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Getting Canon with filmmaking

By Victor Akande
For a filmmaker so enamoured of quality equipment, I got a hint of the efficacy of the Canon range of cameras and lenses as prolific director, Kunle Afolayan, explains the brand’s capabilities across different levels of film business. The filmmaker, alongside Algerian cinematographer Hammoudi Laggoune, was speaking at a webinar conference, Tuesday, on how filmmaking in Africa got a significant boost with new digital technologies. The event marked the official launch of the new C500 Mark II camera.
Although Afolayan had enjoyed recent partnership with Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) on ‘Mokalik’and the yet to be released ‘Citation’ — both shot on Canon EOS C300 Mark II, and Canon EOS C500 Mark II respectively, the fact that he is investing personal fund on the brand, and recommending same to other professionals explains a genuine motivation by a filmmaker I believe does not choose nepotism over quality.
“I first saw the Canon EOS C500 Mark II at IBC 2019 and was amazed at its capabilities. Normally, it’s not a director’s place to tell a director of photography (DOP) what kit to use, but I always wanted to shoot in 4K full-frame, and I knew that this camera would make it to the Netflix-approved list, which was vital to this production. Thankfully Jonathan Kovel, the DOP working on my new film, loved the camera; therefore, we were able to shoot Citation with the Canon EOS C500 Mark II,” he said.
During the webinar, CCNA unveiled a knowledge-sharing initiative for the African filmmaking community called ‘Canon Tech Talk Series’. The new initiative is expected to run for three months over 42 free pro-video webinars for the film market in Africa.
Moderated by BroadcastProME magazine’s editor Vijaya Cherian, the August 11, 2020 webinar also featured Canon’s Sales and Marketing Director for CCNA, Amine Djouhara, as Afolayan and Laggoune shared their experiences of the camera during their recent productions.
Laggoune, who worked with well-known director Merzak Allouache on his latest film, Une Famille, also used the Canon EOS C500 Mark II as part of a technical partnership with Baya Productions. According to him, “The film benefited from the technology provided by Canon. The production team was provided with a Canon EOS C500 Mark II camera and a range of cine lenses and accessories so that the film could be shot entirely in 5.9K at 24 fps. The EOS 5D Mark IV and EOSR were also used throughout, to shoot the film and to photograph the behind-the-scenes footage,” he said, adding that “the camera provides complete flexibility and freedom to choose the image formats, bokeh effects and lenses that are best suited to the filming conditions.”
True to the filmmakers’ assertions, Canon’s cinema cameras and lenses continue to be the first choice with professional filmmakers, as evidenced by the number of 2020 Academy Award nominated and winning films that were shot on Canon equipment.
On the brand’s presence in Africa, Canon’s Amine Djouhara spoke about his company’s continuous relationship with the African creative market via innovative technology and support for the rise of Africa’s content. “Our focus is on offering leading industry know-how and award-winning cameras and lenses built for enthusiast and professional level creative,’ he said, adding that “the Cinema EOS range is the perfect expression of form and function, exceptionally adaptable to virtually any production with its modular design.”
He noted that Canon is ensuring that the global standstill does not set professionals back in their careers or passion-projects, hence a series of webinars by the company to offer a virtual developmental tool to maintain the evolution of critical skills for continued and sustainable growth of the film industry.
The CCNA team is expected to continue with their Tech Talk series, which is to cover vlogging, streaming, colour science, post-production, and a range of other topics that would help aspiring filmmakers and young talent learn more about cinematic techniques and technical subjects. The remaining 18 webinars, divided between beginner and professional courses, are to hold in English, French and Arabic.
The latest model in Canon’s Cinema EOS Camera range features the 35mm 4K CMOS sensor and comes with 16+ stops of dynamic range, professional codecs in a compact, modular body. Other features include a full-frame sensor powered by Canon’s DIGIC DV 7 processor. The sensor’s expansive native cinema gamut allows for greater colour-grading freedom in both SDR and HDR productions.

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