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Greg Yaitanes about shooting HOUSE on 5DmkII


Greg comes from a big Greek family. His film career started at age 23 with his directorial debut Hard Justice (1995). Greg proved his filmmaking mature beyond his years, evoking comparisons to Adrian Lyne and the Scott Brothers. Hard Justice (1995) became the highest-grossing film ever backed by Nu Image Productions and was distributed internationally by New Line Cinema. This led to an exclusive three-picture deal with Warner Brothers. After waiting seven hours for a ten minute meeting with Joel Silver, Greg screened his trailer for Hard Justice (1995). Silver signed him on the spot to direct Double Tap (1997), Silver's first feature for his Decade banner.

Greg continues to bring his unique vision to both the big and small screens. He now counts producing and developing among his many accomplishments and directs House, winning an 2008 Emmy Award for Outstanding Director For a Drama Series. 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. As television and movie studios realise the advantages of shooting on HDSLRs, more and more TV shows and films are being shot on cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

The season six finale of House was shot entirely with a 5DmkII - a huge change if you consider that the show have been always shot on 35mm film. Greg made the reveal through his Twitter account and then did a technical talk with Philip Bloom [the entire 60min interview at the end]. Explaining why he chose to use the 5DmkII Greg said it was for its "ease of use in tight spaces," as he indicated that the episode had many hand-held shots or scenes that were shot using a small tripod. He also explained how the results were different from using a traditional camera, with the images being "richer", while "the shallow focus pulls the actors faces to the foreground," and admitted, "I was blown away by the depth-of-field."


The 5DmkII recently benefited from a Canon firmware update (Version 2.0.4) that, among other improvements, added 24fps and 25fps movie recording. Greg has confirmed that the 'House' season finale episode was shot at 24 frames per second. Greg underlined the importance of using Canon interchangeable lenses and said that the episode had employed: "all the Canon primes, and the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm zoom." The Canon prime lenses used were the EF50mm f/1.2L USM, the EF85mm f/1.2L II USM, and the EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. He noted that in using the 5DmkII the production crew didn't have to change their workflow, but that he did see: "huge potential for huge time savings." He added: "The idea that we could be untethered and go anywhere – without hauling film and bags of lenses – that was exciting."

The finale aired on FOX at 8pm on Monday, May 17th.


Kudos to Philip Bloom for this exclusive interview

Gregs' Filmography: House MD, Lost, Heroes, Prison Break, Grey's Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, Alias, Bones, CSI:NY, CSI:Miami, Las Vegas, Drive, Damages and more. The Canon 5DmkII is increasingly being used for film and television projects, including the films 'The Journey', 'New Town Killers' and 'Helter Skelter' directed by Richard Jobson, and the 'idents' that appear between programmes on the FIVE USA TV channel. • For the 7D users: Greg says to Philip "I believe that – and correct me if I’m wrong – that the sensor on the 1D and the 7D are not as big and that was also something that we wanted. We wanted the biggest image that we could acquire as well as providing the cinema of it. We wanted it to have a very rich look." I asked Greg via twitter if the ONLY reason he went with the 5D instead of the 7D was the full frame sensor and he confirmed that to me. This also clarifies that the image quality of both cameras is the same (and exceptable from the big studios) and the only difference is the 1.6 crop factor of the 7D.