Speed and production value are intertwined. Production budgets are shrinking and companies are asking for more from cinematographers and crews than ever.
One way to meet that need is by increasing your speed without sacrificing quality. Specifically, when using the 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.
Live Fire on Act of Valor with Shane Hurlbut, ASC
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 Act of Valor, 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.
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
About Filmmakers Academy Cinematographer Mentor Shane Hurlbut, ASC
Director of photography Shane Hurlbut, ASC works at the forefront of cinema as a storyteller, innovator, and discerning collaborator, who brings more than three decades of experience to his art. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the International Cinematographers Guild/Local 600, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Hurlbut frequently joins forces with great directors: McG’s Netflix Rim of the World and The Babysitter, plus Warner Bros. We Are Marshall and Terminator: Salvation; Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed and Act of Valor; and Gabriele Muccino’s There Is No Place Like Home and Fathers and Daughters. His additional film credits include Semi-Pro; The Greatest Game Ever Played; Into the Blue; Mr 3000; Drumline; 11:14, which earned Hurlbut a DVDX nomination; and The Skulls. Notably, his television credits include the first season of AMC’s Into the Badlands.