GROUPTEST: VR MICROPHONES
BLACKMAGIC GOES RAW The latest high-quality codec probed, rated and explained
SOUND ADVICE Easy step-by-step guide to audio in Final Cut Pro X
Kit to record sound for your 360 films
SPRING 2019 £4.99
Drones: News and stories from the skies! Tested: Atomos Ninja V, DJI Osmo Pocket, Sony SSD & Sigma 40mm lens Buyers ʼ Guide to Motion: Sliders, dollies, tripods, jibs, cranes, gimbals, UAVs & more
Ultimate guide to live streaming for maximum profit EVERYBODY STREAM!
TOP GEAR SIMPLY THE BEST! Winners named in our annual kit awards
MIRRORLESS MARVELS! • The full-frame Panasonic S series! • Nikon gets serious about filmmaking
OPINION by Adam Duckworth
FROM THE EDITOR
Shooting full-on Hollywood-style cinematic films is the goal of many modern filmmakers. Large sensor cameras, ultra-shallow depth-of- field from fast glass, sliders, gimbals, drones, then a bit of orange-and-teal grading is the sure-fire way to style nirvana. A generation of more clued-up viewers, used to the high production values of films and TV shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime, expect this level of polish on pretty much everything they watch. Of course, all this is much more affordable and attainable to independent filmmakers nowadays. You only have to browse our Gear of the Year winners to see just how much amazing kit is available. However, there is a big wave of viewers, and therefore clients, that value speed and reality over style. Facebook Live, YouTube Live and even InstaTV are all about immediacy and the buzz of seeing something in real time. We are living in times where a quick-and-dirty iPhone behind-the-scenes video of a shoot will get ten-fold the views on Facebook if it’s live compared to the finished and polished final film. I speak from first-hand experience here. Clients are increasingly demanding real-time livestreaming of their big events, with better footage than iPhone videos shot by their intern. That may get them views, but it doesn’t reflect well on their brand. However, they don’t need full cinematic productions. Professional filmmakers have to be in the position to offer this, since it’s what the market is demanding. Of course, if your niche is beautiful, cinematic wedding films, then you may not wish to dip a toe into live streaming. But for a general-purpose freelance filmmakers with commercial clients, it makes sense to investigate streaming now. It may not win you an Oscar, but it could certainly help your bank account! TIME TO ABANDON YOUR CINEMATIC OBSESSION?
Welcome to the spring issue of Pro Moviemaker and, as the days grow longer, it’s a time to be optimistic and look ahead at some of the exciting opportunities that are around us at the moment. One of the biggest growth areas right now is streaming, which is why we’re taking a deeper look into this sector. There are plenty of reasons why filmmakers should be exploring the potential that’s on offer. For a start, if you’ve got filmmaking skills, then the chances are you’ll already be ahead of the game where streaming is concerned – and you’ll probably have both the skills and the gear to start you on your way. There are extra things you’ll need to learn, of course, but the technology is evolving – it’s becoming simpler and cheaper to get involved and clients are queueing up for the service. We’ve spoken to those leading the way. We’ve also tried and tested some excellent streaming products. In this issue, you’ll also find the results of our Gear of the Year Awards, voted for by you, the readers, and are a celebration of the best products of 2018. Thank you to everyone who took part. It’s great to see so much innovation going on and to deliver plaudits where they are deserved. It’s all helping to drive this business to ever greater heights and that’s something we should be cheering from the rooftops.
TERRY HOPE, EDITOR
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The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
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Pro Moviemaker is published quarterly 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. ISSN number: 2045-3892. Pro Moviemaker is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Pro Moviemaker 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 are street prices. In sterling they include VAT but US dollar prices are without local sales taxes. Prices are where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.
ADAM DUCKWORTH, EDITOR IN CHIEF
SPRING 2019 PRO MOVIEMAKER
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
SPRING 2019 CONTENTS
AGENDA 6 BATTERSEA SHOWSTOPPERS
The 2019 show season starts with the BSC Expo in London where lots of hot kit was unveiled. We check out the best in the show. 8 PANASONIC GOES LARGE The Micro Four Thirds king reveals the details of its full- frame mirrorless cameras with a Leica lens mount, and we get to try out prototype versions. 14 I KNOW THIS MUCH One of the bravest filmmakers on the planet, Deeyah Khan, talks about the experience of tackling race hate in her award-winning documentary. FEATURES 19 GEAR OF THE YEAR Your favourite cameras, lenses, grip, accessories, software and lots more are honoured as the winners of our second annual awards are revealed.
ACADEMY 30 ULTIMATE GUIDE TO STREAMING
Live coverage of events and launches is the big new thing that lots of clients want. We tackle why a professional filmmaker should get involved and how to do it. 40 STREAMING TECHNOLOGY If offering live streaming quickly and easily is part of your career plan, having the right mobile technology can help you achieve it. Take a look at our guide to what’s new. 46 AUDIO ACTION PLAN Getting the sound right is more than half of editing a film, yet many people struggle. Our guide to using the audio tools in Final Cut Pro X takes the fear out of sound with a simple step-by-step guide. 52 BLACKMAGIC’S RAW RESPONSE While the rest of the world goes mad for ProRes Raw, Aussie camera and software giant Blackmagic reveals its own compressed Raw files designed to work perfectly with the Ursa Mini Pro and Pocket Cinema Camera 4K for editing in DaVinci Resolve.
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2019
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
57 THE NEWS FROM ABOVE How a massive commercial airport was brought to its knees by unlawful use of a drone and what the knock-on effect is likely to be for professional UAV pilots in future. 58 RED-EYE FLIERS! When darkness falls and people go to bed, these forward- thinking drone specialists break out the lights to create incredible low-light footage.
GEAR 64 SONY Z190 & Z280
If you’re in the market for a camera to start streaming then Sony comes to the rescue with a pair of affordable yet feature-packed 4K
machines you will love. 72 CANON XF705
It’s the flagship of the all-in-one camcorder range that’s perfect for live broadcast. But just how good is the new Canon and should you splash out on one? 76 NIKON Z 6 Nikon’s new full-frame mirrorless camera might not be its flagship but is the firm’s best ever for serious filmmaking. 80 GROUP TEST: VR MICROPHONES We take a look at a trio of the latest mics designed to make your 360° films sound better than ever. 84 MINI TESTS We take a look at a new lens from Sigma, the Atomos Ninja V monitor recorder, a pocket-size gimbal, some SSD hard drives and more. 92 BUYERS’ GUIDE: GEAR TO MOVE YOU! Take a look at our guide for the best kit to add some controlled camera movements to your films.
SPRING 2019 PRO MOVIEMAKER
Starsoftheshow! Here are the dozen coolest things we spotted at London’s BSC Expo
WORDS AND IMAGES ADAM DUCKWORTH
N ow firmly established as the first big show of the year, the BSC Expo brings together professional filmmakers and cinematographers to network, take part in seminars and workshops, and check out the latest kit. Although much of the kit was aimed at very high-end TV and cinema use, there was lots to see for independent filmmakers considering their next purchase or rental, or just checking out the incredible kit used by mega-budget filmmakers. Themove to full-frame cinema cameras, with lenses to match, was the biggest news at this year’s show, with many manufacturers showing off their top-end (albeit pricey) kit. 1 Star of the show for indie filmmakers was the Kinefinity Mavo LF camera, the most affordable full-frame cinema camera you can buy. Best of all, ProAv actually had stock of the lusted-after cam so you could buy one and walk away with it! Also on show was the range of Kinefinity-branded, large-format prime lenses to match. 2 If you wanted to go anamorphic for true cinema style, then German lens specialist P&S Technik was showing its
go at filming some macro with a Sony full- frame camera. 7 Getting your colours right is a crucial part of filmmaking. Demos on how to nail it using inexpensive X-Rite ColorCheckers and a BenQ screen runningDaVinci Resolve were hugely popular. 8 The award for the largest camera on showwent to theArri Alexamountedwitha huge Angénieux lens, and a mechanical rig to drive it via a steering wheel. 9 Zeiss had the only 135mm full-frame SupremePrime lens inthecountryspecially flown in fromGermany to make its UK debut. Mounted on the Sony Venice, it is as sharp as you’d expect from the optics experts at Zeiss. 10 If it’s great British lenses you’re after, Cooke delivered with a whole range of full- frame and full-frameplus lenses, including an 18mm S7/I mounted on an Arri Alexa LF. The brand also debuted two 50mm Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus lenses, one standard and one with a special SF coating to create even more flare. 11 For when drones just won’t cut it... A rig of three RedMonstro 8K cameras with Cooke S4/I lenses mounted onto a huge carbon fibre five-axis Shotover gimbal for use on helicopters. 12 For a more realistic purchase, there was lots of grip, including these huge stands and a range of Magliner trolleys to transport them around on.
range of prime and zoom anamorphics, available to suit the largest format cameras in both 1.5x and 16:9 CinemaScope. 3 Of course, Sony had the ultimate accessory – a retro Citroën car fitted with a huge HDR monitor in the boot! It also had two full-frame Sony Venice cinema cameras mounted to it, one on the roof and one on a rig pointing through the driver’s window. The cost of the cameras and monitor far outweighs the cost of the classic French car, for sure. 4 Not all monitors are huge: SmallHD was showing off its latest range of on- camera screens, as well as the range of Focus Bolt wireless handheld monitors. 5 About as far from handheld as you can get was the Agito robot dolly system. Although this amazing robotic camera platformwith small caterpillar-style tracks looks more like some military bomb disposal device, using the firm’s own V-Con Pro stabiliser it actually carries an Arri film cinema camera. 6 Mega retailer CVP took over the whole mezzanine floor and brought its new-style ‘experience’ store to the show. You could try out lenses, talk to experts or evenhave a
“Therewas lotstoseefor independent filmmakers considering their next purchase or rental”
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2019
IMAGES The latest, greatest gear on display at this year’s BSC Expo – running across from top left to right, check out the pieces that really caught our attention
SPRING 2019 PRO MOVIEMAKER
Panasonic goes large! The new S1 and S1R are two of the most advanced full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market
Three all-newAF lenses, the 50mm/ f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4 and 24-105mm f/4 Macro have been launched for the S1 series cameras. Both zoom lenses include image stabilisation and, like the cameras, all the optics are weather resistant. The 50mm f/1.4 uses an 11-bladed iris with 13 lens elements in 11 groups. Three of the lenses are Extra-LowDispersion (ELD) and two are aspherical. This is a very high quality, modern lens design, but it is pricey at £2299/$2298, which costs as much as the S1 body. The 70-200mm f/4 lens is £1749/$1698 and has nine aperture blades, and 23 elements in 17 groups, with one aspherical element and three ELD lenses. The 24- 105mm is a great all-round video lens for £1300/$1298, especially as it has a close- focus capability. It has 16 elements in 13 groups, with two aspherical lenses and two ELD elements. L-Mount is part of a three-way deal between Leica, Panasonic and Sigma, so the camera can take any of the range of Leica lenses made for the SL camera, although these are expensive. Sigma will reveal its own range of lenses this year. TRIO OF LENSES LAUNCHED
WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH & WILL CHEUNG IMAGES WILL CHEUNG
P anasonic has taken all that it learned from its successful GH5 and GH5S filmmaking hybrid mirrorless cameras and squeezed the tech into a pair of rugged, full-frame bodies, the Lumix S1 and S1R. At 898g/1.98lb, the bodies are the largest and heaviest of current mirrorless full- frame cameras, and have twin card slots as well as the highest frame rates. The £2199/$2499 S1 – the better camera for video – uses a 24.2 megapixel
full-frame sensor, while the S1R has a 47.3 megapixel sensor. Both have six-stop Dual Image Stabilisation for stills and video, a high-resolution 5760K OLED display, a dual-tilting screen, and use the L-mount designed by Leica for its SL camera. The S1 offers 4K video at up to 60p with an APS-C 1.5x crop, and full pixel readout at 30p with no crop. It records up to 4K 60p 4:2:0 in 8-bit at 150Mbps directly to SD or XQD cards, but can output 4:2:2 through HDMI. A future firmware upgrade will allow 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit via HDMI and 30p/25p/24p in 4:2:2 10-bit internally, and will also bring V Log profile – but it’s likely to be a paid upgrade. There is a 30-minute time limit on 4K/60p and 15 minutes for high-speed HD footage, but 4K/30p at 100Mbps and Full HD can be recorded with no limits. The high frame rates are 60fps in 4K, and up to 180fps in Full HD, but with an APS-C crop at higher rates. Cinelike D/V and Like709 is also featured, plus flat mode with less contrast and saturation, as well as Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) for HDR output. The £3399/$3699 S1R has no low-pass filter and can match the S1 with 4K/60p
ABOVE Image quality is first class, providing pictures with exceptional clarity and detail even in challenging conditions
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2019
S CLASS IS AWINNER FOR STILLS
resulting 187-megapixel files – that take up over 350MB of storage – can be enlarged to 1.4m on the longest dimension at 300ppi without any interpolation. I was blown away by the image quality – impressive even at ISO 3200 – but was less overwhelmed by some points of handling. The right-sided on/off switch is ideal in theory but its design isn’t great to use. I found myself moving the AF point by touch too easily, while the AF itself is silent and fast but wasn’t always accurate. This could be user error, of course, and I was using a pre-production sample. On the plus side, the five illuminated buttons were a nice touch, the focus lever that lets you move focus points diagonallywas great, and the EVFwas simply the best - in terms of looking like an optical finder - I have seen to date. The Lumix S-system has enormous potential and lots going for it, and I can’t wait to try a final production camera because on the basis of my time with it, it could be a blockbuster, and could even tempt more than a few to switch brands.
video with pixel binning. A 1.09x crop is not as severe as the APS-C size reduction on the S1, but is used for all video settings on the S1R. It also shoots HD up to 180fps, recorded to the internal SD or XQD cards or externally via HDMI. Audio on both cameras is via a 3.5mm microphonesocketandmonitoringthrough the 3.5mm headphone port. Panasonic’s current DMW-XLR1 microphone adapter fits in the hotshoe to allow XLR inputs. The viewfinder has a refresh rate of up to 120fps, and the rear touchscreen is a 3.2- inch 2.1-million dot type. The cameras have in-body five-axis image stabilisation to give a 5.5-stop advantage, which goes up to a six-stop gain if you use Panasonic stabilised lenses. The AF system uses a combination of contrast detection and Panasonic’s own DFD technology. The focus acquisition and tracking detects humans, cats, dogs and birds to allows the autofocus to keep tracking the subject even when its back is turned. There is face, eye and pupil detection when shooting portraits. The footage was sharp and detailed, with very pleasing skin tones. The AF managed to track things like moving motorcycles in traffic, and there was no sign of rolling shutter. Of course, we used a pre-production camera so the final results are likely to be different. Panasonic has announced a Pro support and service network for professionals in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. New G and S series cameras can be signed up for the programme free until 31 March. and the very highly priced 50mm f/1.4. Having tried all the recent full-frame mirrorless cameras, I can honestly say that the S1R was the camera I was most loath to hand back at the end of the day. The 47.3-megapixel stills images are awesome, so sharp and so detail-packed. If you like your shots to be magnificently endowed with detail, the S1R could be the camera for you. This is with a pre-production camera, so shots from the final version that goes on sale could be even more awesome. I tried the high-res mode, too, and while it is tripod only and suits mostly static scenes, the Panasonic has taken a different direction to the rest of its mirrorless full-frame rivals, and its no-compromise approach means that the S1 and S1R are substantial cameras – there is no pretence that going mirrorless can save you weight and space here. I spent a couple of hours shooting with the Lumix S1R, mostly fitted with the 70-200mm f/4, although I got a fewminutes with the 24-105mm,
“The S1 and S1R are substantial cameras – there is no pretence that going mirrorless can save you weight and space here”
ABOVE L-Mount enables ‘mixing and matching’ APS-C and full-frame bodies with lenses from Leica, Sigma and Panasonic
SPRING 2019 PRO MOVIEMAKER
The future is bright for Red
Brite LCD has tough Gorilla glass optically bonded to its 1920x1200 touchscreen and boasts 2200 nits of brightness and a 1200:1 contrast ratio to make it more visible in bright sunlight. It mounts directly to Red’s cameras or other ¼-20 mounting surfaces, and provides a direct LEMO connection to a Red camera, making it an idealmonitoringoption for gimbals. To make Red’s DSMC2 camera moreuseableas anall-roundcamera ideal for broadcast, streaming or documentary use, there is also a new Production Module, hitting the shops soon at £3800/$4750. It mounts to the camera body and provides a V-Lock mount with integrated battery mount and P-Tap for 12V accessories, and has an array of video, XLR audio, power and communication connections, including support for three-pin 24V accessories. It’s smaller and more lightweight than Red’s current Redvolt Expander unit. It will also be available in a kit with a top handle and matching plate for £5200/ $6500. red.com
Cinema camera pioneer Red has revealed a new Dragon-X S35 camera and a module to make all its cameras more useful for documentary use, as well as a new super-bright and super-tough seven-inch monitor. The latest DSMC2 Dragon-X 5K Super35 camera uses the same sensor technology found in many of Red’s legacy cameras but with an evolved sensor board to enable the latest IPP2 processing in camera. The Dragon-X provides 16.5 stops of dynamic range, 5K resolution up to 96fps in full format, and 120fps at 5K 2.4:1. Like the rest of the line- up, it offers 300 MB/s data transfer speeds and simultaneous recording of Redcode Raw and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD/HR. The new camera body costs £12,100/$14,950 but is also available as a kit for £16,150/$19,950, which includes a 480GB Red Mini-Mag hard drive, Canon lens mount, 4.7in Touch LCD Monitor, Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens plus batteries, charger, card reader, side grip and V-Lock expander plate, all in a Nanuk case. The new £3450/$3750 DSMC2 Touch Ultra-
TINYMIRRORLESS POINTS TO NEWSONYAF TECH
The consumer-level Sony A6400 may not have got professional filmmakers overexcited, but it does pack some incredible new autofocus technology that could find its way on to the next generation of Alpha-series cameras or even cinema cams. The APS-C £949/$898 camera does shoot in 4K and have a tiltable screen, but its biggest new tech is a huge increase in AF speed along with the much-improved real-time tracking, Eye AF and Eye AF for animals. Initial tests show a huge improvement in hit rate for sharp stills using the Eye AF and real-time tracking of moving subjects, as well as a big improvement in use for filmmaking. Sony says its subject recognition and tracking algorithms now include eye and pattern detection, in addition to the distance, colour and face detection information they previously worked with. These improvements will be coming to the flagship A9 sports camera in a free firmware update in the summer and could potentially be included on a new A7S III, which is overdue a revamp.
SPRING 2019 PRO MOVIEMAKER
SENNHEISER KEEPS IT SIMPLE
Olympus goes prowith E-M1X
An entry-level wireless audio system that’s ideal for mirrorless and DSLR users has been launched by audio giant Sennheiser. The XSWireless Digital is a compact system built to be very simple to operate. The units have just one button to power them on and off, pair a transmitter and receiver and mute the recording. Sennheiser says the range is up to 75m/250ft and you can get up to five hours of battery life on a single charge of the internal 850mAh battery. The batteries are charged via the USB-C port. There are various packages for you to choose from to make the system usable for lots of applications. For filmmaking, the basic kit is the XSW-D Portable Lavalier, which costs £289/$350 and includes the ME2-II lapel mic, 3.5mm coiled cable, charging cable, belt clip, cold shoe mount, transmitter and receiver. sennheiser.com
audio level, which has to be set manually and can be changed during recording. Sports user will like the 120fps frame rate for super-slow motion, but there is significant crop. The E-M1X contains built-in GPS, temperature and compass sensors andmanometer. Inaddition, to location information such as longitude and latitude, these sensors detect and record the temperature, elevationanddirectionof the camera to add detailed shooting information to images. A newWi-Fi capture also allows tethered shooting without a cable and makes it possible to transfer images wirelessly to a computer with the Olympus Capture camera control software. The OM-D E-M1X is available from late February as a body only for £2800/$2999. olympus-global.com
Olympus has revealed its new OM-D E-M1X Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera. Aimed at professional image makers, it’s the first Micro Four Thirds camera to come with an integrated vertical grip and it retains the great image stabilisation from the E-M1 Mark II, which has been tweaked. There is also a redeveloped AF system, as well as two image processors, which allows for high-speed responsiveness. It has a 20.4-megapixel sensor, 18fps burst stills shooting with full-time AF (60fps without), 80-megapixel multi-shot high- resolution stills mode, 7.5-stop image stabilisation, a touchscreen LCD and full weatherproofing. It has a host of new features for filmmakers, but omits 4K 60p and 10-bit external recording. Recording is 8-bit 4:2:0 internally or externally. With Cinema 4K movie format and All-Intra recording at up to 237Mbps, the E-M1X now supports Log shooting. OM-Log400 is said to retain details in shadows and highlights for ease in grading. When shooting in Log, the Olympus also has a view assist that sets the viewfinder to a Rec. 709 colour space for easier monitoring. The flat profile from the E-M1 Mark II remains, making it easy to use bothcamerasandretainconsistency. There are also improvements to the audio circuitry, but not auto
BELOW When shooting in Log, the Olympus has a view assist that sets the viewfinder to a Rec. 709 colour space
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PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2019
I KNOWTHISMUCH AGENDA
I KNOWTHIS MUCH: DEEYAH KHAN Documentary filmmaker Deeyah Khan learnt her craft on the back of discovering stories she felt compelled to tell. For her latest project, she put her own safety on the line to achieve a unique insight
WORDS TERRY HOPE
T he technological developments in the filmmaking world over the past decade have made it more affordable and easier than ever to get involved. More than this, these advancements have also had the effect of opening up and democratising the whole sector. It’s meant that people who are not trained filmmakers, but strongly feel they have a story they need to tell, now have the opportunity to do exactly that. At the same time, there are a multitude of platforms opening that are prepared to showcase such work. This was the background that allowed Norwegian British documentary film director, human rights activist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Deeyah Khan, to make her first production, Banaz: A Love Story , in 2012. Documenting the so-called honour killing of a British Kurdish woman, the filmwent on to win an Emmy, a Peabody Award and a
nomination from the Royal Television Society, despite Khan having no previous filmmaking experience. White Right: Meeting the Enemy, the latest film by her production company, Fuuse, won a prestigious Rory Peck Award and saw Khan head to America in the wake of the Trump victory to meet people who openly advocate race hate. The filming included her attending the fateful neo-Nazi Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017, which saw the death of a counter-protester. Throughout filming, Khan placed herself in a series of highly vulnerable positions as she sought to understand the thought processes of those who embrace far-right extremism and see her as the ‘enemy’. We met in the aftermath of her Rory Peck award to talk more about her work and how she’s used the medium to further her human rights campaigns.
IMAGES As a beginner filmmaker, Khan used the Sony FS5 and FS7, because they are lightweight and intuitive to use
I’m not a journalist, I’m an activist Films are my passion and my obsession. I’d reached a point in my life where I’d experienced a lot of hate and even death threats. I felt I had to decide to live my life and no longer be afraid. At that time, I came across the story of Banaz Mahmod. She was a young British Kurdish woman who was murdered by her family in a so-called honour killing after she fell in love with someone they didn’t approve of. It was a difficult story to tell and I had to spend years gaining the trust and cooperation of the police officers involved, but I felt I had to do it. I’d never operated a camera before, but I bought myself a Sony and a copy of Final Cut Pro and assembled a team that would help me. I explained to them at the time I couldn’t pay them, but they were happy to be involved anyway. My second filmwas Jihad: A Story of the Others . It was about why some young western Muslims embrace violent extremism and go abroad to fight wars, andwhy, in some cases, they come to reject it. I was interested inwhat theirmotivation was. What would cause a 17-year-old to feel they needed to become a martyr to achieve redemption? Of course, there are psychological issues involved – the film looked at how these movements fulfil certain needs for these guys. What makes an individual do something radical?
“I’d experienced hate and even death threats. I felt I had to live my life and no longer be afraid”
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2019
SPRING 2019 PRO MOVIEMAKER
Empathising with the other person My latest film involved me heading to America for six to seven months to meet the neo-Nazis who have been on the rise since the election of Trump. In the summer of 2016, the BBC interviewed me about living in a multicultural society and, to my shock, this interview went viral and I received a deluge of hate emails from people across Europe and America. I decided not to hide and I set out to meet the people who sent me this abuse. I’ve long been interested in what their thought processes are and my filmwas an attempt to find their humanity – and for them perhaps to find mine. I always knew that we would never end up agreeing or seeing things in the same way, but it was an opportunity to understand each other’s background. I started off by contacting endless amounts of groups and activists to try and set up meetings and, obviously, the majority were not interested in speaking to me – or even being in the same room as me. But there were a few who agreed to be involved, since they are looking for whatever platform they can to say what they want to say. And, if they encounter a journalist who gives them a hard time, they can come across as the victim and they win: they can say they’re speaking the truth that others are trying to prevent them from saying. They’re not used to someone not getting aggressive or reacting. It slightly disarms them. It’s difficult for me not to take it personally, however, when they’re saying such awful things. I have to remind myself that I’m there for a reason. They’re trying to scare me and I won’t ever let them do that. They want me to react in a certain way – to become angry and shout and lose it. They’re looking for confrontation. If it doesn’t come, it confuses them. I disarm them by not responding to the things they say
ABOVE For her documentary, White Right: Meeting the Enemy, Khan interviewed the chairman of the National Socialist Movement
I set up an interview with Jeff Schoep, who is the leader of the biggest neo-Nazi organisation in America: the National Socialist Movement. The group reveres Hitler and until recently its symbol was the swastika. He hates the idea of multiculturalism and thinks it’s part of a plot against the white race. About two- and-a-half hours into the interview, I asked him to consider: what if everything he thought turned out to be wrong? He fell silent for a while and struggled to compose an answer. It was one of the most telling and vulnerable moments in the film. How could he not have an answer to one of the biggest turning points in his life? I start off by agreeing a time for the interview and then, as the subject relaxes, I try to extend this for as long as I can. I want them to be themselves as much as possible. My approach is to try to softly extract more candid and revealing answers from people, and these tend to come over an extended period of time. With Schoep, it was a case of asking for an extra 30 minutes every now and then – and he was happy to oblige. I also set out to meet people at events and rallies. We went to Charlottesville, where there was a demonstration (the now infamous Unite the Right) by the Klu Klux Klan against the removal of a statue of Confederate general, Robert E. Lee. We marched alongside them to get the footage we needed, which was a surreal experience for me, and it’s dangerous because people on both sides distrust the camera. We were also invited along to a neo- Nazi training camp. There were just two of us and we decided that pulling out a camera might be dangerous, so we thought we’d check it out first and then come back for the camera if it felt safe enough. As we walked down this dirt road in the middle of nowhere, people were I found myself alongside the Neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville
coming down to us – threatening, asking if we were from the media and pulling out weapons. It was all very intimidating. I happened to look at my phone at that point and noticed we had no signal. That’s when I wondered whether someone might put a bullet in our heads and no one would ever find us. I’d been ringing my mother and brother every couple of days to tell them how things were going, but I hadn’t mentioned this trip to them, since they wouldn’t have let me go. No one knew where we were. Just as I was wondering how we were going to get out of this, one of the guys who had invited us found us and we were able to get back to our hotel. People like me would not have been able to make films were it not for the advancement of technology, which has had a liberating effect. I usually work with a Sony FS5, because it’s lightweight to carry around and intuitive to use. I’ll have more than one, since the BTS footage we achieve is crucial to the final edit. When I’m filming an interview, I’ll also have three cameras running. That then gives us the option to change our angle in the edit. What happens on the face is often just as important as what someone is saying – it can reveal their tension and discomfort. On White Right , I also worked with the Sony FS7 and the Canon EOS C300, as well as a Sony A series camera. Because it was so crucial to keep the footage safe, it was backed up in three different places: two in the US and one in the UK. Cameras such as these are capable of producing footage that is accepted by major TV companies, and White Right was broadcast by ITV at the end of 2017. Modern cameras make things so much easier
“What happens on the face is often just as important as what someone is saying”
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2019
Thousands of professional filmmakers took the time to vote in our latest Gear of the Year Awards. The results are now in, as we celebrate some of the very best products on the market O ur Gear of the Year Awards continue to go fromstrength to strength, and thousands of you took up the invitation to cinema cameras through to lenses, microphones, bags andmore. There were some clear winners, a few surprises, the verification This business continues to be fast moving and exciting and there will no doubt be some strong contenders for our next set of IMAGES From cameras and lenses to recorders and mics, check out some of the kit shortlisted in our awards
awards. In themeantime, however, this is a snapshot of the best of the best as things stood at the end of 2018– andmany congratulations to all of thosemanufacturers who have been honoured andwho have given us such a great set of tools to workwith!
of the continued excellence of certain key brands and the arrival of a few newplayers, and overall it was very satisfying to have the input of working professionals who are, after all, at the sharp end of the business and in the best position of all to pass judgement.
get involved. Such is the strength of themarket right now that even achieving a place on our shortlist was an achievement; to come out on top of the pile speaks volumes for the product involved. We’ve had your verdict on everything from the best of the current crop of
SPRING 2019 PRO MOVIEMAKER
GEAR OF THE YEAR
DSLR Canon EOS 5DMark IV Mirrorless Sony A7 III Camcorder JVC HM 180 Cinema camera Sony FS5 II Camera for rental Canon C300Mark II
Meanwhile themore cinema- focused version of the Panasonic GH5, the GH5S, was narrowly pipped to theMirrorless title by its Sony rival, the A7Mark III. Boasting a full frame 24MP sensor, themodel is a highly capable still camera while also offering high-end filming facilities. On the Camcorder front the JVC HM180 came out on top, combining a tantalising price point with a strong feature set. Perhapsmost impressively the camera is set up for live streaming, a facility that’s becoming evermore important. The winner in the Cinema camera category is the Sony FS5Mark II.With
Last year was another strong one for cameras, with a flurry of new launches, but for the 2018 awards there were a fewold favourites still in favour, with the Canon EOS 5DMark IV reprising its success from2017 in the DSLR category. A genuine hybrid, it’s hugely valued by those with a foot in stills andmotion camps, andwith its ability to output 4K footage as Motion JPEGs, high ISO capability, MP4 and .MOV formats in Full HD andMovie Servo AF it boasts a fine feature set that makes it a valuable partner for those working in the professional arena.
its Super 35-Sized CMOS sensor, UHD at 24/30fps, HD up to 240fps capabilities, XAVC Long, AVCHD recording codecs and compact form factor, there’s no doubt that this is one of themost preferred camcorders on themarket. Finally there’s another repeat success for Canon in the Camera for rental section, with the EOS C300 Mark II once again being voted top camera, seeing off the likes of the REDWeaponMonstro and the Arri Alexa LF.
IMAGES Mirrorless, DSLRs, cinema cameras... our worthy winners have triumphed in a crowded market
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2019
Prime lens Zeiss CP.3 XD 50mmT2.1 Lens accessories Schneider True-Streak Filter
One of the major spin-offs resulting from the explosion of interest in filmmaking that’s taken place over the past ten years is the proliferation of high-quality and more affordable dedicated cinema lenses, a fact borne out by the strong contenders in the lens section of the latest awards. In the Zoom lens category the winner is the excellent 18-35mmT2 fromSigma, which saw off strong challenges from the Zeiss LWZ.3 21- 100mmT2.9-3.9 and the Fujifilm MK 18-55mmT2.9. Boasting a constant aperture throughout the “Last year was another strong one for cameras, withaflurry of big launches”
zoom range, the outstanding optical performance of this lens makes it fully ready for high-resolution shooting in 6K-8K productions, and yet it’s still available at a price that’s way belowwhat cinema zooms would once have cost. It’s a price point that’s been achieved by leveraging high-precision, high-efficiency mass production technologies that Sigma has developed for its still camera lenses, and the end result is a combination of performance and compact design at the highest level. The winner of the Prime lens category is the Zeiss CP.3 XD 50mm T2.1, which achieved nearly 40%of the overall vote. This standout lens is one of a highly rated family of ten that feature advanced lens coatings, painted lens rims and special light traps within the barrel to eliminate unwelcome veiling glare and flares.
The result is higher contrast, richer blacks andmore saturated colours and, combined with a compact and lightweight design, the 50mmT2.1 is a valuable professional tool that should give years of service. The final category in our Lenses section is for accessories, and the deserved winner here is the Schneider True-Streak Filter, a clever piece of kit that’s designed to be used perpendicular to a point light source such as the sun, a light bulb, or a candle. The result is prominent, elongated streaks that are symmetrical and extend horizontally from each point light source for a visually dramatic effect. Simple and straightforward but highly effective; just what every good accessory should aspire to.
WINTER 2018 PRO MOVIEMAKER
AWARDS GEAR OF THE YEAR
ACCESSORIES Sure, cameras and lenses get all the attention, but as any experienced filmmaker will tell you, accessories are the mortar that holds Drone WINNERS case or bag is invaluable. The two picked by ProMM readers stand out for good reason. The Peli 1615 Air case continues the US brand’s
IMAGES Accessories are the finishing touches that can protect your kit and make your life easier
DJI Mavic Pro 2 Bags and cases: Roller/ Hardcase Peli 1615 Air case Bags and cases: Backpack/ Holdall Manfrotto ProLight Cinematic Backpack Expand Monitors SmallHD Focus OLED Lighting: Light Panels Litepanels Gemini Lighting: Fresnel FiilexMatrix II Lighting: Innovation Rotolight Anova Pro 2 Memory cards SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB 300Mb/s SDXC II External hard drive LaCie Rugged RAID Pro 4TB Editing software Adobe Premiere Pro CC
everything together. That said, the Accessories section of our awards also includes the Drone category, therefore it’s the first place many aspiring filmmakers will look. It’s with the Drone section we’ll start, and no real surprise that the awesome DJI Mavic Pro 2 has picked up this year’s top prize. DJI has long been the leader in the market for filmmakers and shows no signs of giving up its crown. The Mavic Pro 2 builds on that success with voters cheering its Hasselblad-made f/2.8 28mm equivalent lens, 1in CMOS sensor and three-axis gimbal combo, producing super-smooth 30fps 4K video. Even more importantly, it supports a 10-bit Dlog-M colour profile for higher dynamic range and improved grading, and you can change aperture on the lens. They might not have the draw of other gear, but as any working cameraman will tell you, a good
fine pedigree with a light and roomy but superbly strong and watertight model, sized to fit most airlines’ carry on restrictions. Top of the backpacks came Manfrotto’s ProLight Cinematic. Specifically designed for videographers on the go, there’s plenty of scope for adjusting its innards to a whatever kit you’re using, whether it’s a mirrorless set-up, camcorder or drone. But maybe best of all is, however much you load it up, how comfortable the ProLight Cinematic is to carry with plenty of padding and relief from its well-designed shoulder and sternum straps. All pros know the value of a field monitor. It’ll give a clearer and more accurate view than the camera’s LCD or viewfinder can. Coming out top in this year’s awards was the SmallHD Focus OLED, a five-inch touchscreen with tilt arm that connects via
PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2019
HDMI and therefore works with a huge range of cameras. Voters found the bright and clear 1920x1080 display performed really well under all sorts of light and its price was right, too. Good lighting can give any
shot a lift, and with every year bringing advances in quality and affordability, there’s no excuse for using outdated panels. Innovations are being led by LED lighting, and LED units scooped top prize in all three lighting categories. The light panel award went to the Litepanels Gemini, 2x1 LED, a unit that gives impressively soft and consistent daylight or tungsten balanced light. But it takes more than that to win, and the Gemini also delivers three lighting modes. As well as the standard CCT, there’s HSI Mode for total control over hue, saturation and intensity letting you add any colour you want to mix; and Gel Mode that apes industry standard gel to put a spin on the daylight or tungsten balance. Also popular with voters was its range of control, with options for standard DMX 512 protocol, wireless DMX or Bluetooth. A fresnel light gives you classic Hollywood style control, but
normally you’d need a separate unit or bulky accessory to get the look. Not any more with the Fiilex Matrix II offering simpler way of getting the same effect. The system comes as either an RGB LED or a tunable white light, and its Fresnel effect comes from an optional Quad- Fresnel accessory, which increases beam intensity by 3x and focuses it down to 31° giving a lot more throw. This year’s Lighting Innovation award went to the Rotolight Anova Pro 2, a unique LED system that combines portability with power, control, and special features. It delivers 70%more power than its predecessor and still runs off batteries making it a great location option. Hybrid shooters will love its HSS flash mode for stills. There’s also an updated range of CineSFX modes, letting you add atmospheric effects like Fire, Lightning, and TV. All the creative talent in the world is useless without a reliable memory to record your vision, and
this year’s Memory Card category, winner is the SanDisk 128GB Extreme Pro 300MB/s SDXC II, which brings all the space and speed you need for ultra high-res shooting, all backed up by data recovery and a three-year guarantee. The External Hard Drive winner was LaCie’s Rugged RAID Pro 4TB, a monster of a drive with a cavernous 4TB capacity and a rugged build to keep data safe. Its trump card is the double benefit of the RAID backup technology plus an embedded
UHS-II SD card reader, meaning you can back up footage on location without a separate card reader and laptop.
SPRING 2019 PRO MOVIEMAKER
GEAR OF THE YEAR
Good camera support is half the battle in creating pro-quality video, so whether you’re looking for rock-solid stability or the ability to addmotion effects with ultimate smoothness, the gear you choose will dictate results. Get it right and your footage has a professional sheen; get it wrong and all you’ve got is an amateurishmess. That’s why the Support section in Pro Moviemaker ’s Gear of the Year was so fiercely contested. Scooping the Tripod System award, Sachtler’s carbon fibre Flowtech 75MS has really proved its worth. At home in any environment thanks to its quickly attachable and removable foot pads and spiked feet, it’s also easy tomanoeuvre, being lightweight, and easy to carry with ergonomic legs that sit comfortably on the user’s shoulders andmagnetic locks to keep them stable on the hoof. But the Flowtech 75MS’s real trump card is its speed and versatility in operation – it’ll lift 20kg of rig with ease, and videographers can extend all three legs at once and shoot down to 26cm if required. In theMonopod category, it was all eyes onManfrotto’s XPro 4 Section VideoMonopod which scooped the top award, amodel that won praise for its practicality and stability as well as affordability. Not only does the XPro 4 support loads of up to 8kg, its Fluidtech base allows smoothmotion, while D-shaped tubes give great resistance to rotation, and along with a newly designed leg warmer allow it to be used as a boom. Having a range of motion effects in your filmmaking arsenal is something that brings in the clients. For smooth and controlled tracking shots a good slider is vital, and in this all-important category, Kenro’s Double Distance slider came out on top, boosted by a superb mix of stability and innovation. It can be used like a regular model when laid flat, but mount it on a tripod using the central point and its counterbalanced belt drive
Sachtler Flowtech 75MS
Manfrotto XPro 4 Section VideoMonopod Slider Kenro Double Distance Slider Rig Vocas Spider System Stabiliser gimbal DJI Ronin-S
effectively doubles the range of movement from38cm to 76cm. Top-quality gearingmeansmotion is smooth in either direction and its aluminiumbuild will take a load of 6kg on the flat or 3kg on a tripod. A good rig will offer stability in shooting, andmoremounting points for accessories, all the while giving a good balance and not contributing toomuch to the overall weight you’re carrying. Step forward the Vocas Spider Systemwhich nails the job on every score with a universal camera base at its centre, combining withmodular arms, handgrip, shoulder and belly braces to offer all active filmmakers need. In the quest for super-smooth video, a bit of automated help is always appreciated and that’s whymany of us are turning to technology packed gear like the winner of this year’s Gimbal category. DJI’s Ronin-S is small enough to fit in a backpack but produces results comparable to much larger and heavier systems, and its SmoothTrack technology lets you go frommotion
control to changing camera angle even working one handed, while the front trigger takes the camera from upright to underslung in a seamless movement.
PRO MOVIEMAKER WINTER 2018
GEAR OF THE YEAR
You can get away with slightly dodgy visuals if you have great audio, but not the other way around. Bad sound is the fastest way to ruin your work. Fortunately there is a huge amount of choice in themarket, but that means it’s easy to get confused and buy the wrong bit of kit. Of course, all our award winners deliver for the professional user. In themicrophone category, all the professional-style XLRmics were pipped to the post by a surprise winner, the Audio Technica AT8035. Operating frombattery or phantom power, this shotgunmic is proof that Audio Technica ismaking great strides in quality and acceptance by professional users. It’s a true broadcast-qualitymic that’s perfect for ENG use on camera or on a boom. For DSLR andmirrorless users, the Rode VideoMic Pro+ took the honours. Based on the hugely successful Rode VideoMic Pro which won our award last year, the new version is a higher spec unit with significant improvements. There’s now a rechargeable battery, auto shut off and improved sound. It can also be used off camera, such as on a boompole, using an extension lead for evenmore flexibility. In theWireless category, top honours go to the Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G4 Combo Set, an upgraded version of the industry-standard
G3 system that has beenmassively popular for years. It comes with an upgraded transmitter pack and receiver unit, as well as a top- quality lapel mic. The combo kit also includes a plug-inwireless adapter to turnmost report mics into wireless units so is ideal for all run- and-gun or interview situations. The tricky issue of recording top- quality audio onmirrorless cameras is also solved by our winner in the Audio Recorder/Adapter category, where Olympus has wonwith the LS-P4. It’s one of the first recorders to be compatible with recording in the latest FLAC format which is better than CD quality but with file sizes around 30%smaller compared to theWAV format. In the newmobile category, thinking outside the box helped Sennheiser take top honours with the newMemoryMic. This tiny unit is like a combined lapel mic and recorder that can capture broadcast quality audio. It then connects via Bluetooth to your phone and continues to record at any distance fromyour smartphone to its internal memory. It records up to four hours of audio which automatically synchronises with a smartphone video via the Sennheiser Memory Mic App.
IMAGES Our sound category winners all help ensure that your audio will enhance rather than distract from your movies
Audio Technica AT8035
Røde VideoMic Pro+
WirelessMics Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G4 Combo Set Audio Recorder/ Adaptors Olympus LS-P4 Mobile Accessories Sennheiser MemoryMic
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