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24 Jan

Can you make a feature film with a Magic Lantern-equipped camera? This proves that you can:

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A feature film made with Magic Lantern A feature film made with Magic Lantern Gustavo da Luz

Here's the proof that you can make a movie with Magic Lantern and a Canon EOS 5D Mk III and no-one will mind at all


Magic Lantern Raw video from the Canon video-capable cameras was one of the biggest stories last year and we've seen lots of, frankly, incredible footage now.
 But here's something different.

Urban Sniper

 It's a feature film-style trailer for a movie called Urban Sniper, and it really  does show you what a suitably hacked still camera - with quite clearly an abundance of talent behind it - is capable of.
 Hare are the Director, Gustavo Da Luz's production notes and credits, followed by the video itself: 

Urban Sniper tells the story of a professional shooter who finds himself in a situation that goes beyond his experience.
It's a brutality to work on RAW files, it is something phenomenal. There are shades never seen before in the h264, making really fantastic picture. At the time of doing the color correction our work becomes another world. Will I go back to shoot in h264? Yes, because it is a format that allows me faster in the whole process, but decidedly the RAW is paramount.

Many thanks to the folks at Magic Lantern for making it possible to shoot in RAW.

The Team
Gustavo da Luz - director
Patrícia Viana Almeida - producer and assistant director
Daniela Silva - costume designer, still photographer and writer
Pedro Peres - camera assistant and behind the scenes
Amaral Ferreira - lighting assistant
Bruno Leite
Jorge Mário
Ângelo Peres
Helder Colaço



The most beautiful Magic Lantern footage yet?





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  • I really don't want to flame and I want to mention that I support every efforts to try out new technologies and methods. But to be honest, for me, as an professional, the image looks like from a consumer videocamera. Fullbright and flat. And so is the color grading. To answer the authors question: No, it's not the most beautiful ML footage yet.
    It might be a personality-thing, but after I read the directors statement and saw the trailer, I was pretty disappointed because I expected more.
    But once again: I support newcomer- and low budget productions! I'm curious for the directors next production wit ML!

    1 Like
  • Hi Maurus,

    You're obviously not flaming - just giving your opinion.

    BTW - we weren't saying that this trailer is the "most beautiful footage yet". That was a link to this article.

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  • I've thought about the feasibility of doing a long drama in Canon RAW, but decided against it. Having shot a couple of shorts myself with the 5D M3, the biggest problem is just all the data wrangling. For a 3 minute film my project was about 800GB, then you need at least a couple of back-up copies. Which is not easy to do out in the field (in our case that was quite literally where we were, with two laptops constantly backing up the footage). And on that project there was hardly any dialogue so the takes were pretty short! So I just dont think it would be practical for most indie people to do a whole feature length drama in 5D RAW. I'd save it for particular scenes or just go down the Blackmagic Route, shooting in ProRes. For my last drama which was 23 mins, I shot H264 for 90% of it. But I got some of the best feedback I've ever had, which is a nice reminder that this stuff only ever matters to camera geeks, audiences just want a good story!

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  • As a heavy user of ML RAW I had to comment.
    I'm shooting a feature in ML RAW right now (2 hacked 5D3s). We average @150G of footage every day. We will eventually have @4TBs of RAW files. The cost of backing those up x 2? $350. Including the original 'master' drive that's @$500 TOTAL.
    The DNGs will go on to another $160 4TB drive, from which we'll generate the editing proxies. Those will go on to a 2TB Thunderbolt or USB3 drive. So a total drive investment of >$1,000.
    For a 90 minute feature? That sounds reasonable to me. (NB: the budget for the film @$45k).

    The look you can pull out of ML RAW is fantastic. I shoot with Arri/F55/EPIC all the time - if you use similar grade lenses (the Canon Cine range are great) and treat the lighting with the same respect you would with a "bigger" camera you get VERY similar results. Even with Canon L lenses you'll get very good results.
    As a test I was lucky enough to shoot a commercial using ML RAW that was deliberately similar to one I'd shot a year earlier on RED Epic. We nailed it. My grader just ASSUMED we'd shot it with the previous rig.
    I can no longer bear looking at H.264 except for news/basic web delivery.
    While I didn't like this trailer very much if they are shooting ML RAW I salute them!

    1 Like
  • Phil, thank you for your comment. I was really having a difficult time deciding if I should buy a 5D mark III. Now I 99% certain I will.

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  • My only problem with this is that they advertise it was shot on ML Raw in the trailer. The content should speak for itself. The trailer should not be an ad for the camera used.

    I've seen this done multiple times and it's a trend that needs to end. But it seems like some indie projects can only get attention because of the camera they were shot on. Sad state of affairs if that's the case. If you're doing that, you need to reexamine why you're making movies.

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  • Hello guys who like movies :) . Thank you for the messages that are given because I see that you are interested in what I did . All this began with a test of the MLR but suddenly , I thought it would be appropriate to make a short film . I love the Bourne movies , so I thought to do some scenes in the style of filming and editing of the Bourne series . Of course, everything is just an intention, but inspiration comes from these films . Why advertise or put in the trailer that was filmed in MLR , for one simple reason , I did this work in this way to thank all the commitment to all those who have given their time to program the MLR . For me it is an honor to put on my film, " filmed in MLR ," like many other movies put at the end " Filmed with Panavision". At the beginning of the movie, I put an allusion to the Magic Lantern :). Dear friends , this was a real adventure, you can not imagine the feeling I had while filming and did not see what i had done at the moment, wait a day to copy , convert and finally appreciate all the work done . I learned to have the ability to decide everything in detail, knowing that it would take for each plan one or two takes at most because i only had two cards. When pressed the rec button, I had to make sure that the shoot would be fine. All this was a journey, a journey of learning and knowledge . I love movies. Again, thank you to all the team of Magic Lantern .

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  • Hello, I'm a NYC DP and this is my first time posting. I own a 5D 3 and have yet to hack it. I would love to shoot a feature on a 5D but my big reservations are run times. I've looked for info all over the net and haven't been able to find out what are the longest run times possible with the ML hack at 1080 24p or 1080 60p. Can someone who has more experience shed some light on this or direct me to the right link?


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