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Behind the scene: The Photographer – a Film by MAZHAR KAMRAN, shot on Canon CINEMA EOS C700

The Photographer was co-produced as a project at IIT Bombay by Mazhar Kamran who is a faculty member. The film has been directed by him on Canon’s flagship camera Cinema EOS C700 which boasts of numerous spectacular features.

The Photographer is a project that Mazhar undertook as a journey into an artist’s mind and the dreams that the photographer wakes up from. How he experiences, visualises and imagines the memories around the world and how an artist creates theses memories. What he imagines or remembers is just as ‘real’ and perhaps a more meaningful part of his life. He wanted to depict this rich inner existence as valid and as opposed to the day-to-day world that we know as reality. The film includes 8 poems of the thirteenth century mystic poet Rumi, fused into the dialogue of the contemporary photographer, which goes to show how timeless these poems truly are.

Mazhar Kamran is a renowned filmmaker, cinematographer and faculty at IIT Bombay where he teaches film-making and world cinema courses.

He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in electrical engineering and went on pursue his passion for filmmaking at the Film and Television Institute of India. He started out as a roving filmmaker travelling across India focusing on a wide range of documentary subjects. He made his outstanding debut as a cinematographer of the feature film Satya, which has become a cult classic of Indian cinema. Thereafter, he shot several hit Bollywood films, including Kaun, Jhankaar Beats and the blockbuster Masti.

He made his directorial debut in 2009 with the critically-acclaimed feature film, Mohandas, which was official selection at several prominent national and international film festivals (such as San Francisco International Film Festival, Fribourg International Film Festival, Innsbruck International Film Festival and the South Asian International Film Festival, NY).

Viewpoint of Canon Cinema EOS C700 by Mr. Mazhar Kamran:

About Canon Cinema EOS C700
Canon’s Cinema EOS C700 Super35 format camera is designed to be a flexible “A” camera for various types of shooting scenarios.
It comes stocked with Canon’s EF lens mount with a positive-locking mechanism, minimizing play found in traditional spring-loaded bayonet-style mounts. Beyond the lens mount is the first stop in the EOS C700 imaging pipeline, the 4.5K CMOS image sensor with PL, GSPL and PF mounts. With a physical resolution exceeding that of DCI 4K and a dynamic range of approximately 15 stops, the C700 is ready for 4K and HDR productions.
The C700 is capable of 4K recording at 60p to CFast 2.0 cards using the XF-AVC format. Also available are Apple’s well-regarded ProRes formats for direct-to-edit workflows. Raw recording is another possibility through Canon’s separately available Codex Digital Recorder which simply clips onto the rear of the C700’s modular design.
The beautiful images this camera is capable of really proves that it’s an outstanding camera in its category of high-end cinema cameras.

• Why did you choose CINEMA EOS C700 camera, Canon Cine Prime & Zoom Lenses for your project?

I had liked the colour reproduction of the Canon series of cameras. I trust the reliability and stability of their systems. For me, tests and figures don’t convey as much as the intangible aesthetic quality of the images, which means to a lot me. I go by that. So I wanted to try out the latest camera they had developed.

I used the 30-105mmT2.8 zoom lens a lot in this film and it cuts well with the prime lenses. Having a constant T2.8 across the range is great in a zoom lens. As the ISO speed can be jumped up easily, T2.8 is fast enough for me.

• What all features were exciting for you while using the product?

The clarity of the EVF which is very similar to what we had in celluloid film cameras. The ease of changing and monitoring settings on the side panel. And the latitude of the sensor, in handling contrast. I like to work in an intuitive manner and it is great when the camera responds to that. The image is cinematic. Its vocabulary is similar to what one has developed as a cinematographer.

Overall experience and how the final footage landed on the grading and the silver screen?

I am a cinema person, and the image has to hold up on the big screen. I tested for that and was pleased with the results. In outdoors,

I worked without supplementing with lights in the shadows at all. And the camera holds the contrast in extreme situations. We get full colour and contrast information in the recorded image and it can be fine-tuned in DI.

We are being liberated day by day by the engineers who are pushing the technology to make our work easier. So we can focus on other aspects of cinematography and story-telling.