Since this is my first post at the newly formed HDSLR Coalition, I think I’ll tell you a bit about where I’m coming from and where I’ll be taking you as a reader. The term PhotoCine is a combination of Photo from photography and Cine from cinematography. You can tell from my bio that I have a strong photographic background and am more than a little comfortable working in the digital realm. I’m also comfortable on movie and television sets and have known and/or worked with some really talented people in Hollywood.
I focused mainly on stills and never really ventured into motion until June of 2009 when Canon released firmware that allowed manual exposure while shooting video on the 5D Mark II. I set up a quick test using a Redrock Micro rig, Hoodman Loupe, Marshall monitor and some out of production Profoto HMI’s that accept strobe attachments like a beauty dish. I was blown away and hooked on HDSLR video which by the way didn’t have an acronym or nickname yet.
This led to producing the first video DSLR conference that we called the Collision Conference for the collision of stills and video. By the way, convergence seems to have stuck as the preferred word but it’s hard to predict that kind of thing.
Since then, I’ve been writing, blogging and shooting while trying to find my way in this new world of outsider filmmaking and videography. I really like the dual purpose aspects of using cameras designed for stills to shoot high quality video and the DIY ethos that has sprung up around HDSLR filmmaking. It almost reminds me of the Punk Rock movement where bands made up of fringe members of society, well outside the mainstream music business, revolted against the system by picking up instruments and making themselves heard. Most of them didn’t even know how to play an instrument at the beginning. They just jumped in and started wailing away and all that pent up passion and energy found an audience at underground clubs and eventually on the radio. They got into music as a way to express themselves, not for a record deal or distribution.
Jump to summer 2010 and thousands of people every week are buying cameras with the capability to tell moving stories and they are showing these shorts on Youtube and Vimeo. 18 year old kids like Clinton Jones are creating amazing action shorts complete with special effects, literally in their back yards using whatever is on hand. Clint shot Cardboard Warfare one month into owning a Canon T2i and a kit lens with nothing more than his imagination, a pile of cardboard and an effects bundle from Video CoPilot. When I interviewed him I asked about his work experience expecting him to say he worked at a post production house. Instead, he told me that he works at a Japanese restaurant outside of Atlanta Georgia. He just picked up the camera and started shooting.
I’m a fan of technology and gear but what really gets me going is the ability to go beyond the limitations of story telling in a single frame by using the video capabilities of HDSLR cameras to set ideas into motion without needing Hollywood financing or someone to bond your project.
I am also very practical and want to have a life outside of work, even if I love my work. I often joke that the reason I’m such a good workflow and efficiency expert is because I’m lazy and want to be home in time for doggy happy hour on my deck with my wife and dogs. As a writer for HDSLR Coalition, I will do my best to help sort through the deluge of products and information to help showcase the best tools and to find practical solutions for “outsider filmmaking” with HDSLRs.