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HOAXVILLE

The process diary of film director Glendyn Ivin

More 5D love...

Glendyn Ivin

A few people have asked if I am being paid by Canon to be spreading so much gratuitous love about the recent release of their Canon 5Dmk2. Unfortunately I'm not, but I do want to continue the love by putting up to recent examples I have come across of the camera and it's users producing outstanding work. What makes this work stand out for me is that these productions would not have existed in the same way, had the 5Dmk2 not been created.


By that I mean, the two examples below could only have been created using that particular camera. Film cameras, or the much larger HD cameras either couldn't have done the job, or would have produced a very different and perhaps more compromised end result. This is what excites me most about the 5Dmk2 (and the new 7D!, check a comparison here), it just hasn't given filmmakers a new camera, it's a camera that creates whole new opportunities to create.

The first is a commercial directed by my friend and fellow Exit director Garth Davis. He recently shot this U.S Cellular commercial using only available city light, in Wellington in New Zealand. He really wanted to shoot the whole spot 'in camera' ie no post production. He shot tests on 35mm and various HD cameras, but nothing performed as well in the low light as the 5Dmk2. To shoot the same job traditionally on 35mm or RED for example, would have meant immense lighting set-ups. Something that budget nor time would allow. The 5Dmk2 went where no other camera could. It's beautifully shot by 'Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind' DOP Ellen Kuras.


The next clip is an amazing piece of embedded journalism. Photo-jounalist Danfung Dennis
spent some time with some frontline marines in Afghanistan. The opening sequence was all
shot on the 5D and it's unlike anything else I have seen from such a small one person set up.
Filmic and rich, it feels like watching a real life Full Metal Jacket.


Here is a quick extract from a longer interview with Dennis.

How did you manage to film in this situation?

You just stay quite low and focus on working the camera. … I am using a new camera called
the Cannon [EOS] 5D Mark II, shoots full HD video. I’ve custom built it so I can rig it onto a
steady cam-like device, so that when I am running it will shoot a very smooth, steady picture.

It’s a bit tricky because [the Marines are] running, you’re running, you’re wearing huge
amount of equipment, and at the same time you’re trying to stay very level and very steady.
So it took a lot of practice. I believe I am the first to be using this set up in this situation.

I think more and more docs will be filmed like this because all you need is this camera, your
own laptop and some editing skills, and you can put together your own documentary.”

I find it very hard to believe that these two very different clips, were shot on a $3000 DSLR.
And neither would have been possible a year ago.