The goal of these video's is to inform, entertain and promote enthusiasm for our craft!

Build a Vibration Isolator

Trying to improve a shot with stuff I have laying around the garage.

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For big table scenes, plan well and take good notes! Chances are, it could be several hours before
you get to the reverse angles. Pre-planning will help you get a set up count to compare to the scheduled time. Good luck with the puzzle!

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Build your own Soft Box!

A simple, but very effective low level soft light that we built and used on the TV show "Salem". It has an amorphous quality with limited throw, perfect for adding a slight amount of fill and ambience in candlelit or warm practical lamp scenes

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Aspect Ratio

A quick history of Aspect Ratios in the movie business. There is more to it than you might realize!

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How To Light With Fire

Follow along with Mark as he gives you step-by-step instructions on how to light with fire and expose with it properly.

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Create and film a DIY Meteor Strike

Follow along with Mark as he gives you step-by-step instructions on how to create your very own meteor strike effect using practical household elements on the PremiumBeat blog.

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Do-It-Yourself Camera Rigs

Follow along with step-by-step instructions on how to set up some unique camera rigs

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Tips for Shooting a Time Lapse Like a Pro

Shooting time-lapse videos is fun, informative, and easy to learn. The trick is to be in a place where nature is on full display. It might take a few tries to capture exactly what you have envisioned, but the effort will be worth it if that elusive blast of light and color occurs during your shot. Like many photographic and filmmaking pursuits, the results can be hit or miss, so it’s important to set up your shoot to improve your chances.

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How to Wrap Cables and Cords

Learn how to properly wrap audio cables, power cords, and rope in this filmmaking tutorial. 

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4 Great Knots Every Filmmaker Must Know

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A polarizer organizes light. Glare, haze and reflections bombard the eye from every direction. A polarizer is a SCREEN that culls the randomness of light into one parallel stream - giving us a purer image, without aerial interference.

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Blue Screen 1980

More tribute than tutorial. This video describes in detail the intricate matting process used for the first three films in the Star Wars Trilogy. It’s
a personal recollection with some film history provided to establish the basis of the blue screen process.

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Grip It Good

Sailors, Cowboys, Loggers, Carpenters, Circus and Stage Riggers are the forefathers of the movie grip department. Our beloved grip brothers combine all of the talents of these legendary trades. Fancy knots that hold fast, safe platforms for lights and camera personnel, and dolly track laid on inhospitable ground  -… View Tutorial

Let there be Light

Economics forced the film industry to develop and apply artificial light! This video discusses the amazing breakthroughs that led to the development of lighting fixtures for the film industry. Starting with a quick review of the properties of light – the video relates basic electromagnetic physics and how that… View Tutorial

A Tale of Two Meters

This is the inaugural “tutorial” where I postulate that light meters are still relevant! Tired eyes and hopeful expectations will be proven right or wrong if you can interpret a well calibrated light meter. Learn to trust it! We review the Zone System and discuss conditions that can fake… View Tutorial


Steadicam Operator James Reid making shots for the TV show “Salem”. You get to see him shoot it and then – you’ll see the actual footage.

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Some Great Reasons To Test

I talk about testing a lot so I decided to make a short video about the practice. Prep time is test time so if there is anything that worries you - test it before the chips are down! Or you can just test for fun! I do all the… View Tutorial

The Making of Scene One

This was the biggest and most complicated sequence I have ever photographed - and I had a lot of help! Please enjoy the making of this historic main title sequence!

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This is a travelogue of my experiences in Morocco while working on the epic mini-series entitled “TUT”.

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Vargo Reel 2016

Here is my updated reel that includes new material from both feature film and television productions.

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Make-Up Test

I've been emphasizing the importance of make-up. This test ended up being a good example of the possibilities.

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Diffusion Test

This is an interior and exterior test of the entire diffusion filter inventory here at FSU. Notice how the effect of the filter essentially doubles when used outside. Be careful of that.

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