Highlights from Filmtools’ Fifth Annual G-Oktoberfest

Filmtools in Burbank hosted their biggest end-of-year party—the fifth annual G-Oktoberfest—on Thursday, October 24th. The event kicked off at 1pm with a launch celebration for Canon’s all-new C500 Mark II. With Canon’s Peter Marr on hand to present all the details on the brand’s latest cinema camera, there was also an interactive display with a McLaren set up for attendees to shoot and get hands-on experience with the camera and Canon’s new line of premier cinema lenses—the Sumire Primes.

After Mr. Marr’s main presentation, there was a Q&A followed by a conversation on the extensive use of Canon’s cameras and lenses on Oscar-nominated documentaries (every single nominee this year was shot with Canon cameras), including this year’s Best Feature Documentary winner, Free Solo, which was shot entirely with Canon cameras and lenses.

Following the C500 launch celebration, at 3pm G-Technology G-Team Ambassador and filmmaker Michael Coleman (who you may know as the creator of the excellent Soundworks Collection) gave a presentation titled Filmmaker Without a Crew: Digital Production Workflows for Documentary Storytelling. Coleman shared his story, behind-the-scenes insights from his career, and practical tips and techniques for achieving high-production-value documentary shooting for small crews with minimal equipment. He covered pre-production, production, and post-production, with a showcase of the G-Technology products he relies on and his go-to gear bag on hand. Among the insights Coleman shared, perhaps the most surprising for those in the audience was what he considers the single most important piece of gear he carries with him on shoots—a makeup powder kit for touching up talent.

“It’s something I learned from Tyler Florence,” says Coleman. “You’ll find that no matter how great your lighting or your sound, if your talent is shiny and they don’t look good or feel good about how they look, everything else goes out the window. A powder kit for touch ups does wonders for fixing the problem of shiny talent, so it’s the most important aspect of my gear kit. It’s small, it’s cheap, it won’t ruin your shoot, and it’s surprisingly fun applying makeup to strangers, because when else are you going to get that close to someone!”

At 5pm, the G-Oktoberfest After-Party kicked off, with delicious tacos, refreshing beer (poured into large glass beer mugs attendees were gifted), raffle prizes, and swag from brands including G-Technology, Canon, Red Digital Cinema, Manfrotto, Lowepro, Matthews Studio Equipment, Core SWX, and Honeycrates. Attendees got the chance to mix and mingle, chat with reps from the various vendors, and check out the McLaren which was driven from the indoor set to the outside lot where the party was held. G-Oktoberfest also kicked off a week-long promotion at Filmtools, where all G-Technology products were tax-free, with a $25 Visa gift card provided upon spending $150 or more on G-Tech products, all Matthews Studio Equipment products being discounted 10%, select Matthews products 20% or more, and 15% off Honeycrates products.

If you missed out on the promotion, keep an eye out for what they have in store for Black Friday later this month…

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Derek Stettler is a filmmaker and writer. During the summer after graduating high school, Derek discovered filmmaking as his life's passion, having since developed his sensibilities making his own short films, music videos, and commercials;…