Fascinating Short Film Featuring the Beauty of Japan’s Culture and Tradition

by planetMitch6 Comments

Several weeks ago, we got this awesome video from Nick Arcivos (and I apologize to Nick for taking so long to get this posted!) and you should have a read of what Nick contributed for our behind-the-scenes as well as watching the video several times.

Here's what Nick sent me to kick off the process

How is it going? I have been following your blog for quite a while now and I would like to say you're doing a great job, thanks for that!

I wanted to let you know about our 5 minutes film on Japan, filmed with 2 Canon 5D Mark II. There has been wonderful feedback from all over the world and it has reached more than 145,000 views.

It has been featured by many photography/film brands like Canon, Carl Zeiss… and magazine like Tokyo journal, Metropolis etc.

From Nick at AmnesiArt:

Through genuine moments of Japanese lifestyle, this film shows the harmony of coexistence between tradition and modernity.

AmnesiArt is a film and Fine Art photography production composed by Nick Arcivos and Ryan Earl.

Japan: A Journey Between Tradition And Modernity

Making the film

The idea behind this film was thought out in two steps:

The first took place a few years ago, after discovering this fascinating country and the desire that gave us to capture the special atmosphere of Japan.

The second, more recently, is the shooting which lasted 14 days from Kyoto to Tokyo, through Nara.

Using the Steadicam Merlin

Using the Steadicam Merlin

We chose to shoot with the Canon 5D Mark II for its portability, low light sensitivity and because we own a wide range of Canon L series lenses (16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 100mm macro f/2.8, 85mm f/1.2, 50mm f/1.4, 15mm fisheye f/2.8 and Zeiss Planar T 1,4 50mm ).

To get the best dynamic range and latitude for the post production, we shot everything with the Technicolor Cinestyle. This was very useful when we color corrected and graded the project. We were able to bring out much more details in the shadows and highlights with this setting.

We decided to use Think Tank rolling bags (Airport Take-Off) to easily carry our Gitzo tripod with a Sachtler FSB8 fluid head, Manfrotto 561BHDV monopod and Kessler Pocket Dolly, throughout the day of shooting.

We were fascinated by this country which led us to shoot at least 10 to 12 hours a day! Even in bad weather conditions, we kept on shooting to really show the atmosphere so special that reigns in this country.

AmnesiArt shooting in the rain at Shibuya, Tokyo

AmnesiArt shooting in the rain at Shibuya, Tokyo

The lenses mostly used were the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 to get the widest shots possible thanks to the full frame sensor and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 for all the details and close-ups. In order to use our Red Rock Micro follow focus, we added lens gear which was very useful to achieve many shots.

The 5D performed great and we didn't have any problem of overheating or failure, so we would definitely use it again for future productions.


The film has received wonderful feedback and has been viewed more than 145,000 times. Many viewers told us they wanted to visit Japan more than ever after watching our film, which was exactly our goal.

After contacting different film/photography brands to let them know about our work, we were so grateful to receive their feedback, telling us they loved our film and wanted to share it on their social networks. It has been featured by Canon, Zeiss, Sachtler, Think Tank, Pelican and many more.

We worked a lot on this project and the fact that it is appreciated shows that hard work definitely pays. Being as consistent as possible on each step of the production is really important in order to get the best result.

Stills from the film

We took 50 still frames from the film to make people realize all the variety and beauty offered by this fabulous country. We shared some of our insights throughout a 5 parts series on our blog.

If you want more information on our productions, you can visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Behind Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion Temple) - Kyoto, Japan

Behind Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion Temple) – Kyoto, Japan

Tokyo Tower Observation Deck - Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Tower Observation Deck – Tokyo, Japan

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and "Maman", a Giant Spider Sculpture - Tokyo, Japan

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and “Maman”, a Giant Spider Sculpture – Tokyo, Japan

Peaceful Tatsumi Shrine - Gion, Kyoto, Japan

Peaceful Tatsumi Shrine – Gion, Kyoto, Japan

(cover photo credit: snap from the AmnesiArt)


  1. Loved it – very inspirational to a 1 man operator striving to get interesting, more professional short (film look) videos from my 5D3.

    Beautiful camera work, music score and seamless editing.

  2. Thank you, I found this to be one of the most soothing and visually stunning pieces I have seen in a while. Everything worked for me and I was lost in the moment. Beautiful!

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