Boston University’s Film & Television Department, of its College of Communication, offers degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for approximately 350 students annually. With instruction that includes hands-on experience using the latest professional production technologies, students begin training on entry-level gear, and gradually work their way up to using high-end equipment, which includes Cinema cameras, digital SLR cameras, and lenses made by Canon.
“Currently we run about six entry-level production courses each semester, with 15 students in each class, and we have about 35 Canon EOS Rebel cameras,” said Geoff Poister, associate professor, television. “Our Canon EOS Rebel T2i kits also include Canon EF 20mm, EF 50mm and EF 100mm prime lenses.”
The film and television department’s large-sensor Canon cameras provide the shallow cinematic depth of field and lens compatibility essential to the department’s core film production program, which is geared toward fiction filmmaking.
“We want to make our students’ instruction true to cinema style, and emulate the way we taught them back when we used film cameras,” said film professor Sam Kauffmann. “This means emphasizing image composition and what’s in front of the camera. One of the challenges about these large-chip CMOS cameras is their shallow depth of field, which is good because students need to learn how to keep things in focus when actors are moving all over the set, and the camera may even be moving as well.”
The tiered education structure of the BU film and television department progresses from entry-level Canon consumer EOS M cameras up to Canon consumer and professional HD-capable DSLR cameras, to the Canon EOS C100 Cinema camera. As Kauffmann explained, the features of the EOS C100 camera are well suited to the department’s cinema-style curriculum.
“As students move from beginning to more advanced courses, they progress from the Canon EOS Rebel or the EOS7D to the EOS C100 camera,” he said. “There are a lot of things to like about that EOS C100 because it’s designed ergonomically as a film-style camera, as opposed to being designed as a still camera.”
Lenses for each of the Canon EOS C100 Cinema camera packages that the film and television department provides to its students are drawn from its inventory of more than 500 Canon EF-Series models. They include: the EF 20mm f/2.8 USM and EF 35mm f/1.4L USM wide-angle lenses; the EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, and EF 100mm f/2 USM standard and medium telephoto lenses; the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM and EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM ultra-wide zoom lenses; the EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM ultra-wide angle lens; EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM telephoto zoom lens; the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM telephoto lens; and the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM standard zoom lens.
“The Canon cameras are liberating, and we try to harness that fact into good storytelling,” noted Jan Egleson, asssociate professor of the practice of film and television. “If the tool is easier to master then it means that the basic skill – the craft of storytelling – should come to the fore.”