Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that Departure Date, the first motion picture to be filmed entirely onboard airliners in flight, was shot using Canon EOS C300 digital cinema cameras. The film was shot in nine days on three commercial flights at an altitude of 35,000 feet, spanning across 28,000 miles and three continents. Written and directed by Kat Coiro, Departure Date is a film about Jake (Emmy-nominated actor, Ben Feldman), who finds and loses the love of his life (Nicky Whelan) on a Sydney–to–Los Angeles Virgin Australia flight, meets his depressing future (in characters played by Philip Baker Hall, Janeane Garofalo, and Luis Guzman) on a Virgin America Los Angeles–to–Dallas flight, and is motivated to go get the girl on a Virgin Atlantic Los Angeles–to–London flight. Departure Date premiered on June 17th at the L.A. Film Festival.
“Virgin has a long history of groundbreaking firsts, and shooting the first film at 35,000 feet certainly continues that tradition,” said Virgin Produced – Head of Commercial Production, Huntley Ritter. “We pride ourselves on the quality of the content we deliver in any medium, and the Canon products we utilized on this production and have used in the past have always exceeded expectations. We look forward to working with Canon for years to come.”
“I knew it would be a challenge to figure out how to get it done just in terms of lighting, mobility, electrical power, and airport security,” states director of photography Doug Chamberlain.
“I looked at the Canon EOS C300 digital cinema camera and was immediately convinced that it was the perfect tool for shooting Departure Date. The EOS C300 is a very production-friendly camera.” —Director of Photography Doug Chamberlain.
Compact, lightweight, and designed to deliver exceptional full 1920 x 1080 HD images, the Canon EOS C300 digital cinema camera is the product of decades of Canon’s expertise designing advanced image sensors, lenses, and digital imaging processors. Engineered for filmmakers at all levels, the Canon EOS C300 features a unique Super 35mm Canon CMOS sensor, revolutionary Canon DIGIC DV III image processor for superb cinematic image quality, and a 50 Mbps 4:2:2 MPEG-2 codec for faithful image capture. It records to two CF (Compact Flash) cards through dual slots, with a choice of serial or parallel (for backup) recording, providing up to 80 minutes of recording time on each 32GB card.
Simple to operate, the camera is available in two models: the EOS C300 equipped with an EF lens mount for compatibility with Canon’s extensive lineup of interchangeable EF lenses for Canon EOS digital SLR cameras and EF Cinema lenses; and the EOS C300 PL with a PL lens mount for use with industry-standard PL lenses including Canon’s EF Cinema lenses with PL mounts. Both C300 models employ the industry-standard MXF (Material eXchange Format) for smooth workflow compatibility and include features such as Canon-Log that ensures capture of the full 12 T-stop exposure latitude of which the camera is capable. Chamberlain used PL-mount compact prime lenses with his Canon EOS C300 camera to shoot Departure Date. The compact size and long recording times provided by the Canon EOS C300 digital cinema camera proved essential for shooting in the tight confines of airline cabins, according to Chamberlain.
“Fortunately, at under four pounds, the C300 is actually quite light,” he said. “It proved to be everything we needed in terms of the extreme mobility required to shoot in such a small space. I was able to move quickly and efficiently, and back the camera right up against the bulkhead or the window and still get my shots. I don’t think I could have done that with many other cameras.”