Monday, July 19, 2010

35 mm DSLR -- Four Arkansas Indie Productions to Watch

The hype has calmed a little with 35 mm DSLR cameras going from High Definition (HD) stills to HD moving pictures. Using full 35 mm lenses combined with a large capture chip, these cameras raised a ruckus with the traditional cinema film capture folks. Terms like film is dead, not just anyone can use these lightweight capture devices, it’s just a gimmick. Until a professional grabs one of these cameras.

At this present time I am highlighting four independent film projects located right here in central Arkansas using the Cannon 7D. The 7D is either the primary or principle camera being used to capture the image information. Each project is unique in its own way.

Leon Tidwell has just completed primary capture on his latest short The Conversation. Using traditional lighting for indoor capture and natural sunlight for all outdoor shots, Leon was able to move quickly between takes and adjust his angle on the actors. Having seen the rough cut with no color correction, I am in awe as to the quality of the image.

Kelly Griffin, long time commercial shooter for the Little Rock market, related to me the best thing about the setup for the 35 mm DSLR is the overall weight factor. He used to lug 200 pounds of equipment for a shoot, now if I am correct, it is less than 20 pounds. Currently Kelly is the Director for a feature length called Anyone. His approach as an experiment is to utilize all natural lighting outdoors as well as inside.

Eric Dietz has taken on a new approach for the use of the 35 mm DSLR; point of view (POV) mount and shooting. With the use of a wide angle lens Eric is currently getting ready to shoot a Zombie short, Never Stop Running, all from the lens of the camera and character POV. I know this has been done before, but if you get a chance to view his test footage -- all lighting is with a flashlight.

Gerry Bruno is in pre-production for two shorts, 15.2 Seconds and Seven Souls. The choice of cameras leads from the 5D, 7D and the RED. Gerry has not released much more than that and is currently looking for cast and crew.

The point here is to look for these films as they are released, study the work. The magazine hype has become a reality for true no-to-low budgets with extremely high-end quality. The combined experience of these above mentioned filmmakers runs into decades. Each has told me that everyday they learn something new about recording images on a 35 mm DSLR.

I mean really, is that not what all of this is about? Telling a story with your own unique style, especially with high quality image capture. Look for interviews with all of these filmmakers on Arkansas Talent Conversations in our Fall line up.

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