DSLR Video Workshop

DSLR Video: The Basics of Visual Storytelling

1. Getting the Shot

1. Getting the Shot

     A. Proper Exposure

     B. Frame Rate

     C. White Balance

2. Essential Gear

2. Essential Gear


     A. DSLR

     B. Cinema Lens

     C. Lighting

3. Sound

3. Sound

     A. Portable Audio Recorder

     B. Foley

     C. Royalty Free Music

4. Pre-Production

4. Pre-Production

     A. Scripting

     B. Locations

     C. Crew

     D. Scheduling

5. Casting

5. Casting

     A. Casting Call

     B. Vocal Projection

     C. Adaptability

6. Production

6. Production

     A. Preparation

     B. Set Protocol

     C. Framing and Technique

     D. Transitions

     E. Continuity

Sideshow: The IndieGoGo Campaign

It's been a while since we last spoke. Lots has been brewing here at Allied Productions, and we can finally begin sharing the fruits of our labors. 

Sideshow: The IndieGoGo Campaign

Writer/Director Roger Scholz introduces Sideshow the Movie and how fans can help with production.

Sideshow production is moving into its next phase and we need your help. We're looking to raise $50,000 to help finish production. We've got a ton of great perks and incentives to reward your contributions including Zombie Makeup sessions for Halloween, mugs, t-shirts, producer credits, private screenings, and much more. 

Where will your donation go? The budget breakdown for the remained of the movie is detailed below. But, in terms of actual on screen benefits, the money donated will ensure that Sideshow maintains and exceeds its current quality. 

Stay tuned to our social pages, the blog, and the IndieGoGo campaign for more information on events, new developments and how you can help Sideshow!


I was fortunate to collaborate with Ryan Leigh  at the studio of Ben Wagner earlier this month. We spent most of our time working on photographing a variety of looks, but while Ben was shooting I managed to capture a little of the mood of the day in the following clip. What really made it for me was how smoothly Ryan transitions from look to look. It's a real joy to capture. 


Saturday Studio Portraits and Headshots: $150 Per Session

We've been busy working on our feature film, and a music video we're incredibly excited about, and during that work we've had a number of requests from actors and actresses about getting their head shots updated. Here's your chance. 

We're offering half-hour $150 studio portrait and head-shot sessions this coming Saturday (7/11). Sessions start at 9 a.m. at our studio at 422 Leonard St NW in Grand Rapids and will run in half-hour blocks throughout the day.

The head shot/portrait session will include:

  • 30 minute session in our studio.
  • Two Looks, and two delivered photos (max).
  • All rights to the photos. 
  • High-fives and snacks. 

Remember, new head shots and portrait photos aren't just for those pursuing acting careers. They're also great chance to update your professional profile on Linkedin, include on your resume, and shame your friends on social media who live at the end of a selfie-stick. 

To reserve your spot email us at 

Running Circles Around Columbus

This past weekend I had the pleasure of making a nuisance of myself in Columbus, Ohio during the Ohio Health Health Capital City Half Marathon.

Lots of great food was consumed in Columbus's Short North district (looking at you Black Point), and I discovered the only place I ever want to eat breakfast again Super Chef's Breakfast and More. It's truly a shame all of this fantastic food, and entertainment has to exist in Ohio. It's almost like my Michigan ingrained disdain for Indiana and Ohio is misplaced. 

Almost. See, in order to get to Columbus one must travel on I-80, a glorified speed trap where 90 percent of Ohio and Indiana's general fund revenue is generated through traffic violations.

Also, Indiana. You have to pass through Indiana. And pass by the RV and Motor Home Hall of Fame and Event Center. This is a real thing, and on our way back Saturday evening it was packed. Why? I can only imagine. 

However, I did manage to succeed at cheering on my girlfriend as she completed her ninth half marathon (add that to her three full marathons) and snap a few pictures at the same time. Enjoy the gallery below!

Sideshow: How Zombies Are Made

Well. Two Zombies fall in love. Then the two Zombies devour their first victim together. Then Two Zombies...Actually, it takes a team of extremely talented makeup artists, a plan, practice, reflection and operational perfection to bring Zombies to life in a feature film.

We'll be pushing 30 to 40 zombie extras through our assembly line in a few weeks. Achieving a unified look, especially with each of our artists having their own unique spin on bringing the undead to life, meant this week's makeup test was crucial to pulling off Director Roger Scholz's vision. 

Utilizing our studio's natural north facing light and a few fluorescent soft-boxes the makeup artists set up their workshop. A series of tables housed each artists' tools, the human canvases sat in chairs, and I tried to not get in the way while taking pictures. The zombies we pushed through our assembly line ranged from burn victim (the scarring is cotton) to some early-stage zombies requiring "vein-work." 

Having all of the creative minds in one room feeding off each others energy helped the order of operations emerge. At the beginning of the night we had a rough idea of what we would do. By the end each person's strengths became apparent and a natural process emerged thanks everyone's observations and problem solving. 

As always, a huge thanks to everyone involved. As always, check back for more information on Sideshow in the coming days and weeks. Be on the look out for information on our Zombie school too. 


Open Zombie Casting Call: The Horde Was Strong In Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids and West Michigan natives turned out in undead droves for Allied Production's Sideshow Open Zombie Casting call. 

Over 400 willing victims turned out April 18th and 19th, spurred by a flurry of social media buzz, and a few well-placed articles in the Grand Rapids Press and on Saturday's line extended down three flights of stairs and into the parking lot shared with a local church. MUA Stephanie Strowbridge and Director Roger Scholtz put groups of four through the same Zombie routine which included:

  1. A brief description what was actually happening. 
  2. What Sideshow was. 
  3. How Sideshow's Zombies will behave. 
  4. An initial undirected Zombie walk. 
  5. An additional Zombie walk with direction.
  6. Feedback. 
  7. Annnndddd one the many faces of Roger below. 

Unfortunately we won't be able to have everyone come back and be a part of the Zombie horde in the coming weeks. However, stay tuned as another opportunity will be announced before the week is out (get your competitive and creative juices flowing). Until then enjoy the pictures below, and look for photos and video from a Zombie makeup test later this week. 


DisArts Festival: Arts In Motion Fund Raiser

Last weekend Allied Productions had the pleasure to photograph the Arts in Motion Fourth Annual Basghetti dinner. The dinner is a fundraiser for Arts in Motion Studio, a studio dedicated to enriching the Grand Rapids community and lives of individuals with disabilities through expressive arts. Arts in Motion specializes in adaptive instruction in the creative arts for the physically, emotionally or mentally challenged.

The creative arts are an important means of self-expression and should be accessible to all individuals, without regard for physical or mental limitation.   By using a variety of styles, music and props, students are able to outwardly express the beauty within. Many of these talents were on display at the dinner, ranging from paintings to choreographed dance. 

Creativity is inherent in us all. Dance, drama and music can be a tool for expression as well as enhancing personal growth. With the appropriate accommodations, the creative arts provides the impaired individual with: 

  • An emotional outlet 
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem 
  • A sense of achievement 
  • The freedom of expression 
  • Expanded social awareness and communication 
  • An opportunity for involvement

At Arts in Motion, there is a place for everyone. Courses are available for all ages, developmental levels and challenges. 

For more information visit Arts in Motion's website, and make sure to check out the DisArts Festival going on in Grand Rapids through April 25th.