The “Steve Jobs” of Canon filmmakers has spoken

Ever since Dale Kamp introduced me to Philip Bloom’s work, it has been a fascinating experience for both of us, while watching his films, to attempt to put a finger on what exactly it is about his films that enthralls cyberspace audiences and captivates the hearts of thousands. How did he manage to get over 18,000 followers on Twitter and have several short films on Vimeo with plays in the hundreds of thousands? (Okay, I realize that if you film yourself being kicked in your lower regions and post it on YouTube it will instantly get over a million views, but this is Vimeo we are talking about. Quality viewers who demand quality content.)  Is it the bokeh? The slow motion? The fast motion? The excellent choice in music? The people sitting there staring into the camera? Or is it something completely separate from the films themselves, like his gentlemanly British accent, perhaps?

Philip Bloom has become a phenomenon, albeit on a much smaller scale, similar to Steve Jobs. He’s the only guy whose short films have their own RDF. DSLR filmmakers all across the globe hail his word as law. At NAB, one of the largest video and audio tech conferences in the world, swarms of video neophytes blindly pass by that one guy who made Reverie (which I will always consider the seminal DSLR film, by the way) in hopes of being able to get a glimpse of Philip Bloom. I really hope he is on Canon’s payroll, because he’s sure sold a lot of cameras for them. Or perhaps, like Jobs, he opted to receive only a $1 per year salary.

Well today, thanks to Cristina Valdivieso and Jon Connor of Canon Filmmakers, his keynote speech is streaming on the web. Even though he wasn’t wearing a black mock turtleneck, thousands will hang on every word he says. I particularly enjoyed his final words of wisdom: it’s not the gear, it’s what you shoot, so go out there and shoot some great stuff!

Here it is, in all its glory:

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5 comments

  1. “what exactly it is about his films that enthralls cyberspace audiences and captivates the hearts of thousands. How did he manage to get over 18,000 followers on Twitter and have several short films on Vimeo with plays in the hundreds of thousands?”

    1) He tells a good story – visually.

    2) He’s a nice guy (never met him) but he comes across as being very genuine, and interested in people.

    3) And that (2) is evidenced in his films “……. People” – you dont pull off stuff like that by being a total jerk, being rude, and having poor interpersonal skills.

    The success of so much of the really good stuff in filming and photography is usually down to having good people skills. YMMV!

    1. John,

      Well noted. He seems like a really nice guy. He’s great at what he does, too, and that definitely doesn’t hurt. Thanks foe your comment!

  2. You’re welcome.

    One other observation – PB has a particularly fine and I’d say intuitive understanding of, and ability to use, light. Look at some of the old master painters, esp Dutch – eg Vermeer – their clever textural use of light adds a 3d effect to their work. Now compare to much of PB’s films. PB’s work is for me like that of a painter, simply using modern digital tools.

    You can go far in life being skilled and a ruthless bas*ard, but you’ll go a lot further being skilled and a nice guy!

  3. […] to meet the one and only Philip Bloom (basically we DSLR filmmakers worship the ground he walks on, see my previous post where I attempt to explain the Philip Bloom effect). Immediately when I walked up to Philip, he recognized me, and without looking at my NAB badge, […]

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