Shooting with Canon: A Filmmaker’s Point of View

By Phill Powell

 

Name: Ben D.
Age: 15
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Future Occupation: Filmmaker
Course: Visual Effects for Filmmaking
Campus: Filmmaking Camp at Stanford

“The Canon T2i is an amazing camera—as are its successors, the T3i and T4i. The price point is awesome and if you’re a beginning filmmaker, or a filmmaker looking to upgrade from a camcorder, the Canon Rebel series is a fantastic place to start.”

Ben D. is a DMA alumni. He likes to use the best gear he can get his hands on and he’s serious about his cameras. A videographer since age 9, Ben has posted more than 80 short videos to YouTube, and now runs his own video production studio. At 15, he’s built up an arsenal of outstanding cameras and he knows how to use them – skills he got in part, from attending DMA. We caught up with Ben to talk about how he captures action on film.

You’re a young filmmaker but you’ve already witnessed considerable technological change, haven’t you?
“Yeah, it’s weird to think that in the course of a couple of years we went from being able to fit an hour of standard-definition video on a little tape to being able to fit hours of full HD video on a tiny chip that’s barely bigger than a quarter.”

Tell us about your cameras. Which models give you your best results?
“My Canon T2i is my main camera. I’ve been using it heavily since March 2011. I recently got a Glidecam HD-1000, which is a camera stabilizer that attaches to my T2i, it allows me to get smooth shots that look as if the camera is flying. Glidecam’s HD series is great for DSLRs and I would highly recommend it!”

Ben’s main camera – this Canon T2i, is equipped with a GlideCam for extra-smooth camera movement.

Why do you like Canon cameras?
“As far as the T2i goes, it’s an amazing camera—as are its successors, the T3i and T4i. The price point is awesome and if you’re a beginning filmmaker, or a filmmaker looking to upgrade from a camcorder, the Canon Rebel series is a fantastic place to start. Its large sensor allows for a very shallow depth-of-field, along with great Canon EF and EF-S lenses.”

Tell us about your experience at DMA.
“I first attended DMA film camp in Summer 2011 when I took Visual Effects for Filmmaking at Stanford. In that class I expanded on what I already knew and got a chance to create films with other teens from all over the world who had similar interests. I made friends I still keep in touch with today. I then took the Pro Series course, After Effects CS6 Studio – Advanced Techniques, where I learned a lot of new techniques, all of which I still use today.”

Ben in action. He has already posted more than 80 videos to YouTube, using his trusty Canon T2i for almost every project.

What did you value most about DMA?
“The best part of my DMA experience was the ability to work with other teens who are also interested in filmmaking, along with knowledgeable, skilled and fun instructors. I would definitely and highly recommend DMA for other teens passionate about filmmaking. I’m hoping to go back again this summer, both as a TA and to take a class.”

Ben has used his DMA experience to help him excel as an online filmmaker. Now he depends on Canon cameras to deliver excellent results, no matter the shoot or location. To see more of his work, check out Ben’s YouTube channel or Ben’s website, which contains links to sites with his films.