SXSW Spotlight: DSLR Filmmaking Comes Into Focus

SXSW Film 2010

You may or may not know it, but the face of film-making is changing. With every word I type, more and more people are buying new cameras to shoot their films. For many, it will probably be their first film. For the rest, it will be their first film shot with a still camera. No, that was not a typo. There will be sure to be a growing number of first time filmmakers launching their vision to larger audiences, mostly due to the advancements in Digital SLR cameras.

A few years ago it would probably have been very difficult to find any self respecting professional cinematographer who would consider shooting any video on a still camera. Then Canon unveiled their 5D Mark II, and showed the world a still camera capable of 1080p video, with a much smaller cost than traditional shoulder cams. Canon added even more people to the party when they also released the 7D, a prosumer grade SLR that also shoots 1080p…at a $1700 price point. So welcome to the brave new world where anyone can shoot professional quality resolution at a fraction of the cost.

So now that you have basically put yourself in an awesome 2-for-1 situation, where you have a camera capable of amazing still and video for between $1700-2600, do you know what to do with it? Luckily, if you are at SXSW this year, a dream team of moving picture magicians has been assembled. Kent Nichols, who you may know from Ask a Ninja, is a purveyor of awesomeness in many forms. He has been one of the more influential figures in the internet video scene, and is also the person responsible for this DSLR panel at SXSW.

Kent has brought in Philip Bloom, Barry Green, and the Bui Brothers. Philip Bloom is a director of photography and filmmaker, and has produced some of the most stunning DSLR video work in the scene. His segment is titled “DSLR Filmmaking, Unlocking New Visual Possibilities.” Barry Green created and has extensive knowledge of almost every current video device available. Barry will basically be playing devil’s advocate and drawing some light on the yin and the yang in his segment, “DSLR Filmmaking, Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses.” The Bui Brothers are web series creators and will be finishing off the panel with their session, “DSLR Filmmaking, Gearing Up For Success.”

I for one am a DSLR user, and will be sure to check this out. I advise you to do the same if you have some interest in the technology and what the opportunities are. Check out some of my favorite DSLR video work below.

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