Often, we gearheads get caught up in the idea of what we’re shooting with, not what we’re shooting. We want to be filming constantly, but feel like we can’t until we get access to that specific camera. As a result, we vastly underestimate the incredible storytelling ability of our everyday DSLRs.
The lesson that must be learned here is that compelling stories can be told regardless of your camera. The art of filmmaking is expressed when you use that camera to its fullest extent. This is not to say that better cameras aren’t worth the money. Far from it. If you are one of the few filmmakers with a budget for an Alexa or a Dragon, use them! But don’t wait to become one of those filmmakers.
A number of these films from Tribeca's 2015 Festival were from shot on cameras readily available to the amateur filmmaker.
The film, “Play it Forward” was shot on a Canon 60D and 7D—and they made it into Tribeca! The filmmakers for the movie “Maggie”, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, utilized Blackmagic cameras during production. The same cameras that often fall into a very reasonable price bracket for the independent filmmaker.
Instead of worrying about what camera is best, find a way to make the camera you have work best for you. True art happens when we meet our limitations with equal parts enthusiasm and ingenuity.
Here are the Cameras Used by the 2015 Tribeca Filmmakers
In advance of this year's Tribeca Film Festival, Indiewire sent out brief questionnaires to all of the filmmakers (you can read their full answers in our Meet the 2015 Tribeca Filmmakers Series). As part of the questionnaire, we asked which camera(s) they shot on.
Their responses showed a wide variety of camera used – everything from drones to cellphones to the Swedish Ikonoskop, which is a digital camera meant to emulate the 16mm film look.
The most popular choices across the board were the ARRI ALEXA and RED Epic, as well as various models of Canon and Sony cameras. Almost all of the filmmakers produced their films digitally – the only films that specified having shot on film were “Franny,” “Transfatty” and “Tumbledown.”
We've arranged this master list alphabetically by camera – please note that some films used multiple cameras, so you'll see a few repeats as you browse.
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(cover photo credit: snap from Indiewire)