Independent filmmaking, especially in the no-budget or low-budget arena, will make a pragmatist out of you in a hurry. I’ve always subscribed to the idea that the best camera you have for a project is the one you have access to. As much as I love gear–and I do–I understand that there are a lot of cameras that could be great for our project. Even DSLRs could have worked fine for this intimate, small film. If your story is strong, camera choice is not the most important part of filmmaking.
In the case of “GIFT,” our current short film project, the camera I originally planned on using was the Canon C300. I love this camera. It produces a great-looking image, it’s small and easy to work with in tight places, and it is great in low-light situations. And it isn’t plagued by the image compromises one faces when using DSLRs. Most importantly, this is a camera I already own, so for indie projects that means not having to burn money on camera rentals. Since I started pre-production and script selection for this project back in May, I have been planning on using the C300. It was a given. And I felt totally comfortable with this choice… that we weren’t really sacrificing anything.
Yes, in the back of my mind I would have loved to shoot this project on a 5K sensor to be able to deliver a 4K master for any film festivals out there capable of screening at that resolution. But with limited funds, I knew I needed to conserve resources and use the money elsewhere.
But that all changed this week.
One of the things I am most enjoying about our collaborative is getting to meet and work with so many filmmakers I didn’t know before. We had some personnel shuffling recently on the crew of “GIFT,” and I am pleased to announce that Tom Pritchard will be our new Director of Photography for the project. Additionally, Chance White will be serving as our second unit DP at Jekyll Island and will also be working as Tom’s AC for our location work in Atlanta & Milledgeville. They are both super guys and I am so happy to be working with them. Their energy and enthusiasm are so welcome on the film. I can honestly say that we have an awesome team filled with positive attitudes across the board. That is so very, very important. And I am honored and humbled that all these various artists believe in the project enough to commit and give it their all even though none of us are exactly getting rich on this film. To say the least.
So what do I mean by “going big?” With new team members come new approaches and perspectives. We needed a camera that could shoot high-speed imagery for a few slow-motion sequences I have planned. Chance owns a RED Epic, and he offered to bring that along for shooting the slow-mo sequences. But the more the three of us talked, the more it seemed like the entire film should be shot with the Epic to keep from having a mismatch in the look of the film by switching between the two cameras with two different sensors. So that’s what we collectively decided to do. And now “GIFT” will be shot in its entirety in 5K. Epic.
This is only possible because of Chance White’s generosity toward the film and the incredible deal he’s given us to make using the Epic possible. I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity he’s given us to create an amazing short film with this very cool camera. Tom, Chance, and I are all pretty anxious to get going on the film. We begin principal photography in just a few days now.
We’ll keep you updated with progress on production and post some photos and possibly some behind-the-scenes video clips as we go.
Be sure to subscribe to the site for updates as we post them. Thanks for your support of our film! We’ll have many more after we wrap “GIFT!”