Notable Storytellers – Stu Maschwitz

Notable Storytellers – Stu Maschwitz
Stu Maschwitz. Image courtesy Stu Maschwitz.

Stu Maschwitz. Image courtesy Stu Maschwitz.

Welcome to Notable Storytellers, where we bring you the work of photographers, videographers, and other visual artists we think you should be following. This column replaces the “Photo Finds” column on the blog.

Stu Maschwitz is, to use his own words, “a filmmaker, photographer, and writer, with a passion for kinetic storytelling.” To that, I’ll add that Stu is a prolific director and geek whose blog should be required reading for all video afficionados.

From his demo reel, you can obviously tell that Stu has done work for the U.S. Navy, Toshiba, and Sony, among other high-profile clients. He is also the author of the venerable “The DV Rebel’s Guide,” which inspired independent filmmakers everywhere to reach for their dreams and gave them real tools to help achieve them.

What the demo reel doesn’t tell you, IMDB will. Stu’s credits include doing VFX work for films such as Star Wars, The Spirit, Iron Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Harry Potter. He also co-founded VFX house The Orphanage, which has worked on the aforementioned films and many, many more.

Stu also serves as the Creative Director for Red Giant Software‘s Magic Bullet product line. Anyone who’s worked in the video realm for a while is familiar with one or more of the titles in the Magic Bullet suite. Magic Bullet Looks was all the rage back when I was film school (think back in the days of DV, when the Canon XL2 reigned high and mighty), but even today, Looks, along with titles like Colorista and Grinder are considered to be top-shelf software.

Stu has also risen to the forefront of the DSLR video revolution. He co-directed the film “Nocturne” with Vincent Laforet, and provided VFX for some of the shots from Vincent’s Canon C300 demo film, Mobius.

An avid geek, Stu is also responsible for coming up with the “Prolost Flat” profile for Canon DSLRs, which is currently used by Vincent Laforet, Philip Bloom, and others. Although a number of filmmakers have gravitated towards profiles like Marvels and Cinestyle, the advantage of Prolost Flat is that it can be set up in minutes in the field, without the need for cables or computers. For our customers, this is kind of a big deal – you can easily configure your rented 5D Mark II or III to use the Prolost Flat profile right on camera.

There’s a lot more to Mr. Maschwitz than I can cover in one article – I haven’t even touched on his work with Fountain, his VFX/post-production-related posts, or the Maschwikipedia– which is why I’m glad his blog is updated constantly and is a great way to keep up with him and his work. You should visit Stu’s blog at and follow him on Twitter at If you’re even slightly interested in video, then Stu Maschwitz is someone you should be following very, very closely.

That’s it for this edition of Notable Storytellers. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

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Sohail Mamdani is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter or find him at

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