Ugh, I know, I know. Brogging about cars is a total der harshburger. Sowwy. But this post isn't really about cars, or flutes of beer, or suave fire retardant jumpsuits, or "victory," or fans, or "laps," or "NO BLOOD FOR HI-OCTANE PETROL!," or any of the other eyeball rolling bummers generally associated with auto racing. On the contrary, this post is about the Canon 5D camera.
Even if you couldn't give a flying fuck at a rolling donut about race cars or fancy tracks; and even if the vaguely stirring ambient-electronic music doesn't quite move you to tears, nonetheless, you might find this 13-minute film interesting. 24-hours squashed into 13-minutes creates a nice effect. But you've got to watch it all the way through. Why? It is very special, that's why— indeed, less so for the subject of auto racing than for the camera used to capture the content.
While watching the film, perhaps ponder the arc of the 24-hour narrative with a thought given to the various technical details, (lighting, editing, angles and agility of the shots, the vivid color saturation and sharp focus, etc). Doing so, you may well come away from the film with a new nod to your own artistic vision. As in, if you ever had half a mind to make a film, (even just a short music video or experimental film), the Canon 5D may well revolutionize videography for the purpose of storytelling. Which is to say, most people rarely, if ever, make the leap from shooting occasional digital photos to making films (shorts, features, docs, etc), because the cost of doing so is too prohibitively expensive. Most of us simply cannot afford to go out and drop an ass load of loot on serious film and/or digital video cameras. We can't. That is, until now.
For a meager $2,500.00 clams, Canon's new professional-grade consumer DSLR camera allows you, me, and the girl down the block to shoot film quality video images. To put this in perspective, similar technology in other video cameras runs upwards of $20,000.00. Though $2,500.00 is still a lot of dough for most folks, it is nonetheless a hell of a lot less cash than $20K. With enough ingenuity, you could conceivably shoot an absolutely beautiful feature-length film on this thing. In HD no less.
This 13-minute/24-hour film offers ample proof. In every kind of lighting situation imaginable, at all hours of the day and night, the videographers got every sort of shot one would need to tell a compelling story. All done on one type of camera, the 5D, utilizing a format heretofore only available to "professionals" with budgets and financial backers.
Lots of pretty colors. Staggering depth of field. Portable as a baby dog. Relatively lightweight. Conveniently sized. Ergonomically correct. Easy to handle in tight quarters and under extreme circumstances, (say, for example you want to shoot a film about rock climbing or "moshing in the pit").
In many regards, the 5D marks a lovely leap forward for filmmakers and storytellers. It has the potential to put the power of cinema into the hands of anyone who wants to try their hand at the medium. To me, this is very exciting. Worth brogging about? Maybe not. But that's for you to decide.
And, while I've never quite understood the allure of auto racing, after watching this short film, I feel as if I can sort of understand it now. It isn't just about engineers, pit crews and race car drivers simply going around and around in circles trying to win a race. It is about people working together to accomplish a shared goal within a short time frame. It is about focus and passion. Perhaps saying this is corny. Maybe so, but oh well. I'm often late to the wake up.
In a world where we all too routinely define ourselves by how different we imagine ourselves to be from those around us (healthier, shorter, hipper, smarter, uglier, wealthier, less experienced, born under a bad sign, etc), it is nice to see a 13-minute film so eloquently (but wordlessly!) express a genuine moment of togetherness and common purpose in action. That it revolves around cars is of no consequence or significance. To me, it could've just as easily been a Canon 5D 24-hour film about "a day in the life of" a punk festival, a skate contest, or an NGO administering relief aid in Haiti.
And, for those cynics out there, the film is also fun to watch because it is about very expensive things falling apart, grinding to a halt and catching fire. It is about watching grown men cry; sometimes in despair, sometimes with joy. Which is also rather nice. Enjoy.