“Incident on Marmont Avenue” production diary – day 1

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Not long after Barry Andersson and I decided to shoot “Incident on Marmont Avenue” with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, I thought it would be great to keep a ‘production diary' and my plan is to share it with you – but not all at once as that would be a book (I've written over 13,000 words in my draft!). The production itself has been an incredible learning experience and I know many of you will be interested to follow along.

This is the first entry…

Saturday February 25, 2012

Tonight was a landmark night for me. The start of something exciting that I’ve wanted to do for a long time but didn’t really know how to accomplish… nor did I really understand where it would take me, but I was excited to start.

Tonight, Barry Andersson and I decided to make one of the first Canon EOS 5D Mark III movies on the planet!

I’m actually writing this a couple of days later, but I’ll write it as if I’d done it that day – simply because I should have written it down at the time, but I was too exhausted by the end of the conversation to even think about documenting it.

Let me give you a little background… Barry and I don’t live in the same town. We met back at NAB 2010 and have been good friends ever since. He lives in Minnesota and I’m in St. Louis.

That's me holding the Canon EOS 5D Mark III a week before it was announced

We were in Los Angeles for the unveiling of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III in a meeting with Canon yesterday. We had about 1.5 hours to hear about the camera from Chuck Westfall and then did a quick grab shot or two with the camera for posting on planet5D. We were both excited about the new 5D3.

Saturday, we talked about a lot of things and went to see the showing of “Act of Valor” with Shane Hurlbut (which I’ve written about). It was incredibly motivating to see the Canon EOS 5D Mark II up on the big screen!

I was planning on leaving town Sunday morning and I had something I wanted to pick Barry’s brain about and well… it was late and we were both tired. But bless his heart, he was willing to listen.

My dilemma was about spending a pretty large chunk of money to hire a crew of 3 to go to NAB with me to film the ‘traditional’ booth interviews with vendors. The previous times I’ve been to NAB, I did all the interviews by myself and I’ve learned that the best way to accomplish them is with a small crew. When I did them by myself, it was virtually impossible to shoot, edit, and then upload them to my blog. There was just too much to do during the day at NAB!

So, the right way to accomplish it and to have timely reports on the blog is to hire a crew to do it. And I figured at a minimum, that’d be about $5000.

The more Barry and I talked, the more it became obvious to both of us that tho news coverage is important for my blog, the expense just wasn’t going to bring in new readers nor would readers likely to leave forever and not come back to planet5D just because I didn’t have full NAB planet5D exclusive coverage. Besides, there’d be tons of other sites covering NAB and what I was going to do would have been cool and possibly unique, but it wasn’t going to stand out that much against all the competition.

What would potentially bring in a bunch of new readers would be to produce a knockout short film with the 5D3. Especially if we’re able to do some comparisons between the 5D2 and the 5D3 while filming. So the idea of doing a comparison while we’re filming the short creeps in to the project.

We’d heard that Canon wasn’t likely putting one out. Vincent Laforet said he wasn’t going to do one (we found that out after the 5D3 announcement of course). So, why not put that money towards my first real short? Brilliant.

I went to sleep very fast because I was exhausted, but the next morning both Barry and I were convinced that it was the right thing to do and that we’d have a blast doing it! It would also give me experience on working on a film project from inception to completion – something I’ve never done before. I’ve been on sets and assisted on things in work, but I’ve never been so involved thru an entire project. Plus, I have known for a while I needed to get completely involved in something that would take me away from the blog for a little bit (I spend too much time working on it!)

So, the project was born and we were excited! I flew home to St. Louis and Barry stayed in LA to work on a few things.


(cover photo credit: snap from the day I first got my hands on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III at the preview)

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