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News & Insight

Nikon Short Film “Broken Night” created entirely with the Nikon D800

By Matthew Saville on January 12th 2013

This is what you get when extremely talented writers and cinematographers such as Guillermo Arriaga and Janusz Kaminski get their hands on a new camera and think creatively.  Arriaga is known as a writer / director for the likes of Babel, 21 Grams and Amores Perros while Kaminski is a two-time Academy award winner who worked on memorable films such as Schindler’s List, Amistad, and Lincoln.

The short film was created as a challenge posed by Nikon to two of the world’s top filmmakers to define the moment when striking cinematography and terror converge.  Their goal was to create something “terrifying, yet beautiful”.  And of course, they were to showcase the capabilities of the new Nikon D800 HD-capable DSLR.


You can view the short film, and numerous BTS videos, at

I found the film itself to be slightly creepy, but moreso a simple, brief display of both technical ability and creativity.  The l0w-light capabilities of the camera were definitely sampled quite well, and the fact that these DSLRs are so much less expensive than traditional cinema equipment allowed them to put more camera angles on a stunt, therefore shooting fewer takes, and thus reducing more than just camera cost.

If anything, the film is a more interesting story than “Reverie” from the debut of the 5D mk2, or the D800‘s original promo movie, “Joy Ride“.  …But maybe that’s just because I’ve been watching too much “The Walking Dead” lately, and am in the mood for “slightly creepy”.

Take care,

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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kevinduquemin

    I was asked shoot behind scenes of a syfy movie 51 degrees, all shot with Canon 5D’s its in PP right now

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  2. Jeffreyhowarth

    Wow that was trash.

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