Stop motion with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a guy walking across the USA

In 5D2, Video by planetmitch20 Comments

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II (reviews) can make some pretty awesome movies and when used properly, even the stills side of the camera can make some cool stop-motion movies. This one stands out. I met Peter Cote for the first time at the NAB conference and he was part of the team that put this together. On first glance it doesn’t seem that hard to do… but after watching the behind the scenes video that Peter sent along to us, you’ll be amazed at how good this looks and how much work went into putting it together!

We (Conscious Minds Productions) and the Director, Sam Griffith, pitched the idea to Levis and they thought the idea was really cool and they provided us with free product (jeans, shirts, etc) as well as some money as a sponsorship. Everything happened very quickly. We pretty much got the green light to do the project in the first week of June and we flew out to New York on June 17. We had to do six test shoots in advance, because honestly we hadn’t fully tested the idea before bringing it to Levis. We finished in San Francisco on July 1, so it was long hours the whole way. I brought my whole editing bay into the RV so that whenever we weren’t shooting we were able to edit and assess our progress. Gaff tape was a big help there because it prevented all my hard drives and monitor from falling off the table while the RV was moving.

youtube.com/watch?v=lzRKEv6cHuk (note this original is gone but some scammer copied it to here)

From a technical perspective it was an extremely difficult shoot. The entire project was shot using the 5D, a tripod, 24-70mm F/2.8L lens, a tape measure, and a photoshoped protractor. Measurement was very key to our success. If our measurement or my framing was not consistent then none of this would have worked. There was intense heat most of the shoot but kudos to Canon, because the camera did not overheat once. Neither did our behind the scenes camera which was a 7D.

Walk Across America - Photo by Peter Cote

The entire video was shot at 24mm, F stop stayed mostly at F/6.3 and ISO 200 (except night shots like Vegas which were F/4 at ISO 1250). I shot everything in RAW rather than JPEG because we moved so quickly that were not able to light very much or use reflectors. I wanted to make sure we had as much color space and flexibility later. Even though I could not tweak each frame individually, I could do them in batches of similar shots. Color correction was also difficult. It was hard to push anything too far in color correction because the environment changes so much, each of them has a different level of contrast. I ended up just lightly crushing the whole video, then I took small sections and gave each area its own treatment.

Walk Across America - the Rocky Mountains - by Peter Cote

It was a really incredible experience. It was such a big concept that I had my doubts when we pitched it to Levis. We learned so much along the way, but the success of the video has been really rewarding.

Behind the scenes video

And, the BTS shows some really cool insite as to how they made this one.

(well, at least the BTS survives LOL)

Peter, thank you so much for sending this in!

(Photo credit: snap from Peter Cote)

6 comments
Bob Zwiers
Bob Zwiers

Great job crew and especially Holland High School alumnus Peter Cote. You made your former teacher very proud!

Ellsworth
Ellsworth

very inspirational. Great song too.

Pierre Moatti
Pierre Moatti

Really amazing! I am still waiting for the new Canon's to come out before making my jump to a full frame. Amazing the versatility of the 5D II

Paul L
Paul L

one word - epic. well done guys!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Included below is a map of their journey (stops and locations included), along with a behind-the-scenes video, which was shot with a backup Canon 7D. You can read more about how they shot the project at Planet 5D. […]

  2. […] This video is so very impressive precisely because it manages to make it all look so easy. Once you stop and think about the process and the complications, the video becomes all the more exciting. For example, panning around a stationary model is difficult enough – distance to the subject must remain constant, and the space between each frame must be similar to avoid jitters creeping into the motion. Panning around the model while progressing through the landscape and keeping the poses fluid and connected throughout the sequence of individual frames demonstrates a genuine commitment to exactitude that is inspiring. That the people behind this project did it on a limited budget and in a short two-week shooting period only adds to my amazement. From a technical perspective it was an extremely difficult shoot. The entire project was shot using the 5D, a tripod, 24-70mm F/2.8L lens, a tape measure, and a photoshoped protractor. Measurement was very key to our success. If our measurement or my framing was not consistent then none of this would have worked. There was intense heat most of the shoot but kudos to Canon, because the camera did not overheat once. Neither did our behind the scenes camera which was a 7D. via […]

  3. […] You can read more about their adventures on the Planet 5D blog here: PLANET 5D […]

  4. […] the Planet5D blog post here. Please spread the word about the video, thanks for your […]

  5. […] Check out this awesome project about a man who walks across America (kinda) Stop Motion Captured Walk Across America. […]

  6. […] Check out this awesome project about a man who walks across America (kinda) Stop Motion Captured Walk Across America. […]

  7. […] Pour en savoir plus sur la vidéo, je vous invite à consulter l’article sur Planet5D. […]

  8. […] You can find more info on the shoot as well as a behind the scenes video that sheds a bit more light on the process over at Planet 5D. […]

  9. […] along with a behind-the-scenes video. You can read more about how they shot the project at Planet 5D. View Guy Walks Across America! in a larger […]

  10. […] Included below is a map of their journey (stops and locations included), along with a behind-the-scenes video, which was shot with a backup Canon 7D. You can read more about how they shot the project at Planet 5D. […]

  11. […] July 22, 2010 at Planet 5d Cannon EOS 5D Mark II Camera with more detail about the shots and f-stops and […]

  12. […] information about the shoot on PetaPixel.com and information about the production of the clip on Planet5D. Conscious minds also produced their own behind the scnes video clip which gives you an idea of the […]