Recently I experienced that bittersweet moment that all solo filmmaker's must endure...Upgrading equipment. It was with a tear in my eye and a meteoric dent in my bank account that I packed away my 550D into my storage camera bag. I tried to remember Mufasa's words - I tried to explain the great circle of life so maybe little 550 could understand. Alas, the old battle-worn camera remained still and stoic, true to form, and retired quietly to role of B-camera.
I decided on the Canon 5D Mark III for the same reasons that make it one of the best DSLR shooters out there - the full frame sensor, the capacity to shoot RAW with Magic Lantern, the low-light capabilities and the solid, chunky build that makes it feel indestructible. I also picked up the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and the Canon 24-70 f/4, a solid Manfrotto tripod, shoulder rig, and EVF to complete my new set up.
Yesterday marked the first day of testing all of the kit together as I found some spare time to experiment and the resulting short film turned out to be much more enjoyable to make than I had anticipated. You can watch it below -
The 24-70's macro setting coupled with Magic Lantern's MLV RAW format married really well for a close cinematic look on a lot of shots that I was really pleased with, and plan to do more with in the future. Using the 3.5" EVF made framing shots myself much easier, making one-man-shooting a much more viable option. The RAW clips were converted to Prores MOVs via the free MlRawViewer software, composited in Adobe Premiere with the additional Gopro Hero 4 footage and final effects and tweaks were made in After Effects.
What was originally meant to be a test of my new camera's abilities accidentally became something more potent with the introduction of home video VHS content I've been digitising. Showing modern footage of a punchbag session next to VHS footage of a Taekwondo tournament made me consider the influence that that experience has had on me now. Would I have an interest in martial arts now if I wasn't involved with it as a child? I'm interested in the influence past events have over our decisions now and how strongly our past shapes our future, and I thought this short piece was a nice introduction into the concept.
Perhaps it's something I'll return to in the future with a more organized approach. But for the meantime, I can't explain how pleasantly surprised I was that this supposed one-off test shoot turned into something I have a genuine interest in.
I'm really excited to be using more advanced kit as I feel it easier accomodates more creative potential, and I have no doubt that it'll do just that.