Live From Sundance 2014 – Canon Craft Services Gets Filmmaker Friendly
Canon returned to Park City as a Sustaining Sponsor for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and at this year’s fest of nearly 200 films, approximately 20% were shot using Canon equipment at some capacity. Blue Ruin, Song One, Memphis, This May Be The Last Time, Cesar’s Last Fast, Happy Valley, Last Days in Vietnam, Life Itself, WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, Mitt, Alive Inside, and Ivory Tower are some of the Canon-shot films screening at the festival.
Canon hosted their many activities in a lounge space they called Canon Craft Services on busy Main Street, which acted as a hub for Canon’s Sundance activities. Up on a platform, Sundance attendees had the opportunity to play with some of Canon’s latest gear, including the Cinema EOS C100, C300, C500, cinema lenses, as well as DSLRs and XA camcorders.
In order to connect filmmakers to their audience, Canon hosted several craft conversations at the lounge, featuring panels of industry leaders and Sundance filmmakers. Each panel covered a different area of interest. One popular panel focused on optics with DP David Klein, ASC (Clerks) and James Laxton (Camp X-Ray, Tusk), who both use Canon Cine zooms. Another interesting panel was on shooting a big movie with a small crew “guerrilla style” with Jeremy Saulnier who wrote, directed and shot Blue Ruin, one of the breakout films at the festival. The craft series ended with the Canon Spotlight: CNN Original Series screening at the Sundance New Frontier Microcinema.
On Sunday, I moderated a panel Crossing the Bridge from DSLR to Cinema-Style Filmmaking with DP John Guleserian, who took the cinematography world by storm after the film he shot, Like Crazy, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film was shot with a Canon 7D and became one of the year’s great indie success stories, proving you could create a professional looking movie with a DSLR. This year, he has another film Song One, directed by Kate Barker-Froyland, which is competing in the Dramatic Competition. For the panel, we discussed the strengths and weaknesses shooting with a DSLR, as well as making a small budget look like a big budget movie. Guleserian also talked about lighting for digital and transitioning to cine-style gear and large crews for Universal Pictures’ About Time. For Song One, he worked with the Canon C300, which he felt was one of the most user-friendly digital motion picture cameras around.
All in all, a great success for both Canon, filmmakers and Sundance audiences.