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Glidetrack - No1 for portable dolly systems and sliders

LUCASFILMThe problem with email, especially getting several hundred a day, is you miss some. Some more important than others. One email I completely missed was from Rick McCallum. Producer of the Star Wars prequels and many other films and TV shows at Lucasfilm. He said he loved my work and wanted to talk to me about working together on a movie they were making. I missed this email. Not good.

Fortunately they didn’t give up on me. Head of post production Mike Blanchard phoned me up 3 weeks later to see if I could come over and consult about the potential of using video DSLRs for their productions. He called whilst I was shooting so it went to voicemail. I picked it up the next day and thought holy shit! They must have thought I was playing hardball by not replying to Rick. I wasn’t. I am just a bit useless with all the emails!

“Star Wars” has been a part of my life for over 30 years. I saw it as a child when I was 7 and the second film, “The Empire Strikes Back” affected me enormously. I was in tears when I came out of the cinema. My hero…Han Solo, frozen in carbonite taken by Boba Fett! Anyway, I digress…

NOOOOOOOO.....

NOOOOOOOO.....

Of course I phoned Mike back said yes please! 5 days staying at Skywalker Ranch as their guest and showing them how to get the best out of the Canon 5DmkII and the Canon 7D. They also wanted to be shown how to use the EX3, Letus Ultimate and Nanoflash.

So I flew to San Francisco on Saturday last week and drove to the ranch (via Best Buy of course!). What a stunning place. In the middle of nowhere with enormous beautiful natural grounds and complimentary buildings. I was put in the Federico Fellini apartment. Each apartment is named after a famous person. From architects to actors, composers, writers, photographers, filmmakers. The one I was in is the one where Clint Eastwood always stays. Yes, I slept in Clint’s bed!

The first night, knowing the weather was not supposed to be great over the next few days I did some night timelapses using my 7D and 5DmkII. I left them running until 3am when they froze over!

All photos are taken with the Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm F1.7 Pancake lens.

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The next day I spent the afternoon filming around the ranch, the morning was a washout but it was dry enough to start. Using my 5DmkII, Miller DS20 Solo tripod, 16-35mm F2.8, 24mm f1.4, 35 f1.4, 50mm f1.2, Shift Tilt f3.5 24mm and my 70-200mm IS f2.8. I also brought with me the new Glidetrack Shooter. Rick asked me to bring it and Alastair from Glidetrack kindly shipped one over to me straight away to take with me. The shooter gives you the ability to do really lovely simple dolly shots without the drag of a full dolly and track set up. I also used both the Fader ND 72mm variable ND filter and 77mm thin Singh-Ray vari-nd on every shot to keep my shutter to double the shooting frame rate for optimum film motion. That means when shooting on the 5d I was at 1/60th and on the 7d I was at 1/50th.

But still the weather was crappy. Very grey overcast day. Everything looked very flat and lifeless which makes it that much harder to make things look beautiful.

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skywalker01

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The ranch is beautiful and reminds me a little of Scotland mixed with Italy. Rolling hills, horses, cows, a stunning lake and beautiful buildings. It was even cold, very much like Scotland. I left the rushes converting to Pro Res overnight and at 7 in the morning i put together a rough edit to show Rick and Mike at 9am.

I had, at this point, never seen my work projected on a really good projector before so this was going to be a real test of the cameras. Rick and Mike wanted to see how well the footage held up on the big screen. They had shot some stuff and weren’t happy with what they were getting. So they converted my edit into an MXF to play through Avid and I sat down to watch the edit. I was nervous. Never having seen my work on a big screen as good as this, but also George Lucas came in to watch and also the legendary sound designer Ben Burtt. My heart was racing. I watched as the edit played and they loved it. My favourite moment was when the star timelapse came on and Ben Burtt said “Hey, now, hang on!!” This was a very quick ungraded draft edit knocked together from a crappy grey day as a test, not supposed to be shown as an example of my work! Then Quentin Tarantino came in as he was due to talk at a screening of “Inglorious Basterds” and George said to Quentin, come see this. Quentin waxed lyrical, calling it Epic and William Wylersesque and was shocked it was shot on a DSLR. He had no idea you could shoot HD video on them or they were so good. I love George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino, so to have my work screened to them was pretty special to me. Rick, Mike and I also watched some of my other work on the big screen. “Venice’s People”, “San Francisco’s People”, “Cherry Blossom Girl” and “Sofia’s People”. They all looked incredibly good on the big screen. Better than I could ever have imagined. We watched everything in the Stag theatre at the ranch too. Probably one of the best screens in the world. 40 foot screen and it looked incredible.

Ben Burtt with his Zacuto iphone grip junior

Ben Burtt with his Zacuto iphone grip junior

Mike and Rick were over the moon. They didn’t know how well these cameras would hold up on the big screen and it passed with flying colours. Lots of swear words of incredulity were used!

80% of the footage was shot on the 5DmkII at 30p, then conformed to 23.98p in Cinema tools, effectively causing a slight slowdown but as no sync was used this was fine. All the timelapses were done on the 7D apart from the first star one. Some shots of the mist on the lake were done on the 7D too in 23.98p mode. I found them indistinguishable in the edit. Picture profile was Neutral, sharpness all the way down, contrast all the way down and saturation down one notch on both cameras.

Original poster art in the main house

Original poster art in the main house

During the day I also went through the cameras with Mike and Rick on how to get the best out of them. Rick has my 7D training dvd so already knew a lot. I went through all the Zacuto gear with him. He particularly was impressed with the Tactical Shooter with Z-Finder. We also used the Marshall monitor and Miller DS20 Solo (and of course the Glidetrack)

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Rick McCallum

Rick McCallum

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Rick shooting with the Zacuto Tactical and Z-Finder

Rick shooting with the Zacuto Tactical and Z-Finder

Rick McCallum

Rick McCallum with the Zacuto sniper kit

Mike Blanchard

Mike Blanchard

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The next day we shot with the Sony EX3, Letus Ultimate, relay and Nanoflash recording at 280mbs. Testing out this combination for the big screen too and it also looked pretty good! Although we did a lot less filming with this combo as it was the DSLRs that we really wanted to see how well they stood up.

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Ex3 with Nanoflash

Ex3 with Nanoflash

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Letus Ultimate with Relay

Letus Ultimate with Relay

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So why were we shooting with these cameras and why is Lucasfilm’s producer Rick McCallum interested in them?

First off Lucasfilm has been at the forefront of digital technology. They were instrumental in getting a 24p Sony HD camera to use for some shots in Episode 1 of Star Wars and shot episode 2 & 3 entirely digitally. So being ahead of the pack has always been something they do. Pushing the reluctant industry forward kicking and screaming!

George Lucas with the F23 on Episode 2

George Lucas with the Sony F900 on Episode 2

Rick and Mike had seen what these cameras were capable of and wanted to really know just how much you could push them. They had seen mine and others work online but really wanted to see how well they performed projected. The joy of these guys is they have a great attitude. If it looks great on the big screen then that is the most important thing. Not codecs, limitations, bit rates etc…all those are very important but the most important thing by far for them is how it actually looks and it passed with flying colours. That is what they really care about.

Here is the Stag Theatre at Skywalker sound where we saw the films on the 40 foot screen.

stag]

On the day I left, Wednesday, I got up at the crack of dawn as I knew it would be really frosty. It paid off. I got some lovely shots of the frost and the mist which meant I could finish the edit properly as I had more footage to complete it. Which I did on the plane home using my 13″ MBP and then graded it using Magic Bullet Looks as well as tidying up the earlier edit and creating the new timelapse from stills.

Shooting on the ranch

Shooting on the ranch

Below is my polished edit of my film of Skywalker Ranch that I did on the plane home, not the rough cut that was shown. It’s a very gentle piece that captures the feel of the grounds. Mostly shot on the 5DmkII, conformed to 24p as it was non sync and the timelapse was all done with stills. I have to say as fan, a geek and a filmmaker. Being at the Skywalker ranch and being made so welcome by all these incredibly talented people has been a highlight of my career. Next week I get to meet up with Rick again in Prague, along with Albert Hughes (of the Hughes Brothers) who has just finished his latest film “Book of Eli” with Denzel Washington to do some test shooting with the new 1DmkIV. I will post footage and my review of that camera as soon as I can.

HUGE thanks to Lucasfilm for giving me permission to post this short!

Am hoping to get a red lightsabre in the post for Christmas! EDIT: I did, Lucasfilm sent me some goodies, check out this silly video of me unwrapping them here

As a special Christmas offer due to this incredible week I am offering a 20% discount for the 7D training video simply by entering the code “starwars”  at checkout.

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Want to download a 30mbps version? Click here to go to Exposure Room site and look for the download original version. It’s big, about 1.4gb but will look great on a big screen.


All large photos are ©2009 www.philipbloom.co.uk

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Comments

  1. […] been following fellow filmmaker and blogger Philip Bloom for a couple years now. Ages ago I stumbled into an interesting blog while searching for affordable […]

  2. Dan Conklin says:

    I don’t even know what to say. Simply awesome! Go, Go, Go!

  3. […] Bloom has published an amazing short film created for Lucasfilm. The video shows beautiful shots of Skywalker Ranch. Visit Philip’s […]

  4. Gareth says:

    Amazing work and beautifully shot.
    Great to see that this technology could potentially be adapted for use in feature films.

    Did the guys at Lucasfilm have any doubts or reservations at all about the H.264 compression quality?

    1. pbloom says:

      of course. in a ideal world they want it gone.

  5. Jmalavazzi says:

    Hi great job. What kind of sound gear you used with dslr cannon 5D and 7D.
    Are they mono?

    I’m moving to those cameras but my concern is about sound since I’m documentarist filmaker.

    thanks and great job….

    juarez

  6. Sam Joos says:

    Hey Phillip I really enjoy your work, you are a huge inspiration for up and coming film makers with these great canon cameras! I am interested in purchasing your 5D or 7D training video (on the 7D training disc you stated it can be used for the 5D as well) I just picked up a 5DM2 last week and curious on which video you recommend.

    Thanks!

    Sam

    1. pbloom says:

      def the 7D version. It’s better and covers more ground.

      1. Amila C says:

        Can’t you use 550D for these footages? and what is the reasonwhen its can’t. :)

  7. Peter Urban says:

    Hey Philip, This is great news for you – Congratulations! I am truly happy for you that all the hard work has lead you where you want to be.

  8. gene says:

    You are the best! The first shot was amazing.

  9. claud says:

    Hey Phil,

    How would you compare the star timelapse capabilities of the 7D compared to the 5D?

    Best,

    1. pbloom says:

      superb. little difference

  10. david robin says:

    Brilliant!!!…and well deserved.
    Huge congratulations.

    1. pbloom says:

      Cheers David!

  11. Mark Horner says:

    Watched this one the other day, and have come back to watch it again. Great back-story. Beautiful video. Now among my P.B. favorites. Congratulations!

  12. toonfish says:

    You must be kidding!?

    Quentin passed by aha…Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :)

  13. Menhaj Huda says:

    Awesome! Congratulations! Loving the film and the story.

    These shots are amazing, but how about some footage with more energy and fast pans on longer lenses, manual crash zooms and crash focus! and then edit to a Prodigy track…

    These small cameras feel like you wanna throw them around a bit to get tricky angles and moves which are impossible with bigger cameras…that would be great to see too, how the image holds up under duress.

    Whadya say?

  14. Francis Shephard says:

    Wicked achievement Philip, run the path put before you. We’re all ready to buy and watch and enjoy and most importantly learn. Film can change humanity.

    That piece right there, takes the cake, for maximising the simplicity and complexity of DSLR and all the goodness that goes with it, within minimum time and budget. Amazing. You really are making these cameras wail at their potential from the heart.

    Spread those wings, even further.

    You can and likely will go all the way now. Dream and live. Two are the same.

    Step onto the light, underfoot, of your own imagination.

    Good luck. Your insight and training has helped push me over the edge to making my first feature. Its a great sensation being on the path of inevitably meeting ones own vision.

    Thankyou for your role in that breakthrough.

  15. Really enjoyed reading about the experience, and the footage is simply beautiful. I especially love the simple fact that all these amazing people, are just normal folks. You stepped into a circle of very talented people and they welcomed you like an old friend. Obviously a new chapter of possibilities is now open, hope you have fun! Congrats on the Star Wars website page posting, too.

  16. Mark says:

    Very happy for you Phil, you really deserve it! Inspired as well by how you put together such a great piece so quickly.

  17. Jason says:

    Hi Philip,

    You wrote, “Rick and Mike wanted to see how well the footage held up on the big screen. They had shot some stuff and weren’t happy with what they were getting.”

    Then you showed them your footage and they loved it. Soooo, what was it that made the difference? Lenses? Camera settings? Not having Philip as DP? Any insight is GREATLY appreciated.

    As always, thanks so much for taking time to read and answer.

    Jason

  18. […] filing this under the Star Wars section because it’s filmed a Skywalker Ranch and the associated article has some hints about the long gestating Live Action Star Wars television series (see below). But […]

  19. Nice job philip. About the same time I was invited to Stanley Kubrick’s house. No camera with me though. Ah well. Daniel.

  20. John says:

    Philip,
    I’m a doc filmmaker – been researching HDSLRs a while now and following your blog – finally bought the Canon 5D today – but still deciding on lenses.
    I loved renting Zeiss lenses (primes, all manual) for my RedRock M2 – so I’m leaning toward buying Zeiss primes for my 5D.
    But I guess I’m wondering if it is helpful at times to have the autofocus / autoexposure abilities of Canon lenses.
    I don’t know why I would need the auto features, as I never shoot video on my HVX200 in anything other than full manual.
    Maybe when using a Steadicam it would be nice to have auto?
    I guess I’m wondering if you really find the auto abilities useful for anything or any reason.
    Thanks!

  21. Nigel Ellis says:

    Hi Philip,
    Great work!! Will you be showing some of the XDCAM shots? I would love to know your thoughts on the NanoFlash and how much of a difference the higher bit rate makes in grading. I have also heard that some of the nanoflashes have had a few issues – did you have any?
    If you need an airplane to test with when you come back in Feb let me know – I am just a few miles from San Francisco. I have been developing some airplane mounts for the 5d and there are some issues that can really screw it up.
    cheers,
    Nigel Ellis

  22. […] The tale of Lucasfilm, Skywalker Ranch, Red Tails, Star Wars and … […]

  23. You got to love the steam from the water, great peacefull ending now I feel completely ZEN. Philip you inspire me to explore the great world of shooting video’s, telling stories, use different lenses, spend hours into editing and color grading in magic bullet. I think best of all is, your timing is great I cannot turn my back on your stuff because if some fade away you come back with a nice new review, a blog post or other interesting stuff. So I think, no I know for sure you inspire a lot of filmmakers! Keep it coming, so hopefully I can show you in 2010 some things I learned here

  24. […] at Skywalker Ranch. It’s so simply shot yet stunning to look at. You can read the full story HERE or watch a bigger version of the video […]

  25. mauricefit says:

    Philip
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Your creativity and professionalism paid off. Did you used any of the images that you capture with the EX-3??

  26. Luis Palha says:

    It’s official
    Does’nt matter codecs or compresion or rates all that matters is the final result looking good or not. And the Canon 7d 5d does look great in the end. I’ve been working with almost all sort of video cameras from dvcam to hdcam and is the first time i’m really happy with the final result.
    Keep up the good work Phillip.

  27. Jim Stark says:

    Hey Phil,

    First I have to say that to see you get this opportunity is wonderful. I think you’ve made a name for yourself in the online video world and if anyone deserves to be noticed it is you.

    However, I’m saddened when I see videos like this. I don’t see what everyone else seems to see in the video itself. I mean the blog post and your story is totally news worthy, but the video, sadly is not.

  28. Shiv Kumar says:

    Hey Phil, Congratulations Man!
    This news is really awesome on so many levels. I am thrilled and really happy for you.

    Now can we say, “You’ve arrived”?

  29. Shiv Kumar says:

    On second thought, it makes no real difference what you think (re: whether you’ve arrived or not), you HAVE arrived!

  30. Thank you Philip, it was the best shot. I like how you put things together and color grading. Keep going.

  31. […] tour of Skywalker Ranch”. Awesome post! You can find the original behind the scenes blog here by Phillip […]

  32. Lovely work Philip, I bet it was an awesome adventure to look at the ranch and enjoy the company of some famous film makers. You did some lovely stuff with that little camera slider. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Jon

  33. […] to doing this write-up because Philip Bloom, whose work I’ve envied for some time, recently visited Skywalker Ranch and shot this extraordinary mood-piece there, which stands in sharp contrast to how sweltering it […]

  34. Mayer says:

    I loved the video btw and I see you are really falling in love with the 7d and 5d more than a real video camera (i’m sure you wouldn’t be unhappy if someone gave you a red for free).

    On another note, were Quentin Tarantino and George Lucas really at the ranch with you? And they complimented you?

  35. Dave Dugdale says:

    I watched it again, I must say that must be one of your favorite projects because you had total creative control and no one else to answer to.

    1. pbloom says:

      Thanks Dave!

      But most of my personal stuff is complete control from me. It’s when I do the corporate and broadcast work that is when you make necessary compromises…

      P

  36. I think you, Philip, have one of the coolest personal success stories I know. And coming from a TV news shooting background like you (though only for 10 years, not as long as you), I’m “rejoicing with those who rejoice” as I watch this. That snap of you at the end of this blog post is just pure joy: dreams fulfilled, a career defining moment captured on your face. Like you, I grew up seeing Star Wars when it first came out in the 1970s, and I understand that look.

    Thanks for the coupon code; I don’t even own a Canon 7D but I’ve had so much fun watching all these great short films and seeing you jet-set around the world pioneering new tools for great storytelling, I just wanted to support you and learn a few things, too, in case I ever do get a little bit extra to pick up a 7D. I just bought your 7D instruction DVD via immediate download, and look forward to learning more from you.

    Merry Christmas, and May the Force Be With You!

    1. pbloom says:

      thanks very much! Really appreciate it!

  37. André says:

    Congratulations, reading things like these make us believe that good work will lead us to great achievements ! You just did one of my greatest dreams, to visit SW ranch ! and did this as the main character, the one they wanted to be there, congratulations again. keep up the good work.

  38. JimH says:

    Very nice stuff.
    BTW, that’s my house…

  39. I have visited your site on several occasions to gain knowledge and try to make a decision on the gh1 or the 7d. The fact that you were invited to the Skywalker ranch based on your work with the canon, pretty much makes it a no-brainer. The only way I am getting to the ranch is if I sneak in lol, but all jokes aside you deserve it…looking forward to what you have coming up next.

  40. […] here’s to the future of filmmaking (yes, film). You have to read this blog post. George Lucas is backing these Canons to shoot full-length films. Several shorts have already been […]

  41. Tim says:

    Hi, Philip! I was wondering – How do you shoot timelapses with your 5d? – Which software, and how do your connect it, etc?

    Thanks :)

    _Tim

  42. John says:

    I live only 3 miles from Skywalker. You captured the essence of Lucas Valley and regions west. (yes named that long before George Lucas was there)….. beautiful work.

  43. […] Bloom over to the Skywalker Ranch to demonstrate what, exactly, they’re capable of. Bloom wrote up his experience on his blog, and also compiled a mesmerizing bit of HD footage filmed around the ranch. They also […]

  44. […] Click Here For the Philip Bloom Experience swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.youtube.com/v/uY055QEPM18&rel=0&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=0", "vvq-1133-youtube-1", "640", "360", "9", vvqexpressinstall, vvqflashvars, vvqparams, vvqattributes); Tags: Canon 5D Mark II, Philip Bloom Leave a Comment […]

  45. gs3 says:

    Philip,

    Wasn’t sure where to post this, but since it has to do with cutting edge filmmaking on the 7 and 5D’s, I figured it might be relevant.

    I was fortunate enough to visit Skywalker as well when I worked for Playstation…an amazing place, to be sure.

    Have you had a chance to try using the Aja Ki Pro unit with either the 7 or 5D? It sounds like this is an amazing product, and with HDMI input, I assume using the Ki Pro would allow one to generate accurate SMPTE timecode by recording directly on the Ki Pro?

    Since I’m experimenting with steroscopic 3D, I figure I could also use the Timecode out to sync up with another Ki Pro unit (for 2nd camera)…

    Any thoughts on this? Pros on Cons of the Ki Pro that you know about?

    Love your blog and reviews…thanks for leading the way…

    GS3

  46. […] can extract exquisite high-def video images out of prosumer gear, as he recently proved with his much-blogged about visit to Skywalker Ranch. Bloom has definitely caught the eye of Lucasfilm, and in particular, producer Rick McCallum. While […]

  47. […] in the technology, inviting cinematographer Philip Bloom to Skywalker Ranch to demonstrate (interesting read and video!). They had a closer look at the footage on a large screen, and was reportedly still […]

  48. drew says:

    Beautiful! I had the pleasure of editing/finishing a commercial up at Skywalker Ranch about 8 or 9 years ago. You have really captured the special beauty of the place. The footage looks as good as any I’ve seen. And yes, how bout that ‘little’ screening room!

  49. […] The clip was shot entirely using DSLRs; in this case, a Canon 5DmkII and a Canon 7D. The DSLR cameras were the main reason why he was invited over to the Ranch. Mike Blanchard, head of post production at Lucasfilm, was curious about the potential of using them for actual movie productions. You can read the rest of the story, as well as check out the gears he used, here. […]

  50. linkslife says:

    your post is so cool

  51. kagibson2 says:

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for a while, but this made me finally register and comment. These images are incredible. I love your work.
    -kody

  52. […] Awesomer | The tale of Lucasfilm, Skywalker Ranch, Red Tails, Star Wars and Canon DSLRs on a 40 foot screen! Tags: DSLR, ムービー blog comments powered by Disqus var disqus_url = […]

  53. andy patch says:

    hey philip, I dont know if this was covered yet, but what is the quick plate system you have on the glidetrack, I just got one, and am trying to avoid spinning my camera around everytime…. thanks!

  54. […] one recorded in Dehli. Even more recently, Bloom has managed to gain traction from DoPs such as George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino, as a recent post on his website indicates. Tarantino was quoted as saying that the quality from […]

  55. markus says:

    Brilliant, as per usual, Philip! Love the slider work. You convinced me months ago on the Sony EX1 w/Letus Extreme (so I went out and made a 97 minute feature that way) — and now you’re convincing me that the 7D is at a level where it can be taken seriously. If the Skywalker team are all over this, then it’s a huge signpost to the future. Congratulations that you are now being recognized as an “authority” by such distinguished and cutting-edge filmmakers. Great job!

    1. pbloom says:

      thanks Markus!

  56. […] Click here if you haven’t seen his video yet. After you view Matt’s video go to this blog post by Philip Bloom. I strongly suggest you first scroll down to the bottom of the blog post and watch the […]

  57. […] Philip Bloom’s tale of Lucasfilm, Skywalker Ranch, Red Tails, Star Wars and Canon DSLRs on a 4… […]

  58. […] Bloom has published an amazing short film created for Lucasfilm. The video shows beautiful shots of Skywalker Ranch. Visit Philip’s […]

  59. […] out the whole behind the scenes and story of Philip Bloom’s, […]

  60. michael says:

    Great story! I admire how humble you are about everything!

  61. Rune Spaans says:

    This was such an inspiring read – thanks for sharing it!

  62. […] I recently came across this absolutely amazing HD video by Philip Bloom. If you’re a turbo Star Wars geek like me, you’ll absolutely love it! If you’d like to read about the camera gear he used to shoot it, just head over to his post about it. […]

  63. Ryan Jacobi says:

    Oh my oh my. Your ability to master the exposure of both the night sky and the cottage in the same shot looked absolutely brilliant.

    Can I come next time? I’ll carry your bags and everything! :)

  64. Geff says:

    It’s simply great! Congrats, it’s really a huge step on anyone’s career.

  65. Esteban says:

    Great story … !! Nice work, and great to know about the Glidetrack.
    Together with George Lucas, Q Tarantino, Ben Burtt …. !! That’s a dream !!
    Well done. I love the short movie.

    WOW !

  66. Gash T. says:

    Wow amazing! Great story and great work!

  67. Congrats. Amazing stuff!

  68. Mary says:

    Loved the moment of the light saber unveiling ;-) I laughed out loud :)

    1. pbloom says:

      i never grew up!

  69. John Glynn says:

    Great story on so many levels: the experience, meeting heroes, TEACHING heroes, the reward of landmark accomplishment and then, not only to be left with very special footage, but also to line up further projects with these extreme innovators. Inspirational stuff Philip – over the moon for you. Thanks for sharing!

  70. shaunbless says:

    What lenses do you recommend for canon 7d to shoot at movie or music video quality even the crop factor issue

  71. The time lapse footage @ 3:45 is amazing. I’ll be looking forward to hear more about your future with Lucasfilm.

  72. robert mcintosh says:

    very cool. i still see a little cmos wobble garbage in those dolly shots but really impressive consider the price the cameras. congrats.

    1. pbloom says:

      you sure? not seen it myself on net or on big screen…have you downloaded the mp4 to see it it’s there

      1. Felipe Tavares says:

        What exactly does he mean by “wobble garbage”?

  73. […] to the co-host gig of the other Zacuto show Critics, to his latest piece de resistance, the Skywalker Ranch video. However, months before he was invited to by team Lucas to shoot at Skywalker Ranch, I had the […]

  74. […] you like photography, cameras and being awesome, read this then watch […]

  75. AMAZING piece of work! I recently purchased the 7D
    and am still waiting to take it out for a test spin.

    You’re footage has me salivating over doing so…

    One question:

    Where did you get the mic attachment for the 7D,
    and what make/model is it?

    CHEERS!

    Joaquin Montalvan
    Sledgehammer Films

  76. Jason says:

    Hi Philip,

    You wrote, “Rick and Mike wanted to see how well the footage held up on the big screen. They had shot some stuff and weren’t happy with what they were getting.”

    Then you showed them your footage and they loved it. Soooo, what was it that made the difference? Lenses? Camera settings? Not having Philip as DP? Any insight is GREATLY appreciated.

    As always, thanks so much for taking time to read and answer.

    Jason

  77. […] This in-depth account of Philip Bloom’s visit and subsequent shoot at Skywalker ranch is a good read with some great video and stills. Thanks to Neil Smith’s RAWWorks blog for the link. […]

  78. […] we were a little tapped out.  Not just because of cost, but because Philip Bloom used it on his Skywalker Ranch short to great effect, we purchased a Glidetrack SD […]

  79. […] camera I used was the Canon 7D DSLR with accessories to shoot video like a Rode shotgun microphone and a LCDF viewfinder. The small size […]

  80. joe says:

    You rock Philip. G-d bless you. ;)

  81. Ray Capararo says:

    I loved what you achieved with the short, I wish I could achieve even a small percentage of the end result
    Ray

  82. […] In light of the approaching new year I would like to discuss some of the new products that we have in the works of for all you hdslr users out there. I know, many still think these devices are not true serious video shooting cameras because all of limitations they have like Odd shaped form factor, aliasing, flash banding, rolling shutter and so on. But to those who think in such way let me just say that everything has limitations, consider Film for example: Outrageously expensive, needs tons of light, 24 fps not good for fast action because of strobing, film cameras don”t record audio, and need large crew to operate, and the list keeps going. With a list like that you would wonder why anyone would even think shooting on film, but the answer is always because the image was well worth all the trouble. The same goes for todays new HDSLRs cameras, the image they produce is well worth all the trouble and in this coming year we will see a lot more productions using them whether is for TV or the big screen, 2010 is the year we will see the release of motion picture shot on HDslr. Don’t believe me? read this: The tale of Lucasfilm, Skywalker Ranch, Red Tails, Star Wars and Canon DSLRs on a 40 foot screen! […]

  83. […] epic 7-minute short film goes well beyond that, with one jaw-dropping followed by another.  Philip Bloom’s blog post on the shoot is also a useful guide into his process and his […]

  84. […] shot a nice little piece of SkyWalker Ranch. Thanks to motionographer for the tip. Also, check out Mr. Blooms blog post on the shoot. Good […]

  85. […] don’t miss this interesting article about the week Philip spent at Skywalker Ranch with Rick McCallum and George […]

  86. Cinda says:

    A little late to the party, but the link just popped up via one of my twitter folks. Beautiful, beautiful work. Just bookmarked you so I can take a gander at all of the other goodies.

  87. lucablue007 says:

    Inspiring blog and beautiful results

  88. Michael says:

    *wow*

    Inspiring and beautiful results….it so fantastic movie. Canon is the perfect Friend for us Photographer ;-)

    best regards from Germany

    Michael

    1. alignment1 says:

      Philip– thank you for sharing this, (and everything else you share), Your works are magnificent. You are such an inspiration for all of us. Thanks for taking us on your journey to the Skywalker Ranch – I love the Tarantino/Lucas exchange, I smiled all the way through the blog from tech/specs to your humbled honesty toward this epic experience.

      Cheers,

      Zack Gietek

  89. […] a damn thing. But if Robert Rodriguez can film El Mariachi on $5,000, why can’t I? If the 5D is good enough for Lucas and Tarantino, it’s good enough for me. I recently watched and have been inspired by […]

  90. Yves Simard says:

    Love a good story, well done.

  91. […] Cameras for Red Tails, Possibly Star Wars TV Series | /Film And scroll down this page for results: The tale of Lucasfilm, Skywalker Ranch, Red Tails, Star Wars and Canon DSLRs on a 40 foot screen! | … So on one hand (and at the top end of the camera scale), Canon probably has the edge on the video […]

  92. pepelange says:

    Dear Philip,
    I have a little motion design thing on at vimeo and since the reception is good my iPhone snoors in my pocket from time to time when yet another friendly fellow has “liked” my project – I think you now this feeling. And today I followed one of these followers to his site and guess what – he had nothing on yet …. just links to 5 people, which were You, Vincent Laforet, and some others. And I suddenly felt surrounded by all you famous 5D fellas…stars of the scene…the creme de la creme of 5d film…and now I read, that you actually peed into the Lucas toilet bowl…….what an incredible day.

    Best Pepe Lange

  93. Vincent Fahy says:

    Hi Phillip,

    Thanks for posting your samples – they look great!
    For my corporate video jobs I’ve been renting HDV cameras as needed but I have a personal documentary project that I want to work on with little chance of funding. Now I have plan to re-purpose my 5D MkII and capture audio on an external recorder. I think I have a Glidetrack in my future as well!

    Regards,

    Vinny.

  94. TheWuGGu says:

    Hi,
    first great movie. And my question is, what is the name of the music. It sounds great an fit into the pictures.

    1. MIchael says:

      Gustav Holst: “The Planets”

  95. […] The lineup: Philip Bloom, if you don’t know who Philip is, let me just say that when Skywalker Ranch wanted to find out about what all the fuss was about with DSLRs, they invited Philip up to chat.  Read about that adventure here. […]

  96. micheal mcalexander says:

    Hey Philip,

    I’ve actually been to the Ranch twice when I worked for USC and I interviewing Rick for a project we were doing. He’s a great guy.

    I’m actually gearing up to shoot my first feature with the EX3 and the Nanoflash. I might have to hit you up with some questions :)

    Cheers,

    Micheal

  97. Jayme Cowley says:

    I noticed on the few timelapses in the downloaded 1080p version, the image was much sharper than all the other video clips. It reminds you how crisp the 1080p resolution is at its best. So although these cameras are great, we shouldn’t be satisfied until the video is as sharp as those still-composed timelapses. Why aren’t we there yet? Do you think Canon will be able to improve the sharpness of the 1080p video to that of a still image at 1080p ?

  98. Billions says:

    Should’ve used more deer.

  99. phillip Bowen/orca says:

    Hi boss, loved your blog, looking forward to some shots of red tail if allowed, really learned alot and appreciated you allowing me to pull focus for you, I do not remember getting wider than 150mm maybe 70mm by mistake, had alot of fun, hope to work with you again

    phil

    1. pbloom says:

      cheers Phil! Working on it now! was a pleasure

      1. Jonny C says:

        You don’t sleep do you?(I couldn’t help notice your last post was at 3:55)
        OR you are not in my central time zone of Wisconsin. Either way
        I liked the time lapse intervention piece. I am assuming done in Chicago when you pointed out lake Mich-igan.
        I have been following you for the last few years mainly on Vimeo and whenever some one says,”you have to see this video” I usually pull out a video of yours to top them all. Cheers and great work all around.

  100. Ron says:

    Phil,

    I was wondering which of the two Glide Track you used? The HD or SD? Did you like it and feel it is worth a purchase. I noticed also there is a .5 mm and 1 mm

    I think the one you used was .5 was that good enough or did you find yourself wanting the longer guy?

    Also wondering if you ever used it as a hand held unit at all and if so any thoughts?

    cheers,

    Ron

  101. Paul Shipper says:

    Philip.

    Fantastic and inspirational. Im a Still Photographer, but seeing what you can achieve with HD Video simply blows my mind. I might have a crack at it sometime…

    Paul.

  102. Hi Philip,

    Thank you for the inspiration! I am trying to decide between the new 550t2i or a 5d, which seems like a bit “old” technology–I shoot mainly feature stories (was using panasonic dvx100) and finally time to upgrade…How long do you think until we see an upgrade to the 5d??

  103. […] been instrumental in showing just what DSLR filmmaking can achieve, having impressed the likes of Lucasfilm and others enough that they’ve converted to using Canon 5DMkII cameras for some recent […]

  104. G. Shumway says:

    Dear Lord, I hope the new Star Wars TV show isn’t going to follow this current fixation filmmakers have with shaky, hand held camera work.
    Not only is it severely overused in today’s television and cinema, but it looks cheap, nasty and quite frankly, it’s rather annoying.

  105. emanuele says:

    Genioooooooo, sei un genio.
    Complimenti! qualsiasi cosa dica sarei scontato.
    Every shoot is a dream.
    I’m really really impressed and fascinated.

    P.s.
    Just an info,
    what lens do you prefer between 16-35mm f2,8L II USM and 24-70mm f/2,8 L USM?

    Grazie mille ciao bello!

  106. simon rose says:

    I didn’t get the opportunity to visit the ranch, i was fortunate enough to work on EP 1 + EP 3 (special creature fx) a girlfriend of mine managed to wangle a trip up to the ranch, nice, but i was still left in Watford!! not nice.

    Great work Philip, northern Cal is so beautiful, such a range of pallets and atmosphere, i hope to do the pacific road trip sometime (with a future purchase of some kind poss a ex3!)

    cheerio

    simon

    P.S Rick Mcallum is nuts, but the nicest er…nuts in showbiz..that didn’t come out well but you know what i mean.

  107. claudioagmfilho says:

    great phil , simply brilliant…

  108. claudioagmfilho says:

    we are from Brazil in south america and we just love your work from down here …

  109. JB says:

    Hello Peter,
    Beautiful work and great advice. Was wondering what lens you’d recommend for filming action sequences ie: martial arts, with the 7d.
    Regards

  110. Matt Knisely turned me on to you this week. I’m utterly speechless, and have officially made you and your blog my new DSLR video Bible. Thanks for taking the time to share your passion with so many. Appreciate all you’re doing to make the world beautiful! ch:

    1. pbloom says:

      Thanks Christopher. Appreciate it.

  111. Paul Parker says:

    My nephew is a fanatic of Star Wars. Skywalker is his number one fan. I can not help but to think of him while reading your post. He will surely envy for your being able to see skywalker ranch.

    Wonderful work you have. A really great work. When you have time, you are invited to visit my site.

  112. kirubagaran daniel says:

    Phil

    as usual par excellence I am from India
    I watch you for few years YOu are the
    real inspiration thanks keep going

  113. Hi Philip. This short movie is outstanding. I just wanted to say how much I admire your work and thank you for all the help I have received from your generous blogs and videos of working with the 5D MK2 and FCP. I am a film director from South Africa and I have found a new lease on life with my D5MK ll. From spending years working with a DOP, I can now do my own thing. If you ever want to shoot in Africa, I will sort you out. Thank you again. Kind regards, Peter

  114. Diego says:

    Hey Phil….awesome work! Quick question….I’m about to buy a camera for shooting a few shorts….which do you recommend? 5DmkII? 7D? or the EX-3?

    Cheers!

    1. pbloom says:

      very hard question to answer!!

      1. Diego says:

        which do you prefer? I mean are they comparable enough to not make that much of a difference? I’m trying to achieve as close as I can get to a film look…is the 5DmkII and 7D only great if you have total control? And is handheld possible w/out the shake?

  115. Rashad says:

    I was considering rode video mic. But I already brought the zoom h4n. Was that a good choice.

    1. pbloom says:

      Rode is great for atmos. Zoom for proper audio recording!

  116. Any tips on how to do long-exposure pans with the cine-slider that are longer than 15 minutes? I use the 7D, and the fact that I am limited by the silly 15-minute restriction seems like an issue. How did you get that amazing shot of the house at night with the flickering window and stars rotating? Does it just not matter when you speed it up?

    Also, any tips on how to do it without the motor?

    1. pbloom says:

      it’s all stills timelapse Philip.

      1. tony molina says:

        philp-
        thanks for posting these tests. very, very helpful. question, what was the posting process for these tests on this site? im about to invest my right arm & leg into a music video. how can i post video as clear as this site does? should I shoot low ASA, a finish in a special codec, or leave it in a quicktime??? is editing in AVID better than FINAL CUT for clarity?

        in the test it’s stated you guys couldn’t distinguish between the 5D and 7D. I assumed the 5D was a more pleasing look due to larger sensor, less depth of field. from your experience, what is the better camera for noise, blacks, and artifacting?? your test is noiseless!!! how is this possible??
        is nuetralaizing the camera color & contrast the way to go??
        please advise-
        thank you for a very instructive test

        1. Philip Bloom says:

          Because you are watching a compressed version which removes noise. I prefer the 5d for sure

  117. have already been visiting your site for three days. really like what you posted. by the way i will be doing a research about this issue. do you know other websites or maybe forums that I can get more? thanks in advance.

  118. wow, the quality of these pictures are amazing! I need to get a camera like that for some of my upcoming projects. i feel so inspired off of quality work lolz

  119. Eli says:

    First off – absolutely gorgeous! I’m sorry I’m commenting so late after the fact, I just signed up to the site recently.
    Second, I thought it was really cool that you chose that piece by Holst as the soundtrack for some of your shots around the ranch! Since Holst is widely regarded as John Williams inspiration for creating many of the Star Wars themes. But I’m sure you knew that ;-)
    -Eli

  120. Devon says:

    I don’t even know where to start! I have been a huge fan of film since childhood. I did however put the dream of film-making aside to take care of my family by joining the military and serving for 17 years. After I was diagnosed with an illness and told I had about 5 years to live is when I decided to go to film school where I have since graduated a week ago. My biggest delima is where to start. There are so many avenues to take and deciding which one is the toughest challenge.(at least for me anyway) It has been 5 years since I was told that I would pass away and now all i can think about is making my first film! Anyone, any advice?

  121. Roger says:

    Man this is just awesome stuff! You have reignited my passion for films and being creative and helped get me back on my path for now anyway.

    Have you ever contacted the folks at Lynda.com about doing some tutorials for them?

  122. Dennis B. says:

    Philip, you rock!!! Amazing what you are able to do….
    Thank you for sharing such a magnificient experience…

  123. Richard says:

    Great video.. would love that dolly

  124. Ron Tyler says:

    Hello Phillip from across the big pond(Atlantic Ocean),

    Thanks for all you do for us HD-DLSR film makers and video professionals. I enjoy reading your blogs on various industry subjects on equipment. Please keep up the great work. If you ever in the neighborhood of Dallas/Tyler Texas give me a shout and let’s get together for lunch. Look forward to hopefully meeting you someday.

    Ron Tyler/ executive Producer-Owner
    A.F. Productions
    Tyler, Texas
    1-903-597-4289 / Tyler, Texas

  125. Ben Johnson says:

    My idol. I study film and TV productions, and we shoot on a Canon 60D and basically I watch your stuff and learn it and then when we’re in class i spit out your words and people think I’m awesome. Our secret eh phill.

  126. […] is also known online for his film tutorials and training videos. I dug a little deeper and found a short film that he shot at Skywalker Ranch and then edited the following day and later screened to George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino. They […]