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Bringing a magical copier to life using DSLR

Bringing a magical copier to life using DSLR

Copier, directed by West Midlands-based Samantha Harrie, is a new British short film telling the story of Stacey, a teenager who discovers a disused photocopier that can make real copies of almost anything – including people.

Copier's producer Jessica Levick describes it as a “magical story” which required an on-screen look to match its content. She opted to film on the Canon 7D camera, which was hired, along with a full range of accessories, from VMI. Levick explains that she opted for the camera for several reasons, including “the colours and effect it creates – this was important because the colours on the 7D are very magical and the story itself is very magical.” Also, she was attracted by its low-light capabilities, as well as its suitability for the physical constraints of the shoot.

“We were filming Copier in very small spaces – a garage and inside a house, and the camera was very small and manoeuvrable,” Levick explains. And, typically, financial constraints also played their part. “We also liked the camera partly for price. It's cheaper than the RED cameras, for example, and we were on quite a tight budget,” she adds.

With sequences of Copier shot in what Levick admits were “quite dark conditions,” she says the Canon 7D nonetheless “performed well – the footage looks beautiful, which is what we wanted from it.” Her only gripe is that it dropped a pixel for half a day's filming, an issue that VMI helped to resolve, but leaving some additional and unforeseen work to complete in post.

“I love working with VMI,” says Levick. “They are always really helpful with advice on what bits of kit you need, and what you can do without, and always helpful on budget. Without them we wouldn't have resolved the pixel issue so quickly. Because the 7D camera is designed as a stills camera, I knew that it would be essential to hire from VMI as they would have the accessories a film crew would need; accessories a stills camera hire company wouldn't have available.”

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