House Season Finale Filmed Entirely with Canon 5D Mark II

The season finale of the popular TV show House, which will air on May 17th, was filmed entirely with the Canon 5D Mark II. cinema5D overheard the plan last month and Greg Yaitanes, the director of the show, has confirmed it through a tweet in which we made himself open to questions.

We’ll republish some of the interesting questions and answers here, interview style:

@MVRamunno: What is the difference in how it looks on a TV screen compared to a regular camera?

Greg Yaitanes: richer. shallow focus pulls the actors faces to forground [sic]

@oamad0101: How many frames per second and why a Canon 5D Mark II?

GY: 24p and wanted it for ease of use in tight spaces.

@unikissa: Ok, seriously. Can you tell us something about the lenses you used?

GY: all the canon primes and the 24-70 and the 70-200 zoom

@sarabury: Did you have to change any of your working practices to fit in with differences between the 5D and a typical setup?

GY: some. focus was hard with these lenses but more “cine-style” lenses are being made as we speak.

@marykir: were you using CF cards for storage or some sort of mass storage mod? seems like you would need a lot of cards :)

GY: some 18gb or something like that card. gave us 22 min of footage.

@Drdiagnostic: How was the quality as compared 2 the traditional camera used in shooting?

GY: i loved it and feel it’s the future. cameras that can give you these looks

@klizma: How did you manage to stabilize the camera in tight spaces? Any special kind of brackets?

GY: no. mostly gave it a hand held feel. or on a small tripod

This is quite an endorsement for Canon, with a network giant entrusting the finale of one of its most popular shows to the 5D Mark II (which happens to be the first digital camera to take the Presidential portrait as well).

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the popularity of the show:

In 2008, House was distributed in a total of 66 countries. With an audience of over 81.8 million worldwide, it was the most watched television show on the globe and far surpassed the viewership figures of the leading TV dramas the previous two years

If you haven’t yet, check out the short film, The Last 3 Minutes, which we posted earlier today. It was filmed with the same camera.

(via Canon 5D tips)

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  • JT

    thanks to you commenter: Name. This gave me a nice nostalgic flashback to my undergrad media class. I don't remember the name of the guy who sat in the back and had something negative and suspicious to say about everything. I miss that class. It wasn't very productive at times, like when the guy in the back kept droning on and droning on about how horrible all the new technology was, but, it was fun to relive it here … Thanks!

  • Jack Frost

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    The House 5DMk2 fact has been well known in the industry for a while.

    Not sure why you think anyone would want to lie about it.

  • Jack Frost

    Look, idiot, most people refer to the 5DMk2 as “5D”.
    If they say they shot video on the “5D” you know they meant the 5DMk2.

    What you're doing is just being a douche for the sake of being obnoxious.

    I think I speak for pretty much everyone here when I tell you to go fuck yourself and troll someplace else.

  • marc

    Hear ye, Micheal- worthy rant, assuredly, as per cameras/ filmmakers learning their craft.

    Certainly something there. Personally, I'm looking forward to the work we'll be seeing in the coming couple of years as these rigs become standard for film students. Already huge impact on storytelling with a camera. Thanks for posting the news (and your commentary).
    Cheers, M.

  • Thor

    Color grading is actually one area where even the most qualified can have issues with the DSLRHD craze of late, because they all shoot 8-bit RGB into H264.
    8-bit limits your range. RGB limits your options (vs RAW). H264 adds problems of its own.

    If you're coming from film and you want to shoot video, shoot RAW.
    Or at the very least shoot 12-bit RGB and use a less destructive compression (or none if you can).

  • Thor

    The “guy” is the director of the show, not the DP.
    It's not his job to know the technology used, it's his job to tell the story. He obviously liked what the 5DMk2 brought to the table and that's OK. I'm not a big fan of its video capabilities, but it is a wonderful still camera.

    Having just skimmed through here and seen your other posts, it's clear there's something very wrong with you.

  • Name

    That simply is nonsensical.
    Why give the job of telling the public about the technology used to someone who doesn't know what technology was used?

    It would be like Enzio Ferrari saying “I don't know the first thing about Ferraris, I just run the company. They put the car in the pits, I watch the race. It ends, I go home. That's all I know.”.

  • Name

    …don't be bitter *and* an idiot.

  • Name

    Seriously when you're wrong as well as stupid and mean, that really doesn't look good for you.

    “Look, idiot, most people refer to the 5DMk2 as “5D”.”

    No. Most of the people that you know may refer to the 5DMk2 as the 5D. Maybe even most of the people who shoot video with the 5DMk2 may refer to it as “the 5D”.

    But for damm sure most of the people who OWN a 5DMk2 and shoot stills with it don't refer to it as a 5D, and the same goes for everyone on eBay or on the Internet looking to buy one. How obvious does this have to be to you before you admit it?

    The 5D does not shoot video…the 5DMk2 does. So if you


    a 5D you will not be able to shoot video with it.

    “If they say they shot video on the “5D” you know they meant the 5DMk2.”

    That's possibly true. But that's definitely not the same thing as *saying* “I shot video with the 5D”. Which is absolutely untrue. And only a fool would say that.

    The fact that you might understand what they meant doesn't make what they said true or even sensible to say.

  • Name

    ….just like if you walk into an airport with some friends and make a joke about a bomb to one of your friends.

    That makes about as much sense as the ability of the nearest security guy to hear you.

    That's not something that someone who supposedly is speaking from a position of authority is going to say in public. It's what a goofball says on a stupid Internet forum.

  • dan

    hey you kook.. all this time youve been nitpicking about what a 5d or 5dmk2 is or isnt, people have been out there doing work, creating something. I doubt you even have a camera on your cellphone.. what work have you done lately besides being a jerk and trying to deliberately trying to bait people? Even funnier why not leave a link to some of your work? I doubt you have any.. please man, the internet has good purposes but giving a soapbox to losers like you, man thats a disappointment..

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  • nonamebrand007

    ummm… wouldn't he just go to google and type in CF CARD STORAGE SIZE then pick one if he was a faker?
    People who do, don't care, people who don't do, care…

    This guys job isn't to buy the CF card and stuff it into the camera..
    If I asked you, how many gigs are the red drives, would you know?
    I've used a red camera for 10 straight days, and I have no clue.. Though if I was lying and wanted to sound credible, a quick google search would tell me.

    Shit I couldn't even tell you which way my personal lenses focus when I rotate them… But with over 10y of photography under my belt I know when the camera's in my hand.

  • steveophoto

    And the Scarlet is where???

  • Name

    so what's your point, ignorance is credibility?

    Erroneous responses make you believable?

    Did you even read your own post before you posted it? LOL

    “Though if I was lying and wanted to sound credible, a quick google search would tell me. “

    No it wouldn't, that just goes to show how ignorant you are about Google. If you search for a product, anything that you might want to buy, on Google, it will happily return pages from sites that simply past your search term into a generic product form and half of the hits that you get will be complete BS.

    Which is what I said to the guy below this.

    Kingston, for example, does not list an 18GB CF card on their site, yet the guy below says that he has some.

  • mdubuque

    My clear understanding is you need to go the UDMA route on your cards, absolutely, it's a buffering related issue….

  • mdubuque

    It's not post, you need a UDMA card that will fix well over 80% of what you describe.

  • mdubuque

    Thor, are you speaking of changing my rgb setting on my 5dmkii to an adobe rgb instead of srgb?

    How does an owner of a 5dmkii avoid the trap you describe?

    Incidentally, steve hullfish, author of the great book on digital color grading, really likes video on the 5dmkii, so i'm a bit puzzled by your comment. Any thoughts?

  • Channie

    in reference to Name:
    You gotta love when people argue for the sake of arguing. The bottom line is that a big tv production was shot on an slr camera. I scrolled through your responses thinking you would be a valid counter to the idea of using an slr as a standard tool for filming. Instead, you just made these outlier claims about how the director is a fake or that the House episode that's being referred to isn't real. I just had to shake my head. I personally admire the shallow depth of field you can get on this slr, but I'm not sold on the idea of buying an slr for filmmaking.
    I'm thinking you feel the same way but I'd like to have valid reasons. For me, I shoot interviews and short term film projects for clients, and I know they would laugh at me if I went into a shoot holding an slr. They'd probably send me home on the spot. Even if I try to convince them “An episode of House was filmed on this camera!” they wouldn't listen to me. lol

    As of now, that's my only qualm with the 5D (I'll 5D mark II for Name since he/she is so sensitive about the “5D” nickname) , but i'd like to know if anyone has any counter-arguments besides that.

  • Karel Bata

    Today I was prepping a RED in a rental house and asked how things were going. It seems that RED rentals are losing out to people hiring the 5D and 7D. Wow, I thought, that didn't take long. Are other people here finding this?

    I also noticed they didn't bother saying “Mark 2″ every time they mentioned the 5D, because it really was kind of obvious…

  • Name

    …it's sort of like how people love to voice their opinions simply for the sake of hearing themselves talk.

    I think the one thing that has come out of this is a lot of real work shot with a 5DMk2 that as far as I can tell doesn't look all that bad. It's not *great*, but not something with which I'd point out problems with tearing during motion or misfocus or anything like that.

    It's conceivable that a TV show could be shot with this camera. Not impossible.

    So what happens from there? In the end, that's what matters. More talk, or some actual shooting.

  • floridavideoproduction

    Ok Im seling my hvr v1u and getting d5. What would you all recomend to get for best DOF.



  • Name

    No, it *is* because both you and they are idiots.

    The 5D CANNOT SHOOT VIDEO. Furthermore the name of the camera is the 5DMarkII.

    So why call it a 5D?

    Simple. You're an idiot.

  • Name

    …you walk into a camera-store and ask for a 5D, they're not going to give you a 5DMk2. Go on eBay and buy a 5D, don't complain when you get one.

    Why the hell would you think it's ok to call one the other? They have different names for a reason! THEY ARE NOT THE SAME EFFING CAMERA.

  • chantaletc

    Well said! I think I'll plan a trip to B & H and do some testing.

  • Karel Bata

    Do you mean shallow DOF? :) Virtually any decent lens. The bigger image area on a D5 will give you shallower DOF automatically. Rather depends on your budget…

  • Name

    indeed…cinema-quality video is one thing (ignoring content), but streaming video on the web is another.

    I think that if you take the average point & shoot that can shoot 480p and a 5DMk2 and mix in clips from each one, and you have 4 simple choices. That really ought to make this a clear decision for most people who are simply priced out of the DAT market.

    Those who can *afford* high-end equipment, they have a different problem. However, if simple issues like dynamic-range are enough to make it clear that one will work and another will not, then that's easy too. But if you can work around the reduced DR or you don't see anything significant in terms of IQ with the lower-end gear, then your argument becomes one of justifying high-end gear when it doesn't give you a visual payback that you can even qualify, much less quantify.

  • Name

    Indeed this is the much more significant issue. It puts pressure on high-end shops to match the content that shooters will produce with much-cheaper gear, they are no longer isolated by the IQ limitations of 480p-capable point & shoots and the like, which clearly require heavy NR to produce anything resembling decent IQ.

    However *still* any goof can take a $100 p&s and go out and produce 30fps 480p video. Similarly there's not a whole huge advantage in the 5DMk2 with 1080p and the D90 and certainly a host of other APS-C and 4/3rds cameras with 720p capability.

  • chantaletc

    Right, if you are in the market for something that can simply get a good picture, your options are simple. On the other hand, the only thing I'm seeing that is an advantage for the 5dmk2 is that it has a big sensor and a very narrow depth of field. In the end though, it is still an slr camera. This means its options and customizations are meant for a photographer. Having the dynamic video capabilities is a huge plus for the photographer who may want to do some recording at times. The same goes for camcorders that have “point and shoot” capabilities. The camcorder is not meant for still photography, but the option is there if you desire it. So from a videographer/filmmaker's perspective, is the 5dMk2 clearly meant for them? Absolutely not. Otherwise, there would better audio options. There would be a way to film for long periods of time. In a situation where a videographer would have to keep the camera rolling, I doubt the 5dMk2 could handle that. In a controlled environment where you can “cut” between takes…well that's a different story.
    What I'm saying is that prosumer cameras and the accessories made for them (including the camera's onboard settings) are all intended to compensate or supply the videographer/filmmaker with everything he/she could possibly need to rectify any issue. If you hit a road block with a prosumer camera, chances are, there is something out there that can resolve it. Would the same options be available for the 5dMk2? I'm not so sure.

    The problem with buying things to rectify one's needs is that it starts getting really pricey.


    But yeah, you're right, it really boils down to the buyer's needs. The shortcomings of 5dmk2 may not seem so bad to some. The same goes for a prosumer camera's shortcomings. It really all depends.

  • Name

    Yes, it's like the Himalayas now. Practically anyone can climb them these days, because the support system is in place to get you up there even if you're a cripple.

    That doesn't mean that it's a good idea for every cripple to try to ascend the Himalayas, or even that it would be all that impressive if they did.

  • Name

    He's the DOP for Chrisake – why would he care what capacity card the camera is using? It's like asking your pilot if he or she knows the brand of fuel the plane is using. Other people worry about stuff like that.

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  • Camclik

    Ok, Ive been following this thread and I have come to a conclusion. This “name” guy is a complete asshole, he is the only one on here who doesn't seem to realize that everyone else has shortened the name Canon EOS 5D MkII, to simply… 5D!! It is the current model in this range, the old 5D is NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION… HELLO?
    He is either very stupid or a weirdo… or both, he is obviously an overly-obsessed video geek and is very jealous of the 5D's abilities (sorry, should I say Canon EOS 5D MK II Firmware version orsomethinglikethatmadeinjapan?) and is just annoying everyone who reads the thread!
    Is it possible for the moderator to block him so we can enjoy the healthy balanced opinions being raised by others, rather than this guys claptrap?

  • Name

    I'd bet they know.

  • Name

    How can you rationally call discussions of shooting video with a camera that can't shoot video “healthy balanced discussions”?

  • Name

    “5D!! It is the current model in this range, the old 5D is NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION…”

    That still doesn't mean the 5D can shoot video.

    The 5D cannot shoot video. Whether it is in production or out of production.

    So call it the “Mk2″. If calling it “the 5DMk2″ is too difficult for you.

  • Name

    The 5D cannot shoot video.

    The 5DMk2 can shoot video.

    End of story.
    Deal with it.

  • Name

    I'll bet that you've been *dying* to call someone else that, instead of always feeling like you're the only douche out there.

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