Since getting my first SLR, I’ve asked for more than one opinion from photographer/videographer friends on using the video mode. While the tips have been helpful, the overall attitude I perceived was that an SLR’s video is akin to the iPhone’s camera – nice in a pinch, but nothing to take seriously.
Michael and Mark Polish, twin filmmakers who began their careers at Sundance in 1999 with the debut of their first feature, Twin Falls Idaho, have proven that it’s not the tool but the hand holding it that matters.
Their latest work, a film called “For Lovers Only,” was filmed entirely with a Canon 5D using natural light (and in the case of one scene in a club, the light from an iPhone). Other than food, the brothers didn’t spend any money making the film, meaning the $200,000 it’s brought in on iTunes after only 12 days is all profit.
Mark stars in the film alongside Stana Katic; they’re the only actors, and as the Screen Actors Guild classified the film as “experimental,” Katic wasn’t paid. However, Mark credits the actress and her large Facebook/Twitter following for the movie’s immediate success:
“I said, ‘OK, I’m gonna tweet it.’ Then I called Stana and told her to tweet it – and that’s when it took off.”
And by “took off,” he meant For Lovers Only was the subject of nearly 1,000 tweets an hour.
Neither the preview nor the plot summary on iTunes (“a journalist runs into a lover from her past and together they travel across France”) give a real idea of what the plot is; one reviewer complained that it was like watching an extended perfume commercial.
But the majority of the reviews are positive, and the money it’s brought in are enough to make me want to pick up my SLR and get to know video mode a little bit better.