A Canon Rebel T2i/550D short born from constraints – “The Camera”

by planetmitch4 Comments

We discussed this wonderful Canon Rebel T2i/550D short on the Digital Convergence Podcast yesterday (episode “IMAGINE – CREATIVITY ON A BUDGET“) because it was born from ‘constraints' and I wanted to share it with all of our planet5D readers who haven't seen “The Camera”.

We've talked a lot lately about the expensive cameras, but we haven't forgotten the whole reason why DSLR video launched planet5D 3+ years ago; the excitement over making amazing films with the HDSLRs! This short just brings all that back into focus (yep, bad pun alert!).

With constraints like: shooting on a camera way under $1000, having a budget of only $50 (which obviously doesn't include the camera), having to be shot in a specific location, and showing a simple but beautiful story, “The Camera” proves that beautiful movies can be made simply and makes you want to get out and make your own!

Now, where's my camera?

The Camera

[tentblogger-vimeo 32655795]


In an abandoned beach house, a solitary girl finds a mysterious camera that reveals something unexpected.


Aside from a few running-around-in-the-woods-with-guns-when-I-was-fourteen unfinished short films, this is my first film. I made it because I love all the different aspects of moviemaking, because I was tired of my fear of failure, and because I wanted to see what would happen if I just finished one. Maybe this will lead to bigger and better films; maybe not. Either way I learned something.

The story was largely born from its constraints. It had to be doable in my free time, and I had to be able to shoot it during my vacation in Nags Head, NC—with a budget of only $50, to cover the props. I wanted it to be a simple story with a mysterious twist or two.

I got lots of advice from fellow filmmakers—Andrew, Mitchell, Kyle, Brian, Shepherd, Drew, David, and others. If you like the film, thank you Andrew, Mitchell, Kyle, Brian, Shepherd, Drew, and David. If you thought it was rubbish, they only tried to make it better than it was. And thanks again to Abbie and Gabe, without whose talents I couldn't have made it.

Many of you know far more about filmmaking than I do, so please feel free to offer any critique.

The Lights Film School blog interviewed me about the making of the film and overcoming fear of failure: lightsfilmschool.com/blog/short-film-canon-t2i-low-budget/1780/


– PetaPixel blog

– Impossible Project blog


– Film School Rejects Short Film of the Day

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– Making the Movie blog

– Charlotte Viewpoint front page

– The Veda House blog

– Official Selection: Festival du Film de Vacances

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– Write-Shoot-Cut blog

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Director/DP/Editor/Original Score/Color Correction & Grading/Foley: Peter Lewis

Girl: Abbie Lewis

Boy: Gabe Lewis


Polaroid film: The Impossible Project (the-impossible-project.com/)

Camera: Canon Rebel EOS 550D T2i

Lenses: Canon 50mm 1.4, Tamron 28-200mm

Editing/Color Grading: Final Cut Pro X

Sound Design/Foley/Original Score: Logic Pro 9

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Wow really nice short film. Great story and told visually very well. I sure the director will go on to do bigger things!

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