House Season 6 finale shows what DSLR movie-mode can do
House, the current television series about a cantankerous doctor played by Hugh Laurie is coming to an end as the series six finale airs in the US on Fox.
While it's another season in the can for the popular show, it's also one of the first times that a DSLR, in this case the Canon 5D Mk2, has been used so extensively in capturing all the action.
"We got three cameras into places we could not have gotten one film camera", comments director Greg Yaitanes in a Brizzly Picnic (an online chat to you and me), about shooting the final episode.
The finale is all shot on the 5D except for one shot, which is on film with the camera crew using three 5D Mk2 models and a large pile of 21 memory cards to get through a days filming.
For the final, the action takes place not in the safety and easiness of the hospital, but in a collapsed building after a construction crane falls on it. Giving a perfect reason, according to Yaitanes, to get out the smaller more compact cameras over the usual large and cumbersome standard professional cameras that would have been difficult to use in the tight set.
"Intimate" is a good way to put it. "It's not a giant thing in the actors face, [and there is] no camera noise", says Yaitanes on the experience of working with the DSLR on set.
But it wasn't all plain sailing with the director candidly saying that "it took them [the actors] a day to get used it. We looked like a line of paparazzi on the red carpet!"
So has the experience been worth it? You can judge for yourself based on the 2-minute teaser (above) Fox has released ahead of the show airing, but Yaitanes seems to think so, although he would like more "Cine style lenses":
"I'd like to shoot more of the show on the 5D if the story calls for it. If I was shooting a pilot I would never go back to film. Would I use the 5D? I dunno. I would have to see where the cameras are at that time. The red or the Sony something or whatever might be the new leader in the field. It's all changing so fast".
Season 6, Episode 21: Help Me airs in the US on 17 May at 8pm, and in the UK on 24 May at 9pm on Sky 1 and Sky 1 HD.