Canon 5D Mark II Extreme Heat Solution
Act of Valor has taken me to some of the most extreme working conditions that I have ever experienced in my career as a cinematographer. I needed extreme heat solutions and fast.
We traveled to the following locations:
- The jungles of Costa Rica
- The swamps of Mississippi
- Out in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans on an Aircraft carrier
- Flying in Blackhawk helicopters
- The hot box of El Centro, California
- Dumont Dunes, California
The last 2 locations have been very challenging for the camera because heat attacks the Canon 5D in a very strange way. The camera and the sensor get incredibly hot even when you have the LCD screen off. I have been using an HD monitor to light from and the camera overheats sitting there. You have to power down the whole camera to cool it down.
Canon 5D Mark II Heat Solution
When the Canon 5D Mark II gets hot and you are recording, there is increased noise in the blacks and a contrast increase. Try to keep the camera shaded and powered down right up until you need it.
In El Centro, we had a big T-Bone crash with an old Mercedes and a dump truck. The temperature was 117 degrees. The 5D’s in our crash housings over-temped in the hot sun right before we were about ready to do the stunt. We took a can of Dust Off, turned it upside down, and blasted the body with the cool burst. Then, waited 10 seconds, turned it on, and smashed the truck.
Creative solutions that happen in the midst of shooting are exciting because that is where keeping it simple matters the most. My elite team inspires me with their ingenuity and ability to generate solutions every day on this project.
Heat Behind-the-Scenes of Act of Valor
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.
Interesting technique. I don’t suppose you could use/try something like dry ice to get similar results.
I feel that would probably work, but would not happen as quickly.
do you get condensation problem on the lens and sensor with fast cooling?
charles lim, absolutely, you need to acclimate your lenses to whatever climate you will be filming in. Do not leaves the lenses in the truck at night and then bring them inside. Do not have the lenses stored inside if you are going to film outside. You can do all this as long as you do not want to film immediately. It usually takes a lenses 30 minutes to acclimate.