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‘Canon offers African filmmakers tools that support their creative requirements, storytelling’

With the investment of eight percent of its revenues in research and development, Canon has been pushing the boundaries in technology and innovation for ground-breaking products for filmmakers and imaging creatives globally.

Congratulations on the many innovative offerings from Canon. Why did Canon invest in new technologies that support low budget movie production?

Advances in technology are having an increasing impact on society, and the pace of development continues to accelerate. To meet the challenge of these rapidly changing times, Canon stays on the cutting edge by actively pursuing research and development (R&D) around the world.

Canon cameras are developed after R&D informed by the input of customers through our closer to customer strategy. The feedback from the market allows us to understand and appreciate better the experience of a broad section of photographers and videographers of all levels of skills and experience. Each year we invest 8 percent of our revenues in R&D, pushing the boundaries in technology and innovation to develop and launch ground-breaking products.

Read also: Canon revolutionizes African film industry with high-tech cinema cameras

In your view, which of the cameras are purpose-built for budget movie production?

It is Canon’s EOS C70. It is a compact and versatile camera that is the first to combine the powerful image quality of Canon’s Cinema EOS System range with the portability and flexibility of its EOS R line-up. For the first time ever, filmmakers using a Canon Cinema EOS System camera can enjoy the incredible possibilities of the powerful RF lens range.

Considering their hi-tech, are there trainings to expose directors of photography in movie production to the workings of the cameras, maintenance, and servicing?

At Canon, we have always believed in empowering our customers and all photographers in general with knowledge and an opportunity to experience our equipment. We have the Miraisha initiative that supports the Canon Academy where we host regular sessions with various partners to develop skills of African youth in imaging. We also recently added a digital portal called Canon Connected as one of the ways in which we help develop the industry by sharing knowledge. Canon Ambassadors and other renowned photographers and filmmakers have recorded sessions where they share their skills to help people improve their skills while at home.

Wwe also looked at forging a stronger collaboration between us and our partners so we could work better together in serving our customers. We also aimed to expand the skills and tools of our technicians to be able to enhance our support to more customers.

What feedback are you getting from filmmakers who have used the new technologies in their production?

We have invested into more dynamic partnerships with creative industries, such as Nollywood. We have been fortunate enough to have Kunle Afolayan, award winning filmmaker, use our Cinema EOS C300 Mark II last year for his production of Mokalik and more recently for his latest film, Citation, where he used the cutting-edge EOS C500 Mark II camera. It is an opportunity to support the best creatives with the best equipment, so they achieve the best form of their vision, and hopefully win more awards on a global scale.

How accessible are the new cameras, which Canon intends to use in supporting low budget production?

Canon has provided African creatives some of the best tools to define it. We have already seen an increase of African content on global streaming sites as a reflection of innovative new ways of sharing content. At Canon, we worked very hard to be part of that revolution by providing award winning equipment that is also accredited by streaming platforms like Netflix. This sort of endorsement gives African filmmakers the confidence to know they are working with tools that will support their creative requirements, while meeting and surpassing industry standards. That alone means that our creatives are using exactly the same standard of equipment as the best filmmakers and other imaging creatives globally. We are confident that this is the right step towards seeing more homegrown content on the biggest viewing platforms more regularly.

Apart from the cameras, what else is Canon doing to boost quality movie production in Africa?

Generally, we support professionals and enthusiasts with leading cameras and lenses. However, we also bolster this support by actively developing future professionals. The long-term goal is to support the creation of a sustainable imaging industry in the region. We rely on our Miraish Programme to help us achieve this outcome of empowering young Africans with skills, experience and exposure to help them reach their best potential in imaging. Miraisha is a combination of the Japanese word ‘Mirai’, which means Future and the Swahili word ‘Maisha’, which means Livelihood. Miraisha has been inspired by the company’s corporate philosophy, called Kyosei, which embodies the ideal of living and working together for the common good.

We also develop a relationship with the brand through Canon Academy and the Canon Tech Talk series, to address knowledge sharing and consumer education. The idea is to develop and support the market and its skills, and through this relationship, learn more about what African creatives want – then deliver innovative class leading products developed through lessons learnt from first-hand knowledge.

So far, are there partnerships with local movie companies and firms on movie production?

Canon hosted a private press screening of Golden Effects Pictures latest movie ‘MOKALIK’. The private screening had exclusive guest attendance including members of the media, key industry stakeholders, cast and crew. Canon also showcased the full range of professional Canon cameras and lenses, enabling the Nigerian filmmaking community to network and get firsthand hands-on experience of Canon professional camcorders.

Following the Mokalik movie screening, produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan, using the Canon EOS C300 Mark II along with range of Canon Cinema Lenses CN-E14MM, CN-E24MM ,CN-E35MM, CN-E50MM, CNE85mm and CN-E135MM, Mokalik stars the popular singer, Simi, alongside prominent actors such as Femi Adebayo, Charles Okocha and Faithia Williams through a deeply personal tale.

Kunle Afolayan said, “Mokalik is an ambitious film project that tells a story, which is unique and relevant to our society. It beautifully highlights diversity while distinctively addressing the issues around choice. Creating this movie has been an amazing experience and Canon made the experience even better with their support. The Canon EOS C300 Mark II – stunning 4K quality and versatility allowed me as a producer to experience creative vision in stunning cinematic details and provide footage suitable for extensive post-production work. The EOS C300 Mark II with Canon cine lenses range also helped the team to technically get one step ahead and create a world-class movie, which promises to break boundaries”.

How much impact do you think the new cameras will make on the quality of movies?

We provide award winning equipment. Africa in general has been an exciting market for Canon where we have grown ever since we have been doing business in the region. We have pioneered initiatives in many markets and these initiatives give Canon an opportunity to help our customers gain more value from their equipment as we share our knowledge with our customers so they can do more with their Canon equipment. For Canon we also learn more about what our customers truly desire and use these insights for our R& D which is why we continue to be the global imaging leader.

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