June 2019 £4.99

SENSE OF UNITY The game engine advantage in filmmaking GOOD OMENS Creating the visual world for the end of world


GAME THEORY Technical stories behind the latest GoT series






EDITORIAL Editor Julian Mitchell 01223 492246 Staff writer Chelsea Fearnley Contributors Phil Rhodes, Madelyn Most Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans Junior sub editor Elisha Young ADVERTISING Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 Sales manager Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 Key accounts Nicki Mills 01223 499457 DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Designers Lucy Woolcomb, Emily Lancaster, Emma Di’Iuorio Senior designer & production manager Flo Thomas Ad production & designer Man-Wai Wong PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook @definitionmagazine Twitter @definitionmags Instagram @definitionmags MEDIA PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS OF BRIGHT PUBLISHING LTD, BRIGHT HOUSE, 82 HIGH STREET, SAWSTON, CAMBRIDGESHIRE CB22 3HJ UK

Banks of Arri SkyPanels light up The Long Night episode from Game of Thrones Season 8


T here is a dirty little secret that traditional broadcasters have been hiding ever since they started emulating streaming only platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. But when The Long Night episode in Season 8 of Game of Thrones was broadcast by companies like Now TV (part of Sky in the UK), it was there for all to see – and boy did that set the social media trolls off. My picture was a mess of compression banding and blocking that all but ruined the watching experience. As is usual with these keyboard warriors, they lashed out at who they thought was to blame. And in this instance, that was the DOP, Fabian Wagner. Poor Fabian’s social media channels lit up with uninformed opinions that this was his fault, after he mentioned in an interview that some viewers might not know how to adjust their televisions. I’m guessing that none of those trolls read this magazine, but watching my Now TV broadcast of episode 3 made me yearn for my old DVD player. Let’s hope that the experience doesn’t stop Fabian playing with light as brilliantly as he does.


Definition is published monthly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Definition is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Definition that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Prices quoted in sterling, euros and US dollars are street prices, without tax, where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.

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GEAR TESTS JVC HC500 JVC has launched a 4K camcorder with effortless livestreaming capabilities. HIVE BUMBLE BEE Hive rounds out its collection with its smallest ever light. BEBOB MICRO BATTERIES The new range is ultra compact and comes in a choice of mount styles and watt-hours.


SET- UP TITLE SEQUENCE The highly anticipated Manson-era movie has its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. NEWS INTERVIEW Unity for all, not just for gamers. The 3D real-time development engine is being increasingly used as a production tool. TECH INNOVATION AWARDS Voting for our inaugural awards has ended: we announce the winners. CINE GEAR EXPO The SoCal trade event held at the historic Paramount Studios is upon us. Here’s our preview. DRAMA GAME OF THRONES May contain spoilers for anyone living under a rock for the last eight years. We look back on the series. GOOD OMENS Adapting the unadaptable: the 1990 fantasy novel gets a television series. FEATURES WOMEN IN CINEMATOGRAPHY We pay tribute to the finest cinematographers, who also happen to be women. LIGHTING UPDATE LED lighting at NAB in Las Vegas was in vast array. Here’s our choice review. CONTENTS 06 08 13 20 30 42 48 59




4K CAMERA LISTINGS Our unique camera listings now offer kit essentials and recommended accessories.






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This is a real snapshot from Hollywood: A-list actress Margot Robbie strutting down a Hollywood street being filmed by legendary DOP Robert Richardson on his favourite Chapman Leonard crane, with his hands on a Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 film camera. All for Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood . The movie celebrates the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles, with the backdrop of the Charles Manson murders – Robbie plays Sharon Tate while Brad Pitt plays stunt double Cliff Booth. ONCE UPON A TIME

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Game engines are disrupting the media industry – but really, platforms like Unity are just another tool set THE NEW DIGITAL PUPPET MASTERS STRIVING FOR UNITY


I f you look at the process of making a film from start to finish, you begin by sketching your ideas out with storyboarding, for instance, and timing them out in an editing program – to the very end, when pixels are on the screen in a movie theatre. People are using Unity in myriad ways within that spectrum, and for content like episodic animation it can be start to finish. Adam Myhill, Head of Cinematics at Unity, highlights a recent animation series. “The Baymax Dreams project that we did for Disney, which features Big Hero Six, the big puffy robot, we did that start to finish within Unity and it was all about real-time animation. But not everybody is going to do that, for Blade Runner , The Jungle Book and Ready Player One for instance, Unity featured in a much more virtual production environment.”

SHARING ENVIRONMENTS In these movies, the director and multiple people were sharing an environment. “For instance, if you’re on a laptop you can see everything and the director’s wearing a VIVE VR headset, and someone else is on another machine. You can puppeteer experiences live, so someone’s animating the gazelles running to the left and the director says, ‘can we move the shadows on the left a bit more because we want the shadows to rack across the front of the camera, and also why don’t we move the mountains a bit as well?’. “What we’re finding is that directors are feeling they have never, in CG, been so close to their characters because in a pure CG

RIGHT Adam Myhill, Head of Cinematics at Unity, believes the system makes for better filmmaking

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world each shot is done by a different layout person, the animation is done differently from the lighting, and you don’t actually see everything until the end when it gets in to compositing. “So we bring all that forward, which allows you to have a finger in every department. If you want to edit, move a light, change a lens and do colour grading, you can do it all at the same time because they’re all right there, as it’s all real time and it’s all in one program.” MASSIVE CHANGE The impact of this kind of change in production is huge and will affect the whole industry. “This is a media revolution. I might be biased, but it’s true. It will have the same impact as the move from film to digital cinematography, in terms of changing what happens on set and changing the equipment. Here’s an example: you’re doing a VFX shot on a film, let’s say you’re comping in a dinosaur. The traditional way What we’re seeing now with every new version of Unity is the increased quality of the graphics

ABOVE Unity’s short film Sonder combines 2D animation with the richness of 3D environments

the dinosaur on the set, literally where you want it. You can then change exactly what you want. “What the CG houses are saying, and this is a quote from Digital Filmtree in LA: ‘More money is hitting the screen because now, when we build something, we know that it’s exactly what they want because it was already tried out on set’. They’re very happy, as the time is shorter but the quality is higher. These are tools that people shouldn’t be afraid of because once they try them out they’ll see that they are so transformative.” REAL TIME The work that Unity did with The Jungle Book was based on proxies with basic shading, but it was still great to see everything. “What we’re seeing now with every new version of Unity is the increased quality of the graphics, including recently real-time ray tracing. So the quality of the real-time representation of these models is getting better and better.” Unity are at present talking and working with all the main content producers, including companies like Netflix who are on course to embrace the virtual production world – but it’s not all about saving money, “We initially thought that saving money was going to be the huge thing, and it is for some smaller studios, but for the larger studios it’s not all about saving money. They want the savers to allow for more time developing stories so the content is better, they feel that they can get closer to the characters and experiment. You can see if jokes are working and the timing is right; you have more choices – ‘what if we shot this with an overhead or changed the edit on that?’. “Neill Blomkamp on Adam 2 quite famously changed the lighting on one of the shots on the last day from a noon sun to a four-o’clock-in-the-afternoon sun. It was about 2:30pm when it had to be done, which in traditional CG is beyond laughable but it was done on time on the day.”

of doing this is that the director and the DOP and everyone is on set, and they’re saying, ‘the dinosaur is going there’, and they close their eyes and visualise what it will look like. Then a VFX supervisor will measure where the camera is and everything else in the shot, and they will go back to the CG house who will look at the photos and the measurements, and will build what they need to build and then make the dinosaur and comp it in, probably cleaning up some stuff to make it look as real as possible. “The director is then seeing it maybe three weeks later from the initial shot – and realises that the dinosaur should have come in from the left and not the right. What we do is allow the dinosaur to be there in the set, so you’re there with an iPad – you see

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Finally, we have the results of our inaugural Tech Innovation Awards, but instead of just listing them, here’s a bit more information... THE WINNER’S STORIES AWARDS


T here is a danger in awarding prizes for products. There are inevitable comparisons to be concluded, and this is something we didn’t want to do with our first awards: the Definition Tech Innovation Awards. We wanted to dig a little deeper, and maybe reward research and development over marketing. We also wanted to make our categories purposefully unfocussed. A category like Capture, for example, included Cooke’s /i Technology and Radiant Images AXA rigs, but it was Red’s Gemini sensor that won. Colour Science is not an individual product, but as part of a camera’s sensor cluster chain, it’s a huge tool.

Optics is perhaps our only clear category and long may it remain that way. Codecs are a techy’s dream and this year has seen some major advances. Movement, again, is a wide choice, but look at the advances and you can’t really look past robotics. Playback is another category full of choices, but a 4K, 10-bit Teradek Bolt is hard to argue with. For Virtual, we are only touching the surface of what will become available – keep your eyes on Arraiy. For Lighting, we wanted all the modern technology wrapped up in the best practical help for modern lighting design: Cineo Lighting and NBCUniversal fitted the bill.

We wanted to reward research and development over marketing

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WINNER OF CAPTURE RED DSMC2 GEMINI 5K S35 SENSOR The Red Gemini sensor was a surprise to the market when it was soft launched by the company last year. The headline feature was its low-light capability, and it’s another great product from wherever Red get its sensors. Red initially saw the market for Gemini as being a specialist one, but it was too good just for that. As a comparison to the rest of the Red range, the Gemini offered superior low- light performance to the Helium sensor. The sensor is taller inside the DSMC2 brain, with a 30.72x18.0 mm size and a diagonal of 35.61mm, which only achieves 5K resolution compared to the Helium’s 8K resolution, but allows for greater anamorphic lens coverage than with the Helium or Red Dragon sensors.

However, for most people the 5K resolution is more than enough, as this resolution fully complies with broadcast 4K requirements, so is quite happy with drama and natural history programming. The Gemini 5K S35’s party trick is the dual sensitivity modes – probably the reason for the name – which Red calls standard and low light modes. Add 96fps at 5K, and you have a sensor performance that stands up against anything in the S35 market. SHORTLIST n Red DSMC2 Gemini 5K S35 sensor n Radiant Images AXA VR rigs n Cooke /i Technology

What Light Iron was able to add to the Panavision DXL camera was an in- built colour science engine. It wanted to offer what you could achieve in a DI lab inside the camera when you shot. The idea was to offer similar colour tuning through the camera as Panavision offered through their lens tuning. Light Iron Color 2 deviates from traditional digital colour matrices by following in the footsteps of film stock philosophy, instead of direct replication of how colours look in nature. Light Iron claims a revolutionary image mapping process, delivering a rich, cinematic look right out of the camera, with ‘film-like density, neutral shadows and natural skin tones’. But more than this, users of Panavision’s DXL2 camera now have something that Red Monstro 8K users don’t, as, apart from LiColor2, the cameras have the same sensor chain. SHORTLIST n Panavision Light Iron Color 2 n Red Image Processing Pipeline [IPP2] n FilmLight Baselight v5

Light Iron was a fast growing post- production house specialising in digital intermediate, also reaching into the acquisition space with Outpost, its DIT mobile lab service. The Cioni brothers, Michael and Peter, have acute business sense and colour science knowledge from years of DI, which made them a perfect fit for Panavision, with an acquisition in 2015 as Panavision’s latest digital camera was fast approaching its launch.


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The Arri DNA lens story is as much a credit to Arri Rental as it is to DOP Bradford Young when he shot Solo: A Star Wars Story . Young was looking for a lens solution for the movie that would twin the Alexa 65 camera that he had decided on. He was happy to break some rules, saying: “It was more important that I was bearing witness to glass that I had literally never seen before, glass that had never been used on movies before. So we were really breaking rules – not shooting Panavision glass was one of those. Not shooting anamorphic, so that’s another rule broken. Every day was like reinventing the wheel, but the format was at the mercy of the optics.” Long story short, Arri Rental ramped up the R&D on its DNA range of glass to give Young what he wanted. Initially, he tried out a 50mm and realised this was the look he was looking for – even though it was still in modular form without a scale or ring, but with a XPL mount. Other lenses quickly followed and the rest is history. Arri isn’t saying exactly what vintage glass the DNA lenses use, but it is emphasising the customisation, with filmmakers able to achieve the look they want. Arri is emphasising the customisation, with filmmakers able to achieve the look theywant



Arri DNA lenses

Raw recording – when treated and graded properly – makes the most wonderful images, but it also comes with some hefty logistical issues. The main ones being file size, cost and time. With Sony’s X-OCN codec, a lot of these issues have changed. X-OCN (eXtended tonal range Original Camera Negative) uses the 16-bit precision, but it moderates the bit rates. This, in turn, means you get much smaller file sizes than typical camera Raw, giving you fantastic tonal expression, longer record times, faster file transfers and hopefully saving you money in post-production. One TB of 4K X-OCN at 24fps can record up to 168 minutes compared with 130 minutes for 1TB of Sony Raw. We tested this codec against Sony Raw, and from what we saw, we couldn’t tell them apart. Like Raw, X-OCN doesn’t bake in your exposure index, colour space, LUTs, gamma etc. It captures these parameters as monitoring settings and is totally non-destructive, meaning you have amazing control and much better flexibility in post- production. There are two flavours of X-OCN: the first being standard (ST) and the second, light (LT). X-OCN ST has 40% longer recording time and approximately 30% shorter file transfer time than Sony Raw. The advantages for X-OCN LT are greater still, with 136% longer recording time and roughly 59% shorter file transfer. SHORTLIST n Sony X-OCN for Venice n Blackmagic Raw n Codex High Density Encoding

n Fujinon Premista LF n Canon Sumire Prime LF

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onto standard track. Agito Sports will also follow magnetic track that is far quicker to lay down and is safe to use in stadiums. But the future is trackless, and this will set your camera free. Traditionally dollies are used on tracks, but once you realise you don’t have to lay track, you won’t go back. Agito wants to take out the variability of filmmaking – you have the beauty of instant repeatability in any situation. SHORTLIST n Motion Impossible Agito n Titan drone by HFS n Shotover B1

This was a hard-fought category, but once you see the Motion Impossible Agito working, you realise you’re looking at the future of camera movement. The initial idea from the company was to design robotics that would replicate every camera movement that any piece of equipment can do. (The only limit would be extreme height.) Add to that, stabilisation and add- ons that allow all that in all terrains. Modularity is a key component, as the Agito has been designed to work in many different scenarios, including stadiums, in the middle of fields, film sets, wildlife and much more. Motion Impossible has also designed a way of changing its ends to suit the shoot. You can easily change the wheels for track wheels, so you are able to go

Teradek’s big announcement at the recent NAB Show was the Bolt 4K: the industry’s first zero-delay 4K HDR wireless video transmitter. This is a great engineering achievement and changes the game for wireless camera comms. This is a full 10-bit 4:2:2 transmission up to 1500 feet. There’s a whole new radio inside of the Bolt 4K, which means you’re getting about eight times more reliable signal than the previous generation managed. There’s better image detail and colour reproduction and, uniquely, Teradek has put Bluetooth inside to synch with a new app for iOS. This has a 5 GHz spectrum WINNER OF PLAYBACK TERADEK BOLT 4K

analyser inside of the app, so you can see all the noise in the environment before you start transmitting and choose the channel with the least amount of interference. You can also use the app to pair your transmitters and receivers, so you’re doing without a computer as you did before. The silicon that’s inside is from Amimon, which is used by Arri for its wireless camera. Teradek, as part of Vitec, now owns the company, so will have this technology to itself, while still supplying to Arri. SHORTLIST n Teradek Bolt 4K n SmallHD Cine 7 n Atomos Shogun 7

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WINNER OF LIGHTING CINEO LIGHTING AND NBCUNIVERSAL LIGHTBLADE EDGE SERIES The advances in lighting product design are one of the main reasons you go to big trade shows. For such a small industry, the speed of innovation is breathtaking. The range of lights that Cineo has designed with NBCUniversal are the winners of the lighting category, but there was a colossal amount of innovation to choose from. The LightBlade Edge modular fixtures are what Cineo calls ‘the ultimate creative lighting tools for motion picture and broadcast’. Cineo, which has a history of producing respected remote phosphor panels, has focussed on its collaboration with NBCUniversal for the LightBlade Edge modular fixtures. The LightBlades are, as the name hints, in a similar form factor to fluorescent tubes, and can be banked to create a one- kilowatt array that retains the individual tubes’ ability to mix colours and can create chasing effects, perhaps to simulate the pass of light for a studio-bound car interior. The LightBlade Edge fixtures offer a unique modular design. LightBlades are integrated into the mounting system to create the Edge 160 (two blade) and Edge 320 (four blade) fixtures, delivering 10,000 or 20,000 lumens. The LightBlades in the Edge fixture can be set to operate as an integrated light source, or they can operate independently for dynamic lighting effects. SHORTLIST n Cineo Lighting and NBCUniversal Edge Series n BB&S Area 48 Color n LiteGear LiteMat Spectrum


It was very timely to include a Virtual category in our awards – and also timely that we came upon Arraiy when we were at NAB this year. We were, in fact, advised by VFX supervisor Kevin Baillie from Method Studios to seek out the company at the Pixotope stand. Arraiy’s camera tracking technology is called DeepTrack, which is just a part of its virtual products. It’s a through-the-lens monocular tracking solution that is entirely 100% software based, just understanding the features and the textures of a scene. It calibrates the camera, which takes about 20 seconds, and then does some deep learning on the environment, whether that’s in the studio or in a sports environment outdoors. It can create a model over three to four hours, depending on what the scene is, and then you have a known geometry of every scene. You can then enable any camera that’s in that scene to camera track and to object track. The next thing Arraiy is developing is a segmentation rotoscoping solution, which essentially allows you to do Ultimatte-like green screen, but do it without a green screen – any type of flat field or brick wall, or anything with depth matting as well. Next year will be soft-object tracking. SHORTLIST n Arraiy DeepTrack n Ncam Reality n MPC Genesis Virtual Production


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The SoCal trade show is once again upon us. Here’s our show preview CINE GEAR EXPO 2019 SHOW PREVIEW WORDS CHELSEA FEARNLEY


Grip Factory Munich (GFM) has worked hard to become one of the leading providers in the design and production of high-end camera support equipment. This year, GFM returns to Paramount’s backlot with its simple yet elegant strap bracing kit. On the stand, you will see the GF-8 Xten Camera Crane, GF-Slider System, GF-Iso Dampener, GF- Vibration Isolator, as well as other GFM rigs and jibs.



Visitors at Cine Gear Expo will be able to experience Sony’s next- generation, full-frame motion picture camera system, the Sony Venice, most recently used to shoot political thriller Official Secrets and the Netflix series Sex Education (see our March issue). It will include the recently released firmware Version 3.0 (and upcoming 4.0) as well as its Expansion System (CBK-3610XS), which is currently being used to shoot the Avatar sequels. Sony is also showcasing its wider range of solutions, designed to support filmmakers in their mission to deliver emotional impact on screen. The versatile PXW-FS7 II camcorder will be on display, alongside the compact 4K PXW-FS5 camcorder. While the latest BVM- HX310 Trimaster HX Professional Master Monitor will also be on the stand, with the 16.5-inch Trimaster EL OLED critical reference monitor, the BVM-E171.

NBCUniversal Lightblade and Cineo Lighting are debuting the latest model of their Standard series. The new Standard 480 has the same output, colour rending and saturated colour technology as the Standard 410, but with several innovations. The most significant is the in-built touchscreen control environment. It simplifies local and remote operation, offering identical user control on mobile and tablet. Remote control is available via DMX/RDM, sACN/ArtNet, CRMX wireless and Bluetooth. The Standard 480 supports single zone and patented multi-zone operation for advanced dynamic lighting effects, and several new applications will be available in coming months, including CIE colour pickers and effects recorders. The new NBCUniversal & Cineo Lighting LightBlade Edge fixtures will also be on display, combining a variable white spectrum, full-gamut colour and a suite of control options.

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SmallHD set the industry standard for monitors with the 702 Bright. It was the first seven-inch, full HD, daylight viewable on-camera monitor with a compact form factor. Small HD will now display the next generation 702 Touch, with 50%more brightness and DCI-P3 colour reproduction. The Cine 7 will also be on the stand, Small HD’s Teradek Bolt-integrated wireless monitoring systemwith 1800 NITs, 100% DCI-P3 colour, locking connectors and wired cinema camera control software upgrades. Filmmakers can get the Cine 7 with a built-in Teradek transmitter and can change settings such as white-balance, shutter speed and record start/stop from the daylight viewable display. Meanwhile, the monitor can send lossless HD video in up to 500ft of range.


Cooke has been at the heart of filmmaking business for over one hundred years, and while it’s hugely aware of its legacy, it’s also looking forward and continuing to lead the way by introducing new and innovative products. Cooke will present the latest version of its /i Technology, now with shading and distortion mapping. The ‘intelligent’ technology enables film and digital cameras to record key lens data for every frame shot and provide it to post- production teams, an instrumental process that will help save time. On the stand you will find the new 18mm and 180mm lenses from its S7/i Full Frame spherical range. These, together with the 27mm, are going into production over the coming months to round out the range. Cooke will also display the painterly vintage Panchro/i Classic range, as well as the Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus range, which are available with SF coating. Additionally, Cooke Optics TV will be on the stand, shooting and broadcasting live to Facebook and YouTube throughout the show, interviewing cinematographers, camera departments and film production professionals.


DMG Lumière by Rosco will be showcasing the Maxi Mix for the first time in Hollywood. Maxi Mix was designed as a hybrid LED soft light to be used in studios and on location shoots, and can be rigged as a fill or key light with its all-in-one on-board controls. Mix technology is equipped with six exclusively designed Rosco LEDs. The bespoke LEDs have opened up a vast colour spectrum, and also contain verified Rosco gels.


Quasar Science returns to its roots as a pioneering motion picture-compatible LED light bulb manufacturer. The new and improved Filament LED light bulbs replicate real filaments by using LED diodes tightly packed along tiny substrates. The six-watt A19 size Filament LED is flicker-free and compatible with most professional and consumer dimmers, and all Filament LED light bulbs can be switched between 5600 kelvins or 3000 kelvins for colour temperature accuracy.

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IDX will showcase the all- new PowerLink IPL series, its latest stackable battery solution for high-end cinema cameras. It includes two models: the IPL-98 & IPL- 150 with capacities of 96Wh and 143Wh respectively. These models will include all of IDX’s latest technologies and features such as BMS, SMBus, D-Tap & USB. With the ability to link up to four IPL-98/ IPL-150 batteries, users can create a customisable capacity while drawing power from the last battery mounted. With travel being part of most video productions, IDX has developed a four- channel (2+2) simultaneous VL-4X V-Mount charger: compact, lightweight and convenient for those who already own IDX products. The included AC adapter can also serve as a 90WDC power supply.

Hawk-Woods will be showcasing the new VL-MX8, an eight-channel mini V-Lok charger which allows for up to eight batteries to be charged in groups of four at 2.5A. Weighing just 2kg the VL- MX8 is small and compact compared to other chargers on the market which are a similar size offering only four channels. The VL-MX8 is designed to complement the Hawk-Wood V-Lok Mini batteries, while supporting most existing V-mount batteries. The charger is silent during operation and allows for heat to dissipate from vents.


Monitoring on set gets an update with the Teradek Bolt 4K; capable of transmitting uncompressed 2160P60 HDR video with zero delay on up to six receivers, it offers significantly improved image quality at 1080p and even lower resolutions. Also on display is the Ace 500, an HDMI-only wireless monitoring system which features the same zero-delay wireless video of the Bolt range, without the extra software and hardware options. New to Teradek RT is the CTRL.3, a three-axis wireless FIZ controller, and the MDR.X, an ultra-smart receiver. Both are part of Teradek RT’s new line of cutting- edge lens control products.


Cinelab is a comprehensive film laboratory and film facility in Europe, offering film processing, telecine, scanning, sound preparation services and film deliverables. Services are also provided for archive and restoration projects and it is the only film lab in the world working in all feature film formats. Its team of highly experienced film specialists will be coming to Cine Gear Expo to meet people in the industry and answer any film related questions, but to also learn and keep up with the latest innovations. Cinelab is renowned for providing excellent client service and attention to technical detail. RIGHT TheWhite Crow , directed By Ralph Fiennes, tells the incredible true story of Rudolf Nureyev. Cinelab London Services: 16mm film processing; telecine dailies; grading; sound syncing: final scans.

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Sumolight will spotlight its new Sumospace+ lighting fixture. With an improved design, it now features an internal passively cooled power supply with no moving parts. It has 90,000 lumens in a Super 3 configuration and 200,000 lumens in a Super 7 configuration. Sumolight will also be displaying the Sumosnap, a screwless quick release for 16mm Spigot, which is built into the Sumospace+ by default. Its new 20˚ lens set and battery option for the Sumospace+ will also be on the stand.


Creamsource, formerly known as Outsight, will showcase the recently launched SpaceX on stand S302. First seen at NAB 2019, the SpaceX is representing the first replacement to its traditional tungsten counterparts. Featuring six powerful 1200w LED engines, in an ergonomic and lightweight form factor, it offers colour rendition with a CRI value of 95 from 3200K to 6500K, and full temperature adjustment from 2200K to 15,000K with a full stop green/magenta control. Moreover, Creamsource will be demonstrating the award-winning Micro Colour unit, and will reveal a brand-new product that promises to shake the LED market with its processing power and price point.


At Cine Gear Expo, Marshall Electronics will showcase the latest 4K monitors and compact camera solutions. The company will be highlighting its new V-R241-4K Master Confidence Monitor, which features a 24-inch UHD panel with wide-angle viewing for displaying images in up to 4K. It comes with waveform and vectorscope functions along with in-monitor displays (IMD/UMD), tally, text and timecode and includes 16-channel audio bars, closed captioning decoding and built-in speakers. The V-R241-4K supports SDI and HDMI and has multiple ports for control over Ethernet, RS422/485, RS232 and GPI.


In keeping with the industry’s move toward lighter and more versatile gear, Bebob will introduce its ultra-compact Vmicro (V-Mount) and Amicro (Gold-Mount compatible) 14.4V battery packs. Both mount styles feature a choice of 43Wh and 147Wh versions. On the side of each battery is a five-step LED power-remaining indicator. Below the power gauge is a button to wake up the battery, check the power status or activate the LED light, which can help filmmakers connect the battery to the plate on dark sets. The batteries also support power data protocol from Arri, Red and Sony cameras. To complement the rest of the line, Bebob also unveils new pocket-size micro chargers and battery plates, power bars, adapters and hot swap adapters for maximum versatility. The Micro chargers are available as two-, four- and eight-channel simultaneous quick chargers, or a one-channel D-Tap quick charger.

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Arri and Arri Rental will be showcasing their latest camera systems and lighting products at a combined stand at Cine Gear. The must-see Alexa Mini LF has been making its way around the world and will be on site at the show. Arri Rental’s DNA LF lenses, in combination with the Alexa Mini LF, will be another stand highlight. The DNA LF lenses can be customised or tuned to a filmmaker’s personal taste. Winner of the iF Design Award 2019 and also on display, the Signature Prime lenses offer state of the art precision with an organic and emotional quality. Arri Lighting will be presenting Stellar, the intelligent lighting control app for a new level of control on set. Of course, members of the SkyPanel family will be on display along with some Daylight fixtures and ballasts. The newest additions to Arri’s Electronic Control System range and Pro Camera Accessories range will be on site along with the Camera Stabilizer Systems Trinity and Artemis.


LCA is one of the leading suppliers of professional equipment to the film, TV, video and photographic industries. A one-stop shop for supplying lighting, grips, distribution, cables, filters, textiles, lamps and more. The Gaffer Control will be on display at Cine Gear Expo, a year on from its initial release. Crafted by gaffers for gaffers, the controller is a compact and easy-to-use system that can connect to a series of lights to control them via Lumen radio. With more products using Wi-Fi networks on set, this isn’t something that has to fight for network. A recent software update means that users can now build their own fixture library and fixture profiles, which can be stored online and shared with others. LCA will be on a stand with LiteGear, DoPchoice and Chroma-q.


Visit the Opertec stand at Cine Gear Expo to see the company’s newest developments, including its next generation telescopic camera cranes. The Steel Boy 14 and Steel Boy 20 are light and easy to dismantle and reassemble and are ideal for use in large and small studios. Opertec will also show the Arm, a fully stabilised boom which guarantees smooth and stable images on even rough terrain, as well as its full-range of Gyro-stabilised heads. The premier of the unique Telescopic Arm will also take place at the show.


Panther’s new S-Type dolly is continuing its tour of America, first in Las Vegas at NAB and now in Los Angeles at Cine Gear Expo. The S-Type dolly features a fully electro-mechanical system, wireless operation, detachable scissors arm, patented design with full-range technology, and unique flip-flop platform system. The Panther Tower will also be on show. This electrically powered camera lifting system for cars is available in three different lengths up to 10ft/3m and can be operated with a standard wired handset or a waterproof wireless handset. For even better car-shooting performances, you can see Panther’s stabilisation rigs; the Mini and Maxi Shock Absorber. The ISO Dampener also absorbs disturbing bumps, but horizontally. All parts can be combined and used with Mitchell connection, Scaffold Mounts and 130-150mm tubes. Improvements on the Precision Mono Track system (new flat sleepers and sleepers for standard tube levelling) and Precision Levelling Track system (curved tracks now available) are also part of the show.

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CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS As a freelance cinematographer, Ash Connaughton is always looking for ways to make his work day more efficient. The Samsung Portable SSD X5 drive is the extra help he’s been searching for

with the super speed of NVMe interface, which gives the portable drive the ability to handle heavier data at faster speeds. The Samsung Portable SSD X5’s DTG (Dynamic Thermal Guard) technology also helps maintain optimal performance and temperature, while a heat sink keeps surface temperature below 45°C. Its body has no moving parts and is reinforced with magnesium alloy that can even withstand a 2m drop. There’s also an optional password protection, based on AES 256-bit encryption, to securely protect your data. AMAZING NUMBERS When Connaughton got hold of the portable drive, he immediately wanted to test the transfer speeds. “I did a 1GB test using disk benchmark testing software, which allowed me to test the read and write speeds and then I did a 4GB test,” he says. “The 1GB tests were pretty consistent and amazingly

AS A FREELANCE CINEMATOGRAPHER Ash Connaughton’s work day is a mixture of shooting, checking footage, having meetings for new projects, finding locations and a host of other relevant jobs. Ultimately, his image skills are why he’s employed, but that has to be backed up by an almost foolproof work process that gets the footage he shoots into the right hands as soon as possible. “I’ve been wanting to look at the Samsung Portable SSD X5 drive for a while as I had heard about the speed of transfer you can achieve through the Thunderbolt 3 interface,” explains Connaughton. “When I first got hold of the portable drive, I was amazed at how small it was; you have something that is smaller than a mobile phone, is self-powered so you’re not looking to plug it in anywhere, has shock protection and has its own in-built security.” Thunderbolt 3 delivers the fastest bandwidth up to 40Gb/s and is equipped

“The transfer tests were consistent, with fast read and write speeds. I was very impressed”

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IMAGES The Samsung portable drive can be used as a recording medium on-set, while also being an edit drive throughout your shoot and post

PRIMARY USE CASE Depending on the way you work, the Samsung Portable SSD X5 could find a home as a recording medium twinned with being an edit drive throughout your shoot and post. In the immediate future, Connaughton can see the portable drive as being used as a fast on-set storage solution, but you might find other roles for it. “That feels to me to be its primary use case. If you’re on set and your DIT has a couple of Samsung Portable SSD X5s, you can use it as a kind of drive hub by offloading everything on to it and making copies from there for back-ups etc. You can then send those Samsung portable drives out as the day’s rushes to post-production or a processing lab, it’s your choice,” reasons Connaughton. “Because the portable drive is so fast, you have to work out where your possible data bottlenecks are going to be and work around them. That’s another reason to record directly to the drive as you have the speed advantage from the beginning. Another big advantage is the portable drive’s form factor, especially if you’re travelling while shooting. If I was going on a travel shoot with a relatively small kit footprint, the Samsung Portable SSD X5 would be easy to put in to a backpack as it’s so light. In fact, a couple of drives and your recording media is sorted for the trip.

to move a lot of data around. This is also a small drive and is super quick,” he says. “You can also start thinking about editing directly from the drive, so instead of off-loading your data on to a traditional spinning disk drive or a SATA SSD, which will be slower, you can literally plug this drive in via USB-C Thunderbolt 3 connection and edit straight from it. “I would also always recommend doing another back-up to another drive just to be safe. Indeed, if you had two Samsung Portable SSD X5 drives you could use one for your main drive and the other as the back-up. But there’s no doubt that the pure speed and force of the read and write performance of this drive is groundbreaking,” he says.

fast read speeds at more than 2000 MB/s, the write speeds were more than 1500 MB/s. I was very impressed with those speeds. “I also put a 4GB file through the test and the results were very similar with more than 2000 MB/s read speed and more than 1500 MB/s for the write speed, so very consistent over the two file sizes.” Connaughton hadn’t encountered this file transfer speed before. Naturally, he wanted to put it to good use in his everyday work. “At a basic level, the portable drive allows me to ingest data much quicker and then move it around at incredible speeds. For instance, if you’re an on-set DIT, you’ve got loads of big files to deal with and so you can process the data quicker. I was using the one Terabyte version, which allows you


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GAME MANAGEMENT Now the dust has settled on the finale of Game of Thrones, it’s time to look back at the technical story


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ABOVE Jonathan Freeman, one of the cinematographers for Game of Thrones, hard at work on Season 8

GEAR CHOICE For Jonathan Freeman, the biggest technical advance for Season 8 was the use of virtual reality in creating and changing virtual sets before they were even built. (There is more on this in ‘Game of Thrones With Help From VR’ on page 40.) But previous seasons have always shown a certain amount of consistency in the choice of equipment. Freeman explains: “On Game of Thrones , we have always used the Arri Alexa camera. The original pilot was shot on film, and there were a certain number of people – including the cinematographer Alik Sakharov – who wanted to carry on using film. However, HBO encouraged the production to at least test the Alexa camera, which they did, and realised that it was pretty darn good – which was my response, too.” He continues: “The Arri Alexa was the first camera where cinematographers felt confident it was a pretty comparable camera system to film. Then, of course, you got the benefits of digital cinematography, which are more challenging for film. For our show, with the turnaround for VFX and everything else like location work and trying to find a film lab (which is

W hen the two American producers David Benioff and DB Weiss first read George R R Martin’s novel, A Game of Thrones , their enthusiasm to turn the books into a TV series lead them to HBO, and resulted in a pilot shot on film. This unaired pilot was apparently not well-received, but it was reshot on digital with many changes to the script and characters – and finally morphed into episode 1 of the first season. The rest is a murderous, humorous and generally horrible history that we all know and – mostly – love. Technically, the story of Game of Thrones from this stuttering start was one of investment in the image. As the series picked up plaudits and audience, investment was made to making the series into the VFX epic that Season 8 has given us. The episodes settled into a pattern, with certain directors chosen for certain types of drama; battles were someone’s forte,

while more wordy episodes attracted others. Cinematographers were then matched to those directors and ADs. Definition interviewed two of the Game of Thrones DOPs, Jonathan Freeman and Fabian Wagner. Freeman shot nine episodes of the series – the first in 2012, up to Season 8’s finale – while Wagner shot eight episodes, from 2014 to two of Season 8’s episodes, including the ‘storm in a teacup’, controversial The Long Night episode – but more on that later. The Arri Alexawas the first camerawhere cinematographers felt confident it was a pretty comparable camera system to film

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In a scene from The Long Night in Season 8, an 11-year-old Lady Lyanna Mormont is grabbed and killed by a White Walker giant. To visualise the scene on set, the production used Ncam to position the CGI. Ncam can place an augmented reality CG asset in the scene, helping production to gauge the scale of the scene so the framing makes sense. Eric Carney, the on-set VFX supervisor, explains: “Ncam allowed us to play back an animation of what the giant’s performance would be, that was synched to the camera.” The camera operator was then able to see the giant’s proper scale on the set, enabling them to operate as if they were seeing the real thing in front of them. AUGMENTED REALITY IN THRONES LADY LYANNA MEETS THE ZOMBIE GIANT

The basic idea was that there was always a cinematographer and a first AD assigned to one director. That nucleus team then jumped between two units, between shooting in Belfast and one of the nine locations. They scheduled it so you had two full units running simultaneously, and that core team then jumped back and forth between the two units. So, generally speaking, you completed your episode with the same director and same AD.” A typical pattern involved shooting in Belfast for two weeks after scouting in Spain, before then flying back to Spain to prep some more, while another team flipped locations. “If we were down for a couple

impossible), we would not be able to do it without digital. Certainly, the look of the show would not have been so strong without the Alexa.” As a result, Game of Thrones was shot almost entirely using the Arri Alexa, with Cooke S4s as the prime lenses and Angénieux for the zooms. Although this combination was cemented in Season 1, Freeman admits: “Different cinematographers did different things in terms of filtration. Some of us didn’t use any filtration except for the odd occasion, others experimented with Pro-Mist and a couple of other things. But the main thing for the cinematographers was that we worked together. It was a very unique process, where you had more than one cinematographer working on the one project.” (Now not so unique, considering Netflix and Amazon Prime work practices.) FLIPPING TEAMS Recalling the teamwork required to shoot the series, Freeman says: “It was inspirational to see how other cinematographers worked with the same actors as you had. I think there were 12 cinematographers for the whole show, but maybe up to five for a season. Our production manager, Bernie Caulfield, was the one who figured out a way for all these cinematographers to work together.

ABOVE For The Long Night, DOP Fabian Wagner had to come up with a rig for Arri SkyPanels that he could pull down during wind and bad weather

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sun would come out and I would have to shoot around it, which is what happened.” Freeman explains that the crew always had two cameras, and by Season 7, each unit had a 44-foot MovieBird crane with them all the time. “So it wasn’t a question of having to book a crane for, say, three days. We had it there when we needed it, so we didn’t need to compromise. Only a show with a fair amount of money can do this, but it’s equally expensive to send some equipment back just to have it sent out again when you need it next.” THE LONG NIGHT – EPISODE 3, SEASON 8 Cinematographer Fabian Wagner shot The Long Night episode – and walked into a storm of social media trolling, with fans complaining about the darkness on screen. This is the streaming world’s dirty little secret: the way broadcasters restrict the data rates for huge shows like Game of Thrones . Of course, the customers who see banding and compression noise in dark scenes blame the creator and find people like Wagner on social media and abuse them. But Wagner was philosophical about it: “I’m not someone who thinks he is above criticism. I’m very happy to be criticised and very happy to admit my mistakes. What’s been annoying about this specific complaint was that I had said in another interview that some people can’t tune their TVs properly, and probably watch things

of days, we spent the time prepping for more of our episodes,” explains Freeman. “The net result was that we were extremely well prepared, as we had much more prep time than we would normally get. But it was literally like prepping for a feature. Because you’re leapfrogging, you also have other nucleus teams. For example, the episodes 3 to 4 team and episodes 5 to 6 team would be shooting simultaneously.” Freeman says: “We shot ten-hour days and hardly ever went over time, which was so the crews wouldn’t get burned out. That also meant the ten hours we did work, we walked in and knew exactly what we had to do. It was a very efficient system, and the only thing that stopped us was the weather.”

Freeman shot the Beyond The Wall episode in Season 7, which was directed by Alan Taylor. The battle scene involved a dragon and zombies on a simulated lake (shot in Northern Ireland in an old quarry concreted to look like a lake). “The production design made the concrete look like ice, so we could use something in-camera,” explains Freeman, “but there was VFX and SFX used as well. VFX also created a set extension above the lake, especially when we shot low.” He adds: “It was complicated; we were shooting in winter, but I got lucky for two weeks with consistent cloud cover. We barrelled through it, as I was worried the

LEFT For Beyond the Wall, an old quarry in Northern Ireland was transformed into a frozen lake, complete with zombies and a dragon. This required production design, as well as VFX and SFX

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