Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I Love About Canon and the 2-Step

Here's what I love about Dances With Films 2-Minute 2-Step.

At the production meeting yesterday in the Canon Hollywood Professional Technology & Support Center, Tim Smith introduced our filmmakers to the new C300 camera they'll be using for this year's competition.

Of course, Canon is no slouch when it comes to field testing their cameras. They draw on still and cinematographers from around the world to pour their experience into every aspect of the design and technology, and Tim has been at the forefront of that effort. We love having his knowledge at our disposal.

So there our filmmakers sit, having been chosen not because they are great photographers, but because they wrote great 2-page scripts. We have an actress. We have a young man whose shooting had to be scheduled around his high school graduation. We have returning filmmakers who had only acted in films before last year's event, but are now 2-minute 2-step veterans. We have college professors.  And we even have some fantastic, professinoal, cinematographers.

One of these filmmakers plans to do stop motion animation. Yes, stop-motion with 4 hours total production time, including post. During the discussion of the particulars of how they will achieve this, Tim says, "I don't know, I've never tried that with this camera."

And what I love most, is the sense of adventure in his voice. He's not saying, "I've never tried it, so don't do it." He's saying, "I'm looking forward to figuring out how." Yes, we could use a 5D or a 7D – and that might be the way we go – but in the spirit of the competition, let's see how it could be done with the C300. Let's see what we learn.  Let's see what we can do with this tool that we didn't know we could.

Just for the fun of it.

This is the spirit that constantly puts Art a nose in front of Technology in the race toward new knowledge. Technicians hear what Artists want, and the good ones don't question it. They don't ask why. They don't even ask how. The good ones say, "gimme a minute."

Tim played with the camera for a while and outlined a strategy, and I had to laugh. All those years of testing. All of that input from around the world – which has been good, and created a great camera – but our little selection of artists came up with something they had yet to try. And by this time next week, the movie will be made and screened before a live audience.

Good on ya, 2-steppers. You done us proud.

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