On Sunday, I attended a workshop about all things DSLR video called Canon Filmmakers Live, hosted by none other than Philip Bloom at the Starz Filmcenter in Denver. I’ve been a fan of Phil’s work and followed his creative pursuits on Vimeo for a couple of years now. Besides being a talented filmmaker and an active participant in social media and international film and video community, Philip is also one hell of a funny Brit with great showmanship skills. The workshop was entertaining, as well as educational, and honestly – it was fun just watching him doing his thing.
Some key points from the workshop:
- Social Media is important. Twitter, Facebook, regular blogging – all of it contributes to getting greater exposure, forming new friendships, networking and even career opportunities. It’s common sense, really, and is something I’ve been aware of, but still find it difficult to keep up with sometimes.
- The technical things that Philip talked about (camera settings, audio options, lenses and so on) – I admit I knew some of it before the workshop, but I also found a wealth of other useful information I hadn’t come across before – for example, getting the most out of timelapses, certain useful camera accessories, techniques and software utilities for more efficient workflow, as well as best ways of dealing with DSLR video shortcomings such as moiré and rolling shutter.
- Seeing the footage shot on cameras like Canon EOS 5D MkII and Canon 7D projected on the big screen took my breath away. Watching web videos on your computer monitor is one thing, but seeing them projected was really eye-opening. Beautiful stuff, and indeed – very film-like. It’s not just video anymore, folks; it’s digital cinema.
- I got a chance to see up-close and play with some of the cool toys that I won’t be able to afford for quite some time, such as Zeiss cinema lenses, Zacuto gear and accessories and Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly. It’s all very nice and all, but as Philip says – it’s not about the gear, guys :)
- More than anything else, probably the most amazing thing about the workshop and the post-workshop get-together was meeting other creative people who are as passionate about this stuff as I am. I’m glad I got the opportunity to meet Philip Bloom, who is of course extremely influential and a force of creative inspiration, as well as Jon Connor and Cristina Valdivieso of Canon Filmmakers. I also met some really cool people from the Denver area, which probably wouldn’t have happened if not for this workshop. I really hope we’ll be able to stay in touch and form some sort of a local DSLR filmmaking community. Filmmaking and creative video production is a collaborative effort, and I’ve always craved to be in a circle of other creative people, which I haven’t really experienced since film school – almost a decade ago! There was no shortage of inspiration at this event.
If I have one regret about the whole experience, it would be not taking enough photos other than a handful of crappy snapshots. I did shoot a little bit of video at the meetup, which I may post sometime when I get around to editing it.