January 26, 2010

Single Lens Reflex And The Art Of War

The incredible capabilities SLR cameras have these days is nothing short of mind-blowing. 5Ds and 7Ds have been a topic of discussion for quite some many months with me. The documentary below was shot on a 5D, albeit with a few fancy attachments and a nice little custom rig, a simple, plain ol 5D just the same. The idea that any of us kids can go spend $1500 at a local camera shop and take a shot at professional looking film-making is inspiring to say the least. The fact that this was shot on such an attainable piece of equipment somehow makes it more personal and allows us to relate to the action, the rawness and the emotion that much more. We all have feelings about the war, the soldiers, the death and the politics, and although those feelings may skew your appreciation for this film, try and watch it for the same reason I do -- that someone can take an "off-the-shelf" camera and create something the world will stop and watch.

On July 2nd, 2009, four thousand US Marines of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade launched a major helicopter assault into a Taliban stronghold in the Helmand River Valley in southern Afghanistan in order to break a military stalemate with the insurgent group.

"Independent filmmaker Danfung Dennis was embedded with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Company, as they were dropped 18 km behind enemy lines to seize a key bridge. Within a few hours of landing, fierce fighting erupted and continued for the next three days, during which Lance Corporal Charles Sharp, from Adairsville, Georgia was shot and killed by a Taliban fighter.

After the initial fighting, the Marines searched for the insurgents who had killed Lance Corporal Sharp. Frustration set in as the Marines tried to fight the elusive enemy whose IED's cut off their supply lines. The Marines’ objective was to secure and protect the population, but the Afghan villagers complained that the fighting has driven them into the desert, and the bombing destroyed their homes. Can the Marines balance their contradictory roles as warriors and statesmen, as they struggle to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people?"

Leave your favorite SLR video links, like this one, in the comments.