“Sage” is the winner of the Panasonic EVA1 “Share Your Vision” short film contest for non-fiction, directed and shot by filmmaker Gabe Dinsmoor. Shot with the Panasonic EVA1, “Sage” is a tells the story of Errika Bridgeford, an activist who founded the Ceasefire Movement, which organizes ceasefire weekends to stop street violence in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dinsmoor transitioned from multimedia journalism to working on an HBO feature as a cinematographer and he had to learn on the job.
“One thing that is a common thread throughout my work is being involved in storytelling in my community and having a commitment to social justice,” explains Dinsmoor. “There are great stories that need to be told right in our own backyard. I think there is a misconception that you need to travel to find great stories and that’s not necessarily true.”
“SAGE” is a truly beautiful piece worthy of its own Netflix series IMHO. See it below.
For SAGE, Dinsmoor first captured Bridgeford while shooting for VICE News Tonight while they were reporting on one of the first Ceasefire weekends in 2017. He was immediately taken by her passion, warmth and grit.
“It wasn’t until 2017 became a record-setting year in terms of homicides per capita in Baltimore that I felt like this was a very important story that needed to be told,” explains Dinsmoor. “I saw that Erricka was on the front lines doing the work of building a grassroots anti-violence movement.”
Gabe Dinsmoor shooting handheld with his EVA1 (All photos courtesy of Gabe Dinsmoor)
Dinsmoor had previous experience with the Canon C300, a proven docu-workhorse camera, when working on Baltimore Rising but decided to upgrade to a “future-proof 4K cinema camera” which lead him to the EVA1.
According to him, the EVA1 won him because it felt like the right camera for the work he was doing – lightweight body with a Dual Native ISO, seemed like a winner when it came to shooting with available light.
“…with SAGE, there were times when we were on dark street corners with little to no light and I had to make use of the native 2500 ISO and fast lenses because there was zero possibility of lighting the scene.”
In shooting on dark streets with very little practical light, often in locations where someone had been murdered, Dinsmoor employed fast zoom lenses, including a Canon 17-55mm f/2.8, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, and a Canon 24mm f/1.4 prime.
He also used the EVA1’s Native 2500 ISO. “At times it was necessary to push to 5000 ISO depending on how dark the scene was, but I tried to not go above 4000 unless absolutely necessary to get a good exposure,” says Dinsmoor.
SAGE was shot in 4K DCI at 23.98-fps in Long GOP at 150Mbps since the ALL-I codec had not been released at the time of shooting.
“Overall, I’m very happy with how EVA1 performed while filming SAGE,” continues Dinsmoor.
“The image is cinematic and film-like, the color science is natural and pleasing, and the camera is lightweight, so you can go for hours shooting handheld run-and-gun style. The Dual Native ISO feature is super useful in so many situations so I felt confident that the EVA1 was the right camera choice for my film.”