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Ten Examples of Stunning DSLR Creativity

05.13.11 @ 12:15PM Tags : , , , ,

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 shortFight 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!

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