Monthly Archives: April 2013

Killer Video

To Kill or Not To Kill. The latest video from the Canon Boot CampJust to be clear, the name of the video is Killer.  But it’s also killer, as in awesome.

The is the continuation of a story from a previous Canon Boot Camp about a hit man named Alan who is killed by his mark. Unfortunately, Alan left behind instructions in case something went wrong (and it went very, very wrong). Ana Easteden plays the mark-turned-vigilante and Julie Brett plays the reformed sister of Alan, freshly out of prison with a new outlook on life.

The Association’s Canon Boot Camp is a Canon certification class for DSLR Filmmakers or still photographers who wish to become expert at both setting up the camera for digital video production and the actual shoot. The first day of the 2 day class covers the settings and understanding the camera, video functions, etc. The second day is an actual shoot, complete with script, actors and lighting, which each Canon Boot Camp participant getting in shots for each scene.

After the class ends, the footage is edited and turned into a short film. Of course, each participant is listed in the credits and may use the footage in their own reel.  It’s a ton of fun and the practical experience of shooting a script from beginning to end is invaluable for a new filmmakers. Experienced pros also get a lot out of it, putting into action their new digital skills.

Check out the film and let us know how you like it in the comment box!


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Canon Boot Camp to go Online

Breaking News! Canon Boot Camp to go OnlineNo matter how you slice it, having The Association’s Canon Boot Camp in one location is a limitation many filmmakers just can’t get around. And now that the Canon Boot Camp has gotten constistenly high reviews by attendee survey, it’s time to bring it online.

Don’t worry, the in-person experience is still available. But at this time, we aren’t certain what the schedule will be for the Burbank, CA classes, once the June class closes out. So if you have been waiting for the perfect moment to take the Canon Boot Camp in it’s current form, I highly recommend registering for the June 2013 date before it fills up.

Get informed when the Online Canon Boot Camp is available via our email newsletterIt takes time to transfer everything we’ve got into an online version. While we hope to release the online Canon Boot Camp by the end of the summer, we don’t yet have a specific date to give out. Private sessions can be scheduled, however, if June simply isn’t an option. We are very excited to bring the online course to the world, as many, many filmmakers and filmmakers to be will be able to get the DSLR filmmaking training they need, no matter where they are, as long as they have an Internet connection.

At this time, only Pro Level I will be available online. Everything you need to know to set up the camera, complete with drills and practical application to ensure 100% proficency. Pro Level II in it’s current form is an actual short film, so this may be made available separately. Canon certification for Pro Level I will still be part of the online class.

If you’d like to be kept in the loop as soon as the online version of the Canon Boot Camp becomes available, sign up for our newsletter and make sure to select “Online DSLR Training.” You can sign up by visiting our Facebook Page, or scanning this QR Code with your mobile phone.

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Canon 5d Mark III goes 4:2:2 April 30

Once again NAB has dangled unbelievable technology breakthroughs before avid filmmakers. But we’d like to talk about the Canon 5D Mark III and it’s much awaited upgrade to output 4:2:2 uncompressed video, which is expected this April.

To appreciate what the 5D is and why it entranced Vincent LaForet, Shane Hurlbut and Gayle Tattersall, you have to go back to 1954, when Hollywood rolled out VistaVision.

When Hollywood was terrified that this new thing called television would bankrupt the film industry they tried all manner of things to get people into the theater.  One of them was VistaVision.

The VistaVision team thought what if they built a camera that would run the 35mm film through the camera horizontally.  Motion picture film normally runs through the movie camera vertically like the film on the right (see figure below ).  VistaVision runs horizontally. It’s on the left below.

vistavision vs super 35mm motion picture





(above courtesy of for more info go to

Why am I talking about Vistavision?  Because that’s the size of the 5D’s sensor.  It’s marvelously huge,  It’s a VistaVision-sized sensor.  The VistaVision frame more than doubled the size of the regular motion picture (sort of what 4k is doing to 2k now).

And like VistaVision, the 5D’s sensor turned Hollywood upside down when Gayle Tattersall shot the Season Six Finale with Canon 5D Mk IIs. Suddenly there was no film to buy….no processing fees….no telecine.  All the walls protecting Hollywood’s carefully guarded empire came down, just like when the Berlin Wall came down and freedom filled the air.

And Canon did more than that.  It’s 5D Mark II opened an eight-lane highway to 35mm film quality for filmmakers young and old around the world.

Now everybody had their shot to make a movie.  Everybody!

Now, quietly and humbly Canon is going to take the stage and quietly provide what we’ve all be clamoring for….4:2:2 uncompressed.    (Fact is, if some crazy filmmakers kidnapped Canon engineers, they could add the boards, the batteries, the fans and the circuits for this baby to pump out 4:4:4.)

But that would leave nothing for next April….nothing for us to dream about…..nothing to save up for.

Thanks, Canon.  For once again, empowering thousands of us to do better.  We filmmakers salute you!


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New Media and Branding Strategist Tackles the Canon Boot Camp

Being in the heart of the Media Capital of the World (Burbank), we meet a lot of directors, producers and videographers. And Gaffers, DPs, actors; the list goes on. Many of the Canon Boot Camp grads hail from the Industry… and then there’s Andrew Harbert.

Andrew has a background in the Industry, having worked for various studios, but currently he’s more of an online Renaissance Man. A software engineer, he’s also a branding strategist, social networker, and Search Engine Marketer. When he’s not optimizing a web site he’s designed, he’s headed to the beach with the dogs for the surfing action sunny California provides in abundance.

After the Boot Camp, Andrew shared his review of the class and how one tip made the investment worth it:



Andrew Harbert, Canon Boot Camp GraduateThe Boot Camp worked out great. Beyond my expectations. I mean, the one thing that I learned that basically paid for the entire course was the auto focus on the back of the camera. I mean, literally that paid for everything. I knew it [auto focus] existed, but I didn’t know to really use it, and to actually push the button. It was like, one of those things, like “Do Not Push,” and I was always scared of it and stuff. So, that was worth the price of admission right there.
But, beyond that, you know, I learned all the technical stuff that I didn’t know how to use in the camera, set in a controlled environment. That made a world of difference for me. With the Canon Boot Camp, since it was hands-on, they would teach you something and then you’d do it hands-on; and then they’d do a test; and they’d do hands-on and actually shoot something.
It actually, you know, it stuck in my mind. And it’s still there and I remember pretty much everything we learned during the class. So it was well worth it. I would recommend it in a second to anybody that wants to learn more about the camera and how it functions and how it’s used in a real world environment.
It makes a BIG difference. I mean, just picking up a little thing here and a little thing there that you many not have known, you know, just – you know how to focus the camera better and everything – makes a world of difference. And I would recommend it [the Canon Boot Camp] to anybody that asked.
Andrew Harbert
Branding Strategist/Web Developer

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Belize Cameraman Learns the Canon DSLR 5D

Rick Romero traveled from Belize to take the Canon Boot Camp. He works as cameraman for Channel 5 and came to learn how to use his Canon 5D for shooting commercials. Here’s what Rick shared in his video interview after the class:


Belize Cameraman Travels the World for Canon Boot Camp“I basically wanted to know how the camera works in and out. I had no idea how to operate one before the boot camp, and the first day was great because I learned so many things about the camera. The 2nd day was using the camera for real scenes, how to shoot scenes. So I was like, OK, I know step 1, step 2, step 3; and achieving that look, the warm look I was looking for. The ISO, how much to use, F-stops, focus; all these things just came easy. The bar scene was interesting because of the lighting, the depth of the shot that we did.

“Definitely I would recommend the boot camp for anybody who’s interested in knowing about the Canon DSLR camera, whether it’s the 7D, 5D, Mark III or Mark II. Because it makes you appreciate the camera more, and how well it does, and the things you can do with it.

“And the instructors here are very helpful, knowledgeable, professional and they really help a lot in achieving that goal.”
Rick Romero
TV Cameraman

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Teacher Learns the Secrets of Low Budget Filmmaking

Ok, maybe they aren’t that secret. All the great tips for low budget DSLR shooting (and no so low budget) are available to anyone at the Canon Boot Camp.

Corey is a teacher for a private school that is developing their film and video department. So he came to learn more of the technical side of the camera, already being familiar with the creative side. Here’s Corey’s review of the class:


Corey OrthmannI’m a teacher, and I came here to learn how to teach the technical side of how the Canon cameras work, so I can do a film making class with my students. I really like doing the creative side of it already, but I didn’t know how the camera worked, all the settings, just really how how to do a lot of that, so I just wanted to learn kind of the whole thing.

I really liked the viewpoint of take us from nowhere, anywhere we’re at [skill wise] and be able to have a complete product at the end. To be able to do this [digital film making] at some professional level. I thought that was  a great approach and it really worked for me. When there were things that we knew, they [the instructors]  could assimilate it quickly to kind of really tailor the experience on a real moment-by-moment basis.

There were several technical aspects that were really cool. I liked learning about how to do different lighting setups, and I really had the idea that I was going to need to buy expensive, you know, equipment to do it. So I appreciated each time it was pointed out that, “Oh, you can just get this at Home Depot,” or “You can just get this at Ikea,” or “this dimmer only costs $6.” I was like, “Perfect!” you know, because I’m a teacher, and we don’t have a huge budget to go buy, you know, the real equipment maybe that the industry uses. So I needed all those little tips on how to do it on a low budget.

And then, just getting the information on if we do want to maybe spend a little bit more to get some of the really cool equipment…just the follow focus device…. It was like, I’ve wanted to know how to do that, and it was just like, “Oh this is how you do that,” and I got to play with it, and was shown how to use it, and it was great!

Corey Orthmann

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Editor Ashley Wilson and the Canon Boot Camp

Even if you don’t know Ashley Wilson, you’ve probably seen her work.

Ashley is currently an editor for NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly” and also edited for Current TV, both cutting-edge and award-winning shows, and when you watch her work it’s evident she plays an important part in the success of these shows. Crisp and interesting, the videos are a kind of fresh cultural salad of today’s people and music and, of course, food.

Already skilled in DSLR Filmmaking, Ashley arrived with her Canon 5D Mark II in hand to put a polish on her digital filming skills. So now she’s pretty much a force of nature. Here’s what she had to say about her experience at the Canon Boot Camp:
Ashley Wilson, Editor and ProducerI had a really great time and I think I learned a lot. I was really happy with everything and I feel confident now going out and being on a shoot. I think I would get by just fine and know what to do, and come out with great looking footage.

Well, in terms of the class, I really liked the fact it was so hands-on, like we got to actually practice everything, and then when I did mess up, there were people that could help me, and go, like, “Oh, no…just do it this way.” Just so many questions were answered.

Just learning about getting everything in focus, and the lighting just right. I don’t know, I just feel like I could go shoot something right now. I would definitely recommend the class to others because It think the way it’s designed it it fits pretty much everyone’s pace. Like if you knew a lot [already] you could kind of jump ahead, and if you didn’t [know a lot] there were people there to answer questions. I think it was just a great group.

And we got hands-on, plus lecture, plus lots of materials to take home and review. So I think I’m set!

Ashley Wilson


You don’t have to work at NBC or Current TV to “qualify” for the Canon Boot Camp! Just have a passion for digital filmmaking and having fun with other great people. You’ll learn what you need even if you’ve never used a Canon before. Our Instructors will guide and inform you with hands-on drills so you can rock it on your own in just two days. Come join us!

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Chief Creative Officer Darla Davis – “It’s Intense”

Darla came to us from Power of Two Promotions, a company that specializes in creating promotional products for, well, just about anybody! As the Chief Creative Officer and Designer for Power of Two Promotions, two of her hats are Stage Manager and Videographer.

Already experienced in lighting and stage design after over a decade of theater stage productions, that DSLR cutting edge was missing. After attending our two day DSLR Filmmaker training classes here in Los Angeles, CA, Darla took a few minutes to fill us in on her experience:

“The biggest thing i wanted to learn was how to use the camera. And so, I think that went really well! I mean, I learned a lot! Still a few things that I still need to make sure I review on a regular basis so it doesn’t just fly out of my head.

“It’s intense and you’re just getting your getting your hands in there and just getting “dirty” and learning and doing…I think that’s the best way for ANYONE to learn. For me especially. To get your hands on it, and do it! If you don’t understand it, you’ve got people around you – you can be, like, “Hey…”

“I think it’s so hands-on that I think that anybody could learn [DSLR Filmmaking] and really take away – and make films,,,right after – you know, I  could go make a film tomorrow.

Darla Davis
Chief Creative Officer

Power of Two Promotions

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