Canon U.S.A. Ron Howard

Ron Howard to shoot HDSLR short in the “Long Live Imagination” Project sponsored by Canon

by planetMitch4 Comments

Canon Announces Long Live Imagination Project with Ron Howard – yep – we said Ron Howard! We posted a story last year about how Ron was using Canon HDSLRs on a spot and it now turns out they're working together on this very interesting project! Yes, Ron Howard will be shooting a short on Canon HDSLRs! Amazing how far HDSLRs have come!

The project in a nutshell

The idea is simple: 8 user submitted still photographs will be used to inspire a short film that Ron Howard will direct and shoot on Canon HDSLRs later this year and will premiere in NYC. Watch the videos below for a bit more info and especially the BTS (the second one).

The website for the “Project Imagin8ion

Canon U.S.A. Ron Howard

Canon U.S.A. Ron Howard (image courtesy of Canon)

Redrock Micro

Some videos

The PR


The Multi-Platform Campaign Includes a Curated Imagination Gallery Celebrating Original Photography and the First User-Generated Photo Contest in History to Inspire a Hollywood Film

NEW YORK, N.Y., May 23, 2011 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging, has launched a new multi-dimensional marketing campaign, “Long Live Imagination,” which centers on a unique collaboration with one of Hollywood’s most influential directors, Ron Howard. On May 22nd, Ron Howard and Canon U.S.A. invited photographers of all levels to submit their most imaginative photographs based on a series of movie themes for “Project Imagin8ion,” the first user-generated photo contest in history to ultimately inspire a Hollywood short film. The “Long Live Imagination” site, designed as an interactive and engaging community for Canon users and photography enthusiasts, launched on May 22nd at The contest and this site will foster dialogue amongst the community, and directly with Canon, inspiring everyone to new levels of creativity.

“I’m known as a narrative storyteller, so when Canon approached me to partner on the ‘Long Live Imagination’ campaign, I was moved by the opportunity to collaborate with the masses, tapping into consumers’ creativity and using their photos as building blocks to produce a film,” said Howard. “I hope the project stimulates people’s imaginations whether they are an amateur photographer, a world traveler or a proud parent, and I hope what we create is meaningful.”

“This project embodies everything the Canon brand represents in innovation, technology and the arts,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technology and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A., “Launching a user-generated photo contest to inspire a film would not be possible without a visionary filmmaker to conceptualize and oversee it all. Ron Howard was the perfect choice, someone who constantly inspires moviegoers and turns the unbelievable into reality.”

A visually stunning television commercial that takes place within Ron Howard’s mind’s eye will begin airing May 23rd. The spot will promote the “Project Imagin8ion” contest and online community. Consumers can visit from May 22nd through June 14th and submit photos to inspire eight movie themes: Setting, Time, Character, Mood, Relationship, Goal, Obstacle and the Unknown. Throughout the promotion, Ron Howard, with the help of Canon experts and the Project Imagin8ion community, will narrow down the submissions and select eight photos – one from each category. These eight winning photos will become the basis and inspiration for a short film shot with Canon DSLR products that will premiere later this year in New York City with the winners in town for a red carpet event where they will have the opportunity to meet Ron Howard.

As part of the overall “Long Live Imagination” campaign, Canon will be curating the most inspiring photography out there, championing the imagination of the masses while demonstrating the infinite possibilities of Canon digital imaging. The customized Long Live Imagination brand channel on YouTube will serve as a meeting place and sharing community for Canon users and photography enthusiasts alike throughout 2011. The Imagination Gallery will be linked to other social media platforms including Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, so that users can easily share their photos, pose questions to the community and participate in real-time discussions. Though the gallery will launch as the home of Canon’s “Project Imagin8ion” initiative, the community page will live-on and continue to grow.

Grey New York, Canon’s agency partner for over thirty years, is developing the creative and digital elements of the multi-phase campaign. Alliance, the entertainment and lifestyle marketing division of Grey, is managing the partnership with Ron Howard and executing the consumer promotion, film premiere event and public relations efforts.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked fourth overall in the U.S. in 2010†, with global revenues of more than US $45 billion and is listed as number six in the computer industry on Fortune Magazine's World’s Most Admired Companies 2010 list. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. At Canon, we care because caring is essential to living together in harmony. Founded upon a corporate philosophy of Kyosei – “all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future” – Canon U.S.A. supports a number of social, youth, educational and other programs, including environmental and recycling initiatives. Additional information about these programs can be found at To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting

Ronald William “Ron” Howard (born March 1, 1954) is an American actor, director and producer. He came to prominence as a child actor, playing Opie Taylor in the sitcom The Andy Griffith Show for eight years, and later as the teenaged Richie Cunningham in the sitcom “Happy Days” for six years. He made film appearances such as in “American Graffiti” in 1973 and while starring in “Happy Days” he also made “The Shootist” in 1976, as well as making his directorial debut with the 1977 comedy film “Grand Theft Auto.” He left “Happy Days” in 1980 to focus on directing, and has since gone on to direct several films, including the Oscar winning “Cocoon,”“Apollo 13,” “Frost/Nixon,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Ron won the Academy Award for “A Beautiful Mind” as the Director and also producer of the film. In 2003, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.

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†Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.
All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

What would you do if your photo was picked? Gee… what a great contest!

Of course we'll be following the action on this one!

Canon U.S.A. Ron Howard

Canon U.S.A. Ron Howard

(cover photo credit: snap from the Project Imagin8ion site)

Zeiss Cinema Lenses


  1. I love my 5D2 immensely, but come on. No DP would choose these cameras for such a project unless the project was, in some sense, about the camera. Look at this way–will Howard’s NEXT project rely on a DSLR as a primary capture device? Of course not. Unless, perhaps, he’s doing a Burtonesque stop-motion film, which could be accomplished with a set of still cameras.

  2. Canon has been infuriatingly tight-lipped regarding any concrete 5D/ 1D revisions– which are both past due according to the company’s release precedents.

    That said, some of their scant announcements (i.e. the Technicolor partnership) and some of the rumors (multiple 5D Mk III prototypes in the wild, one that evidently records RAW/ 4:2:2 video to an external recorder; new generation processors that improve dynamic range and mitigate existing problems; etc.) suggest that Canon recognizes the market it inadvertently created– and plans to keep portable/ modular DSLR-style video somewhat separate from traditional camcorders like, say, the XF100. After all, the company sold a lot of t2is and 5d Mk IIs solely on video– and their traditional video division didn’t crumble in the process.

    Perhaps this project will coincide with the release of a new DSLR with improved video functions? Canon wouldn’t put together a campaign like this just for kicks. The appeal of DSLRs for video has been established, and the 5D Mk II already got this sort of attention from “House.” The user-oriented foundation is novel– but as an advertisement for products, this exercise seems like old hat unless something new is in the mix. The announcement doesn’t mention what Howard will use to film the spot– it generically says “Canon DSLR products” (unless I missed a more specific reference– I skimmed parts of the release).

    Could that include a 5D Mk III? The timing seems right, and the campaign seems redundant if it isn’t affiliated with an announcement.

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