This morning, I saw this amazing Canon EOS 5D Mark II/7D movie that is in work on vimeo and had to show it to you. I also wrote to Marlon Torres who is making the movie. He was gracious enough to send us a bunch of information. We'll also post over on planet5D cinema. You can help Marlon finish the movie by donating a few dollars here: www.indiegogo.com/marlontorres-thebridge”
“The last time I made a short film was 2 years ago while attending film school. That was when I realized I had an itch to scratch. In November 2009, I decided that I would take a little ghost story that my grandmother told me when I was child and adapt it into my next short film. But, being a lover of period pieces, I decided to make it my own and make it into a World War II film. A few months and several drafts later, it was ready to head into production. I put aside $5,000 for the film's budget and after countless weeks on eBay and scouring the net for costumes, equipment and props, it quickly ballooned past my budget.
I planned on shooting the majority of the film on the 5D Mark II, then, in post, going through the extremely slow conversion process into 24fps. But after hearing about the Canon 7D and its native 24fps framerate, I decided to go ahead and purchase the camera body. My plan was to shoot most of the film on the 7D, and reserved the 5D Mark II for the low light shots and extreme wide shots. I also planned on using the Canon XH-A1 for the crazy action scenes that required me to run around with crazy handheld shots. As many of you know, the rolling-shutter or “jello” effect, is a big problem with these DSLRs and I just find the effect unacceptable. Overall, I found the 7D's image on par with the 5DM2 and was very happy with the purchase.
(Here's the “Prologue”)
The Last Son of Celeste, was the last film I shot during film school and was shot on a XH-A1 with a Redrock M2 adapter. Although I was extremely happy with the image quality of the combination, it made guerrilla filmmaking very difficult due to its size and weight. This is one of the main reasons I have embraced the form factor of the DSLRs. When you have several actors with grenades attached to their suspenders and carrying rifles running around San Francisco's bay area, you want to be as discrete as possible. I have, unfortunately, already had my run-ins with park rangers. While some will leave you alone, others will confiscate anything that looks threatening… which, of course, I learned the hard way. I'd love to get permits and be able shoot legally at public parks but at $800/day for permits, it's just not possible considering the film's budget.
Aside from the form-factor, I love the DSLRs “weather-sealed” bodies. The weather can get pretty unpredictable in the bay area so it's nice not having to worry about the elements. During one our shoots, it started to pour and a few of my crew and actors started to get really concerned about the welfare of the 7D. I simply turned to them and smiled. One downside I have experienced with my 5DM2 (not my 7D… yet) is that its easy to dirty the sensor, so I suggest you keep your lens swapping to a minimum or to be really careful and find a good “dust/dirt limited” place to do it. Personally, I've fallen in-love with my 24-105 f4L lens because it has really limited my need of lens swapping.
My actors have also embraced the new DSLRs because they're less intrusive. Many of them are new and unfamiliar with these new hybrid DSLRs and can't believe the image quality that comes out out of the little guys. Heck, there are still times when I look at my dailies and I say to myself, “Wow, I can't believe this came out of of a $2000 camera.” The actors also love that they have the instant ability to watch their performances or go back and check on continuity issues. There's no fast forwarding, rewinding or worrying about breaking time-code, like I had to do with the XH-A1.
Although the 5DM2 and 7D have been a god-send for my film, it's not without problems. I've already mentioned the rolling shutter earlier and I've limited the issue by purchasing IS lenses, a monopod, and a Steadicam Merlin. The “jello-effect”, as bad as it is, I can work around with and deal with. My biggest problem with these cameras is the moire or “aliasing”. I've had to throw shots out completely because it rears its ugly neck and as of now, there isn't really a workaround or fix for it. You can hide it with some depth-of-field trickery but if you require a wide-shot, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope it doesn't show up anywhere in your shot. If it does, you either throw it out or live with it, I've done both.
“The Bridge” itself is about halfway through production. I'm simultaneously doing post-production work, doing everything from editing to visual effects. It's been a labor of love and hopefully, I can have it completed by the end of the year. Thank you for reading and if you would like to learn more about “The Bridge”, please check out some of the links below.
My producer currently has been doing a production blog for every shoot at: www.papernautilusfilms.com
My official website is at: www.torresstudios.com
You can also help us out and help us complete “The Bridge” by donating at: www.indiegogo.com/marlontorres-thebridge”
Marlon – thank you so much for giving us all a glimpse into your movie! I hope some of the folks here donate a few $ because it looks like you've got a winner.
Another scene from the movie:
Good News: Here is an actual scene from my WW2 film “The Bridge”.
Bad News: This will be the last preview I give of it, sorry guys. Next time you'll see it, it will be finished and hopefully touring your local film festivals!
(Photo credit: snap from the video)