Magic Lantern + Subject, Location and Cinematic Voice = Real Magic

by Hugh Brownstone1 Comment


Freakin’ magic.

That’s what filmmakers do; it’s what we all have available to us in a way that kings and queens of even a generation ago couldn’t.

I mean it.

The advent of the net and digital sensors – making the means of production available to almost-if-not-all the masses – has created an absolute torrent of beautiful, wonderful, evocative, and thought-provoking images and films unimaginable just a few short years ago.

It’s been an interesting morning.

It began about 5:45AM for me, as most mornings do. The difference today is that I’ve been more focused on films than the gear that produces them.

And have a heightened sense that filmmaking is about choice, rather than “right” and “wrong” or “best.”

Sure, what piqued our curiosity about planet5D reader and filmmaker Christophe Hamon’s email to us was his use of Magic Lantern RAW on a Canon 5D Mark III with a single 24-105 Canon lens – and sharing his workflow for making it happen.

And of course he could have made any other number of equipment or stylistic choices which might have led to different shots and edits, all of which are fascinating to yours truly and much of the planet5D readership.

But Christophe’s cinematic voice would still have been his; the scenery breathtaking; the sense of family and friends life affirming.

Thank you, Christophe, for sharing both such a lovely slice of life and the techniques you used to make it happen.

How to Make a 4 Minutes Video With Magic Lantern in RAW Mode

From Christophe Hamon:

Here's an example of my last video in Mauritius:

For this video, i spend 4 days with my friends in Mauritius and i only shot with Canon 5D Mk III + 50mm f1.4 + 70-105mm f4 + house water protection, the last version of magic lantern and your personal computer to backup your videos. I setup my camera with Cinestyle and only use FullHD RAW video with magic lantern.

In the southern hemisphere

There is more and more article about the best workflow to work with magic lantern and the RAW mode. Every article said the same, it's complicate / heavy to work with it / Some magic lantern's bugs when you shoot and you are not sure to get all the video stuff you want etc…

What if i propose to you my workflow ? I tried to take the easiest way to work with the RAW file of magic lantern:

A) Get the last version of magic lantern (magiclantern-v2.3.NEXT.2014Feb24.5D3113) :

-> You will get : 1 – Option to play back video (low resolution), 2 – Option to delete the video you doesn't want to keep space to shot more videos, 3 – Raw Video 4:2:2 14 bits 4 – Sound in your video but i don't recommand it, you will lose speed writing. There is also many other features useful.

B) Take 4 memory cards CF 32 GB 1000X (for me it's the minimum) and your laptop to backup your videos

C) Shot all the videos you want in RAW mode and Cinestyle (to ungrade the colors and have the best results when you work in post production on Davinci / FCP / Premiere pro / AE …)

D) Backup all your videos (twice or more) to be sure if something wrong happens

E) Convert you videos to DNG ( i work with RAWMagic light or Raw2dng) to work with it

F) Convert your DNG to Video in ProRes HQ 422 (to do not lose quality) with Davinci Resolve 11 Lite

G) Export and edit your video to you edit tool (for me Final Cut Pro X)

H) Coloration videos, many solutions (for me it's Davinci / FCP or Lightroom 5):

magic lantern raw

Snap from the video: In the southern hemisphere

1 – For the video “In the southern hemishpere”, i work with Light room for many reasons. I'm a filmmaker but i'm also a photographer. So i have many presets and it's easy to put them on all my DNG and improve them after (video by video).

So i just import the DNG into lightroom, put the presets and customise video by video.

After you can export the video to TIFF and recreate the videos with Davinci and save it in your project edit tool. But it's it will take a lot of disk space. So i simply change the metadata of my preset in lightroom library on the video, go to after effect, import the DNG with the metadata and with After effect i export the videos to my project.

Here a video tutorial who explain this method : by akpe ododoru

2- If have no times, and my client ask me to deliver the video quickly, i simply export from FCP to Davinci and work on the colors directly. Davinci is awesome tools to, but more complicate to use for me. So i prefer working color with light rooms or FCP

K) You export you video and it's finished ! 🙂

Hope you enjoy my tutorial.


Chris –

Christophe Hamon

Videos :
Photos :

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


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