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Cameraman in Israel and TV crews in Israel

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Primetime War a film by Noam Shalev and Yosi Leon

The 52 minutes documentary examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a new perspective: The video camera’s viewfinder is the peephole into a unique atmosphere, described by veteran TV cameramen who have covered the conflict for the past few years.

Jimmy Michael, a Palestinian cameraman working for the BBC, and Alon Bernstein, an Israeli cameramen working for Associated Press, represent two sides of the hundred year conflict. They are part of a group of professional news cameramen with a rich experience covering the conflict’s war zones.

Cameramen are often hurt, attacked and injured, either by stones or by bullets. Jimmy and Alon try to understand what is the cause and what is the effect. Through their reactions to the scenes they have videotaped, Primetime War investigates the role of the camera in the midst of a violent conflict. Is it a mere recorder of events, or is it a catalyst for violence? In one scene, cameramen are filming daily clashes of Palestinian teenagers throwing stones at Israeli soldiers who retaliate with rubber bullets. All of a sudden, a bomb is thrown into the soldiers’ position, injuring them. The reaction of the cameramen, both Palestinian and Israeli, to the horrifying situation is a unique document of the media’s role in the war zone.

While neither can detach himself from his nationality and background, the cameramen provide us – the viewers – with a fresh insight on how news are gathered and reported, and expose a wide angle perspective on the men behind the camera, a point of view almost always hidden from the viewer.

Primetime War was filmed over a period of one year, from May 1997 to April 1998. The film follows events at they unfold – clashes in Hebron, suicide terrorists exploding in Jerusalem, American and British attempts to negotiations between the sides, and riots over Jewish settlements in the vicinity of Jerusalem.


Tips for shooting your documentary (part three)

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Write an editing Script

Once all of the footage is shot and you’ve gathered the various production elements, time to start organizing it into a script. Pinpoint the most compelling elements of your story and start crafting “mini-scenes” around those events. Remember, a script isn’t necessarily what’s spoken or a voice-over. A script describes what the audience is seeing , hearing and mostly feeling.

When you Begin Editing

This is actually one of most enjoyable parts of the process. It’s like putting together a great big puzzle! First you’ll need to choose your video editing computer and video editing software. Once you’re all set with equipment, you’ll start putting down your clips of footage one right after the other in a sequence. The art with editing is to create a “roller coaster” ride of emotion, some parts fast, some part slow to create a dynamic viewing experience.Until the music is mixed with the films sound, you can’t know how your documentary will affect your viewers. Remember the sound track is not less important than the picture.

Check Legal and Copyright Issues

Even though this is near the end of the list, it should actually be something you keep in mind from the very beginning and throughout the entire filmmaking process. It can be a big disappointment if after all your work you can’t screen your film because of legal matters.


A documentary is art, not a science. But although it is art you have to be sure your viewers will understand the story you are telling them. Before starting your documentary define who will be your viewers and create your film in a way they will like it and appreciate it.        Today a documentary can be made on a very small budget. Go out and do it, make mistakes, and learn from your mistakes.


When looking for a film maker in Israel, or camera crew in Israel, or Video production in Israel contacts us at LEONFILMS..

We are here to make your dream come true: http://en.leonfilms.co.il




Tips for shooting your documentary (part two)

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Create a Shot List

This is a list of the footage and interviews you’ll need to make your movie. Think of it as your list of “ingredients. When you make the list of the people you intend to interview be sure what subject each interview will cover. Remember, too many characters in your film will confuse your viewers and will not enable them emotional  contact with your heroes.

When to start Shooting

Start shooting if there is an event you think will not happen again (funeral, wedding, war etc.). Every good documentary involves a process that needs time to grow. It can be the narrative or it can be an emotional process. In all cases be patient and try not to rush it. Remember that when you begin filming you create an energetic momentum with yourself, your crew and your heroes. Sometimes you have a general idea about a documentary you would like to shoot or a character you want to follow, go and film him even if you are not planning to make the documentary right now. In five years when you finally decide to make the film the footage you shoot now can be used for a follow up.


How to shoot

Make sure when you’re shooting an event to capture a variety of angles including close-ups, medium shots and wide shots. Find original ways to shoot illustrations that will describe emotions when editing. Remember that nothing can replace a good sound bite said by your talents while a bad shoot could be replaced. Be keen about the sound. Surveys have shown that people watching TV leave programs with bad sound.  When interviewing never stop the camera at the CUT, sometimes the best sound bites are said once the talent thinks the camera has stop shooting. Try not to move or zoom too much, the viewer’s eye doesn’t like it. You can do only it if you want to make your viewers uncomfortable.



When looking for a film maker in Israel, or camera crew in Israel,or Video production in Israel contacts us at LEONFILMS..

We are here to make your dream come true: http://en.leonfilms.co.il




Tips for shooting your documentary (part one)

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Making documentaries is one of the most rewarding and challenging endeavors you can be involved in. You can do it with a small budget and with no actors. But there are a few rules you have to know even if you aim to break them.

Remember, although it’s fun it’s still hard work and although you may be lucky with your first documentary, experience is still an important factor.  So the best way to truly learn how to make documentaries is to make one.

Tell a story you are involved in and care about

Start with a subject that excites you and you are fond of. If you’re lukewarm about the subject matter, chances are, the final movie will reflect it. Make a documentary you’re passionate about and makes sense to you. Be sure that if the documentary is exciting you it will excite your viewers.

Good research will give you a great advantage

Learn everything you can about your documentary subject. Sometimes the story lines are obvious, sometimes not. Do a lot of digging and follow leads. This is where you put on your reporter hat. Gather facts and search for leads on interesting characters and story lines. The gems of your story are sometimes deeply buried and out of sight.Always try to be in a situation you know more than your talents.

Make ageneral script

Create an outline. Think about HOW you’re going to tell your story. What’s the structure? The style? Is there existing footage or photos that help tell your story or will everything need to be brand new? Who is your primary character(s)? What are you core story points? What are the elements of your story that are compelling and/or make you “tingle” with intrigue? How can you create that intrigue for your audience? Is there some existing situation you can film or do you need to create the moment?


When looking for a film maker in Israel, camera crew in Israel, Video production in Israel to help you make your documentary contacts us at LEONFILMS..

We are here to make your dream come true: http://en.leonfilms.co.il






Filming in Israel

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Camera crew in Israel, shooting the Making off of the film “Disengagement” (Part 1)

In 2007 I was invited by the Cultural Department of the Austrian television (ORF) to film materials for their culture magazine about the film “Disengagement” by director Amos Gitai.

The piece was staged by Gabriele Flossman who came from Vienna for that purpose.   The film “Disengagement” was shot by Austrian photographer Christian Bergr, famous for shooting mainly with natural light and little use of artificial lighting. During filming, I got to know Berger and found him a charming person in addition to being an outstanding professional.

The film that boasted big names including Juliette Binoche and Jeanne Moreau was partly filmed in France and its main part was shot in Israel in an aria resembling the Gaza Strip lands evacuated by Israel in 2005.

The film consists of two parts: In the first part we meet Anne (Juliette Binoche) with her adopted brother (Liron Levo), an Israeli police officer. He comes to Avignon, in France, to their father’s funeral.  Following the meeting Anna decides to visit Israel to meet her daughter abandoned by her 20 years ago.

In the second part of the film, the two brothers come to Israel at the time of the disengagement from the Gaza strip.  Levo joins his police unit evacuating the settlers from the Gaza Strip and Binoche happens to come to the same settlement to discover that her daughter has grown to be a religious settler who acts as a kindergarten teacher in the settlement (Dana Evgi).

It should be noted that the director Amos Gitai normally does not like video crews walking around on his set, but the fact that his main camera man was Austrian Christian Berger and it was agreed that the material I shoot will be used for the official Making Off of the film allowed us to work in relative freedom. (That at least was what we understood…)

As we arrived on the set while preparing our gear my eye suddenly caught, a figure of a woman dressed in jeans and a white tank top. Without hesitation I picked up the camera, placed it on my shoulder, and caught the image of this beautiful figure with my long zoom lens.

A few seconds passed until I realized that the women that I shot was shouting “AMOS THEY ARE FILMING ME” and that it was not part of the film. It was the famous actress Juliette Binoche who was furious at me filming her without telling her in advance.

Next thing I remember was that Amos the director was shouting at me, while explaining we can shoot on his set only when he allows us to do so.



When looking for Camera crew in Israel, Production in Israel, Video Crew in Israel or TV Crew in Israel Please contact LEONFILMS www.http//:leonfilms.co.il

Film production in Israel

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TV crew in Israel, shooting the Making off of the film “Disengagement” (Part 2)

So we, the TV crew from Israel, were shooting the Making Of of the film “Disengagement” directed by Amos Gitai.

The fact that Amos likes to create really long shoots gave us a lot of time to do our work including interviewing Berger the Director of Photography, The Israeli actors and Amos himself.

During the three days we were there Amos was shouting his orders ACTION and CUT controlling together with his crew hundreds of extras playing police troops, angry settlers and Palestinians who were filmed behind a high fence that was built especially on the site.

After the three days we felt we had enough footage for the story the Austrian TV wanted and also for the Making Of but somehow we didn’t yet shoot the interview with Juliette Binoche who each day had a different reason to postpone the interview with her.

Friday was the last day of the filming of “Disengagement”, Troops of police broke down the gate of the settlement and confronted the settlers. Finally Amos Gitai shouted: IT’S A RAP, the police extras and most of the crew were on their way home, and we were told to wait for the interview with Juliette Binoche at her make up cabin.

At top speed we built a nice set just in time to hear she changed her mind and decided to be interviewed outside, on the sands, with a tree with beautiful  yellow flowers in the background. Quickly we arranged some reflectors and built a new set for the interview.

All was ready when Juliette’s assistant looked at our monitor and whispered something in Juliettes ear. Juliette looked at me and asked if I could put more light on her. When I told her the light was perfect she suggested I turn over the reflector to get more light on her face. Honestly I did not want to change the spectacular set but on the other hand I was afraid Juliette would cancel our interview.

Finally she said in a low quiet voice “Do as I say!“. I did it, turned the reflector so that she had maximum light on her. Once the interview was done Juliette smiled and asked us: How was I guys? I told her she spoke beautifully but because of the strong light we lost the unique background of the yellow flowers.  “You, camera men around the world are the same” she said looking into my eyes “You all care for the background not for Juliette!”




When looking for Camera crew in Israel, Production in Israel, Vedio Crew in Israel or TV Crew in Israel Please contact LEONFILMS www.http//:leonfilms.co.il




Filming in Israel

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A video production in Israel can be a great experience since the country is an exciting place including  land scape, people religion and culture. Israel has much to offer foreign filmmakers who are seeking for an interesting documentary, a TV program or a news story.

The climate in Israel offers about nine month with rain free sunny days that allow you to shoot all day long and after sun set.

Israel is relatively small, and the space between its two farthest points from the Golan Heights at the north to Eilat in the south is only around seven hours’ drive.

While driving though the country you will meet different types of people  and also a variety of landscapes from green areas with water falls to a beautiful desert where you can shoot all the year round.

Video Production in Israel – Main bases

Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are the two main urban centers and typically the bases for filming; as well as being cinematic locations themselves they offer access to Israel’s other areas and landscapes including the West Bank and Gaza. You can base yourself in the main centers, enjoy the good hotels and the city life and travel a relatively short distance to film in unique locations.

When one is searching for a camera crew in Israel, or a professional cameraman in Israel he has to be sure he will fall in good and reliable hands. One must understand that Israel although being a paradise for filmmakers is also a complex country with day to day political changes, clashes and even wars.

TV Crew in Israel – Falling in to good hands

When you find your TV crew in Israel, or Professional camera crew in Israel, or the companythat will give youthebest Film and TV production services in Israel be sure that they have the experience and the knowledge that will get you to the best and most convenient locations and avoid areas that are dangerous or not worth visiting.

When looking for your film crew in Israel please contacts us at LEONFILMS. We promise to guide you and be your host taking in account all aspects of Filming in Israel.





Documentary film crew in Israel

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My father Dan Leon passed away five years ago. On his year memorial we screened in the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival the film “Who’s Left“.  A fifty minutes documentary that tells his personal story.

Following is the synopsis wrote for that film.


Each morning, Dan Leon my 76 years old father leaves his house situated in Nahlaaot, Jerusalem, and takes the 23-bus to the Palestinian part of Jerusalem.

After a 10 minutes’ walk in the streets of Eastern Jerusalem, an area very few Israelis dare to roam, he arrives to a humble office with no identification signs (Due to apprehension from hostilities to be committed by either side…).

In his office he meets Layla Dabdub and Ziad Abu-Ziad, a member of the Palestinian cabinet, his Palestinian associates of editing the political quarterly – Palestine Israel Journal, a joint Israeli-Palestinian quarterly established in 1994, right after the Oslo agreements. The modest newspaper’s office is probably one of the last places where Israelis and Palestinians still work together.

During the 7 years of publishing, my father has not missed a single day of work, even on times of terror acts and riots.

Sometimes the personal story and life course of a single man depict the story of an era or a process. In Gallop the character represents a larger group of radical leftists, who used to describe themselves as “political animals”. They were driven by great faith and vision, and towards the end of their lives, they receive great and cruel disappointment.


Gallop tells the story of the Zionist left wing in Israel, and specifies its trajectory of radical changes, the shattering of the communist dream, the peace opportunities and the numerous crisis and conflicts.

The film will depict the personal story of Dan Leon, through my critic and inspecting eyes as his eldest son, with a clarification of our disagreements and my personal attempts to grasp the “left wing enthusiasm” that I usually refer to as a fanatical belief, and sometimes even as a complete lost of sanity.

The story stretches over 100 years and truthfully represents the trajectory of events of the Israeli Zionist left wing and the obstinate, sometimes pathetic, struggle of a group of believers who continue until this very day in their struggle for Jewish-Arab coexistence.


Despite the expected political presence, my intention is to use it as an illustration for a personal film that will convey my father’s personality and innocence. He always refrained from dealing with “messy” politics – inevitable in the life of a political leader or a member of the Kneset – although he had the opportunities to do so.

My father’s “gallop” for peace is also typified in his attitude toward his surroundings, and this quality of altruism will be expressed during the film through my meetings with his family and many friends in Israel, amid the Palestinians and around the world. Sometimes it seems to me that unlike the Middle Eastern coexistence, where my father received bitter disappointment, he received his delight from the coexistence of the individual-level.