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Canon's 30-Minute C300 Short 'When You Find Me'

12.18.11 @ 5:13PM Tags : , , , ,

A 30 minute short film sponsored by Canon and shot on the Canon C300 and 5D Mark II, When You Find Me premiered on YouTube this week and will reportedly go offline tomorrow morning. So I figured I’d share it while it lasts — if the full film has been taken down, the trailer is below. Executive produced by Ron Howard and directed by his daughter Bryce Dallas Howard, here it is in full here is the trailer (the full film was taken down according to schedule):

My knee-jerk reaction was to say that the C300 looks more like TV while the RED SCARLET (which the C300 will forever be compared to, thanks to the timing of both announcements) looks more like film. For what it’s worth. What do you think? Also, many of the C300 shots are quite grainy, and organic film-like grain or not, by the time the footage goes through compression for the web it can get pretty chunky. And as more and more movie and TV watching is done via Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Instant, and YouTube, you can’t discount how something looks after compression — it’s becoming the rule rather than the exception.

The short film was inspired by user-submitted photos as part of Canon’s Long Live Imagination project; here’s a behind-the-scenes about the short’s creation.

[thanks, Nagato]


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Description image 42 COMMENTS

  • I enjoyed every minute of this film.

  • Yeah, the story could have fallen prey to sentimentality, but stayed on a pretty straight emotional line.

    I agree that the C300 has a bit more TV-ish-ness in the image quality. I have had the thought in all of the shorts that I have seen (I think I have seen all that are currently circulating). I can’t quite put my finger on what factors are tipping the scale in that direction. It seems to be the sensor and it’s way of processing light. The DR is pretty amazing on this camera, but something about the highlight side says (doesn’t scream) video. I would like to think that ‘in the right hands’ this would be different, but their have been some pretty experienced hands so far and I have always had the same (mild) reaction. Still an extraordinary camera, producing some really nice images.

    • A lot of the ‘original’ canon shorts from the first presentation actually do scream video – with one exeption that is mobius and that actuall is the best I’ve seen so far from the c300 and also Vincent LaForet says you have to digg into the menu to make it look good that really makes me wonder what can you pull out of this little thing …. very curious to get my hands on – and also keep in mind that most of them where shot with those new Canon cine-zooms and a different lens set can make a whole lot of a difference!

    • I agree. It seems to be a logical next step up, but not really anything groundbreaking. Still very nice though.

  • Well, for me it does look filmic, but wait, maybe i got distracted by the good acting, good direction, good attention to detail, good cinemathography, good editing, sound, music and all the other aspects that make a good movie and forgot to look at the noise or dynamic range of the camera. It got me gripped for the whole duration, hats off for the whole team and thanks for the link Koo.

  • Looking like “video” never really comes to mind when I see C300 files. Maybe the final post work appears that way, but that all depends on who’s working on the files. Especially if they’re shot in LOG for best results.

    It definitely depends on what profile the users are using within the camera, much like any other. The C300 has several and I don’t know who is using what unless I take a gander at the raw files.

    So while you said it’s a “knee jerk reaction”, looking like “TV” for the C300 seems a bit odd. ESPECIALLY compared to Red, which many folks, including myself, have associated with having more video-like visuals compared to others on the market.

    But then again, let’s be frank- you DO own a Red now so…….

  • I initially followed the link to see how the camera performed, but ended up clicking the BTS video, and got distracted by how beautiful Bryce is. Completely forgot about the camera. What are we talking about, now?

  • Well my knee-jerk reaction to your knee-jerk reaction is you’re starting to sound like a bit of a red fanboy Koo ;-)

    Seriously I watched that end to end at 1080 and not once did I ever have the inclination to pixel peep and ponder any comparison to tv, video, film etc. The story, direction, acting and cinematography were impeccable and THAT is really all that should matter.

    I still dont see any reasonable sized budget film opting for a C300 or F3 unless there is an agenda with the manufacturer or something similar. In the right hands / crew / post pipeline nothing can touch Red footage but that still doesnt discount what an amazing camera the C300 is for the price. Assuming it does come out at around the $12-13k mark.

  • Awesome little story. Creative choices throughout. Truly a cut above.

    Didn’t think it was particularly video-ish. A couple shots were too blown out for my taste. But a lot of shots looked amazing. I’m sure projected it would be great.

    They must have done some ISO 20000 given the noise and compression problems in some of the low light stuff. Perhaps you need a pass of noise reduction if you do that and intend on going to the web.

    The resolution has been better than I expected. A 4K chip downsized in camera might be the best of both worlds for people who don’t want to deal with all the data and post of a RED but still want the look. (I’m a RED owner so I think I get to mention that)

    Some of the shots really stretched the camera such as walking through the trees with sunlight breaking through. Other than price and frame rates this camera is looking strong to me. Canon should just dive in with both feet and get really competitive with the pricing on this camera – $10K ready to shoot. RED keeps asking for a fight. Canon should give it to them.

    Clearly this camera can make movies. Awesome quality, small form factor, batteries that last 5 hours and cheap media – is it the new king of high quality run and gun? I’d say yes.

  • I’m With you Bro. Im a fan a the RED camera line but OH Lord!! Can they peddle their own balls for awhile.

  • I’m With you Bro. Im a fan a the RED camera line but OH Lord!! Can they peddle their own balls for awhile. I’ve seem RED footage that was a waste of time to even bother with, but sometimes user error does happen.

  • I really don’t know if it’s just me but i was quite disappointed with this short film.

    The grain is inexcusable. How can a production crew as large as this film with all the gaffers and budget you could want have a grainy image? and it wasn’t just grainy it was very grainy.

    The acting was solid for the most part but the adult performances i didn’t like at all. Way over the top emotional. There was a ridiculous amount of crying over nothing most of the time.

    The story was the most disappointing aspect. There was nothing to it! What is the message i’m supposed to get out of that? The entire plot boiled down to a girl having a psychic experience in an airplane and then having a cry about it at the end?

    The performances were terrific for the most part, the infrared dream sequences were amazing, the screenplay was terrible, the direction was questionable.

    Am i alone in this? or did anyone else feel this was quite a terrible short film?

    • @Will

      Well I liked it and I usually hate stuff like this. Well, actually I don’t watch stuff like this so maybe that’s why I liked it.

      I watched the BTS after watching the short and once I saw how big the crew was along with all the gear they had I wondered the same thing as you –> How on earth did they have all this noisy stuff?

      But other top pros have commented that the camera is totally clean to ISO 3200. So my take is they tried some ISO 20000 to see what would happen. It’s noisy! – lol.

      The shot choices were strong IMHO. The compositions and camera moves show these guys aren’t hacks. Very nicely shot.

      As far as story – I’m pretty sure there’s some pain, suffering, misunderstanding, forgiveness and redemption you may have skipped past – lol. This is certainly better than the short RED put together for NAB. That didn’t work at all on an emotional level. I was relieved a Michael Bay action sequence didn’t break out. I thought the animation sequence was a fun twist.

      Perhaps because I’ve shot so much stuff and know how hard it is to make anything close to this good I respect it.

      • +1

        I’m loath to ever offer technical critique on any production let alone one made by artists at this level – simply because I know most of what I’ve shot pales in comparison. There was a time when I thought the only real difference was the size of the budget / crew to but ironically it gets even harder to pull of a film of this quality the bigger you go.

        For me where drama is concerned its script – director – actors – sound – lighting – cinematographer…choice of camera is waaaay down the line for what matters most.

      • “pain, suffering, misunderstanding, forgiveness and redemption”…….over a psychic experience in a airplane, then having a cry about it at the end!

        It felt like someone picked a few random photos and tried to hack together a story…oh wait…that is what happened!

        • There’s gotta be at least one thing that you liked about the short film, no? We all view and interpret photos that may be different from others. This short film continues our imagination. I viewed this short film after reading and watching about the inspiration and motive of the project, and also what I understand about photography. It makes this film so much better, knowing which photos were gathered to make it, to be able to understand the story. Thus, I enjoyed every minute of it.

    • Just saw your response and I totally agree.

  • Great movie. Some people have been saying they get a “video” feel from the look of this cam. I think it’s because of the grain in combination with the 8bit codec. It makes for some dirty gradation from the highlights to shadows in the night shots that remind me of the “Movie of the Week” TV movies from the 80′s.
    Remember the reaction when dslr video came out & was compared to camcorder video? It was eye popping. Well since then, the only thing that has come out or been compared to that eye popping movement in video quality(under 50k) was RED footage & arguably F3 S-LOG footage in my opinion. This cam is not really groundbreaking but still a very nice upgrade. As consumers we’re a bit spoiled and always want something groundbreaking. Every thing that comes out will not be groundbreaking but instead, a simple step up.

  • A little melodramatic for my taste. Kind of felt like a Hallmark Channel movie and a bit to long for a short film. You could easily cut the length in half. As far as cinematography it felt like a cheesy cable tv movie. As directing goes, I don’t think this film knows what it wants to be. I don’t think the director really knew what she wanted. It went too many directions and had no clear message. And what was up with the out of place music in some parts. Like the part where the little girl gets into the plane sounded like something out of an epic action movie. The acting was okay but nothing mind blowing. I think this was more of the scripts fault than anything else. it went from child like playfulness, to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to Lovely Bones death symbolism, a couple Inception esque violins in the plane scene, then it got wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end. Just my 2 cents. Not here to offend anyone. Just not my cup of tea.

  • Just watched the behind the scenes video. This is a fairy high dollar short. Lot of high end equipment.

  • I also think the video-y look is because of the camera design, in Japan, the video look is preferred, most of the major movies like Paradise Kiss and the upcoming kenshin movie all look like digital videos. Thats the Japanese style. So I think the Japanese engineers might have have that ingrained.

    watch these trailers and scenes to see what I mean

    Rurouni Kenshin:

    Paradise Kiss:

    This is the Japanese Film look and the Cann C300 has that for sure.

    Its not what we in America,UK and AU are use to looking at. Its a very Japanese thing. Because in Korea they prefer the look we all like.

    So maybe Canon engineers used reference material from their own country.

    So again:

    Another example of the “Japanese” look:

    and now compare that to the “Korean” Look:

    I korea, desaturated types of look are popular

    I think if you look ,you will see all the Japanese Movies look like they could be C300 footage. I think the problem is, we don’t do it like that around here.

  • youtube is definitely not the place for judging footage, it’s just too badly compressed
    it’s a good place for judging a short film, but you have to forget about the image, there is absolutely no way to draw conclusions in that area

  • I loved the concept of the story and how it was developed. My favorite part was actually the end credits and seeing the photos that inspired the story.

    I thought the acting was okay, not great. Not bad, but there were times when I felt the actors were…acting. It kinds of took me out every now and then. And is it just me, but did the audio look a tad off in the early scene in the barn when the older sister was yelling at Lisle to come on.

    Overall though, I have nothing but praise for the effort that went into selecting the photos, developing the story, and getting it off the ground.

    As far as the video-y look, it did kind of have the afternoon TV special look, but I attributed that to how they must have lit, shot and colored it. I never got that feeling watching most of the C300 shorts. But as Samuel pointed out, this was a YouTube video.

  • Lovely film. I’d like to see it less compressed somewhere (not to judge the footage as such but because most things look godawful on Youtube), but as a film it was great.

  • I actually do not like the film. It’s almost as it has been the task to let the people show how strong this thingy is in lowlight.It really annoys me at a certain point. You can definitely see that it is not film at all. Also the grain is annoying. Grain is not bad, in fact i’m happy with grain. It makes it more like film. But not with the C300. I’ts to much DSLR. This film, on the other hand, looks like it had to SHOW the noise just to say: “look! This actually looks like film”.

  • It appears to be private now? Anyone know where else I can watch it?

  • I honestly don’t even know what some of you guys were complaining about w/ regards to this film.
    The dramatic scenes didn’t seem overdone, it was simply a story about loss and reunification. Of course there will be crying.

    As far as the camera tech, there is way too much talk on here about it, much like previous cameras. Red, Sony, Canon, it’s gotten absolutely ridiculous everywhere.

    Take for instance the “blown out shots”. They were done that way because it was a dream-like sequence that the little girl was connecting to in meeting her deceased mother. In fact, most of that was done in post, including the diffuse lighting. I mean seriously, can’t some of you tell the difference between raw footage and post processed footage? The flashback dialogue even said, “…everything was white…”. I mean, really now, c’mon.

    I can’t tell if some of the whining is done on here due to pure hating, tech geekery rather than actual filmmaking know how or sheer ignorance. But, there was very little wrong with this film. At MOST, the compression via youtube spoiled some of the digital grain in the low light sequences. Other than that, not much else.

    In any case, great film. Very well done.

    • Cant agree more. Well said.

    • It takes a big heart to admit that your there are better options in the market than then product you have chosen. If you are not seen as impartial, then the fan base you have built up will vanish fast.

      When you say that content is increasingly been viewed in net and hence the film like grains of the C300 makes no sense, then it is like using the same arguments of people who say 4K is not needed. You guys should understand that you are not married to a camera or a brand. There is too much focus on IQ of a camera. I feel it is time we start thinking about the IQ of the person operating the camera.

      The Epic, Scarlet and C300 have their own limitations. All cameras will have some. It is upto the user to extract the maximum out of the tool.

    • I’m with you KahL. People can be too critical. To put together a production takes alot of effort. People seem to be losing focus. Happy New Year to everyone.

  • Yeah, I know the ‘can’t quite put your finger on it’ look that sometimes separates film from tv, but to be honest I didn’t get that feeling with this. To me it felt like more like a movie, and I thought the story, acting and directing was quite good.

    Obvisously, it’s a DP’s job to obsess about things like dynamic range and latitdue, but let’s be honest, does anyone think Degrassi looks like The Social Network because they’re both shot on Red One’s? Or that The Avengers is gonna look anything like Modern Family because they both use Arri Alexa’s?

    They are so many other factors at play here. If you’re a talented filmmaker, working with an experienced and professional crew, it’s hard to imagine the camera you use is gonna make much of a difference in the end.

    • Sorry, change ‘Degrassi’ to ‘Leverage’ for all the non-Canadians who may not be familiar with the reference!

  • I agree that the scarlet looks like film, but the c300 looks more like TV. But at the same time…I have seen people turn footage from all sorts of cameras, and make them look like film… so if you have the talent, it doesnt matter c300 or scarlet, both make a great picture.

    But my personal workflow preference and look preference, I personally like RED… :D

  • The sound is bad, sounds like low budget TV studio

  • well having actually shot with a RED, I don’t like that camera. its big, heavy, takes 90 secs to boot, drops out of record, crashes, sucks up power like crazy… and did I say its heavy ? its 4K is a bit of a hyped spec and in reality its more like 2K and change.

    having shot everything from super 8, 16 and 35, I’ve been pretty happy with the 60D’s that I have right now. I sold off my last large HD camera. I can pretty much shoot whatever I want and these small cameras are giving me great images for the price. in looking at what my next camera might be, the FS100 may well be the winner out there right now for $5k compared to the not much more image F3 for 3X the price. that said, the C300 might be the one I finally put money on if they get the price a bit more realistic – $10K or so.

    in the end, as some one who usually owns a camera, I’m looking to not be camera poor. I need a tool that makes great pix and that has quick pay off. the C300 may fit that bill for me.

    • The RED ONE was big, heavy, and took 90 seconds to boot. The EPIC/SCARLET is 5 lbs and boots in 11 seconds.