May 13, 2011

Ten Examples of Stunning DSLR Creativity

In my last roundup of DSLR-shot videos, I focused on the stunning cinematography that large-chip DSLRs enabled. One year later, no one's doubting the visual capabilities of these cameras. But the DSLR revolution isn't just about pretty pictures; it's about who can make those pictures. Indeed, the widespread availability and low price point of the cameras has been democratizing. So for this roundup I tried to find ten examples of the other "C": creativity. Without DSLRs, most of these productions wouldn't have happened, or they would've been very different:

Tick Tock by Ien Chi

Ien Chi made this short for Emory University's Campus MovieFest, and since winning Best Picture at the festival, the short has racked up nearly a million views on YouTube. Chi ingeniously tells the story in reverse, which adds to the film's one-take appeal (more on the production at planet5D). Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II:

MAGDA. PORTRAIT. by Macgregor

Part of the beauty of a DSLR is its ability to find beauty in an everyday setting. In the right hands -- say, those of brilliant cinematographer Macgregor -- a simple shoot can give rise to an atmospheric and affecting piece. Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II with (I'm guessing here) optical filtration and tilt-shift lenses:

24 Hours of Neon by Philip Bloom

One guy in his hotel room could never have done HDR timelapse photography before the advent of DSLRs -- even if that one guy is DSLR celebrity Philip Bloom. Shot on a Panasonic GH2, Canon T2i, Canon T3i, and Canon 5D Mark II:

Fight The Foot by Richard Krause

Lower-cost video tools have enabled an entire generation of filmgoers to take the story into their own hands. Perhaps best embodied by the explosion of Star Wars fan films (and books, and comic books, etc.), here's the DIY short "Fight the Foot" that takes place in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe. Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II:

A Life In The Day by John Mayer

Even celebrities get in on the DSLR action, with the size and convenience of the cameras making for good travel companions. Rock/pop star John Mayer shot this mostly first-person account of traveling and performing in Australia on his Canon 5D Mark II:

Dinner Table Game by Buckwheat Groats

No compilation of DSLR videos would be complete without some silliness. Here Brooklyn-based rap "supergroup" Buckwheat Groats talks up their culinary game and gives some tips for avoiding salmonella (note there is some NSFW content here, and if you're easily offended I'd recommend skipping this one). Shot on a... well, I have no idea, but it doesn't really matter:

As it Happens by Camp 4 Collective

In conjunction with satellite internet and laptop computers, DSLRs have enabled near-live reportage from extreme expeditions. Camp 4 Collective documented their journey to Nepal beautifully; "As it Happens" is a compilation of some of their updates from the field. Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II:

Tim Halperin's 'She Runs' by Jonathan Combs and Joe Childress

With a budget of $500 (and an apparently deep stage), this one-shot music video utilizes the concept of a school play to bring Tim Halperin's lyrics to life (more info at Cinema5D). Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II:

A Summer Home by Jo-Ann and Liam McAuliffe

Of course, not all DSLR creativity takes place within the boundaries of a five-minute video. Here's a 15-minute short film about an artist returning home to her ailing mother, with a strong sense of place (forgive the sound issues). Shot by Justin Kane on a Canon 7D:

Flower Warfare by freddiew

Given this last video has over 5 million views on YouTube, you might've already seen it. Still, it looks like it was a fun shoot, and it's nice to see violence portrayed in a refreshing manner. Posted by (and starring) uber-popular YouTube user freddiew, you can find out more about this shoot at I Should Write This Down. Shot by DP Lore Haroutunian on a Canon 7D:

By my count that's ten videos! There are also, of course, plenty of DSLR feature films that go above and beyond these shorts.

If you're interesting in shooting with a DSLR, be sure to check out my free 100+ page DSLR Cinematography Guide. And for more great shorts, see here. What are your DSLR-shot favorites? Feel free to add them in the comments!

Your Comment

24 Comments

If you don't mind, I would like to share this video we put together that was shot with 5D, 7D, and 60D. It's a recap of a local music festival. Neon Desert Music Festival in El Paso, TX!

http://vimeo.com/23605695

May 13, 2011

1
Reply

thanks for that

and this is gorgeous video
http://vimeo.com/17120260

May 13, 2011

-1
Reply
jhon

Another great Music DSLR Video (shot with the 7D) :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwOczKbvMQU

May 14, 2011

-1
Reply
Robert

This video should appear here... don't forget
http://vimeo.com/19102609

BTS
http://vimeo.com/18914172

May 14, 2011

0
Reply
Gustavo

Already shared that one here. These are ten videos that haven't appeared on this site before!

May 14, 2011

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

BTS

May 14, 2011

0
Reply
Gustavo

Wow, Tick Tock is just amazing! What a way to tell a story... thank for sharing. First time poster but long time reader, love the blog!

May 16, 2011

-1
Reply

I direct and help produce a webseries, we film with 2 Canon T2Is and we budget about $500 an episode which includes paying people a very small sum for coming out on the day,
We shot episode 10 last weekend, we're releasing episode 8 this week and episode 7 featuring an undead mime (which I wrote) came out two weeks ago,
Check it out!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlt0cKRjuLM&feature=player_embedded

May 19, 2011

0
Reply
Rob

No way! Edwin is my cousin in this series! I've seen the first couple of episodes, but I haven't finished them. What a small world!

July 6, 2011

0
Reply

Well, my previous post didn't work... Here I go again.

Hey! These are all really great. Here’s a short film I just completed on the Canon t2i. The tagline: “He had a life. Or so he thought.” This film looks at the manipulative powers of editing. Color graded with Magic Bullet and edited on Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

Life Like - A Short Film from Shaun Seneviratne on Vimeo.

May 19, 2011

0
Reply

This is from a group of humans that make comedy. They use DSLRs. Try it! You'll like it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3nLzQ_Y7NY&feature=channel_video_title

May 19, 2011

0
Reply

Koo, muchas gracias por enviarnos estos diez vídeos como representantes de la capacidad creativa que permiten las cámaras réflex digitales. Un abrazo de Pedro.

May 19, 2011

0
Reply
Pedro Camilo

Check out this promo shot on 5D ...

http://vimeo.com/16797808

May 20, 2011

0
Reply
Ahmed

Great stuff here.
Shot this on the T2i. Give me some feedback...

http://vimeo.com/20447777

May 20, 2011

0
Reply
iBolyard

Here's a period piece I shot on the Canon 5D Mark II in 2.35:1 (except the first shot, that was on 35mm film and the last shot was on a 7D)

May 25, 2011

1
Reply

I'll try that again - others were able to embed, so assumed I could. Here's a link to that gold miner short:

http://vimeo.com/15826506

May 25, 2011

-2
Reply

I want to see something from someone who uses ONE LENS, ONE CAMERA, i need to see something like that because i know for a fact philip bloom has 41902382392891123098132091238912392081321309 lenses and infinite equipment

June 21, 2011

2
Reply
Jose Aldo

the video iBolyard posted is with one cam one lens (T2i and a 50mm 1.4)

July 8, 2011

0
Reply
roguegeek

Hi on my vimeo channel I shot my latest short with one lens apart from one shot which is pretty evident IMO.

http://www.vimeo.com/acearchie

January 11, 2012

0
Reply
Archie

still working on the frames, edit is pretty down..

August 5, 2011

0
Reply

August 5, 2011

0
Reply

vimeo wont embed here..

http://www.vimeo.com/26601952

August 5, 2011

0
Reply

Here's a short film by me, shot on the 7D: http://vimeo.com/12356797

It's a silent, black & white short with an orchestral soundtrack.

December 31, 2011

1
Reply
Hector