Definition May 2020 WEB


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DEFIANT Definition magazine’s weekly newscast (details inside) NEW PUBLICATION

Jeff Cronenweth on Tales from the Loop EVERY FRAME




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DEFIANT is a new, weekly, video-based newscast from the people who bring you Definition

S o what does a publisher do in a time of global upheaval? You innovate. For us, that’s taking what we know – desktop publishing – and mixing it with off-the-virtual-shelf telecoms software with video as its base. Put all that together, place it in an ideas oven at 200˚C (gas mark 6) and you get DEFIANT – a weekly video newscast with a pinch of traditional magazine formatting. Over the next few weeks, we’re talking to – and connecting with – a captive audience of industry professionals. The idea is to become one of the heartbeats of the industry, with interviews and other video content about the week’s worth of news. A lot of the content will appear in the pages of Definition , as well as on our website and in digital issues. While the industry kicks its heels, we will be presenting many names you may have heard of, but will now be able to see and hear from in their state of lockdown. Sign up for our newsletter at or just visit the website at to get your new weekly issue of DEFIANT. GET YOUR NEWWEEKLY





NAB (NO) SHOW Although there is no NAB Show this year, there are still new gear launches to discover. We talk to the CEOs of Quasar Science, Cineo Lighting and Shotover. DRAMA K I T EMMA We analyse the kit list for the recent movie Emma , shot by Christopher Blauvelt. CAMERA LISTINGS Our monthly 4K-and-beyond camera listings, from Arri to Z Cam.


Amazon Studios’ Tales from the Loop took Simon Stålenhag’s books as inspiration. LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN Helicopter Film Services’ Jeremy Braben describes his business life while in isolation. FEATURES NEW REMOTE HEAD TECHNOLOGY The latest remote head and gimbal technology from the movers and the shakers.



COVER IMAGE Tales from the Loop © Amazon 2020



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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While Jodie Foster directed episode eight of Tales from the Loop (pictured), it was Jeff Cronenweth (above), director of photography for such culturally significant films as Fight Club and The Social Network, who shot the pilot of the Amazon Studios episodic, setting the tone for the whole show. He explains the influence behind the look. “It was Simon Stålenhag’s book and paintings that set us on a path. Once we had the story, that gave us the idea of what the live action was going to be. They studied the images from Stålenhag’s artwork and realised that they tell a complete story within a frame. “But that’s not great for live action and also some of the images are rather bold, which can be unsettling when you’re trying to stay connected in a human, tactile way,” says Cronenweth. “We wanted it to be a cerebral experience but also about the humanity in the actor’s journey, so overtly complicating the look would probably have distracted from that. We found our own visual language within his artwork.” Cronenweth shot the pilot using the Panavision DXL2 camera with Panavision Primo 70 and Panaspeed lenses.

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LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN I NTERV I EW What does the future hold for productions post-Covid-19? Jeremy Braben, DOP and founder of Helicopter Film Services, looks ahead


DEFINITION: Hi Jeremy, with the lockdown in the UK ongoing, what impact is this having on your business? JEREMY BRABEN: Well, there’s not much happening to be honest. Like most businesses, we were shut down pretty much overnight. A 100% of the productions that we were on – and those that were coming up – were all cancelled. DEF: Where does this leave you? Have any of the films and productions promised to keep you on? JB: We’ve had a few discussions. Some productions have said that as soon as they can get up and running they will. Others have been a little less positive, but are saying that they are committed now to making the film. Some of the problems might come when productions are back up and running, whenever that might be. What happens to those staff, including the principal actors, who are already engaged on contracts going forward? So, are the productions that are currently stalled, because of Covid-19, going to be able to just pick up as soon as the threat of the virus is gone? Or is there going

ABOVE A Typhon2 six-camera array mounted on to a Helicopter Film Services’ helicopter

DEF: I’m sure you’ve read about the emergency fund that has been announced for freelancers, what is your opinion on that? JB: I did hear about it and I’ve tried to decipher what’s going on. It’s great that freelancers are now recognised; that was a big worry for a lot of my crew. But they are a lot of people who, although freelance to me, are directors of their own companies who pay themselves a tiny salary with the rest paid as dividends and, of course, dividends are not compensated for. So, there has to be some recognition for small business owners, of which I am one, where we only pay ourselves what the business

to be a lag while other productions call on the actors and DOPs and whoever else, but have contracts rolling on from their current one? DEF: What do you think will happen if this is the case? JB: I’d like to think it’s going to be as simple as picking up where we left off. Part of me wants to think that those productions yet to start haven’t gone into their prep time, which they will need. I’m hoping that it will be a hiatus of around three months and then everything will just slot in and carry on from that period – it’s probably wishful thinking.

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can afford to pay and we leave money in the business for the lean times, though we now seem to be out of the loop. On the face of it, freelancers are being taken care of, but what about the businesses that employ these people? They’re not entirely being looked after. DEF: Is there a right answer or solution? JB: It’s unprecedented and for the government it’s very hard to try to make it work. There is no easy solution. They’re trying their best, but I would like to see some more indication that small businesses are and will be helped.

DEF: Your company has a fleet of grounded helicopters and heavy

JB: Negotiations are happening all the time, but some of our finance

side of things, we’ve had ideas that we’ve had for a while that we’re now able to work on and see if they’re viable. The downside of this is that if we have an idea for something, it always invariably takes cash to make it work. If we have enough cash, then I’m sure we will have opportunities to make some of those ideas come to fruition. DEF: What else are you focusing on other than the company? JB: One of the nice things to come out of this is spending time with the family. A lot of us who are in this industry travel and spend a lot time away from our families. It does make you think that there’s more to life than working. But we’re not all about to give it up and sit on an island. This is giving us time to re-evaluate a lot of things. I hope that some of the positives will stay with us.

lift drones. You have to carry this huge expense, which must be more difficult for your company than one person and a camera, how are you managing this?

companies are being very accommodating. If we wanted to take payment holidays, we haven’t had to ask, they have volunteered. Our insurance companies, aviation and equipment are also looking at reducing our cover from worldwide to premises only. My main concern is the people; I want the people to be looked after so that if we can ride through this, the people will be there for us after. As without the people, if we get up and running with all our hardware, we still need the people to be around to operate it all. DEF: What are you doing to stay busy during the lockdown? JB: It gives you a lot of thinking time for sure. I know that our engineering side of things is always busy and they’re always coming up with ideas. On the drone

This is giving us time to re-evaluate a lot of things. I hope some of the positives will stay with us

ABOVE Helicopter Film Services shoots an aerial 4K night sequence over London

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Videographer Richard Jackson recently bought a 6K camera and was worried about transferring the large files – until he used the Samsung Portable SSD X5

though it eschews the minimalist design for more of a sports-car aesthetic; looking like something you’d find in a supercar showroom rather than attached to a laptop. While the bottom of the casing is a bright red plastic, the rest of the shell is made of a very solid magnesium alloy and feels like it could survive a few hefty knocks. (Samsung advertises that it can survive drops of 2m, though I didn’t get to test this out!) The device fits comfortably into a pocket, feels rugged and durable, yet still has a weight that would not trouble the most overloaded of kit bags. Even the supplied Thunderbolt 3 cable feels reassuringly tough – something that some other manufacturers would do well to take note of. DRIVE PERFORMANCE Aesthetics, however, are secondary to performance in this game, and I’m certain that most of us would be happy to use something completely hideous as long as it was quick. Well, here comes the good news: the Samsung Portable SSD X5 effortlessly combines beauty and brains in a single package. In this case, those brains are the PCI Express NVMe architecture contained within, which make for some astonishingly fast transfer speeds. Having recently shot some footage for a client in a Raw format in a 6K resolution at a data rate of 3:1 (323MB/s); it seemed that I had some ideal test fodder for this piece – and the drive did not disappoint.

TRANSFERRING DATA IS a chore. In a world of increasingly unwieldy file sizes, this is particularly true; at one time or another we’ve all had a shoot grind to halt in order to move some mammoth video, photo or audio in order to please a client or producer. It is for this very reason that I was very intrigued to try out the Samsung Portable SSD X5; a portable Thunderbolt 3 interface SSD boasting sequential read and write speeds of 2800MB/s and 2300MB/s,

respectively. As a recent adopter of a 6K cinema camera, whose Raw video files are eye-wateringly large at the highest resolution and bit rate, those numbers sounded like a dream come true. But can this sleek little drive live up to the hype? Available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB varieties, I took the 1TB version with me on a promo shoot to find out. The Samsung Portable SSD X5 is just as elegant as other Samsung SSDs,

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“The Samsung Portable SSD X5 effortlessly combines beauty and brains”

trend and cinema cameras are becoming more affordable, this technology is fast becoming a necessity. With bandwidths as high as these, you may be wondering if overheating is an issue and, thankfully, Samsung’s portable drive has you covered with its proprietary Dynamic Thermal Guard (DTG) technology. This, combined with a mechanical heat sink and the aforementioned alloy casing, keeps things operating at below 45°C, meaning you needn’t worry about thermal throttling or data loss. SECURITY In addition to the speedy transfer of data, you can also rest easy knowing that your files are protected by a full AES 256-bit

hardware-based encryption; a method approved by none other than the National Security Agency. This feature is enabled through the provided Samsung software for Windows and MacOS, with access through a username and password and no penalty to performance. This means you have reassurance that nothing short of a supercomputer is going to get unauthorised access to your data, should the worst happen. It is worth stressing that this drive is exclusively Thunderbolt 3 based, but this does feel like a forward-thinking move, since it seems this interface will become the standard for portable data connectivity in the very near future. While the Thunderbolt 3 controller itself gradually comes down in price, it in no way means you shouldn’t consider adopting this ecosystem early, considering the myriad benefits of doing so. Aimed squarely at the professional sphere, the Samsung Portable SSD X5 is a fantastic product: it provides value, security, speed and style in a compact package and will make a welcome addition to any kit bag.

I was able to move a 100GB file from a Windows 10 PC to the drive in little under 70 seconds. When moving multiple files totalling 170GB, it was just 100 seconds. Compared with other drives on the market, the difference is staggering and the practical applications are irresistible. In my line of work, where Raw video is increasingly the

IMAGES The Samsung Portable SSD X5 boasts a striking red exterior, with a magnesium alloy shell that can survive drops of up to 2m

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B ack in the days of old, for crane shots to be achieved, the crane had to be physically ridden and the camera manually controlled by the director, DOP or operator. Really, we’re only talking about two decades ago here, but in the world of technology, that’s a lifetime. In the years since, remote heads have impacted film production in a big way. Now, they’re used to go to places, perform movements and achieve shots no human

BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE Our first port of call is OperTec – an expert in providing specialised camera support for film and television, as well as live events. The company’s list of productions includes The Martian , Riverdale and the Eurovision Song Contest. Working across such varied sets, OperTec has a range of kit to match, with a number of gyro-stabilised Active Heads in addition to its own large support cranes. There’s the original Active Head, which offers three-axis stabilisation, capacity to support all typical cameras and small to mid-sized 3D rigs, and the ability to be used with cranes, remote-controlled platforms, and helicopter and aerial

could feasibly go, perform or achieve unaided. It’s not just the world of feature film that’s getting in on the action, either. Everyone – including those involved in TV, live production and sport broadcasting – is using remote head technology to maximum effect. So, what’s new in the industry? And what does that mean for those of us on- set and, indeed, those of us sat in front of our screens?

A new combination of technology, greater possibilities and grander productions

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RIGHT The ACS Smarthead 3 takes to the stands to do what it does best

systems. The Milli offers much the same, but with a much more compact, lightweight design, and the Magna offers stabilisation on an additional fourth axis, meaning improved performance and greater flexibility when it comes to control. Then there’s something altogether new and exciting for OperTec – the Active Head Milli Max, which debuts this year and is designed for use with IMAX cameras. The upshot of this for both operators on-set and those filling cinema seats is clear: a new combination of technology, greater possibilities and grander productions – at least as far as cinematography is concerned. This new addition to the family isn’t the only of OperTec’s new developments, though. No, there’s much to be excited about across the board, as international sales and rental director Elena Miloradova explains. “Our engineers have developed a new, better-than-ever level of stabilisation for the Active Heads and added the possibility of programming the heads’ movement,” she states. “We’ve also expanded the range of opportunities when it comes to operating all of our gyro- stabilised heads.” Miloradova is referring to OperTec’s latest control desk, which joins handwheels, a joystick and a pan bar as far as control option offerings go. “Combined, these updates allow DOPs to implement all of their ideas on-set,” she says. Just how far this could be taken is, perhaps, an idea best explored through conversation with DOPs themselves, following some use of the new systems on-set. Even still, it does beg the question, just how far can remote head technology be taken? “Also, with the newest control desk,” Miloradova continues, “the DOP can

The key developments for 2020 were really driven by a significant expansion in UHD HDR format requirements across major projects

proportionate range of kit, and that’s certainly the case here. Camera Revolution offers an array of rigs, grips and more, in addition to its seven remote heads. As Ian Speed, the managing director, tells us, there are some new additions on the horizon here, too, including an update to the flagship Libra. “The new Libra 7 succeeds the Libra 5, with a roll-out across our fleet this year,” says Speed. “Also, the Matrix remote head will succeed the Oculus and Maxima 7 heads, and this is available from June.” The three-axis stabilised Libra already offers a lot, with the possibility of rigging in most scenarios, the ability to accommodate all common camera and lens combinations, including IMAX, and features like 360° rollover. That’s not to mention its flexibility, with multiple camera array set-ups of three, four and six cameras already in use. Yet, still, it’s looking to offer more – and not just as far as cinematography goes. “The Libra 7 now offers complete stabilised repeat motion, which can be synced to a track or wire system for full

receive the picture he or she needs by pushing just one or two buttons, offering the fastest results.” And it’s not just this element of the production that’s been streamlined. Miloradova assures us that these technologies allow faster set-up on-set, including easy balancing and rigging time. Of course, this improved performance and operability isn’t just of benefit on film sets – the latter in particular could be key in the world of live broadcast. BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER Looking elsewhere, we talk to Camera Revolution – a giant in the world of film and high-end television productions. Camera Revolution has an unbelievable amount of credits under its belt, but 20 years in the industry will do that. Films include action blockbusters like The Avengers and intense dramas like Children of Men , while television work includes seven series of the immensely popular Game of Thrones . As one would imagine, a range of productions this vast requires a

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3D repeat moves,” Speed says. “Bloop and camera sync, as well as a full data file of all axes, can be live transmitted to the VFX department. The Libra has been a favourite tool for many applications, but now it can give the VFX department the information they need from a remote head in real time, whatever rig it’s applied to.” There’s still more to come, though, as Speed goes on to say. “We’re currently working on the Libra accepting direct MIA files from the VFX department in order to speed up the previs to application time.” But what about the Matrix? “It’s a high-end stabilised remote head that offers fast interchanges of lens or camera packages with no delay to the production,” Speed explains. The four-axis stabilised gimbal features an open architecture, making it the only of its kind to offer 360° continuous roll without a patch cable between the twist and tilt axis. What this means practically, as Ian tells us, is that “the Matrix can now offer extremely long-lens stabilised shots without the ‘faff’ typically associated with heads of this kind”. SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS Next on our list is Aerial Camera Systems (ACS). Though ACS has some household feature films under its belt, the company is primarily involved in live broadcast events, covering some of the world’s biggest and most-watched events, including the 2016 Rio Olympics, Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding in 2018 and more World Cups and Championships than any non-sport fan would believe existed. This involves

ABOVE The open architecture of the four-axis Matrix head allows it to be mounted in any orientation

developments for 2020 were really driven by a significant expansion in UHD HDR format requirements across a number of major broadcast projects. This involved the full integration of the Sony HDC-P50 with various lenses, mechanical, electronic and software upgrades to our Smarthead 2 and Smarthead 3 systems. We’ve also developed, in-house, a flexible 12G fibre transmission with a Power Over SMPTE (POS) solution, which will now become a core element of all future rental provision. “Essentially, it allows us to seamlessly integrate highly flexible and high- performance compact remote technology into a live OB environment in a range of the latest broadcast format options from 1080p, HFR to 4K, HDR.” In terms of application in the field, or indeed on-set, this offering of a full camera channel is very significant. “We’re able to prepare the whole equipment package in advance, ensuring fast rig times and reliability onsite,” Coyde explains. But what about control? “A fully configurable work surface offers real-time lens feedback, shot box and multicamera control as well as AR graphics integration capabilities,” Coyde says. Doubtless, the latter is an essential in this specialist field. Coyde concludes: “The precision performance of Smarthead means that production teams will not see the difference in on-screen use compared to a manned camera.” Through conversation, it’s clear that this is the end goal: seamless integration and ultimate ease of use. Not just for these companies, but for everyone. And the challenging times the industry is currently facing show no sign of halting progress – not as far as these innovative companies are concerned, at least.

minicams, all manner of support – including the unique EyeFlyer blimp – and, of course, remote head technology. Matt Coyde, ACS sales director, tells us more: “Smarthead is more than just a remote head. In fact, it’s a complete channel based around compact camera types, like the Sony HDC-P1 or HDC-P50 for example, integrated with a SMPTE fibre transmission system. Between versions two and three, we can support the whole range of OB lenses from the widest ENG lenses right up to the largest 100x box type.” Turning toward more recent developments, Matt continues: “The key

Production teams will not see the difference in on-screen use compared to a manned camera

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S teven Strong is the CEO of Quasar Science, an LED lighting company founded by light technicians. Its first product was a light bulb in the company’s signature tubular shape, but was soon favoured by gaffers as a fixture, which prompted Quasar Science to evolve and bring out products with features archetypal of a modern lighting fixture, like its Rainbow light in 2017. With new tubular lights, the RR100 and RR50, due to launch later this year, alongside a new rigging system that matches the originality of the RRs it was designed for, Strong talks to us about the idea behind and evolution of these products. DEFINITION: What was the concept behind the RR lights? light bulbs is a retrofit fluorescent tube. It’s really small; it doesn’t have a lot of room, but people started using it as a fixture. We wanted to be able to give those people more traditional fixture-like features, such as on- board controls, digital DMX, all that kind of stuff. As we started to evolve that idea, we realised that these little tubes couldn’t fit all of those features – it was almost impossible to get it to work right, and it was kind of gangly and not pretty at all. We wondered, how can we keep this low-profile shape, but get rid of all the penalties from it? I thought: ‘let’s make a double wide tube’. And with the added width, we were able to solve a lot of those form-factor problems with where to put the connectors, control screen and output. It’s an elegant fixture and I hope people will like it. DEF: What are the benefits of a tubular form factor? SS: The low-profile thing is a big plus; you can get the tubes into really tight spaces, so it’s great if you’re shooting in a hallway and need to get a light right in by the camera. Our older lights had problems in the sense that they were too thin, because STEVEN STRONG: We started out as a light bulb company, so one of our they evolved from the fluorescent tube form-factor thinking, and so the RRs add that extra width, which is what enables us to get more features into it.

SS: It is. We have seen a lot of video feed activity going on between the

lighting, effects and camera communities. Being able to feed video straight into the lights is very important for effects, process car work and for getting a true response out of a fire effect or a TV effect, for example. Streaming sACN and Art-Net is also much easier to connect to phones and computers. DEF: You’ve also got another new product, the Ossium. How does this compare to your other mounting system, the Rail?

SS: The Ossium has a rail profile that was originally developed by

NATO for mounting gear in the military. We chose that profile because it provides a skeletal framework to help place lights

BELOW The Ossium mounting system allows different arrays and configurations of LEDs

Being able to feed video straight into the lights is very important for effects

DEF: Is the capability for Art-Net and sACN in the protocol a new feature

to the RR lights?

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It’s a creative thing, filmmaking. The whole reason people get into it is because they wanted to make some kind of art

worried about the filmmakers who’ve fought their whole lives to not be an accountant or follow the guidance counsellor kind of style of thinking. They all said, ‘I’m going to make movies’ and they risked a lot to make their lives about that. If Quasar Science doesn’t survive this, there are plenty of LEDs out there. But it would be sad if the impact winds up being on the technicians, some of whom are still on-set in their 70s or later, fighting hard to do the art that they always loved. It’s a creative thing, filmmaking. I know it’s got an economy behind it, but it’s a creative thing. The whole reason people get into it is because they wanted to make some kind of art. So, I’m mostly concerned about the technicians, but I want everyone to stay safe and try to keep making art.

in precisely the right spot and attach them to almost anything. For large arrays, the Framed Array fits RR or R2 at six and 12 lights respectively. The Ossium Block brackets form smaller arrays in two- and four-bank configurations. That way, you can use them as 12 separate lights, or you can combine them to get one big panel. DEF: Has coronavirus had an impact on your business? SS: We’re doing our best. We’re a small company and we don’t have a lot of resources that some of the other companies may have. But we’re working from home,

we’re only going into the facility to fulfil once a week, because we are still doing business. So, that’s good news for the overall industry that there is some movement going on out there, but it’s probably 75% less than what we normally see. We’re offering free shipping internationally right now, too. If everybody has to stay home, we’re still trying to help you help us a little bit and help you make content. DEF: Do you think there are any positives to come out of it? SS: Yes. I think all the big companies will take advantage of it, and that’s fine. We’ll do our best to take advantage of it – disaster capitalism and all of that. I’m worried about the technicians, though. I’m

ABOVE The Quasar Science RR50 has a low- profile shape, ideal for fitting into small places

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R ich Pierceall is the CEO of Cineo, an NBC Universal company. Having gradually expanded its presence in the UK and Europe in the past years, Cineo’s lighting solutions have become far more accessible for the film, television and broadcast industries. Its latest solution, the Reflex R15 LED light, is a big LED PAR, with an emphasis on the big . We spoke to Pierceall, who explains some of its features further. DEFINITION: What was your concept for the light? RICH PIERCEALL: The challenge we tackled was how to build a large, digital light source that could not only replace a traditional 10K in the production lighting market, but also provide a suitable HMI replacement within the same instrument. The creation of the Reflex R15 has accomplished these tasks and has opened up a new creative toolkit that offers additional features, like digital beam shaping. DEF: How is the light powered? RP: One of our goals was to be able to power the fixture on a 15A, 110V circuit, typical of US household power, eliminating the need for generators in many location settings. We accomplished this by designing a new high-density, high-output LED array that actually applies the LED directly on a thermally conductive dielectric substrate without the use of the typical LED package. This gives us incredible lumen density and bicolour capability.

RP: A typical incandescent light source generates 2% of light and 98% heat. Reflex, on average, generates 20-25% light efficiency for the same amount of electricity. Additionally, both incandescent and HMI sources burn out and require a bulb change after a few hundred hours of operation. After 30,000 hours, the Reflex light tower has a reduction in output of less than half a stop and sees no degradation in colour quality or colour temperature and doesn’t burn out! DEF: Is liquid cooling a newmethod of reducing heat in LEDs? What other methods were considered and how does this impact the design of the Reflex? RP: Thermal density is a primary design element when working with LEDs. In hard lights, the size of the light source is directly proportional to the size of the reflector. So, 1500 watts of power needed to be concentrated in as small an area as possible. There were many traditional methods of removing heat from the illumination source, but none of these methods allowed us to make the thermal transfer in a fixture as bright as the Reflex. What’s unique about the way we harnessed liquid cooling is that we worked with a chemical company to develop an electrically non-conductive fluid that we could immerse the emitters into, allowing the coolant to completely surround the LEDs, moving the heat off in an incredibly efficient manner. The added benefit of this method is that the LEDs are never exposed to air, which further extends their life. Taking this approach also allowed us to reduce the weight and size of the fixture. This is now our patented technology.

DEF: What would you use the Reflex for and is its use flexible? Could you AR: The Reflex has an obvious role as a large, digitally focusable light source that can do a much better job on both stage and location than traditional sources. The flexibility of the fixture also extends to describe a typical set up for its use? operating as a 125,000 lumen soft source. The reflector can be easily removed and replaced with a Snapbag, lantern, space light bag or simply operated as a ‘bare bulb’. This dual identity makes Reflex perfect for nearly any lighting situation that requires a large amount of photo-accurate white light at any CCT. DEF: Why did you decide to add capabilities for sACN/Art-Net in the control protocol? RP: Typical remote lighting control in our industry has relied on an eighties protocol, DMX, which is experiencing challenges as technology moves forward. By adopting modern networking topologies, we have much more capability for remote operation of lighting, including diagnostics, metadata collection, in-situ software updates etc. Of course, the Reflex supports traditional DMX control as well, and also adds Wi-Fi, CRMX and Bluetooth to its control options. DEF: What’s next for Cineo? Are there any new products in the pipeline? RP: Cineo is planning a full range of Reflex fixtures in the future, both smaller and larger fixtures. Watch this space! ABOVE The Cineo Reflex R15 is a liquid-cooled LED with a high-density, high-output array This dual identity makes Reflex perfect for nearly any situation

DEF: Is the Reflex more energy/cost efficient than other solid-state lights?

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B rad Hurndell is the CEO of Shotover Camera Systems. Since starting over 12 years ago, the company has been nominated and awarded for its continuous commitment to innovation; creating stabilised camera systems for the film and broadcast worlds that can be mounted on to helicopters, cars, boats and almost anything else that moves. Its newest, lighter camera system, the Shotover B1, has been nominated as a finalist in the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards for the Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware category – and Hurndell, from his home in New Zealand, was able to tell us why, by giving us the lowdown on some of its features. DEFINITION: What was the idea behind wanting to manufacture a lighter BRAD HURNDELL: We saw an opportunity across all of our usual markets; creative, broadcast and news, but we also saw a new opportunity in the markets for industrial inspections, so that’s utilities, power lines etc. Just like a lens, the one-size- fits-all approach doesn’t always work. And with new camera options coming out and a higher demand for content across the Shotover system? world, we saw the B1 as helping fill that need across all the usual spectrums, but also in this new market. DEF: You mentioned new camera options that can be used with the B1? have full-frame 6K and 8K sensors. But more recently, the Ikegami 4000 has become a big focus of this product. It’s a brand-new camera that’s yet to actually be released to the market, but it’s been built around the B1 so that we could offer a high-end broadcast solution in a much smaller package. We also use the Phase One industrial cameras with the B1, which are great for high-resolution stills photography. And then some of the peer-ins for those cameras would be the Fujinon 19-90mm or 21, 20, 85, 300mm, so that whole Cabrio series, and we then also we can do a host of primes and other similar- sized lenses in that range. BH: We started out with the Sony A7 series and Z Cam E2 series, which

DEF: What creative benefits does a lighter system have for filming? BH: It’s easy to transport, so that’s good when you’re travelling the world and need to take all of your equipment with you. On-set, it means new platforms and increased versatility on vehicles, cranes and cable cams. But also, it can fit on to smaller helicopters, like the Robinson series and Cobra B2.

DEF: The Shotover B1 features your patented Generation 5 technology,

which delivers ‘unshakeable stability and ultimate functionality’ – could you explain what this means?

BH: Over the last decade, we’ve developed a harmony of sensors,

mechanics and electrical hardware and software that all works together. And every piece of that puzzle has to come together to deliver the ultimate result, which are stable images. And having that enables customers to apply it to a huge range of platforms. DEF: One benefit is that it’s able to reduce operator fatigue for the gimbal controller. Could you explain? BH: So that’s actually more based around the industrial inspection side of the product, and there are two things that we can do there. One is primarily that inspection work is done by a cameraman that is looking out the door of a helicopter and is taking photos manually, so the helicopter has to strafe side on and, between the pilot and the cameraman, it’s quite an exhausting process. The B1 allows them to have the doors closed and fly the helicopter in a more typical fashion, and to use the ergonomic gimbal controller. Or, we could go one step further – and we did this for our launch customer, in North America – and actually have the gimbal fully automated with mapping software so that it’s pointed at the pipelines as the pilots fly, reducing input from the operator to a very minimal amount. DEF: How has Covid-19 had an effect on business? BH: We’re really fortunate, because we’re a high-tech based team. We’re

able to quickly and easily transition to working from home, so 90% of our team is now working from home, which minimises the immediate effects on the team and obviously the business. We can continue doing R&D, marketing, sales, training etc remotely. The regionalised lockdown is definitely causing some pain for our customers. But we’re finding that as some of those lockdowns change, or countries are preparing to come out of lockdown, there are silver linings and opportunities appearing. We’ve seen some interesting regionalised changes that should hopefully be great for those local industries. DEF: Are there any positives to remote working? allow the regions to increase the capability and hopefully produce content in a much more effective and efficient way than before. And then from an environmental BH: Yes, definitely. I mean, from a production perspective, it’s going to perspective, there’s no doubt that it’s giving the planet a better chance to gasp for breath, so hopefully it’ll have a positive effect on the way we consume, interact and travel moving forward. Of course, the biggest risk is that it won’t, so hopefully we can take heed from that and change. ABOVE The Shotover B1 (top) is a six-axis gyro- stablised gimbal that can be mounted to a variety of helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and watercraft

Hopefully remote working will have a positive effect on howwe consume, interact and travel

24 DEF I N I T ION | MAY 2020


ARRI ALEXA LF BASED ON: From castles to tapestries, elevation of the grandiose was key in the latest adaptation of Emma DRAMA Jane Austin’s classic has been given a fresh lease of life in director Autumn de Wilde’s latest adaptation of Emma . Starring rising stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Josh O’Connor, the film promises to be a bonnet-filled delight. For true period drama lovers, who marvel at the grandiose settings and tapestries, enjoyment of Emma is sure to be enhanced by cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt’s camera choice. “I chose the Arri Alexa LF for its scope and scale,” he reveals. “When you shoot large format, you become immersed in the world you’re capturing. For Emma , we were working inside a National Trust castle, and LF gave us that perfect format to enhance and elevate everything from the fabric on the furniture, to the paintings on the walls. We were able to share every single element.” Blauvelt paired his camera with Arri Signature Primes for their sharpness, though he diffused them with some filtration. “One of the amazing things about contemporary filmmaking is there’s so many different formats, so many different lenses and so many different cameras,” he says. “It would be a disservice to yourself to not use all these and discover what you want. It’s a fun exercise to step out of your own wheelhouse and try to find something unique.”



Full-frame CMOS, 36.70x25.54mm – 4448x3096, ø 44.71mm

Arriraw: 0.75-150fps ProRes: 0.75-100fps




4448x3096 Arriraw and ProRes 4.5K open gate and 2.39:1, 3840x2160 Arriraw and ProRes 16:9


14+ stops from EI 160-3200


26 DEF I N I T ION | MAY 2020


RECOMMENDED KIT The kit recommended to accompany the Arri Alexa LF from the experts at CVP

SMALLHD CINE7 WITH ARRI CAMERA CONTROL The Cine 7 500 TX is the ultimate on-camera monitoring solution with Arri camera control, Teradek RT overlay integration and Teradek wireless video technology. ARRI WCU-4 KIT The Arri Wireless Compact Unit WCU-4 is a three-axis wireless hand unit with integrated lens data display. It works with Alexa Plus and studio cameras and UMC-4, SMC-1 and EMC-1 motor controllers. ANTON BAUER DIONIC 26V BATTERY The Dionic 26V 240Wh battery is the lightweight and agile alternative to block batteries for high-powered, versatile, mobile power on set. It’s the perfect solution to run the demanding, power-hungry devices needed for cinematography today. CINEMATOGRAPHY ELECTRONICS CINETAPE 2 KIT The Cinetape 2 is an ultrasonic rangefinder now with wireless communication and is smaller, lighter and faster than the original Cinetape.


Discover key components from the CVP camera kit, including a battery plate and fluid head ESSENTIAL KIT

ARRI SIGNATURE PRIMES While the Signature Primes exemplify state-of-the-art optical precision, they have been designed to render organic, emotionally engaging images, gently softening and texturising the large format with natural skin tones and creamy bokeh. A fast T-stop of T1.8 facilitates shallow depth-of-field and the smooth focus fall-off gives subjects heightened presence in the frame. ANTON BAUER 26V GOLD MOUNT PLUS This shark fin plate attaches two 26V batteries, such as the Anton Bauer Dionic 26V battery directly to the back of the Arri Alexa LF, 65, SXT and every Alexa down to the Classic EV. OCONNOR 2575D The head includes OConnor’s patented sinusoidal counterbalance system for true, accurate balance at any point in the tilt range. Add to this OConnor’s stepless, ultra-smooth pan and tilt fluid drag, and you’ve got ultimate control and stability.

SEE THE LATEST FROM ARRI AT THE CVP | ARRI CREATIVE SPACE Creative Space is an exciting collaboration between CVP and Arri, taking up a stylish residence on Charlotte Street in London’s Fitzrovia. The showroom presents the latest Arri technology, including the Alexa LF and Signature Primes. To learn more, call 020 8380 7400 or visit


MAY 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 27





you have more creative options than ever. Arri has now completed its range of Signature Primes and you can really see how designing a lens for full-frame from the ground up has made a difference. By jettisoning the PL mount and replacing it with the new LPL (Large Positive Locking) mount, Arri opened up a larger diameter on the lens and decreased the flange depth. This means the lens can be relatively lightweight, while maintaining a fast 1.8 T-stop. Another nice touch is Arri adding the ability to use filters on the back of the lens with a detachable magnetic rear filter holder. This gives DOPs the option to muddy it up on the lens and imprint their own image into the system, enabling them to put their own fingerprint on their work and ensure that a look, which wouldn’t be achievable in post, can be burnt in. I think we’ll continue to see manufacturers trying to make the perfect lens, with options to mess with it. The Arri Signature Primes are near perfect with their high resolution, great contrast and good design in terms of optics.

ull-frame is definitely a format whose time has come and, a few years after the release of the first full-frame cameras, at CVP we are still seeing a steadily increasing amount of queries

about shooting in it. Of course, its main benefit is the increase in format size. Jumping from Super 35 to full-frame gives you all the benefits of using a larger plane; you can get closer with the same lens for more intimate shots from a different perspective, shoot at the same distance with a longer lens to get a shallow depth-of-field, 0r simply shoot from the same distance and get a greater field of view. The increase in film area also means a reduction in grain size and an increase in resolution, though different manufacturers have different approaches when it comes to tracking that through to the sensor – some have prioritised resolution, others dynamic range and lowering noise. Either way, full-frame opens up some interesting creative possibilities. Add in specialist full-frame lenses and

MAY 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 29







Large format Arri Alev III (A2X) CMOS sensor with Bayer pattern colour filter array

Full-frame CMOS, 36.70x25.54mm – 4448x3096, ø 44.71mm

Super35 CMOS, 28.25x18.17mm – 3840x2160, ø 33.59mm

Super35 CMOS, 28.25x18.17mm – 3840x2160, ø 33.59mm


LF Open Gate ProRes 4.5K: 0.75 – 40 fps; LF Open Gate Arriraw 4.5K: 0.75-40fps; LF 16:9 ProRes HD: 0.75-90fps LF 16:9 ProRes 2K: 0.75-90fps

Arriraw: 0.75-150fps ProRes: 0.75-100fps

Arriraw: 0.75-30fps, ProRes 0.75- 200fps

Arriraw and ProRes: 0.75-120fps


LPL lens mount with LBUS connector PL-to-LPL adapter Leitz M mount (available from Leitz)

LPL, PL, EF, Leitz M, B4 w/Hirose connector




3840x2160 ProRes4K, 3424x2202 Arriraw, 2880x2160 Arriraw and ProRes,1920x1080 ProRes HD and Anamorphic

MXF/Arriraw MXF/Apple ProRes 4444 XQ MXF/Apple ProRes 4444 MXF/Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)

3424x2202 Arriraw and ProRes, 3414x2198 ProRes, 2880x2160 Arriraw and ProRes, 2560x2146 ProRes and Anamorphic

4448x3096 Arriraw and ProRes 4.5K open gate and 2.39:1, 3840x2160 Arriraw and ProRes 16:9


14+ stops over the entire sensitivity range from EI 160 to EI 3200 as measured with the Arri Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC-1)

14+ stops from EI 160-3200

14+ stops from EI 160-3200

14+ stops from EI 160-3200







25.34x14.25mm – 4.6K 22x11.88mm – 4K

Super35 CMOS 25.34x14.25mm, 4608x2592


Super 35mm CMOS, 4096x2160

Super 35mm CMOS, 4096x2160s

Blackmagic Raw 4.6K to 120fps, UHD windowed 150fps, HD windowed 300fps, ProRes 4.6K to 80fps, UHD windowed 120fps, HD windowed 240fp.

4K 30/29.97/25/24/23.98fp, 2K 60/59.94/50/30/29.97/25/24/ 23.98fps

23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60fps supported

4K 24/25/30/50p. HD 120fps



EF, PL, B4, F


EF (PL optional upgrade)


4608x2592, 4608x1920 (4.6K 2.40:1), 4096x2304 (4K 16:9), 4096x2160 (4K DCI), 3840x2160 (Ultra HD), 3072x2560 Anamorphic

4096x2160, 3840x2160, 2048x1080, 1920x1080, Cinema Raw Light, XF-AVC, MP4

CinemaDNG Raw 3:1 – 180MB/s CinemaDNG Raw 4:1 – 135MB/s

4096x2160, 3840x2160, 2048x1080, 1920x1080, XF-AVC



15 stops

15 stops

15 stops


30 DEF I N I T ION | MAY 2020







Four Thirds CMOS, 18.96x10mm, 4096x2160 or 6144x3456 Super 35 sensor for the 6K camera

Super35 CMOS, 28.25x18.17mm – 3840x2160, ø 33.59mm

2/3 inch sensor when using 4K B4 mount 13.056x7.344mm Single CMOS, 13.056mmx7.344mm

Arri A3X CMOS sensor, 54.12x25.58mm, 6560x3100

HD 1080p23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60 Ultra HD 2160p23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30

4K – 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60fps, windowed HD 120fps 6K – up to 4KDCIp23.98, 4KDCIp24, 4KDCIp25, 4KDCIp29.97

23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps. Off-speed frame rates up to 60p

Arriraw: 0.75-48fps, ProRes 0.75-200fps

Arriraw: 20-60fps

LPL, PL, EF, Leitz M, B4 w/Hirose connector

B4 2/3in

Active MFT

Active MFT/Active EF for 6K camera


4K – up to 4096x2160, 10-bit ProRes 422 and 12-bit BRaw 6K – up to 6144x3456, 50fps, ProRes 422 HQ QuickTime, BRaw

3840x2160, 3200x1800, 2048x1152, 1920x1080 ProRes, 2880x1620 Arriraw

3840x2160, 1920x1080, CinemaDNG Raw, ProRes 4444, DNxHQ

6560x3100, 5120x2880, 4320x3096, 4448x3096 and: 3840x2160 Arriraw

3840x2160, 1920x1080, 1280x720,

14+ stops from EI 160-3200

12+ stops

11 stops

13 stops for both cameras

14+ stops from EI 160-3200

JVC GY-HM500/550





Full-frame CMOS, 38.1mmx20.1mm, 5952x2532

Single 1/2.3in CMOS sensor, 12.4 megapixels

5.9K full-frame CMOS sensor

Single 1in 4K CMOS sensor

Super 35mm CMOS, 4622x2496

Cinema Raw Light: 5952x3140/4096x2160: 1 -60fps/2048x1080 (2K Crop) 1-120fps

4K Raw 60/59.94/50/30/29.97/ 25/24/23.98fps, up to 120fps with external recorder, 2K cropped to 240fps

5.9K Raw 60/59.94/50/30/29.97/ 25/24/23.98fps, 2K cropped to 168fps with external recorder

3840x2160/30p, 120fps HD


Canon EF mount with Cinema Lock/PL mount (Cooke/i Technology compatible)

Canon EF mount. B4 mount lens via adapter accessory (EF or PL)

EF, (PL and B4 mount adapter options)

Fixed lens

Fixed lens

4096x2160, 3840x2160, 2048x1080, 1920x1080, XF-AVC, ProRes, 5952x3140, 5952x2532, 4096x2160, 3840x2160 2048x1080 Canon Raw to recorder

Cinema Raw Light: 5952x3140, 2.1Gbps, 30mins 4096x2160, 1Gbps, 65mins 2048x1080, 250Mbps, 270mins

4:2:2 50Mbps 4K Ultra HD recording live streaming and full-screen graphic overlay

4096x2160, 3840x2160, 2048x1080, 1920x1080, Canon Raw, XF-AVC, ProRes

4K UHD 50/60p Apple ProRes 422 10-bit

15 stops




15 stops

MAY 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 31

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