. To light the monitors inside the laboratory I used those same lights and just put them behind the plexiglass. I also used a 6" battery powered fluorescent light for the woman scientists face.

I do all my post-production with a Mac Quad Pro with 8 gigs of ram. It really gets the job done. I edited it in final Cut Pro. For all the visual effects I used Adobe After Effects CS3. I also used Video Copilot's Optical Flares and Action Movie Essentials 2 for some of the fire effects.