You Want To Shoot A Feature Film On The 7D?

- - The Future

This made the rounds already but still good for a laugh on Friday.

There Are 37 Comments On This Article.

  1. I’m laughing, but I think at the wrong bear. Notice how the bad ass Hollywood bear never asked if it was a good story with strong character development and plausible narrative arcs? You have a good story and you can do it on a flip book. Remember when Robert Rodriguez made El Mariachi with film “ends” and home depot pan lights?

    • @Shane,

      Excellent point. It’s easy to get caught up in the technology and forget to see the bigger picture.

    • @Shane,

      All the writing in the world isn’t going to make me shoot a feature-length film on a DSLR. I worked on the set of a short this summer with no shortage of equipment, and I don’t think any of us would ever purposely use a DSLR again unless it was the only thing left on Earth. (And I was one of the people who suggested we see what a DSLR could do.)

      You’ve got to be one self-loathing, sadistic, masochistic SOB to shoot anything more than a brief short using a still camera. I’d rather stick my hand in the garbage disposal.

      • @Mark,

        I think you’re missing the point. The first step should be to understand the project. Then you can decide whether it’s worth the effort to convince them their approach is misguided.

      • @Mark,

        I don’t know mark. I went to film school and made films on 8mm and 16mm. This was a time when 35mm was out of my reach and video still wasn’t giving a film like look. About 6 years ago I made a independent feature on one of the first prosumer HD cameras and, truthfully, it sucked compared to what you can do with today’s DLSRs. I would have traded the HD video or the 16mm for the DSLR easily.

        Of course, anybody in their right mind would do work in 35mm if they had the money and time, but those are obstacles that won’t keep you from making your opus like it used to. And many people don’t realize the actual correcting that goes into 35mm film. At least with DSLR, you see what you are getting while you are getting it.

        The DSLR has it’s place, and while it’s no 35mm (with it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars of corrections) it IS good. And it is accessible and that is the most important part of the technology. I’m thinking there are a ton of stories out there that haven’t been told because of the financial part of film making. Hopefully we’ll get better story telling now that making a movie isn’t religated to the Michael Bays and Jerry Bruckheimers.

        I recently made a 1 minute short video (I won’t link to it because I don’t want it to seem like I’m just trying to promote) that costs me about $150 in rental equipment. It took about an hour to shoot and an hour to edit. Can’t imagine what it would have costs to do on 35mm.

  2. “House was shot on the 5D”

    Only one episode of “house” was shot using multiple 5D Mark II cameras, and lenses most of us can’t afford, with grip and lighting equipment, and crews the size and skill level of are out of most of our ranges too.

  3. I hadn’t seen it. So it is not quite on the floor laughing but dam close, and it’s better than having to listen to Gilbert Godfrey. It’s more like a combination of Dennis Miller, Dane Cook, and Bill Cosby.

    They are a door stop.

  4. I LOVE it! As a cinematograher I can attest to the 100% accuracy of this. My favorite line was “…no! the red is too expensive!” lol priceless.

    • @RevCat, Totally agree Rev and I have been Totally F@#k on a couple of jobs in the last 7 weeks. There’s some justice the world as film school student are also good at making a mess and have.

  5. mh.. two gummi-bears with synthetic voices and pseudo-lipsync are trying to make a point about the quality of cinematography??? that’s pretty much the guy with no arms calling the one with no legs a cripple……

  6. A feature length film on a 5D? Seems to me that would be like shooting a Vogue Fashion spread on an iPhone Hipstamatic – possible and may be cool to say you did it once, but a sharp stick in the eye would be less painful.

  7. I love it, but I think the most important line was cut from the short. In the next to last scene, the cynical bear asked the producer, “What is your budget?”. Let’s face it, a lot of evils can be remedied with money…

    I think I saw the ad for crew on craigslist.

  8. This is an argument that will never be one. The film people hate the cameras, the still people getting into motion love them and are using them to create some pretty amazing stuff that you couldn’t do without spending $75,000.

    There are loads more low to mid level cinema projects than high end that requires a grip truck and a 5000 K light sources with big budgets. They have their place in the market and my guess is the use of them will grow. Technology, tools, creativity- we need them all to make it work, it’s just finding the balance of what works with the budget.

  9. the status quo is always terrified of the new. and the new is often just a poor sketch, announcing the wave of things to come. the entire indi film industry was laughed at and ridiculed vigorously when it splashed onto the scene awkwardly. for every naysayer, there are 10 16-year-olds already hatching the next dslr-film revolution. adapt, change, and adapt yet again, or go the way of the dinosaurs.

    • @marco aurelio, the new tools are often awful, but the idea is planted like a seed, and the evetual growth and blooming is irreversible, even if slow.

  10. What I found interesting to see today, and which I am sure that is going to happen more and more in the future was a a shoot for a music video (or something) that I happened to pass by.

    There was the dolly with 3 guys manning a Red. And attached to several points of the dolly where some non-activly-controlled Canon DSLRs shooting along. Some with telephoto’s (looked like Leica R’s) and some with wide-angles (Looked like those zeis movie-things from a distance).

    So primary footage from the big camera, and a bunch of secondary shots they can splice in from dumb dslrs.

  11. William Gray

    After 20 + years of pulling focus I heard the same sack of horse s@#t from DP’s (Which were use to 35mm film) when they were offered jobs with cameras that shot video+Pro35 with super speeds, or RED and/or other video cameras. This animation is what cameramen image they should say but NEVER do. These days they’d take the job and keep their mouth shut. They’d even take it without an AC.

    Amazing how many putz cameraman/directors in a camera rental houses waxing on about gear, never once selling a story or content. If you need a bigger camera than the budget allows your story or commercial sucks.

    Not one of these morons has ever seen Bezhin Meadow or La Jetee. Even worse of a thought is they did see these movies but still need the camera ego extensions.


  12. I think the key word was “feature” film. 3 min. low budget corp. videos would be improved greatly using a DSLR or two or three. Take it up another notch with a RED or other suck gear would be even better.

    Right now, I don’t think there are too many in Hollywood who’d care to shoot an entire feature on a 7D – seriously no.

    • @Canaan Albright, It’s about managing expectations and hi expectations from clients leads directly to what tools are needed.

      When we say, “it’s not about the camera” – the discussion is about everything that is NOT the camera. Sounds like semantics but no matter how great a creative force you are, if you’re going to be equal to the expectations of great professional actors and executive producers as on a feature film, you’d better believe there will be some discussion about how you plan to shoot this scene or that, and how or with what you’re going to achieve your treatment.

      It’s not about the camera until it is.

  13. people tend to forget about the lens. being pro means more than just hiring or getting access to a Red. knowing framing and what lens to use is the half the battle, and lighting is a factor but the noise floor for a lot of DLSRs is coming down allowing great detail in black. So a combination of the three, lights, lens and cam will allow some truly amazing films and content to come about… my point is knowing what you are working on and with, It will secure a great image.

  14. Steven Rood

    Damn funny.

    The one about Alexa vs RED Epic is even funnier. But let’s remember, ten years ago, everyone was laughing about the concept and use of DSLRs.

    Who’s laughing now?

  15. I’m all for shooting film, and I do, in still pictures. But if given to opportunity (by lets say a grant or something) to shoot an advertising job with a cell phone camera I’d jump at it!

    First off you use the aesthetic of the machine. You can’t make a 7D into an IMAX camera and I don’t wish my 5D was a 4×5.

    The 7D does a fine job, why not do the best you can do with it, and a bunch of those fancy Zeiss primes. (but as an early commenter mentioned, it would probably still be a huge pain in the ass. DSLRs aren’t good video cameras, and video cameras aren’t good still cameras. Plain and simple).

  16. What a stupid argument. It’s exactly the same as trying to argue which is better transportation a really pimped out nice Trek bike or a Ferrari. Obviously they both have their place and are used by two different crowds of users.

    I think the point of the video is that cinematographers are being faced with agencies and producers who are misinformed and want to replace the one for the other based solely on trying to save money – without looking at the project’s needs first. And obviously this is a question of the job’s needs, just like with the bike/Ferrari example.

    If you’re racing on a dirt trail 5 feet wide through the mountains, a Ferrari isn’t going to cut it. if you’re racing down the Autobohn center lane, then the bike is clearly stupid.

    For Bruckheimer, the 7D/5D is clearly stupid. For someone who has a great story to tell and no budget to do it, or who wants to shoot a documentary where a full set is not possible, the 7D/5D is a true godsend.

    To place them into the same argument, category, and discussion and attempt to justify one’s existence over the other, or to call the lesser one a door stop, is what is retarded here.

    It’s not a door stop, it is an extremely useful tool for people who cannot and do not have access, budget, or ability to have a Ferrari. It is also a useful tool in situations when a Ferrari just would not work – shooting a behind the scenes documentary, for example.

    The REAL root of this video is fear. Cinematographers are becoming terrified for their jobs. Because it is possible that the common viewer doesn’t know the difference and just doesn’t care. The average Joe likely doesn’t give a crap how rich the blacks are. That potential reality, along with the advent of these new technologies, combined with stupid agency creatives and producers trying to save a buck, has got to be a frightful nightmare for the old-school cinematography base.

    • @Tim,

      I don’t know. The take-away I got was clients are going to believe all sorts of crazy shit they read on the Internet.

      I think it speaks more to a changing marketplace where you have to become part photographer, part consultant. Because someone thinks they can film a full-length feature with a $1,300 DSLR doesn’t mean they will. It could mean they just don’t understand why it’s a flawed idea. I think your job is to figure out whether the project has merit and how to get the job done in the most economical way possible.

  17. I might have liked the video better if I hadn’t had my young son with me. I gotta say, the cute little animals really threw me. My son learned a new cussword today! Next video you link to at least give us a clue as to what to expect.
    Other than that, I liked it.