Canon and Ron Howard Present Another Photography-Inspired Film Festival With Project Imaginat10n
At Sundance 2011, The Story Beyond the Still made its debut. Launched by Canon and still photographer/filmmaker Vincent Laforet, the project was a collaboartion between a number of filmmakers who created short films using Canon EOS DSLRs, inspired by a still frame from a Laforet short. Shortly after, Canon teamed with Oscar® winning director/producer Ron Howard and daughter Bryce Dallas Howard to create a 23-minute movie, when you find me, with the newly released C300, as well as 5D Mark IIs. Project Imagin8ion invited photographers to submit photos based on a series of themes that would become the basis for the film. It was a big success with just under 100,000 photographs submitted for the contest.
Canon has recently announced a new photography-inspired film festival, Project Imaginat10n, in which five high-profile people from five different crafts will create short movies once again under the guidance of Ron Howard. For this project, consumers will submit photos to be filtered down to 10 photos for 10 themes, which will be chosen by Canon, Ron Howard, as well as the general public. The first five filmmakers named to the project include actor Jamie Foxx, actress Eva Longoria, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, and LCD Soundsystem musician James Murphy. (Five additional filmmakers will be named at a later date.) Canon plans on having a Canon Film Festival in June or July of 2013.
“The concept behind ‘Project Imaginat10n’ showcases the power still images can have on narrative storytelling, but more importantly, it demonstrates there are no limits with creativity and sources of inspiration can come from anyone or anything,” said Howard in the official Canon press release. “It has been a pleasure to partner with Canon on this experiment and I’m thrilled to work with this talented group of new directors – Eva, Jamie, Biz, Georgina and James – to help them on this creative journey.”
At first glance, the selection of these five filmmakers was an odd choice since none are known as directors and three of the five have no association to moviemaking. But for Canon on the selection, it is more about the democratization of filmmaking in the sense that anyone can pick up a camera and make a movie. (Although I’m sure celebrity doesn’t hurt when promoting cameras, i.e. Ashton Kutcher with Nikon.) “I think when you’re talking about photography or filmmaking in general with what we’ve done with the launch of the Rebel – a product that’s a hybrid of stills and the video – we wanted to let people know that the art of filmmaking and photography is not just left to the pros,” says Canon Marketing and Advertising Director Michelle Fernandez. “It’s something that is available to all types of consumers and you don’t have to be an aspiring film student, you don’t have to be in the realm of Ron Howard. Anyone has the capability to be able to have access and develop their own film or photography.”
At the moment, Canon is putting a roster together of writers and crewmembers to work on the movies. Each film will be produced with Cinema EOS gear but filmmakers will also have access to DSLRs like the 5D Mark III and 7D or even XF or XA handheld palmcorders.”I like to make things, it doesn’t matter what, so this project makes me really happy,” said Murphy in the press release. ”My first camera was a Canon AE1-P that I saved up and bought myself in the 80s and I’ve been a Canon guy ever since. I now have about eight or nine Canon cameras, including a mint 1014XL-S super 8 sound camera that I’ve had modified for crystal sync! I’m excited to direct something narrative, and really looking forward to working with Ron Howard, learning as much as I can.” (It will be very interesting to see if Murphy uses his AE1-P for his project.)
“For the story of the still, when we first launched it, it started with still photographs,” says Fernandez. “Vincent took that photograph, extended to a three minute film and then pushed that last frame to the rest of the community and that community built out another 3-minute film after that. We wanted to really extend that and we saw a lot of traction from the advanced amateurs and pro categories. Now we wanted to extend that to the mass consumer or mass audience, so born out of that now with Project Imaginat10n.”
For more information on the project, please visit www.imagination.usa.canon.com.