Let’s talk about killer first shots. Because this teaser has one, and it really sets you up for the rest of the piece. When I was in a band and sending out demo tapes (yup, cassette tapes) the advice was always to put the strongest songs first, and I think the same holds true for wedding film trailers. In actual fact, this trailer opens with a bunch of killer shots and keeps going from there. It’s just killer shot after killer shot.
Trailer by Fiore Films
Music: A Gold Earring by Lowercase Noises, licensed from The Music BedRead More »
Normally on Fridays I kick back and let the work do the talking, but today I’m going to shift gears and talk about cameras.
Specifically I’m going to talk about the baby of the Canon Cinema EOS line, the C100.
We first heard about this camera when Melissa shot with it on Stillmotion‘s Evo workshop back in November 2012. P was all excited that he’d got his hands on a couple of units from Lensprotogo, while their RED Epic languished in the equipment room. I was intrigued why a 1080p, $6,000 camera was more exciting to him than the 4k, $30,000 camera they weren’t using.
The C100 stayed on our radar for a long time, but never quite seemed like it was worth the investment until a couple of months ago when we notice the price had dropped to a more palatable $5,000. Then I saw this piece by Joe Simon for Canon about the possibilities of the recently announced dual pixel autofocus upgrade.
And then our accountant called to let us know our 2013 tax bill was going to come in around $6k less than we’d put aside money for. Kismet.
I was pretty excited about the possibilities for wedding shooting – the extended battery life and dual-slot recording the C100 had always had, and now the lure of autofocus while on Steadicam (I hate the idea of stopping down or using a crazy wide lens with a short hyperfocal distance for Steadicam – typically I Steadicam with a 5D mk 3 and my trusty 35mm f/1.4 at around f2, and move through focus), or of nailing a rack while sliding.
With a probable purchase in mind, I emailed our local Canon rep, Ryan, and asked if the C100 was going to start shipping with the dual pixel upgrade. He said he wasn’t sure, but also mentioned that we could borrow one if we wanted to check it out before buying. Score!
So he shipped it out to us along with the 24mm f/1.4 (as 5D users we’re not really used to that crop factor), just in time for a big corporate job we’ve been working on. And we fell in love pretty much instantly – so much so that we put in our order after day 1 of shooting with Ryan’s loaner.
The most immediate benefits to me were on the usability side. Little things like being able to magnify the image to check focus while rolling, the battery life, recording to two cards simultaneously for instant redundancy, waveform, zebras, peaking and a sharper looking, articulating LCD. There were disappointments, sure – the pointless viewfinder and lack of 60p being the standouts.
But then we saw the images it produced and how they stacked up to the DSLRs we’re used to shooting on. It’s hard for me to describe, but there’s just something nicer about the C100 image… it’s a little sharper, a little cleaner looking. It just looks like it came from a much more expensive camera, compared to footage out of the 5D3.
One of the big selling points for the C100 is the ability to shoot with C-log, a very flat picture style that you remap in post to pull back the contrast. The advantages are touted as increased dynamic range and the ability to dial in a repeatable look in post. After some preliminary – and very unscientific testing – my experiences with C-log are a lot like my experiences shooting with flat picture styles (Cinestyle, Flaat, etc) on the 5D3. That is, the gains seem pretty negligible, but the downsides are potentially huge. Underexpose even slightly and you get a *lot* of noise introduced. Shooting with C-log makes it much harder to expose properly (even with the waveform) and really hard to nail focus. There’s a setting to correct the LCD screen back to “normal” but this gives a nasty color shift that makes it super hard to eyeball white balance.
The other huge downside to C-log is workflow. We take huge advantage of CUDA acceleration in Premiere Pro CC so we very very rarely have to render out any effects – our most used non-accelerated effect is Neat’s noise reduction. But if you shoot C-log you need to apply a Look Up Table (LUT) to restore contrast to the image, and doing so requires (at least as far as I’ve discovered) using a non-acclerated effect that slows down performance and requires rendering for real-time playback. Add in the noise issue (and therefore the need to use Neat’s noise reduction) and you very quickly go from an everything-on-the-fly, super quick and responsive experience to a slow, creaking one. Is it worth it? Maybe if the final output is going to be shown on a big screen (as is the case with the corporate job we got the loaner for). For a wedding film? I’m not convinced.
Luckily Canon included an “EOS Standard” picture style that is more like shooting Standard on the 5D3 and makes it super easy to match footage between the C100 and Canon DSLRs – a godsend on some of our interview setups where we were shooting with 2 5D3s and the C100 and wanted everything to mesh seamlessly.
So then fast forward a couple of weeks and we had our first wedding shoot since buying the C100. We’d been so busy shooting that we hadn’t had a window to send the camera in for the dual pixel upgrade, so we were shooting stock. We knew we loved the camera in a corporate shoot setting, but how would it hold up in a live event environment?
Well, all the things we loved originally were still thrilling. Checking focus in the middle of the vows without having to stop rolling is – on its own – huge. We loaded up with a pair of 128Gb SD cards and shot the entire day to both cards, safe in the knowledge that if one glitched out, we had instant backup on the other. And only changing batteries once all day long? It’s like a marvelous dream come true after years of bringing 20+ LP-E6s to a wedding shoot.
We shot with the EOS Standard picture style – again so we could match the C100 with the 5D3 and 5D2 footage we were also getting, and also due to my reservations about whether C-log gave enough advantage to be worth it. Certainly shooting weddings (first look in midday sun, with a bride in a white dress and groom in a black tux, anyone?) can pose challenges as far as dynamic range is concerned, but can you risk exposing, white balancing or focusing poorly on that promise?
For those of you shooting with full-frame DSLRs as we have been doing, switching to a super-35 sensor is definitely an adjustment. On the 5D3, the 35mm f/1.4 is my go-to lens, and it made sense to sub in the 24mm f/1.4 on the C100 for the same shots. But you need to open up more to get the same shallow depth of field, and you definitely notice the difference in background compression. With a 5D3/35mm combination I will often get close to my subject to push the shallow DoF a little and give a little sense of exaggerated reality. With the C100/24mm getting too close makes for an almost cartoonishly exaggerated (and not very flattering) view of the subject. There’s no value judgment there, just a difference that you need to get used to as you shoot.
At first glance the footage from the C100 looks great, and the little extra dynamic range over the 5D3, even when not shooting C-log, was useful for a somewhat backlit ceremony. It’s also worth noting that the C100′s compression is a *lot* more efficient than the 5D3 in All-I mode. Mia, who shot the wedding with me, got through 52Gb on her 5D3, while I only got through 22Gb on the C100. Part of that difference is that she was hanging out with the bride in the early part of the day while I was hanging with the groom, and she shot cocktail hour while I set up sound and lighting for speeches at the reception. Even then, you can probably expect to require around half as much storage shooting with the C100 on its highest bitrate as you can shooting All-I on the 5D3. And who doesn’t love not having to buy yet more hard drives?
I’m excited to get the C100 in for the dual-pixel upgrade and let it loose on a wedding to really get the best out of it. But even before then, the handful of usability improvements and the tangible bump in image quality make it a very smart upgrade for studios looking to up their game on weddings, and make their wedding shoots more enjoyable experiences. We’re already pondering buying a second so we can shoot 90% of weddings with the C100, and that speaks volumes about how much we’ve enjoyed having it.
Alrighty… Something different today, and why not?. If, like us, you’re only just emerging from the winter from hell you’ll appreciate this sunny, beachy beauty. Shot by the couple in the piece on a vacation to celebrate their sixth anniversary, this is a perfect example of why films made with love are the most genuinely compelling to watch.
Short film by Christophe Hamon
Music: Celeste by Les Enfants, licensed from The Music BedRead More »
Ready for a few tears this Monday lunchtime? Good, because this one’s going to get you. But try to see through the tears and spot how beautifully shot this little gem is – there’s lots to love here, and a surprising amount of the day squeezed into less than four minutes.
Trailer by Lovebird Studios
Music: Your Heart Keeps Burning by Adam Agin, licensed from The Music BedRead More »
Fun weddings are great, they really are. But there’s just something about a full on dramatic, emotional, punch you in the feels wedding that just can’t be beat. Love it.
Trailer by Frameblender
Music: Bright Eyes (Instrumental) by LIGHTS & MOTION, licensed from The Music BedRead More »
We missed a post on Friday because we’re so dang busy shooting right now. Sorry about that. But you know what would make it easier for us? More submissions.
This trailer came to us via a submission and an email from the filmmaker who didn’t think it was good enough to be featured, but still submitted anyway. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
In fact this trailer is great because it tells a terrific story about a terrific couple in an engaging, absorbing way.
Trailer by Inspired Joy Films
Music: Celeste by Les Enfants, licensed from The Music Bed
One quick piece of housekeeping: as we’re so insanely busy here at Long Haul Films, for the next month I’m going to drop Love24 down to 3 days a week. I’ll aim to resume full service from the start of May. If anyone would like to help curate these pages and write some posts, let me know – firstname.lastname@example.orgRead More »
“Our life is going to be full of adventures and bears and mutant flies” | Christina & Jackson by Red Filter Films
This trailer has a bold opening. Which I like. A lot. It also has an awesome couple at the heart of it (although I’m pretty certain “Jackson” is actually French rugby man-monster, Sebastian Chabal).
It also has epic vows, which make me smile.
Trailer by Red Filter Films
Music: Forever Like That by Ben Rector, licensed from The Music Bed
I’m rushing out the door to a shoot so I’ll keep this one quick. I met Mary from Key Moment Films in January at InFocus and she’s awesome. This trailer from her is great because – even if you’re not into the whole Disney princess thing – the bride and groom (Disney performers themselves) clearly were and the trailer is a perfect reflection of them.
Trailer by Key Moment Films
Music: Wildblood by Love Drug, licensed from The Music BedRead More »
LoveSpun are a studio that specialize in rustic weddings and this one is right in their wheelhouse. And who wouldn’t want to spend all their time shooting in locations like this one? This trailer certainly makes the most of the backdrop, but it’s also deeply about this fun couple, whose cute first look and laid back ceremony looks like about the most fun thing to shoot.
Trailer by LoveSpun Films
Music: Goldmine by Cereus Bright, licensed from The Music BedRead More »
Happy Monday!! Everyone have a good weekend? If you’re less than happy to be seeing Monday then check out this beautiful, moving trailer from Robert Oberg Wedding Films. It starts with the most beautifully delicate setup, then hits you right in the feels.
Trailer by Robert Oberg Wedding Films
Music: Last Goodbye by Kerry Muzzey and Now and Always by Brooke Annibale, both licensed from The Music BedRead More »