Camera Configurations: Your Best Ally
- September 30, 2009
- Shane Hurlbut, ASC
Speed and production value are intertwined. Production budgets are shrinking and companies are asking for more from cinematographers and crews that ever. One way to meet that need is by increasing your speed without sacrificing quality. Specifically, when using Canon 5D Mark II camera for a project, a little preproduction planning with designing specific camera configurations for your project can save hours of conversion time throughout the shoot. The biggest benefit is that you and your crew have a system in place that is organized and ready to rock regardless of location changes, weather and whatever else may be thrown your way.
Here are a few ideas that have worked well for the elite team:
1. Break down your project into all of the possible different modes that you might be shooting and plan to have at least one camera configuration for each mode.
2. Get as many cameras as you can! They are cheap to rent and constantly changing configurations costs you valuable time when shooting. It can even make you look disorganized and unprepared because a director may be ready to roll and you are floundering getting a camera into whatever mode you need.
3. Have at least one camera body assigned to each mode for shooting. For example, on the untitled Navy Seal project that I am currently shooting we have 13 5D bodies in all different configurations. Many have at least 2 in a particular mode for a multiple camera shoot.
The elite team and I had so much fun naming the different configurations that we decided to hold a contest for the best name. Mikey Svitak will be the judge, so please comment with your best idea for a name and we will announce it on our October 20, 2009 blog.
There will be a grand prize that goes to the winner, so let your creative juices flow and have fun with it! Here are a few of the names we came up with to get you started:
1. man cam mode
2. action cam mode
3. helmet cam mode
4. stripper mode
5. steadicam junior mode
6. studio handheld mode
7. crash cam mode
Good luck! I can’t wait to hear your ideas and share those on the blog along with the winner.