The backstory

It's funny, how friendships develop. Both their origin and their development over time literally varies person to person, instance to instance. I'd say to this day, there's no friendship yet that has developed its own story quite like that between Orane, her sister Melisande and myself. Hailing from locations at literal opposite positions on the globe, normally a friendship separated by this magnitude of distance and time zone would struggle to exist, let alone thrive. This is where the power of photography produces more than just pretty pictures.

As part of an annual tradition, both girls work together to produce a video to share with my on my birthday, where of course the favor is returned their way as twins. In this installment of the saga, I had secretly boarded a plane to Italy, writing the screenplay for a short film in seat 22A along the way, where once landing the film was shot, edited, graded and delivered in 4 days to announce that this year for their birthday I had traveled to their country to see them.

Since the release of this film on YouTube, it has acquired views in the hundreds of thousands, and has trended as one of the flagship 5D Mark IV films in the S.E.O and suggested videos.

Behind the scenes images provided by Bryce Magnuson.


Prato Piazza Plätzwiesse

We climbed ridiculously steep peaks to reach the destinations present in the film. And as as a main element of successful film-making is the light obtained during the shoot, most instances required stopping and waiting until last light before heading home. Something we were prepared for and had of course considered was the intense drop of temperature in these alps at sunset, and hiking home across icy grasses in the dark.


Passo Giau

One of the more spectacular destinations featured in the film, this part of the Italian dolomites has to be seen to be believed. See the photos from this destination here.


In sickness and in health

Travelling to a new timezone, hiking at altitude, and producing a film are all difficult tasks. But what made this project even more difficult was travelling with one of the most savage cases of a chest infection I'd encountered to date. Barely able to speak, breath, or even move, we had to hike mountains, endure freezing cold and skip meals to deliver the video i'll forever hold as one of the greatest experiences of my life.


The final scene

It goes without saying that the final scene in the film is one of the most striking, and surprisingly it actually required the least amount of post colour grading. Direct from the camera, the scene was just one of the more breathtaking moment's I've had the privelage of experiencing. 

5D Mark IV Hands-On

The release of the 5D Mark IV brought some pretty negative reviews to the camera system on the internet. Most keyboard warriors deemed the unit unequipped, under spec'd and overall underwhelming. Although I tend to agree with these statements in principle, the reality is, if you're shooting in the correct conditions with the right scenery, right light, and right composition (as you should be any time you shoot), the camera is an absolutely remarkable piece of kit. Most people from the internet who seem disappointed with this kit seem to only have 'test' videos on their channels and little notable work to date. Always take reviews with a grain of salt, and look at the artist work before their opinion.

I won't deny I have my frustrations with this camera. Its gamma curve just seems to punch highlights into over exposure which can be exceptionally difficult to work with when producing video for such things as real estate in poorly lit homes, but the reality is this limitation is a teller that if the lighting conditions are wrong and need to be corrected. Although this is inconvenient, i'm finding this makes me a better filmmaker, as I'm forced to not let myself rely on post processing or dynamic range to bring me back into a usable shot. I'm forced to correct my actions on set, and get the setting right to get usable results.

What you do get in your recorded footage is the beautiful colour science canon is notorious for. My personal taste is that it's too lifelike and colour rich straight out of camera, and doesn't have that beautiful characteristic look of the 5D Mark I, (or even my still used 350D, where the highlights in particular seemed to roll off gently into a smooth, creamy white), but this does allow you to tone it back later and move those colours around to create the stylizing you require as seen in the example this article is nested within. Unlike the Panasonics, the Sony's, or even the Fujis, colour correction with the Mark IV is essentially as gentle as added contrast and MAYBE a touch of warmth. That's it. There's no harsh green skin tones like seen in the sony, or magenta casts like in the Panasonic. It's just straight, clean, natural colour. Your clients will thank you when your turn around times are 1/5th that of your Sony competitors.