Photographers and filmmakers gained wisdom and encouragement through a diverse mixture of speakers and workshop sessions at the recent Converge.Two event held at the British Film Institute’s London base on 4 and 5 May, reports Robert Hull.
The two-day event – which was organised by The Flash Centre, in association with Canon UK – helped to underline the growing significance and excitement surrounding capturing High Definition movies on Canon DSLRs, such as the EOS 5D Mark II, EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS 7D. Key to Converge.Two’s success was the breadth of its eclectic line-up of filmmaking and photographic talent, which included speakers such as Rodney Charters, Director of Photography (DoP) on Fox Television’s ‘24’, social and multimedia exponents The Bui Brothers, filmmaker Richard Jobson, and Philip Bloom, an experienced DoP who is currently working on a project with Lucasfilm.
However, Converge.Two also found time to incorporate workshop seminars from Apple, Adobe and Pink Noise (the latter on the importance of recording high-quality audio), as well as input from One Dead Pixel, a post-production and media house.
Dave Beck from The Flash Centre was pleased with the feedback he received from visitors to the event. “The mix (of speakers) worked very well for us and the event is a brand of its own now,” explained Beck.
Beck added: “We tried to pitch it at a converging market. Richard Jobson shows people what you can do with the cameras, One Dead Pixel brings the technicalities, Apple and Adobe go through the software and the Bui Brothers are just enthusiastic and want to teach you everything – including, importantly for professional photographers, how you can make money on your bottom line.”
A positivity and passion for the Canon cameras that feature EOS Movie capabilities was evident from many speakers, none more so than Richard Jobson. The filmmaker and writer helped to conceive the Converge events, along with Dave Beck, and described discovering the EOS 5D Mark II as: “...the perfect moment for me. I use the 5D Mark II for everything now.”
Drew Gardner, an established photographer, and a speaker at the first Converge, delivered presentations on both days of this event, giving audience members an insight into a project he is working on in the townships of South Africa. Originally a photojournalist, Gardner was effusive about the way EOS Movie has enabled him to re-engage with his former occupation: “I’ve actually been rediscovering my career through using EOS video.”
One Dead Pixel’s Solomon Rogers helped to bring an interesting perspective to Converge.Two. His post-production firm has used the EOS 5D Mark II on projects for corporate clients and the company approaches EOS Movie from a different angle to that of photographers. For Rogers it’s all about fast, efficient image acquisition, which can then be manipulated on a computer. “What I love is that I can buy a Canon camera for £1,200, add a couple of lenses and basically just shoot whatever I need to,” he said.
The event is ripe for development as it encompasses acquisition, editing and distribution, and this two-day event has already evolved from the inaugural one-day show just five months ago. So, CPN asked Richard Jobson what he wanted delegates to take away from this Converge event?
Jobson explained: “People must have the desire to raise their ambitions to a higher level. They tend to think, ‘well I’ve got a smaller camera that shoots very beautiful stuff but I can do limited work’. Why limited? Why not start investigating what you can do?”
Beck and Jobson are already investigating what more they can do with the Converge idea. A one-day event as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival is being scheduled for Friday 25 June, at which speakers will include Seamus McGarvey, the Oscar-nominated DoP and patron of the film festival, Richard Jobson, the acclaimed photojournalist Danfung Dennis and one, yet-to-be-revealed, ‘special guest’.
There are plans, but no confirmation, for a third event later in the year, though if the groundswell of goodwill for EOS Movie continues to develop it will be difficult to resist. As Philip Bloom says: “It’s a freeing experience shooting on these cameras.” With this level of support and enthusiasm perhaps soon even more filmmakers and photographers will, as Richard Jobson suggests, have convergence built into their DNA.