Upgraded!

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? Would my girlfriend and I now have our own dog if we both hadn't grown up with dogs? 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.