Escape Artist

This weekend has been full of distractions.  I am procrastinating again.  And it’s really not that big of a deal right now.  Projects at school are mostly in development, pre-production stages, so there isn’t a whole terrible lot to do.  However, I know I can get complacent and put everything off until the absolute last minute.  Like tonight.

Due tomorrow is a two page journal analyzing one of the sources for a 10 page research paper.  I’ll actually be reviewing two sources, since we’ll eventually need 10 sources, all analyzed for something in the appendix?  I’m still not exactly sure what the detail are on this paper.  I wasn’t enrolled in the class on the first day, and therefore missed the introduction, but she gave me an overview… so I have a general idea.

Anyway, I’ve been off in LaLa Land this weekend, daydreaming about gooey, delicious tech advances such as this little treasure.  Last quarter I learned and quickly fell in love with this camera.  Originally I was made aware of the cropped sensor 7D, which has similar HD video capabilities, by being shown Vincent Laforet’s beautiful short film, Reverie. Since he released it, many more short films have been made with DSLRs with HD video capabilities.  I really feel that this is the direction a lot of video production will be going in.  I believe I remember David Eick on the Caprica podcast mention them using a stills camera on the pilot of Caprica…  I could be wrong, but I don’t feel like fact checking that one…

So a few days ago, I had an epic post detailing my issues with money and my current car situation, and you might be familiar with my crusade to graduate by December; it reads a little weird for me to be fantasizing about owning a piece of expensive equipment that is not necessarily marketed for me as a filmmaker/post production queen.  This is true.

And if you read on, I will explain why my mind takes flights of Canon fancy…

I am an escape artist.  I have always run away from my problems, diving into tv, movies, video games, and, chief among them all, the internet.  I can spend HOURS clicking ‘older posts’ on various niche blogs I come across.  The last few days I’ve been spending a lot of time at PetaPixel, a photography blog I can’t even remember how I came across anymore, and it must have been on Friday…  I spent four days this week, going through the archives of Clients From Hell until I accidentally hit the first post (and then was disappointed I had to figure out something else to do).  Then I spent a few hours browsing through a fashion website, then watched all of Lady Ga Ga’s videos I hadn’t seen.  Oh, and most of yesterday I hung out at GSG watching some After Effects and Cinema 4D tutorials, trying to feel at least somewhat productive.

But even though I get stuck in these vortexes of vegging out in front of the monitor, a lot of the time I’m trying to learn something new.  I wanted to learn more about the Canon 5D Mark II, since I covet it so much.  Last time I saw anything on it, I didn’t have time to do any follow up research.  I didn’t check out Youtube or Vimeo for video examples, or see what kinds of reviews it was getting.  So I did all that today–and man this camera looks fantastic.

Its pretty pricey, for someone who’s not a professional, or a photo enthusiast.  The camera body alone costs $2500.  And if you’re going to use it for the HD video, then you better be sure you’ve got some good glass on there, racking up at least another $1000 for a few lens options (assuming you don’t already have some on hand).  This camera seemed ideal for me; its small (compared to a standard professional level camcorder) and easy to handle, it gets fantastic footage in low light situations (meaning, possibly, less lighting equipment required), and has beautiful DOF, which I am a huge fan of, and it looks like the transfer from camera to computer will be a pretty quick transition into post production.  But, of course, any time you research something, you want to see the faults and see if you can tolerate them.

The Mark II only shoots at 30fps, US television standard–until, that is, until they recently released the 2.0.3 firmware update which allows for more control of the video and audio as you film, and also allows you to shoot at film standard 24fps. yay!  And now I’m having a hard time trying to think of more Cons about this camera (from my point of view).


Well, its not much of an issue, because I don’t necessarily want this camera TOMORROW.  I know that its a toy that I will have to save up for, so I probably wouldn’t be able to get my hands on one until about a year and a half, at the soonest, two or three years at the outset.  And by then I’m hoping I have a pretty good idea about where I stand with filmmaking.  At this point I am so much more interested in post production.  Production, to me, feels like a hassle.  So much equipment needed for simple shots, and people needed to man the equipment, and time to set it all up right.  I’m much more of the kind of filmmaker that wants things streamlined and simplified.  Lets get rid of everything that is not absolutely necessary to tell a story in the best (and prettiest) way possible.  You need your subject(s) and just a couple people to help with sound and lighting.  To me, a skeleton crew can do muuuch more than a big production, as long as everyone is on the same page and passionate about the project.

I’m finally sold on the camera though.  I had a moment of pure glee when I saw this footage, finally, of some actual 24p footage.  Seeing someone man the camera cinema verite style, much like what I would do, helped sell me.  It is beautiful.

Sometimes I just need to let these little fantasies play out until I forget about them.  Two months ago I was doing my yearly research on scooters, and the other day I found myself building a Smart Car to see what kinds of features they have as of late.  These are things I’ve told myself I might eventually have, but only under the condition that I pay for them in full in cash–even the car.  Do-able.

Oh such a trivial blog post, but my mind is full of 5D Mark II…

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