Independent filmmaker shoots ‘Home’ with Canon Cinema EOS C300 PL cameras

Shooting an ambitious but tightly budgeted indie feature on the streets of New York City in just 20 days with big-screen cinematic quality was the goal realized by writer/director Jono Oliver for “Home,” his tale of a mentally troubled young man seeking to live independently.

Essential to the success of the project was not only the cooperation Oliver received from friends and supporters of this inspiring story, but also his use of two EOS C300 PL digital cinema cameras and a CN-E30-300mm cine zoom lens from Canon (opens in new tab). “Home” was shot cinéma vérité style in Brooklyn and Manhattan by director of photography Sung Rae Cho.

Oliver, an experienced first assistant director on a major episodic television series produced in New York City, and producer Daniela Barbosa knew that choosing the right camera would be a crucial decision. The camera would have to be lightweight for maximum mobility, unobtrusive for location shooting, low-light capable for dimly lit interior shots and able to deliver exceptional image quality for theatrical distribution. Familiar with the latest digital cinematography cameras, Oliver and Barbosa were especially interested in the EOS C300, which had recently been evaluated by the show they both worked on.

“In order to make sure that the EOS C300 was right for ‘Home,’ Sho [Sung Rae Cho] shot tests with it, including shadows and interiors,” Oliver recalled. “We projected the tests on a 20ft screen, and they looked fantastic.”

Engineered to deliver full 1920 x 1080 HD images, the EOS C300 digital cinema camera integrates Canon’s Super 35mm CMOS sensor, which is modeled on the Super 35mm motion picture film standard. This sensor, combined with Canon’s DIGIC DV III image processor, and a 50Mb/s 4:2:2 MPEG-2 codec, provide exceptional image capture even in low-light environments.

With a camera body that weighs less than 4lbs, the EOS C300 provided the extreme mobility Oliver and Sho needed to shoot in a wide variety of practical locations. “The small body of the EOS C300 let us tell a better story because we were able to get into real places, among real people in real situations without calling a lot of attention to ourselves,” Oliver related. “That’s the kind of filmmaking this movie needed, where you can blend your drama with the reality of the world. We had a very ambitious schedule with a long shot list, but we were able to move incredibly fast.”