Allied Productions | Grand Rapids Video Production, Photography and Digital Media Agency


The Intersection of Strategy and Story

Start to Finish - The Filming of a Cinema Buffs Review

 Nate (left) and Dennis (right) host, film, and edit every episode of Cinema Buffs. 

Nate (left) and Dennis (right) host, film, and edit every episode of Cinema Buffs. 

Since Cinema Buffs has joined forces with Allied Productions, the show has begun evolving and expanding in exciting new directions. But at our core, we always strive to bring you insightful and detailed reviews on the latest film releases and classic movies of the past. But what most people don’t know, is what goes in to the process of shooting one of our reviews. In this blog, we are going to take you through a step by step process of seeing, shooting and posting a new release review.

Deciding the Movie

We always plan our review schedule a few months in advance, making sure that we are covering a variety of genres and anticipated releases. Some may not know this, but although movies normally get advertised for Friday releases, there is almost always a couple showtimes the Thursday before. If early screenings are available, we always jump on the opportunity. Getting our reviews out to our viewers as early as possible is incredibly important.

 Having a notebook while watching a film will make sure important points are never missed.

Having a notebook while watching a film will make sure important points are never missed.

Seeing the Movie

More often than not, Dennis and I see the movie we are reviewing together. Also more often than not, we get snacks. I’m more of a popcorn guy, Dennis goes the candy/nuts route.  We both take small notebooks with us to quickly jot down points we would like to make in the review. Before we enter the theater, we shoot a quick video to post on social media to let our audience know what we are reviewing and how we are feeling about it going in. Then, it’s showtime.

After the Movie

After we get out of the movie, Dennis and I walk silently out of the theater. We don’t want to discuss anything about the movie until the shooting begins. We head straight to Allied Productions Studio and begin to set up.

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Setting up takes around 15 min. Our equipment includes two LED panel lights that are located on both sides behind the camera and two can lights located behind us to light the set. We shoot on a Canon 60D with a Rode Mic Pro attached to the top of the camera. We are always sure to check focus, framing, white balance and sound volume. After the equipment is set up, we wheel a large white board out and split it down the middle. On each side, we write our talking points and topics of interest we want to make sure we mention. We then decided the order of topics; Pacing, plot, direction, acting, theme, etc. We rotate on who will “lead” the review, meaning this person starts it off and is in charge of smooth topic changes. Finally, it’s time to roll camera.

Shooting the Review

We normally shoot our thoughts in one long shot and cut out what we don’t need in editing. High energy is key and so is conflict. Disagreeing is encouraged because it causes genuine reactions which makes it much more entertaining for the viewer. We always want to be as honest and genuine as possible. Once we finish our thoughts, we will cut and move on to the score. We try to keep the score portion short and sweet, maybe recapping our overall feelings of the film. Finally we film the wrap up, teasing the review for the following week.  We break down the set and it’s on to editing.


Dennis and I switch back and fourth on who edits and we edit on Adobe Creative Cloud. As usual with editing, organization and set up are key to making it a swift process. I always gather my photos, trailers and any other information I’ll need in the process. When cutting, I strive to make sure the review is fast moving, informative, and most of all, not repetitive. If we feel the same way on a certain subject or repeat the same point twice, I will cut it down. To create smooth transitions, I with place pieces of the trailer where I made cuts. I also make sure that the piece of the trailer I use is relevant to the topic we are discussing. Once it’s ready to go, it’s time to post!

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This is our process for reviewing a movie. It has been two years and we are always finding ways to make the process cleaner, faster, and more efficient. If you review movies or are thinking of starting, we hope this is an effective guide to help you along the way! Thanks for all the support and remember...Watch More Movies!

you can check out our reviews at


Nathan FischerComment