Canon 7Dm2 release film – Behind the Scenes
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Canon 7Dm2 shoot

Abraham Joffe: “Every photographer or cinematographer dreams of getting their hands on an unreleased camera, let alone an unannounced one. We were very fortunate to get that opportunity this month with the CANON 7Dm2. Only three weeks ago, Canon Australia invited me in to discuss filming a spot for the new 7Dm2 -the next-generation of the uber-successful 7D. The brief was to create a short trailer highlighting some of the new camera’s features. Not a review, but a first-look piece – something to get people excited for when the announcement was made during Photokina.”
The decision was made for one of Australia’s Canon Masters – Mark Horsburgh to be the onscreen photographer using and talking about the 7Dm2’s features. We had worked with Mark last year producing a short bio piece for his Master’s portfolio. Mark is arguably Australia’s leading Motor-sports photographer and is just an already great bloke! His enthusiasm and energy on this shoot was sensational.

With such a short window of time to develop the concept for the piece, and to shoot and deliver it, we had to get moving. The over-riding theme of the new 7Dm2 is speed. It shoots 20.2M images at up to 10 frames per second. And is powered by Canon’s new dual Digic6 processors. Its new 65 point auto focus system was also a key feature. So with speed being the main theme, action sports seemed a perfect choice for the spot. Canon 7Dm2 The previous 7D was also a hit with many people shooting sports and action.

Working with only a few days to shoot and varying sports in mind, the obvious location to shoot it quickly became Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand. Queenstown and the surrounding areas are a Mecca for action sports. The close proximity of different sports, be it skiing, bungee, mountain biking and motor racing – Queenstown has the lot. We knew that this would enable us to quickly and efficiently move between locations and shoot multiple scenes each day.

We allocated three days to shoot Mark with the 7Dm2 and jammed the schedule with activities.

The Race Day

The first day saw us head down to Highlands Racetrack in Cromwell, about an hour out of Queenstown. Mark has many connections in the Racing world and the owners of Highlands was one of them . They kindly let us take over part of the track for the day and even supplied a Lamborghini and driver. Mark is most at home on the racetrack and it was a good place to start the shoot and get everyone working together as a team. 7Dm2 BTS making of

Having the car race past at high speed was a perfect way of testing out the camera’s speed in both frames per second and auto focus.

We had two specialists join our team for the shoot. The first being Toby De Jong, a super talented drone operator from Australia and somebody that I work with practically every month. His skills at building and operating drones is in my opinion the best in Australia. Toby launched the 7Dm2 on a newly constructed hex-copter and was able to pull off some amazing imagery during the production. We decided it was worth bringing a second operator to ensure we were able to capture the 7Dm2 in-flight hanging under the drone.

Some words from Toby De Jong – drone operator:

“We had an amazing crew, spectacular locations and a very cool new camera to film. Technically we had a few challenges with the extreme cold and high elevation, for the drone it limited our flight time by around 1/2. Having the larger 18 inch blades and low KV motors really helped otherwise we might have been grounded. It’s every shooters dream to get a job like this.”

7Dm2 BTS droneThe other specialist was the uber-talented Hyperlapse guru – Matthew Vandeputte. Matthew has been making a splash online recently with his amazing timelapse skills. He has been an innovator in the new craft of Hyperlapse and when I knew he was available for the trip we just had to involve him.

Matthew’s task was to create some stunning environmental Timelapses and help set the scene in the dramatic landscape. Matthew was up every day before sunrise and well after sunset and created dozens of sequences over our time there.

Some words from Matthew on the shoot:

“I have been waiting for the new 7D MkII to come out for such a long time now. Getting the invite to join the Untitled Film Works crew to shoot it’s launch video was an honour I couldn’t even dream of. When I heard we’d be heading to the south island of New Zealand I was overly ecstatic. As a timelapse photographer you always have a list of places you’d love to visit, Queenstown and it’s surrounding areas have always been number one on that list. NewZealand-BehindTheScenes-Matthew-31
Just to give you an idea: within a 40 minute drive radius you have amazing skiing fields, the ‘Narnia forest’, insane mountain bike tracks, crystal clear glacial lakes etc. It just doesn’t end. There are so many spots to shoot, I honestly had a hard time choosing my frames, even with a dual camera setup, as everywhere I looked there was incredible beauty to be captured!
Having such an extremely talented and inspirational crew to work with is a dream come true. Everyone knows exactly what they’re doing, and having worked together for a number of times we could pretty much jump out of the car, set the gear up and start shooting within 15 minutes. The backdrops of some of the shots look so pristine you just can’t believe it. We actually joked around about how it all looked green screened with some of the views we had.”
We were also assisted enormously by a local action sports photographer Camilla Rutherford who helped source locations, permits and athletes. Although usually working as a photographer, she was happy to switch roles and help out.

Ski Shoot

We were fortunate enough to be granted pre-opening access to one of New Zealand’s premiere ski fields – Cardrona – about an hour out of Queenstown. 7Dm2 skiingCamilla had organised two amazing skiers Nick Rapley + Harry Pettit for Mark to capture. We headed to the terrain park via our own snow-mobile and started shooting. The AF system of the 7D was truly impressive. Mark was able to capture the skiers hitting the sky every time they launched and was able to fire of numerous frames. One comment that Mark made is that the great thing about having 10FPS shooting rate is not actually the need to capture 10 images but the interval time between shots is halved when compared to a DSLR that shoots 5FPS.

A nice surprise came to this shoot when skier Nick offered to have a run down the mountain with the glidecam and 7D attached. After a little time convincing me that he could ski, jump and film, I handed him the balanced camera and prayed it came back in once piece! He filmed like a star and gave us a unique perspective to video capabilities of the camera.

We finished off this huge second day with a arduous climb up above the hills overlooking Queenstown to shoot a timelapse and discuss the camera’s built-in intervalometer. Everywhere you look in New Zealand is a speculator landscape.. I think even if you drop the camera you get a great shot of something!

Mountain Bike Shoot
The final day involved shooting a portrait shoot of a top Mountain biking athlete – Jeremy Little. We returned to the area of the timelapse shoot only to see a great sea of mist rolling in towards our location. Canon 7Dm2Thinking quickly, we decided to incorporate the weather into the script as it perfectly highlighted the rugged build and weather-sealing of the 7Dm2. I don’t think we could have scripted this but acting quickly as a team gave us something special.

The shoot began with a lifestyle shoot of the rider up above the mountains. Photographing athletes with their vehicles is something Mark does regularly so it was a perfect fit. We snuck in the built-in GPS feature into this part of the production as Mark decided it was a fantastic location, one worthy of returning to!


Something that was added last minute was the idea to produce a piece on the new and unannounced Canon G7X compact. Matthew Vandeputte is a world traveller, always on the move, and as he was already a part of the production on the 7Dm2 clip it was decided that he would be a perfect person to talk about this new camera.G7X We had only one day to produce a piece on this amazing compact and after shooting the 7Dm2 promo we were all pretty exhausted.

The G7x has some amazing specs – a 1 inch 20.2 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor powered by a Digic6 processor, 6.5 frames per second shooting, Wi-fi and a beautifully fast and sharp 1.8-2.8 zoom lens. All in a rugged little body. A perfect camera for people wanting great quality but ultra portability._06I6438

We filmed the promo around Queenstown including the forest where the Adventures of Narnia was filmed.

Matthew was a star. Here are some words from him about the shoot: “The experience of producing something to a hard deadline with a small crew in a stunning location is not something that comes along every day and I was honoured to be asked by Canon Australia to take the challenge on. The short film that we created was to be in good fun and to help create a splash for this exciting new camera and I hope we delivered.”

Here is the list of our team. Hope you enjoyed this Behind-the-scenes blog of our exciting week in NZ!

Our team:
Director/DP: Abraham Joffe
Production company: Untitled Film Works
Drone Operator: Toby De Jong (+ Mark Denmeade as 2nd drone)
Timelapse Photographer: Matthew Vandeputte
2nd Camera: Andrew Prochuk7D mark 2 BTS team
Editors: Hayley Yeoh + Andrew Prochuk.

Production co-ordinator: Camilla Rutherford
Assistant: Neal Danby – Canon NZ

Canon Australia
Untitled film works
Abraham Joffe
Mark Horsburgh
Matthew Vandeputte
Toby De Jong
Camilla Rutherford

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