I am a Canon 7D shooter which serves my needs in both stills and motion capture for my professional projects. The last few months has seen a bunch of new cameras hit the market. Some designed for stills photography, some for cinematography and a few capable of professional results with both. For my part I am sticking with the tool that still works, which I know well and with which I have developed my craft. But I can see that new options. Eventually a new camera will sell me on what it offers creatively and professionally for me and my clients. Here is one potential candidate:
This new stills camera promises to push the envelope in professional camera development in the coming years. From Canonrumers.com and Fstoppers.com comes the announcement of a new 46 megapixel camera from Canon;
“While CanonRumors does stress that these are just rumors, it also adds that the camera will feature extremely improved ISO performance and that the sensor will include a new technology that will be more or less groundbreaking“, “[setting] the stage for sensor development over the next 2-3 years.”
Alice: A collaboration with filmmaker Amanda Murphy.
As a filmmaker myself this film helps points out the power of collaboration. So often our creativity becomes stymied. We focus on future gigs, new production and editing software, new cameras. We forget that the reason we started this process was so that we could create and collaborate with other artists.
The production plan for the camera department was largely improvisational. My approach to the production was similar way I approached my Dutch Bikes piece; to discover the essence of a “process”. Of course more goes into it then that. Amanda and I are both graduates of the film program at Seattle Central. I should warn folks that some of the shots in this film may be difficult to view. For my part I am impressed with it’s overall quality. Amanda edited the piece nicely.
The project was filmed in Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle Washington. The camera used was the Canon EOS 7D. The lenses used were the Canon 50mm f/1.8 and the Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6.. Lighting was achieved through practicals. The music is from Nine Inch Nails Ghosts I-IV released by Trent Reznor under a Creative Commons license. I was attracted to the interesting decorations found around the studio apartment and included some of them in my shots. Amanda was a brave and talented performer/filmmaker.
The film program at Seattle Central is scheduled to end forever in 2014, barring an economic miracle. I am still holding out hope that the program can be saved. Perhaps with closer integration and a sharing of resources with the existing photography program and the schools Creative Academy? It would be sad for future students to miss out on an opportunity to create. Seattle’s art, film and media communities will miss the yearly influx of talented technicians and artists.
In 2008 Canon released the Canon EOS 5D and shortly after the Canon EOS 7D. Little did they know that these high end photography cameras would shake up the world of indie filmmaking, documentary journalism and television production. The cameras had originally been designed so that photojournalists would have the option of shooting some video while they were on location shooting stills. With sensors as large or larger then 35mm film and a vast array of high quality and low cost lenses available these cameras have quickly become very popular for creative applications. A typically “cinema camera before costs anywhere from to $35,000 and $200,000 or more. These cameras cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500 depending on the make and model. Gale Tattersall the Cinematographer of HOUSE MD and FROM EARTH to the Moon, gave a presentation on the foundation of filmmaking with these cameras at the creativeLIVE studios in Seattle on July 8th, 9th and 10th of 2011. I was fortunate enough to be one 6 students with a “golden ticket”. Please enjoy these behind the scenes and instructional photos. I think Gale can help people like me take our Cinematography to the next level.
Workshop Behind the Scene and Educational Photos Day 1
Some of the topics covered included proper camera settings for filmmaking, camera rigs including proper use of fluid head, sliders, follow focus and the glidecam. Gale described some of the complexity that went into the shooting of the season 6 finale to HOUSE “Help Me” with the 5D. Later we applied our skills with the new gear following some talented swing dancers. Please click on the image to see other photos. A full screen option is available on the lower right side of the frame.
Workshop Behind the Scene and Educational Photos Day 2
On day 2 we got a proper introduction to lighting units and some experience lighting a Psychiatrists office in both night day and nighttime settings. Later we discussed shot selection and creative options using shallow depth of flied and camera movement to capture the complexity of a scene and to enhance it’s dramatic impact. Shooting for the edit was discussed as well. Please click on the image to see other photos from day 1. Full screen option is available in the lower right hand corner.
Gale Tattersall @ creativeLIVE Day 2 – Images by Michael Kleven Workshop Behind the Scene and Educational Photos Day 3
Day 3 was much more hands on for me and my classmates. We discussed a number of interesting low cost lighting options for indie filmmakers. Some of which can be made at home with common materials purchased at a local hardware store. We filmed a good cop, bad cop interrogation scene and discussed ways to maintain a high level of craft and artistic integrity even when budgets are small. Gale entertained everyone with the complexity of lighting a bull ride for House at an indoor rodeo at 1600 frames per second. Gale is a very classy gentleman and a committed educator. He and his assistants Steve and Jason really brought it. The folks at creativeLIVE were super fun to work with and made sure we all had a good time while learning a bunch. They offer live feeds of their classes for free. In these days of rising education prices you can’t beet them apples. I hope to work with them more in the future.
Here is the link to the course from Gale on HDDSLR on the creativeLIVE website. They list more about the course their and information about gear used and other resources. If you have a chance check out the rest of my website. I make my living with wedding, event and portrait photography, wedding and event films. I produce commercials for small business‘ and non profits. On the creative side I am available to filmmakers as a Cinematographer, Director, Producer, AD, Production Manager or Boom Pole/Sound Recordist. Keep me busy. I love to stay busy! I am currently helping complete a short film called Reminisce. Future projects include a documentary film about an Eskimo Artist Neva Rivers and a family drama called GI Joseph and Mary.
Link to HDDSLR course information at creativeLIVE
Thanks to some help from my friends at Bellevue College I have the privilege of being one of 6 students for the live webcast of Gale Tattersall’s master class on DSLR Cinematography this weekend at creativeLIVE studios on Seattle. If you don’t know him already Gale is the Cinematographer on the hit television series HOUSE MD. Last year he helped shake up the world of network television. The season finale for “House” was shot entirely on the Canon DLSR’s. This award winning episode was noted for it’s outstanding camera work and cinema like imagery. All this on cameras that cost less then $3,500.
At a recent meeting of the Bellevue Film Society we were making plans for the shooting of our short film REMINISCE. After the meeting a few of us got together to shoot a short promo video for creativeLIVE so that I could be in the running to be a student of Gale’s. My video was selected! I’ll be joining 5 other students starting Friday to learn directly from one of Hollywood’s master cinematographers. The class will be available for live streaming from creativeLIVE.COM and later made for sale as a DVD. Check out the videos below. The 1st has some information from Gale about this weeks class. The 2nd one is my winning entry.
This nuanced review about an a subtle Seattle based film which premiered this week at Sundance is another example of the vibrance & potential of the local film community here in the Northwest. With costs of some parts of the process becoming more affordable great films can now be made for what was once considered a shoe string budget. I shoot with a Canon 7D & record sound on a Zoom H4N, do my editing in Final Cut Pro & Motion Graphics in Adobe After Effects. All of which can be purchased with a top of the line iMAC for under $10,000. I went to mention before I get to wonky that my friend & former classmate/cast mate Tony Doupe stars in this film. I really haven’t seen him in over 20 years. We were both heavily involved in theater at WWU in he 1980’s. So I can’t wait to see the film. One play I recall doing with him was She Stoops to Conquer, while in Summer Stock in 1986.
A film I made last year has been accepted into the Local Sightings Film Festival here in Seattle. The film “Solving the Quantum Riddle: Interrupted” is based on 5 haiku’s & shot on my Canon 7D. The fest runs Oct 1st thru 6th at the Northwest Film Forum on Capital Hill. I’ll keep you updated once I have the schedule.