LENSES AND CAMERAS P44
November 2018 £4.99
FILE FREEDOM HOW OUTLAW KING MANAGED A DATA
PLUS MORE LIGHTING APPS IT’S THE NEWBRAW SAMSUNG’S CURVED MONITOR
ONSLAUGHT MAGIC MONO PAWEL PAWLIKOWSKI’S COLD WAR
QUEEN BIOPIC SPANS THE DECADES
THE CANON XF705
EDITORIAL Editor Julian Mitchell 01223 492246 email@example.com Editor In Chief Adam Duckworth Contributors Madelyn Most, Adam Garstone Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans ADVERTISING Sales Director Matt Snow 01223 499453 firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Manager Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 email@example.com Key Accounts Nicki Mills 01223 499457 firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN Design Director Andy Jennings Designer Lucy Woolcomb Senior Designer & Production Manager Flo Thomas Ad Production Man-Wai Wong PUBLISHING Managing Directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook @definitionmagazine Twitter @definitionmags Instagram @definitionmags MEDIA PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS OF BRIGHT PUBLISHING LTD, BRIGHT HOUSE, 82 HIGH STREET, SAWSTON, CAMBRIDGESHIRE CB22 3HJ UK
Outlaw King ’s Main Unit DIT Sam Spurgeon adjusting camera settings on Panavision’s large format Millennium DXL during a scene at Craigmillar Castle.
W hat is the promise of large format cinematography? Is it the moving image version of the photography of Ansel Adams and Gregory Crewdson, they relished the big picture – what would Mr Adams have done with multiple frame? Or should we all be striving to emulate those shots from The Revenant ? Whatever it is, we should be excited. But in the real world where budgets and producers can throttle the best intention of the cinematographer we may end up using the full sensors of these new cameras as an effect; wait for that huge detailed landscape shot and keep your producers happy by not accelerating the data use. Maybe look at large format in a different light. Maybe matching the resolution and image quality of these new cameras with the new ‘organic’ lenses like ARRI Rental’s DNA series and the new H Series from Panavision is finally producing the ‘film look’ that we’ve all been waiting for and something that nobody will argue with – even the film guys. In this issue we ask the questions and also look into some of those lenses that will maybe make your ‘film look’ dreams come true. WELCOME
JULIAN MITCHELL EDITOR
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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ON THE COVER BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY This rock biopic decided to follow Queen’s success through the glory decades. 22
GEAR TESTS BLACKMAGIC RAW When a major camera
manufacturer introduces its own Raw format, we have to find out how it works. CANON XF705 CAMERA Canon carries on the popular XF series of workhorse cameras with the XF705 – new is HDR output. SAMSUNG CJ890 CURVED If you’re looking for more real estate for your screen, Samsung now has a range of supremely cool curved monitors with great tech underneath. 4K CAMERA LISTINGS Our famous camera listing now concentrates on 4K and above camera systems.
SET- UP TITLE SEQUENCE The sixth and final season of House of Cards has one big omission, no president. NEWS 100 years of Panasonic, developments in holography and OLED screen burn. CINE GEAR EXPO ATLANTA Cine Gear has expanded its trade show to Atlanta, a huge movie hub in the US. SHOOT STORY OUTLAW KING With up to seven 8K cameras, this Netflix film was a challenge for DIT specialists, Digital Orchard. COLD WAR Poland’s official entry into the Academy Awards next year is in beautiful mono. FEATURES LIVING WITH LARGE Part two digs deeper into what DOPs think of this new format. GEAR GROUP: LF LENSES We pick 12 new and not-so-new lenses that are heading for the large format CONTENTS 06 08 10 14 32 44 53
camera market. APP WORLD
More on the new apps that are revolutionising wireless DMX lighting control.
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#MYTURN is an official Netflix hashtag and refers to the big change in Season 6 – the final season of House Of Cards . Frank Underwood has left (and we all know why) but this leaves Claire Underwood to put her ‘Lady Macbeth’ in the hot seat. This show has had, from Season 1, three production rules that are not to be broken, and as far as we know the last season will be no different. Those rules? No handheld, no Steadicam and no zoom lenses. Actually, there is a fourth: the camera is always RED and we think this time the sensor is Helium.
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LIGHT FIELD LAB AND OTOY MAKING THE STAR TREK HOLODECK A REALITY Son of Star Trek founder spearheads new holographic display technology O TOY and Light Field Lab industry, leaders in holographic rendering and display innovation, have announced their partnership to deliver the walls with hundreds of gigapixels of light field resolution setting the standard for fully immersive holographic experiences. OTOY’s blockchain GPU compute network Both Light Field Lab and OTOY have committed to bring these experiences to professional and consumer markets, alongside an end-to-end content creation ABOVE Star Trek’s holodeck through the eyes of Light Field Lab and OTOY.
industry’s first end-to-end holographic content creation to display system. The partnership will leverage Light Field Lab’s headgear-free holographic displays and OTOY’s ORBX Technology, the industry’s first open source and royalty-free format for rendering media and real time graphics on Light Field Lab’s holographic display panels. Original holographic content is in active development, spearheaded by Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, and Rod Roddenberry, CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment and executive producer, Star Trek: Discovery . “OTOY has created the capture, rendering and streaming technology for the industry to transition to holographic content development, as well as the RNDR blockchain for IP rights and distribution,” says Ariel. “We’re excited to use this platform to bring true holographic content to Light Field Lab’s displays, to give consumers unbelievable experiences, without the burden of 3D glasses or VR headsets.” BLOCKCHAIN Light Field Lab’s initial prototype modules will scale to form larger holographic video
(RNDR) will provide the scale to make rendering holographic content for these experiences widely available for the first time. Light Field Lab started demonstrating holographic prototypes with OTOY- rendered content earlier this year to leading industry stakeholders including Endeavor, Roddenberry Entertainment and Richard Kerris, former CTO of Lucasfilm and advisor to OTOY. “I see a lot of display technology marketed as 3D holograms,” says Kerris. “However, most of the things I see are actually just gimmicks. The holographic displays being developed by Light Field Lab, with OTOY’s 3D content, truly does have the potential to be the game changer we’ve been waiting for. The combination of breakthroughs in both rendering and display technologies could very well mark the beginning of a next-gen media revolution.” Kerris continues, “Your eyes freely focus on holographic objects without the need to wear glasses to see the 3D. This is unlike anything I’ve experienced and gives me hope on seeing their vision of the holodeck eventually come true.”
and distribution ecosystem, with the ultimate shared vision to enable the Star Trek Holodeck. STAR TREK FOR REAL “The concept of the Holodeck was extremely important to my father as well as the Star Trek Universe,” says Rod about his late father, Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek . “I want to see Star Trek ’s technologies made real and, for the first time, I believe that a real Holodeck is not limited to science fiction. Although it’s early days, my father would be beyond excited to know his vision is becoming a reality thanks to OTOY’s trailblazing light field rendering, and the revolutionary holographic display systems created at Light Field Lab.” Endeavor-backed holographic experiences will be exhibited in upcoming projects and campaigns. Prototypes and future products will feature content rendered by OTOY’s real-time light field physics engine and cloud. architecture.
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NEWS | SET- UP
In 2018, Panasonic is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The first product that the founder, Konosuke Matsushita, introduced to the world a century ago in 1918 was the ‘Attachment Plug’ (see picture). Then came the ‘2 Lighting Cluster’ in 1920. These wiring devices are the roots of the company, and Panasonic's wiring devices to this day boast a high market share in Japan and remain a key pillar of business for Panasonic. Of course we know Panasonic more for their broadcast and cinema equipment including the famous Varicam cameras and new EVA1 independent film camera. Happy birthday Panasonic! PANASONIC IS 100 CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY STEPS UP TO UHD PPUS ES Broadcast’s Systems Integration Division has launched three UHD PPUs and one HD 3G PPU for live events and AV specialist, Creative Technology (CT). Built on some of the latest routing and switcher technology, the new flyaways will allow CT to expand and upgrade the specialist AV services it offers clients in the sports, entertainment, exhibition and corporate sectors. The PPUs were designed to combine the cutting-edge technology that underpins the units’ UHD capabilities with simplified operability and a familiar system architecture to allow engineers to easily transition between existing and new systems. “Our solution mirrored the logic of the Grass Valley Kayak 1080i systems already in operation, but incorporated technology capable of 1080p and UHD
ABOVE This photograph was taken a year after the company was established. Back row, from left to right: Konosuke Matsushita, his brother-in-law Toshio Iue, and his wife Mumeno Matsushita.
If you’ve been experiencing delays in your orders of SmallHD products, it’s because the American firm was hit by a fire at its headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. “We could see flames and smoke pouring out of everywhere, but nobody was hurt,” says chief exec Wes Phillips. “Smoke and soot permeated everything. We had to throw away millions of dollars worth of inventory. Some of that takes 14 weeks to replace,” he says. The fire was spotted by SmallHD employees who were working late and were the only people in the building at the time. MORE INFORMATION: www.smallhd.com SMALLHD HIT BY FIRE
live production,” says Chris Williams, projects director for ES Broadcast. “By combining a Ross Ultrix FR2 router and TSL TallyMan control system for each PPU, we were also able to deliver a highly integrated, flexible solution that is intuitive for operators to use. “The Ultrix is a powerful router core that offers high functionality within a small form-factor. And TallyMan has become a popular go-to solution for delivering completely customisable control solutions that allow users to streamline complex processes down to a user-friendly touchscreen system.” The PPUs had already proved their worth on many high-profile jobs, according to Sid Lobb, head of Vision and Integrated Networks for CT. “Our clients like them. They have been used for product launches, exhibitions and music tours,” he said.
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SET- UP | C I NE GEAR EXPO ATLANTA
CINE GEAR EXPO PACKS A PUNCH IN ATLANTA T he first ever Cine Gear Expo to be held in Atlanta took place on 6 and 7 October. Attendees from 32 states across the US and several other countries enjoyed the event held at Pinewood’s Atlanta Studios. Sponsored by The Georgia Film Office, Georgia’s own FilmAcademy was the location for many presentations and Cine Gear’s First ‘Eastern’ Cine Gear show plays host to 100 vendors and matches LA for temperatures HEADING EAST
ABOVE Cine Gear Expo Atlanta interior show booths.
New Waves in Image Acquisition’ about how the latest tech developments impact shooting, monitoring, data management, DI finishing and the relationship between pre-production, production and post. The American Society of Cinematographers hosted ‘Dialogue with ASC Cinematographers’, a lively discussion with ASC members James L. Carter, Steven Poster, James Neihouse and Darren Genet. ABOUT THE GEAR Manufacturers’ presentations included LaCie on workflow and storage and Panasonic on shooting with VariCam and EVA1 cameras and their role in Georgia State’s Creative Media Industries Institute. Zeiss covered full-frame cinema, and Canon presented ‘In Conversation: Duplass DP Nate Miller Discusses the EOS C700’. Panavision and Kodak presented ‘ The Walking Dead & Celluloid’ with DOP Stephen Campbell who discussed his creative process on the hit series, now in season 9. Exhibitor booths showcased the latest tools and tech. Atlanta’s Wavelength Lighting brought together top lighting brands, while Blackmagic Design showed off their renowned cameras and other gear. The Rag Place Atlanta pulled out the stops with a prominent island that displayed lighting accessories including Magic Cloth diffusion and DoPchoice Snapbags, Snapboxes and grids. Attendees and vendors alike agreed that CineGear Atlanta was an outstanding success, so the show is slated to return next year. Cine Gear Expo will soon announce dates for the summer 2019 southern California event and their return to Atlanta in autumn 2019.
grand opening kick-off party. Also showing support for the Atlanta community were IATSE 479, ICG Local 600 and the Location Managers Guild, as well as Women in Film. The October atmosphere was southern casual: Hawaiian shirts and other colourful garb. Socks were optional as temperatures hung around 80º. Sound stages and outside sets played host to the 100 vendors including top camera manufacturers, lighting and electrical makers, rental companies, grip and power suppliers, support tools, camera accessories, onset communications and tech for logistics, software, and integration. THE SEMINARS The Expo’s seminars and workshops covered topics important to the growing film community. Cine Gear hosted ‘Grown in Georgia’, a discussion with show runners, rental houses, government representatives, and others who have been influential in the growth of the Georgia film industry. The International Cinematographers Guild Local 600 presented ‘Catching the
LEFT TO RIGHT James L. Carter, ASC, Steven Poster, ASC, James Neihouse, ASC, Darren Genet, ASC.
MORE INFORMATION: www.cinegearexpo.com
SET- UP | OLED SCREEN BURN
OLED’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET SCREEN TIME
As OLED screen technology enters the professional monitor world, there could be a hitch WORDS JULI AN M ITCHELL T ests by influential technology reviews site, RTINGS, have found screen burn can set in as quickly as two years after buying a new OLED television and by association, monitor. That’s much quicker than previously expected in OLED TVs. Screen burn, or burn-in, refers to an effect where part of an image that is no longer displayed is still visible on a different image, such as static logos that stay on the screen when running timecode, watching news channels and playing video games. The latest tests by RTINGS tested OLED for burn-in on a variety of content, from news and general TV to sports and gaming. During the testing period, the technology reviewers assessed and reported on the screens’ brightness and colour renderings every two weeks. The channels and content were respectively displayed in intervals of a five-hour ‘on’ period and one-hour ‘off’
period during a cycle that was repeated four times per day. The tests found that when the TVs were set to maximum brightness and were showing gaming content and news channels, they were most affected by burn- in, as both pieces of content feature static logos on screen most of the time. After 4000 hours, the TVs testing this content displayed the mark of these logos on the screen, even when the content wasn’t being played. SAMSUNG’S ACTION It is for this reason in part that Samsung decided to stop using OLED technology in its TVs in 2012 and proceeded to develop the new QLED technology. Samsung claims that their QLED TVs’ picture quality lasts for the lifetime of the product and there will not be any visible deterioration in colour
The tests by RTINGS tested OLED for burn-in on a variety of content, from news and general TV to sports and gaming over time due to the advanced Quantum dot technology – QLED uses inorganic Quantum dot material which is known to be durable and stays burn-in free. On the other hand, the organic material of OLED TVs potentially wears out over time. As such, Samsung QLED and LED TV sets have received a perfect score (10/10) for image retention in RTINGS’ test. The impartial tests seem to prove that Samsung’s QLED and Dynamic Crystal Colour UHD TVs aren’t susceptible to screen burn like other TVs and potentially monitors on the market, and as such Samsung is offering a market-leading ten- year screen burn warranty as a testament to the confidence in its QLED technology.
MORE INFORMATION: Screen burn video test: youtu.be/OxR88EDoMx0
ABOVE Samsung’s QLED technology promises an end to the issue of screen burn.
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SHOOT STORY | OUTLAW K I NG
DATA FREEDOM! Netflix movie Outlaw King follows Scotland’s Robert the Bruce and his escapades against the old enemy – but the real capture story was the data
WORDS JULIAN MITCHELL / PICTURES NETFLIX
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OUTLAW K I NG | SHOOT STORY
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SHOOT STORY | OUTLAW K I NG
Lidar Lounge did all of the 3D scanning for Outlaw King . They used their cyberscanning photogrammetry rig to create 3D models of all the actors and hundreds of background extras (see pictures) as well as lots of horses and dogs, too. This was used for the big battle scenes in the film to replicate vast armies. Their cyberscanning rig was set up in a marquee in the middle of the Scottish Highlands – during which there happened to be a hurricane visiting the UK. The team spent the whole night holding down the rig to make sure that it didn’t get blown away. They also did all of the set scanning, processing everything from huge environments, towns to castles and trebuchets, all during winter in Glasgow, so it was intense work. The Lidar was used for tracking the shots, building CG environments and for making now- ruined castles look as they would have done back in their heyday. 3D SCANNING FOR OUTLAW
O utlaw King is the untold true story of Robert the Bruce, who transforms from defeated nobleman to outlaw hero during the oppressive occupation of medieval Scotland by Edward I of England. Data specialists The Digital Orchard provided on-set DIT, lab services and video playback services for the film, which was shot last year in the late summer in midge- ridden Scotland – and its unpredictable weather. Sam Spurgeon from Digital Orchard explained the plan. “The director, David Mackenzie, and DOP Barry Ackroyd had agreed that they would always shoot through the ever-changing Scottish weather and not be waiting for cloud cover and the like. In terms of how hard it was I think the weather was certainly on our side, and I think some of the battles were even muddied up to make them feel a bit grittier than they were, although the midges at the end of August were particularly bad. It definitely wasn’t without its cold and wet days, and some of the more remote shooting locations meant four a.m. starts.” The main cameras were Panavision’s DXL1 as A, B and D, with a stripped-down RED Weapon as their C camera for use on specialist rigs like wire cam and Stabileye. There was a second RED Weapon as the E camera. On aerial unit days this set would be complemented by either an extra RED Weapon or ARRI Alexa Mini for drone or helicopter work. The DXL1 was used on the Steadicam rig as well. “Second unit was with cameras D and E, which were one DXL and one Weapon. Aerial units had a mix of cameras, including an Alexa Mini and another RED. I think the most cameras were seven including another
A stripped-down REDWeapon was the C camera for use on specialist rigs DXL, which came out for a Russian arm and for stunt sequences. Panavision were very helpful to us, especially when they knew we were shooting half way up the side of a mountain. They were great at helping problem-solve and getting us everything we needed, which included changing out battery hotswaps and SDI boards on the DXLs for upgraded versions. “Our other kit consisted of Blackmagic Design Smart Videohubs, Sony 17in OLED monitors, Apple MacBooks, Fujifilm IS- Mini LUT boxes, Tangent Ripple grading panels and Odyssey 7Q+ monitors (these
ABOVE Director David Mackenzie inspects the troops during filming.
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OUTLAW K I NG | SHOOT STORY
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SHOOT STORY | OUTLAW K I NG
transcodes done and then get them to the edit really quickly. But because of QC implications they don’t allow it, so you have to download the full 8K. I think what we ended up doing was a drag and drop copy just to get it over as quickly as possible, then coloured and transcoded. Then the card would go off to the other station for the full verified offload, which would take time. “The lab was in the back of a truck. Because the turnarounds were so quick and the locations so remote, it was too difficult to split the camera and the lab so we had at least two data managers working in the back of a truck the whole time, which I know for them was difficult in terms of power. We tried at one point satellite and Internet transfer to get that back to the edit but it was never fast enough in our remote location in Scotland. BELOW Video playback operator James Edgcombe and DIT Sam Spurgeon set up for a shot at Glasgow Cathedral. The dailies pipeline was unique, due to the director’s wish to edit each day’s material at the end of the day
the buildings we filmed at were more accessible, and allowed us to wheel bigger rigs onto set.” PIPELINE The dailies pipeline was unique, due to the director’s wish to edit each day’s material at the end of the day – and there was a lot of data with so many cameras shooting. “Having a near-set lab and up to five daily rushes runs to the editorial department helped facilitate the process, as well as Jo Barker, the lab manager, being able to turn around quality dailies grades very quickly. The Raw compression scheme offered by the DXLs and REDs meant that 8K offload times weren’t as time-consuming as they could combine achieving that as well as working in this crazy remote location – it was quite a tall order, which we fulfilled by having constant rushes drivers taking drives to the edit; as soon as we got our cards in, they would be transcoded and sent off straight away rather than the usual split at lunchtime type of rule. That was one of the ways we did it, but that still didn’t get round crunching all the data – we had separate data stations, so we had two people in our lab downloading. “The other wrinkle was that Netflix didn’t allow us to create dailies from proxy files. The Weapon and DXL do shoot proxies, which would have been great as you can just take the cards out, get the have been, and RED Rocket cards sped up the transcode process for us, too. “So we were trying to
monitors were the real workhorses of the show and featured on all the various rigs we ended up using). They were mounted on a number of different rigs, from a simple C stand to a cart with a low centre of gravity equipped with large, off-road wheels. 8K HEAVEN All these cameras, apart from the Alexa Mini, were capable of shooting 8K so that is six possible 8K cameras churning out data in the middle of the Scottish countryside. “There was a lot of 8K, but a lot of A camera stuff was shot around 5K so it was a mix of resolutions – but on the whole it was lots of data. A lot of cameras were turning over a lot of the time and what made this shoot particularly challenging was that our director had a desire to be able to edit what he saw that day, straight after we had wrapped. “We shot at a lot of remote locations, protected sites and other areas that presented their own unique challenges. As a result, our on-set kit had to be fairly flexible depending on what was needed that day. It ranged from a full LiveGrade set-up with calibrated OLED monitors, waveforms, switchers and LUT boxes, right down to a skeleton set-up comprising battery powered Odysseys and IRIS handsets. “We offered as many services as the locations would allow us to. Some places required us to drive through rivers in 4x4s and then hike up mountains in bad weather conditions, so these tended to be serviced by a paired-down solution, but some of
DID YOU KNOW? Barry Ackroyd used
Panavision Anamorphic G series, E Series; AWZ2.3 37-85mm and SL14.5 CF
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OUTLAW K I NG | SHOOT STORY
we would look at the day and decide what package we were taking out. Sometimes this was an Odyssey recorder on a stick. It was very much a modular approach in terms of how we worked.” David Mackenzie liked to keep the cameras rolling, which of course resulted in a great deal of footage. “David wanted this constant flow – keeping the cameras going kept the energy high with the actors and because of that there were quite a lot of rolling re-sets, which perhaps made things more complicated for us with things such as metadata. “We had to be particularly verbose in the comments; our philosophy was that everything we did, like colour values and QC, for example, travelled down to editorial and on to the final DI. The fact that we had that knowledge of, say, five takes on one clip, would travel down to them and hopefully make their job a little bit easier. We were also not allowed to slate, which became a cataloguing nightmare. I think towards the end we did review the slating, there was no script supervisor and we did it without a continuity person, too. It just emphasises how important it is at the lab stage that all the information is maintained and enabled to be communicated very clearly through the metadata, and through the colour pipeline, basically.
Sometimes the editor would even take a copy of the project on his laptop and come and join us because we would be too far from a proper edit facility to make this kind of workflow feasible.” CAMERA SETTINGS “On set we managed the camera set-ups and problem resolution with the firmware we were using, as well as setting exposure through iris control, neutral density filters and camera sensitivity settings. A show LUT was applied to monitor feeds and where locations allowed this image was further finessed through live grading. Barry’s ideas for the look of the dailies were fed through the lab via written and verbal notes to keep consistency with days when live grading was not possible (rather than CDLs). Stills were then fed back to set for his approval.” At the near-set lab, sound was synced with the Raw footage and dailies for editorial and PIX online rushes system were created using the show LUT and Jo Barker’s primary grade. The CDLs from this grade for each shot would then travel down the colour pipeline to editorial via ALE and then on to the final grade/VFX to use as a starting point for their work. “In terms of colour, Barry was great. We would live grade where we could, obviously exposure monitoring, but then every day
ABOVE The generally hot, dry summer meant that some scenes needed additional grit and mud.
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SHOOT STORY | OUTLAW K I NG
We tended not to deviate from shooting at a colour temperature of 4800 Kelvin
so much functionality in a portable unit. Remote locations, small power boats and SSSI-protected locations are a few examples of where its small footprint really came into its own, allowing us to be very nimble and move from location to location very easily. When we got the chance to bring and use more kit, we added monitors, live grading functions and so on. “Our daily approach was to take what we thought we’d need for that day from our 18-ton truck, load it into a 4x4, which we’d drive as far as we could before decanting a subset of that kit into Foldit carts that we’d take the rest of the way. This allowed us to get the right kit for the job into some pretty remote places.” MEMORABLE SCENE One of the film’s most significant and dramatic scenes is the battle of Loudoun Hill. “It was a long, wet shoot with lots of stunts and great set pieces – I’m looking forward to seeing how all the work that went into it turns out. The second
“We work out our data requirements on a worst-case scenario. We’d look at how many cameras they had out there – we knew the schedule was ten-hour days so we could have up to four or five hours per camera per day. As long as you factor that then anything less than that was an easy day, or an easier day. We never wanted the lab to have nothing – if the lab was doing nothing then we’d reload. We tried to minimize that downtime as much as possible to mediate the data management better.” THE OUTLAW LOOK “We tended not to deviate from shooting at a colour temperature of 4800 Kelvin. This cooled our exteriors and combined with a slightly desaturated show LUT gave them a gritty feel to complement the (not always) bad weather. Indoors, it provided a balance for mixed source exterior daylight (or daylight fixtures) and interior fires, candles and other warmer sources. In live grading, we’d enhance this further by adding mood through contrast and black levels as well as any colour balancing that was required. “As mentioned above, we adapted the rigs we took out depending on the location for that day. The Odyssey 7Q+ was always central to whatever rig we took as it provides
OUTLAW KING IS CURRENTLY SHOWING ON NETFLIX.
unit shot a lot of wire cam work, which we didn’t get to do on main unit, so I’m interested to see how that all looks, too.”
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SHOOT STORY | BOHEMI AN RHAPSODY
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BOHEMI AN RHAPSODY | SHOOT STORY
We asked DOP Newton Thomas Sigel about celebrating the look and the music of legendary band Queen in the new biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody
QUESTIONS JULIAN M ITCHELL / PICTURES 20TH CENTURY FOX
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SHOOT STORY | BOHEMI AN RHAPSODY
ABOVE DOP Newton Thomas Sigel on the first day of shooting on the Live Aid stage.
What was your idea for the look of Bohemian Rhapsody ? Being a
After a short tease in the film’s opening, which almost takes the audience on stage, we cut back to 1970 when Freddie has just emigrated with his family to London and he is working at Heathrow Airport. This part of the story was shot with the Alexa SXT and old Cooke Speed Panchro lenses. We created a special LUT for this period that emphasised the golds, yellows and oranges. It reflects the romantic idealism that Freddie had in the days when he first met Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. It was all about possibility and potential, with a healthy dose of naïveté. Eventually Queen forms, they luck into a gig on Top Of The Pops and begin to take off. This is where we made a transition to the Alexa 65 and Arri’s DNA lenses. Where the first act of the story was all handheld, now the Steadicam and dolly start to join in. The world seems to be opening up, getting bigger. By the late 70s, Freddie has completely changed his look and the film has as well, to a less grainy, cooler and more desaturated feel. The pressure of being in a band, trying to stay relevant year after year has taken hold.
musical biopic, what were your views on aesthetics for the big musical numbers and also the scenes focused on more personal drama? The movie is bookended with Queen’s performance at Live Aid in 1985, universally considered one of the greatest rock and roll performances ever. This historic concert was broadcast over 13 satellites by the BBC and can be viewed on YouTube today. It is such an iconic moment in rock history and I wanted to stay true to the quality of light at Wembley that day. The stadium was open to the sky, but by the time Queen went on the sun had dipped behind Wembley’s walls and created a soft, subdued light over the crowd. Being held in the day, the stage lighting, like the whole concert, was minimal. It was also quite improvised, since so many bands were performing, and all without rehearsal. For the movie we recreated the stage, and I duplicated the lighting rig that can be seen in the broadcast. We did take a little poetic license with the cues, but not much.
RECREATING THE 1970S How did you plan to recreate the 1970s look – how much did the fashion and production design tune your final choices? made a wealth of material available to us. Production designer Aaron Haye was meticulous in recreating some of the most minute details of the actual environments and there is a great deal of concert footage of the band throughout their career to draw from. Not as much as a band in the age of the Internet would have, but enough that I could study how their concert lighting evolved. This attention to detail was critical for us, because we wanted the audience to really feel transported back in time. By the time Queen went on the sun had dipped behind Wembley’s walls and created a soft light We were very lucky that Brian May is such a great archivist and
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BOHEMI AN RHAPSODY | SHOOT STORY
SHOOT STORY | BOHEMI AN RHAPSODY
QUEEN SONGS IN MOVIES • Don’t Stop Me Now Shaun of the Dead • You’re My Best Friend Shaun of the Dead • Bohemian Rhapsody Wayne’s World • Who Wants to Live Forever Highlander • Flash Flash Gordon • Radio Ga Ga GTA 5 trailer • We Will Rock You A Knight’s Tale • Somebody To Love Happy Feet • Radio Ga Ga T2 Trainspotting • We Are The Champions High Fidelity • Somebody To Love Ella Enchanted
Why did you decide to shoot Alexa 65 with the new DNA and Prime 65 S lenses? What did that setup give you over something else? The Alexa 65 is a remarkable camera. It has this giant sensor that delivers exquisite picture detail. Not sharper, just more detailed. I don’t really care about the number of pixels – I care about their quality. The Alexas are quite large, which allows for this tremendous breadth of colour and dynamic range. They call the camera ASA 800, but I think it is so much more than that. REFERENCES What were your references for the movie? We looked at some movies like The Rose and Cabaret , but much more time was spent watching every frame of Queen footage, concerts, documentary material and their amazing music videos. I also had the luxury of shooting in London, with its great museums, where on my day off I could go stare at a Georges de la Tour to remind myself that it may be rock and roll, but for the movie, less is more. How did you shoot the concert footage? Was the idea to recreate a classic concert recording with multiple cameras, some handheld and some locked-off? What kind of camera movement was involved, and what support gear did you use to achive what you wanted? The earliest venues were at Ealing College when the band was first forming. There’s no footage of these
gigs, so I used what I imagined a humble college pub would have for their stage: par cans, colour wheels, maybe a couple of ellipsoidals. We sourced all the lamps from a supplier that specialises in heritage lighting equipment. The camera was all handheld and rough – just trying to follow the spontaneity of the performance. Then, the venues get bigger with the band’s rise in popularity. We introduce the drum riser with all the aircraft landing lights, a crown of light on the backdrop, some decorative lighting instruments on the sides. By the time we get to Madison Square Garden, we have recreated Queen’s massive lighting rigs – at the height of the band’s popularity they had one of the biggest lighting rigs in the world. They were also one of the very early adopters of the moving light. We drew on the archival footage to recreate this. They had these massive banks of par cans that they could raise and lower right in the middle of a song. I loved when it felt like the lamps were enshrining the band. A big challenge was creating a multitude of concerts on one stage in only a few days. There were days when I shot a concert in the morning, then had to make it look like a completely different venue in the afternoon! We did this by having these modular banks of par cans on chain motors that we could raise and lower to reconfigure and give us a totally different look. We would change gels (if only we could have used LEDs!) and reprogram sequences to vary the effect. And of course, there was always dry ice. Now that we were in large arenas, the camera went from handheld to Steadicam and crane, more of a sweeping, grander movement.
• One Vision Iron Eagle • You’re My Best Friend Peter’s Friends • We Are The Champions D2: The Mighty Ducks • The Show Must Go On Moulin Rouge • Under Pressure It’s Kind of a Funny Story • Brighton Rock Baby Driver
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BOHEMI AN RHAPSODY | SHOOT STORY
I used what I imagined a college pub would have for their stage: par cans, colour wheels, a couple of ellipsoidals IMAGES As the band’s story develops so too does the lighting and colour spectrum, helping define a narrative of change and passing time.
Bohemian Rhapsody concludes with Live Aid. For Live Aid, we recreated the Wembley stage on an old airstrip in Bovingdon. It was 16 feet in the air and massive. But we were also totally exposed to the ever-changing weather of the United Kingdom for seven days. We couldn’t afford to silk, so there was a constant shuffling of fly-swatters and cranes to balance the light. While the idea was to be faithful to the light of the real event, we didn’t want to simply recreate the BBC broadcast. The idea was to tell the internal story of the concert. What is going on with Freddie? Between him and the band? So we put the camera in places where the BBC audience didn’t get to go. We open the concert with a massive aerial that begins over London, swoops down into the stadium, races over the crowd, goes up on stage and circles Freddie just as he sits at the piano. As the camera closes in, Freddie freezes. What’s going on? Will he pull it together? The band is watching him nervously, and then, well – you’ll have to see the movie. CONCERTS Are the concerts all real or were some VFX? There’s surely no shortage of Queen fans to recreate those times, but obviously the Wembley Stadium of Live Aid isn’t there anymore.
The stages were all real. We had a limited VFX budget, so everything
looking towards the band was done in camera. When the camera looked out at the crowd, that’s where our VFX budget went. While we had extras, we also had to replicate crowds and then build arenas in the computer. I really wanted to give the audience a feel for what it must be like to perform on a stage in front of thousands of people. There is a great scene where Freddie crowd-surfs and is carried by the audience like Jesus being taken off the cross at Calvary. By the time we get to Live Aid and you see him amongst a sea of 130,000 people, it’s breathtaking. DNA GLASS Lens-wise, what focal lengths were you settling on, especially with the With the DNAs, the 45mm and 55mm were the workhorses. For close-ups, we might go to the 70mm, 80mm or 110mm. Occasionally we would use the 35mm or 28mm for wide shots. iconic shots of Freddie?
Did you use the whole set of DNA lenses? Can you tell us
what you used and for what reasons? What is it that you feel this glass brings to the production?
SHOOT STORY | BOHEMI AN RHAPSODY
Prior to commencement of principal photography, Greg Fisher of Company 3 in London, worked with Sigel designing LUTs that could be used on set, to allow all department heads to see their work reflected in the monitors and then in dailies with a rough version of the final look applied. Sigel discussed using different LUTs to represent separate sections of the film, so that the earlier portions of the story, set in the 1970s, have more of a film- like look and then the portions set in the 1980s, the band’s most successful period and when Freddie Mercury’s illness took hold, looks more ‘cleaned up, less like a print’, says the colourist. Fisher elaborates that the grade for those early portions was not based on what strictly speaking would be called a film emulation LUT. “We didn’t want to raise the black level to ‘film black’,” he says. “It was a genuine black, which provided us with more contrast than we’d have had without having to stretch the image a great deal. The idea was to suggest film.” The 1980s, which was essentially when the film jumped to the large-format ARRI, he notes, “was designed to bring out some specific colours, such as bold, primary reds and desaturated pastel tones in order to give it a strong look with skin tones and other, less pronounced, colours remaining neutral. In post, Fisher worked with Sigel in DaVinci Resolve in his grading theatre, always starting out with the appropriate LUT as a basis and then fine tuning, sometimes significantly, from there. GRADING THE RHAPSODY
ABOVE From left, cast members Joseph Mazzello (John Deacon), Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor), Remi Malek (Freddie Mercury) and Gwilym Lee (Brian May).
The DNAs are purpose-built lenses culled from old glass. They have a very handcrafted feel to them, each one with its own weird little characteristics. They tend to fall off toward the edges, and roll off gently in the focus. I shot most of the movie relatively wide open to emphasise this. I think that is part of what gives the film its naturalistic look. LIGHTING naturalistic for the drama scenes with plenty of practical lighting. How difficult was it to work with concert lighting? What other lighting did you use – LEDs and so forth? Can you talk about the general lighting design? It seems very
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY IS OUT NOW IN UK CINEMAS. his life, as well as the evolution of the band. It’s subtle, but the look of the film at the end is about as far from the look at the beginning as you can get. I love the way it just grows on the audience without them realising it. The concert material was all lit with period-appropriate lights – basically par cans, ellipsoidals and follow spots. By the time the action got to 1980 we could introduce the Vari-Lite, the development of which had just been bankrolled by the band Genesis. That allowed us to introduce sweeping light and smoke effects. Concert lighting designer Tony Simpson and I studied archival footage and tried to reproduce Queen’s lighting as much as possible. As with any movie, small liberties were taken. For the dramatic scenes I relied heavily on LEDs: both the ubiquitous Arri Skypanels and custom lightweight LEDs that gaffer Lee Walters built. They were RGBW and we could control them from an iPad right next to camera. This was tremendously helpful, as I could do light cues at the drop of a hat in mid-shot. For the stage work, most of the through-the- window lighting was done with T-12s or 20ks. Did you produce a lighting design specifically for Freddie? I didn’t have a specific design for Freddie, but we did for each period in
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WORKING WHILE MOVING International videographer Rob Crombie thought long and hard before purchasing Samsung’s Portable SSD T5 drives and revolutionising his business
ROB CROMBIE IS A PRODUCER, director, filmmaker, videographer and founder of London-based video agency, Sneak Global. He works with agencies, brands and businesses around the world to create quality video content for online audiences. Rob does an extraordinary amount of travelling, but the pressure of servicing an international clientele means he has to continue working while on the move. “I’d been looking at the Samsung Portable SSD T3 drives to see if they could help prolong my working day, but when I discovered the product had been updated to the Samsung Portable SSD T5 range, I immediately bought two T5 2TB drives.” INSTANT REDUNDANCY Buying two Samsung Portable SSD T5 drives gives you a back-up if any footage gets lost. “The other drive becomes an instant clone of your work and because of the fast transfer speeds, copying even 4K footage over takes hardly any time. I always travel with my A drive on me and the other one wrapped up in the hold if I’m flying.” However, the main reason Rob bought the two 2TB Samsung drives was for their
“The Samsung Portable SSD T5 is so small and powerful, you don’t bring attention to yourself”
portability. “All I need is a laptop and the Samsung 2TB portable drive, and I can edit anywhere in the world. The durable, secure device can be password protected and the drives are so light, you can pick the computer and drive up together and they won’t disconnect. They’re light enough to be held in by the tension of the cable.” He adds: “I’ve edited in taxis, planes, and trains – anywhere where I can plug in the drive really. The form factor of the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is so small and powerful you don’t bring attention to yourself. My previous portable drive was big and nowhere near as fast. Also, imagine dragging around a RAID drive that would need to be plugged into a power outlet. “When you don’t have time to edit, it helps that you can do it with the CODEC you shot with. In another, less powerful, editing set-up you might need to use smaller proxy files, which take time to create. With Samsung’s Portable SSD T5 drives, you can easily manipulate even 4K footage.” Like all Samsung Portable SSD drives, they are bus powered, so don’t need external powering and they are smaller than the average business card, weighing just 51 grams, and only 10.5 mm thick.
IMAGES Rob has found even 4K footage easy to manipulate with the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drives.
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SAMSUNG | ADVERTI SEMENT FEATURE
spill over to the other. But one 2TB capacity has been plenty for most of what we do.” SLOW DOWN Rob is now used to the speed that he is getting from the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drives, but when media has to be archived to spinning media, everything seems to slow down. “Everyone is trying to get home after a day’s shooting, but copying has to happen. The Samsung drives have sped up that process,” says Rob. “I wish I’d bought the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drives sooner. I will always have two or more of them in my bag when I’m on location.”
native language of each country we filmed in and localised for the remaining markets. “We were tasked with delivering the campaign in full, from the creative development and influencer recruitment to filming in each market, post-production editing and localisation. “As soon as we had finished shooting, I transferred the footage from the camera cards directly to the portable drive. While I travelled to a new location or to the airport, I was able to start editing immediately, directly from the Samsung drive.” Rob was also involved with a six- country production that needed the light editing set-up that the Samsung Portable SSD T5 gave him. “The 2TB drive gives me lots of storage and because I’m editing off the drive when I’m in the office, I can use the desktop machine. Also, when we grade the footage we can run it straight from the drives without using the internal hard drives,” explains Rob. “But it’s the fact they are small and light. They fit in a pocket in my rucksack; you’re carrying around 4TB of storage, which is mad! We were shooting two projects and both fitted on one drive. Even if I don’t have enough room on one, I can
IMAGES The Samsung Portable SSD T5 drives have helped Rob start editing as soon as they have finished shooting. With no moving parts and a shock- resistant internal frame, the Samsung drive can withstand accidental drops of up to two metres – ideal when you’re on the move. EDITING ACROSS FIVE COUNTRIES A great test for the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drives was when one of Rob’s clients approached him to create a global influencer campaign, spanning five countries. “The 12-film campaign was to focus on UK, Russian, French, German and Norwegian markets, featuring influencers working in design, travel, lifestyle and fashion. The films had to be shot in the
MORE INFORMATION: www.samsung.com/uk/ssd/
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SHOOT STORY | COLD WAR
DARK LOVE Cold War is the most colourful black & white film you’ll ever see and it could win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film next year
WORDS MADELYN MOST / PICTURES CURZON & LUKASZ ZAL PSC
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COLD WAR | SHOOT STORY
NOVEMBER 20 1 8 | DEF I N I T ION 33
SHOOT STORY | COLD WAR
D irector Pawel Pawlikowski and 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Their previous collaboration, 2013’s Ida , won 69 awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. Pawel Pawlikowski says he always had the idea of making a film about a love story that was loosely based on his parent’s lives and many others who fled Poland for the West. After the success of Ida , he found an opportunity to realise this dream. Ida was remarkable for its stark black & white imagery, but music is also an important element in Pawlikowski’s films. “I like music in films, rather than film music. When I write the script, the music is another layer that helps imagine the world, the period and the scene you are creating but I don’t intellectualise it,” he explains. “In Cold War , I needed something to bring the characters together and came across the wonderful Mazowsze folk ensemble that opened up a beautiful range of possibilities. This was a third element to explain the history during the Stalinist era and how music was used by the state. I would never start with politics, if there are political resonances today, it was not my intention. “I identified three songs performed by folk musicians for the soundtrack that had the potential of becoming jazz songs and these Lukasz Zal PSC collaborated on Cold War, which won Best Director in the Official Competition for the
three became characters in the film,” he adds. “Later, we are in Paris in the 1950s with jazz music and salons, and all those pretentious, over- educated people so full of themselves – it’s the complete opposite of Poland. There are other bits of music that helped out at certain points in the story to give it some energy. For instance, when Wiktor (played by Tomasz Kot) and Zula (played by Joanna Kulig) are lethargically sitting in a bar and Rock Around the Clock starts playing, Zula gets up to dance. It was a good moment to wake-up the audience”. COMMERCIAL RISK “This is an 84-minute film, covering a time Seghatchian. “With an unusual screen ratio – we had 57 shooting days. Making a black & white film is challenging – you lose half your audience, so it does limit the commercial period that spans 15 years and four countries,” says producer, Tanya
I needed something to bring the characters together and came across the Mazowsze folk ensemble
TOP Cinematography Lukasz Zal. ABOVE AND LEFT Actress Joanna Kulig who plays Zula and Tomasz Kot who plays Wiktor.
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