New short: “Venice’s People” shot on the Canon 7D in 24p

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I have been in the US for about 2 and a half weeks doing all sorts of stuff. Re:Frame, Critics and then I went to LA to hang out for a few days. I went on location with “24” to meet DP Rodney Charters who was a smashing bloke. I also had a great meet up with over 30 people I knew mostly from just the net/ twitter etc and of course I did some filming.

7D with 35mm f1.4 and Rode Video Mic
7D with 35mm f1.4 and Rode Video Mic

My “people series” never set out to be series. I did one in Sofia, then did a sort of homage to that in Dublin with a pre-production 7D. Whilst in San Francisco I did ANOTHER one which I was very pleased with. Now I wanted to do one in Venice Beach in LA but wanted to mix it up a bit. So instead of the usual posing I took a more documentary approach to the subject. Still mostly focusing on interesting characters rather than the glamour…I used a lot of sync and all of it was capture using the simple RODE Video Mic. You can hear the AGC but the sound is surprisingly good. Downside of RODE is you cannot take stills using viewfinder as it gets in the way. Check out the lifeguard section, that sound was all recorded at the distance shown in the big wide shot. Not bad for a camera mic…

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I used 3 lenses on the 7D. A 35mm f1.4, 70-200mm IS f2.8 and the 24mm f3.5 tilt shift. I also used a Z-Finder and a Tactical Shooter from Zacuto

Essential piece of kit was the Vari ND/ Fader ND. I used these a lot in Delhi for the Greenpeace shoot and anytime I shoot during the daytime. They let me adjust the amount of light coming in between 2 and 8 stops so I was able to get nice shallow depth of field but stay at 1/50 to keep my shutter as close 180 degrees as possible with 7D in 24p mode. This shutter speed gives you the most accurate film motion.

I also used a baby Cinesaddle for the static shots. Very useful piece of gear. Have one for my massive broadcast cameras and this one for the small cam stuff.

Big thanks go out to Sara Collaton for inspiring me and her great BTS photos and to “New York”, the featured homeless man.

Graded with Magic Bullet Looks. 20% off with code Bloom 20 at checkout.

Click on the image below to see the film and I REALLY recommend download the FULL HD version from Vimeo by going to the Vimeo page, signing in and click on download original. I watched it on my 47″ LCD screen via my XBOX 360 and it looked beautiful.

Screen shot 2009-11-03 at 13.17.37

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97 comments

  1. I love these films Philip, think they’re inspiring and beautiful. It’s interesting you decided to let people speak in them – I feel it’s a very different film from the others you have made because of this.

    Was a bit surprised to hear the ‘Fuck Obama’ line too – first time I’ve heard that.

  2. Fantastic, the original off Exposure room really shows what the 7D is capable of. Very inspiring, for all budding young film makers who can scrounge enough together for a 7d and one or two decent lenses.

  3. Nice work, yet again.
    I am actually doing something similar right now in Germany, too. Your previous shorts inspired me, but I always thought that actually recorded sound would give it more magic. And here you go proving that.

    Really great – by the way: when will you be in Germany for once?
    Watching your stuff and reading your blog gives me more, than spending my day at my university. Damn.

  4. you need to add this to the poll, this is now my favorite, “carnival with out the rides” perfect description. Wish you would do a similar film when you go back to Ireland. I’d love to hear there perspectives

  5. Oy, philip?
    What type of bag is that your carrying your gear in? It looks better for having quick access to your gear, rather than the backpack style use.

  6. Also forgot to say “YEEEEAAAAHHHHH” dialogue, talking, atmosphere, real people expressing, not just music. Thats the stuff dreams are made of.

    I think we should all chip in and get you to do one of these for every country in the world. 🙂 Come on community lets start a send Philip around the world fund…………

    🙂

  7. Great job Philip.
    I like the doco style, makes it very compelling and engaging. Your “People Series” is becoming a reference of well done work and excellent information.
    Congrats and thank you!

  8. Great video!

    If you don’t mind, what’s the minor tweak you made to the standard camera settings? Did you reduce the sharpness? I tend to get moire on fine lines and high contrast edges, but I didn’t notice any in your shots, even on the guitar strings.

    Thanks!

  9. Philip, what do you mean by using 1/50s to keep as close to “180 degrees”? I totally agree about keeping long exposure times in daylight to keep the rolling shutter effects down, but… “180 degrees”? 🙂

    The VariND / Fader seems a bit pricey, but isn’t that simply a double polarizer? I have NDx64 by B+W and it seems alright for daylight shooting in most situations, though it doesn’t give this smooth exposure control needed in some situations.

    1. 180 degrees relates to the shutter angle for film cameras. The equivalent in video cameras is double the frame rate. So 30p is 1/60th. 25p is 1/50th, 60p is 120th…etc

      Vari ND is pricey. Fader ND is cheap. About 1/3 price. It isn’t a double polarizer as the light isn’t polarized.

      1. Philip what is the best location for purchasing the Vari ND and Fader ND? I cannot seem to find any australian camera shops that stock them. Also does the thread on the filters only work on canon lenses? or nikons ? etc – or would one have to use a step up / step down adaptor?

        what are they compatible with?

        Any help appreciated.

  10. Philip,

    I here-by challenge you to show us a workflow for Premiere.
    Ideally for PC, but Mac will work too.

    There has been much discussion over it in the forums, we’re talking NeoScene, XDCAM, i-frame MPEG…

    This is the official white handkerchief to the face, pistols at dawn challenge.

    Matt.

  11. Hey Phil, if I remember correctly, you can modify the Rode Videomic so that the shock mount actually sits further on the shoe mount, giving you more access to the viewfinder. Maybe someone can test this out, I would, but sadly I sold mine. Great little mic. Oh, and i love your compression work for the video, what’s your secret?

    Dylan

        1. Actually, it’s not as simple as using the back screw hole, because it doesn’t exist. You need to put the hot shoe mount on the front screw hole, which would make the hole mic go back, the opposite way of what you wanted. However, if you remove the shock absorbers, you can rotate the hole shock mount 180 degrees, and then reattach the shock absorbers. I little more trouble than just the screw, but took about 5 minutes.

  12. Very nice video, very clean looking, loved it. The audio was very nice too. Loved the shot with the basketball players, was there a tilt lens involved or was there adjustments in post?

    (Do a video with premiere pro! 🙂 would love to see how you’d go about a work flow with premiere as i am a PC user.)

  13. Philip,

    Did you use the same picture profile for this shoot as you set in your new 7D DVD? It looks great. I’m a Follower of Bloom now. You sold me on the 7D, the Z-finder. You’re the pied piper of good 7D advice. Keep it up.

    my best,
    Dennis

      1. Can you share what the modification to the standard setting is?

        Very very nice stuff. My wife is really excited that we just picked up a 7D…now to find some time to play with it.

  14. Nice edit. The audio was a real highlight. For all the kit, the NDs, the glass, etc I found the vision from 3m > 4m to be really flat visually. I don’t think this is a reflection on Philip, just the 7D kinda reveals itself there more than any other part of the piece. Of course grading could augment & mask, but I’m on the fence with the 7D at the moment & on the hunt. Also, how is it to track focus with the Rapid Fire with the subject moving in and out? Tricky?

    Big fan for years, first post…
    Brian

  15. Recommended by you, I bought a H4n to use with my coming 7D, even though I don’t have any external mics and will be using the ones from the H4n. What made you use the RODE over the H4n this time?

    Great video, by the way.

      1. How do you account for the hissing that the 7D provides due to lack of audio gain controls? I’ve got a lovely Azden mic that sounds great on everything else it’s plugged into, but not on the 7D. Did you tweak the sound in post? Thanks!

  16. Hi Philip

    Love this movie – I’m always looking out for new material from you, and this movie is one of my favourites, with the beautiful pictures (as always) the very good sound (love the guitar playing guy with the song), and the documentary style… just great – keep up the good work.

    I’m really thinking about buying a 7D as a second small camera to film (have a EX1 with a letus (which I bought after a discussion with you and am still very happy with it)). I also have a nikon D-300 which is an excellent camera but doesn’t film (but I will for sure keep it as I have so many Nikkor objectives for use with my letus..
    But first I have to finish my PHD and then I’ll start my movie business… So till then I will have to watch films of other people like you…

    Thanks a lot for always posting your wokr and sharing your knowledge you really helped me a lot already… (also Magic Bullet looks is a really magic tool I got thanks to you… )

    take care…

    Frederik

  17. Great work as always Philip – Quick Zacuto question: Why tactical shooter versus Rapid Fire? Does the extra hand grip really serve you?

    Being an EX3 shooter and not owning a 7D (yet) I would think that that you’d want both hands on the camera rather than floating one way out to the side like that…

    Best,
    Zac

  18. did you use apple compressor to output the final video for uploading to vimeo? i do hope you could give us tips on the compressor recipe/settings for vimeo uploading and dvdstudiopro to preserve the quality of the video painstakingly capture with hopefully quality lenses. your videos aside from them as very touching and well thought of, have very good compression, you make the 7d yield awesome quality. i am hoping for a 7d post workflow walkthrough in the future. thanks!

  19. Great stuff Philip,
    ive been using the 7D since it came out, coming from hv20 + DOF adapter i use 50 f1.8 ,17-55f2.8 IS and a 70-200 f4 L, the shots that look like they are with the70-200 are fantasticly steady, are you fully zoomed on them? i know the IS does help my 17-55 alot thats why i got it, i am thinking 70-200 f2.8 IS is the next purchase!!

    any ideas if you will come to the uk?

    keep up the good work
    Oli

  20. Beautiful work Phil, definitely one of the best 7D videos around..!

    and seriously amazing work with the rode, The guitar close up is damn impressive…. as is the pickup from the life savers !

    Jingle bells Jingle bells, did you help him get drunk?

    or kick the guy in the ass for a dollar ?

    silver face was a nice different character – reminded me of steve buscemi hah!

    Problem with your vid’s is i don’t want them to end…! could watch these people all day..!! fantastic stuff..

  21. I was shooting in similar conditions here in Toronto trying to keep my Mark II set at 1/60. But it is very hard get the right exposure. So I prob need the filters. Do you have any guidelines for setting your ISO? I had to have my F stop set at 18! The lower the F-stop the shallower the D.O.F?

  22. Hey Philip,

    Great stuff as usual; I’ve been following your work for a while now.

    I’ve been shooting with my 7D and am looking for something that can give me the nice wides without too much fisheye. I thought one of your best shots in this short was the wide of the lifeguard chair. Was this shot with the 24mm? Also, could you recommend for me a good wide angle rectilinear lens for the 7D to make up for the crop?

    By the way, your color is awesome in this vid.

    Thanks,

    Reid

  23. Hi,

    Nice work, I really like your concept and the 7d seems to be made for it. And for you who doesn’t know but seem to care: Adobe Premiere is available for mac.

    Tanks for a great site with both great info and inspiration!

    -Matt

  24. I love the stuff your making and posting here,really inspirational and informative.

    Was the sound on this just the Rode Video Mic recorded to camera and nothing else – apart from a certain technical skill obviously 🙂 ?. Seems a very simple set-up but effective.

    Martin

  25. Another inspired piece Philip. You’ve captured the diversity of Venice’s people perfectly and a great progression to the series.
    Thanks for posting the info and the gear you’ve used to make this.

    -Kitt

  26. Amazing as always !!
    surprisingly good with the rod !!
    I got myself a Tascam DR100 with the rod, I’mthinking that it wasn’t necessary now …
    most of it without tripod as well ,

    wow, WHat you did there get closer to what I do normally, it helps to see it can look amazing.
    thanks a lot

  27. Philip,

    Just checking, throughout your blog, when you say you used the 7D to to shoot at Full HD 25P, you actually mean 1080P right? Not 720P?

    I just want to make sure the 7D can shoot at 1080P… going to purchase it realll soon 🙂

      1. I noticed it through out most of the video. Is there a way to reduce it, or do we just have to live with it? Is this happening due to the type of sensor used in DSLRs?

  28. Without going into a ton of detail, could you please list out a little of the Looks used on Magic Bullet? Even “I used this, this and this, with a fair amount of tinkering…” would be great starting point for anyone wanting to learn a little more about the tool, and not sure where to start.

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