Pro Moviemaker Summer 2019


SPEEDY GRADING Master fast edits in the new Adobe Premiere Pro

Stunning gear to give a boost to your sound


@ProMoviemaker £4.99

REVIEWED Sennheiser wireless audio, Gemini light panel , Tokina prime, Voigtlander lens , plus a gimbal, bag, hard drive and more

RADICAL RIGS Bolt-on accessories to boost your cinema camera


Easy Rider: Filming an homage to the classic road movie from the seat of a Harley My first movie: How one filmmaker created a feature-length film on a budget



STREAMMACHINE JVC HC500 camcorder is first of a new breed

Tips and tricks on creating the mood you want


The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers


Editor in chief Adam Duckworth Staff writer Chelsea Fearnley Contributing editor Kingsley Singleton Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans Junior sub editor Elisha Young EDITORIAL ADVERTISING

Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 Advertising manager Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Design manager Alan Gray Designers Lucy Woolcomb, Laura Bryant, Emily Lancaster & Emma Di’Iuorio PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck

Welcome to the summer edition of Pro Moviemaker magazine, and I sincerely hope you can find the time to read it in what should be a filmmaker’s busiest period of the year – the run-up to many people’s annual summer holiday. So often as freelancers, we end up working to a schedule imposed on us by full-time employees who all want everything done and dusted before they go on leave for their couple of weeks lounging beside a pool. In many parts of Europe, it feels like August is a complete write-off as seemingly whole countries take the month off. At least this time of year we have longer days, and the promise of the golden hours of light at the end of the working day – the time when we want to keep shooting in that most wonderful light, while the nine-to-five employees want to scuttle home for their dinner. They often want everything shot in normal working hours when the midday summer sun causes havoc with extreme contrast. But in so many cases, they are paying the bill and you have to work to their rules. Most successful independent filmmakers, luckily, are problem solvers. Given a super-tight time frame, uncooperative subjects, unflattering light and a client changing their mind unpredictably, it’s a true test of thinking on your feet and getting a decent result. That’s despite hurdles put in the way by clients who may not share your quest for the ultimate images. To get the best results in all potential situations, you need to be at one with your camera and kit, so it’s one less thing to worry about on set. You don’t want to be fiddling with tripod plates and assorted gubbins while the important stuff – getting the shot – is disappearing in front of you. That’s why it’s crucial to not only know how to get the best out of your camera and master its important settings such as white-balance, codec and ISO, but also to have the camera handling right for your specific need. That could mean having a quick-release plate for your tripod that always works, a comfortable grip handle for going handheld for extended periods of time, a shoulder rig for perfect balance, a higher-quality EVF so you can really see what’s going on, a foolproof wireless mic set-up, a monitor recorder with advanced monitoring tools or even a higher-powered battery with a D-tap connector to power accessories. All cameras – even premium cinema cams like the Canon C200, Panasonic EVA1 or Sony FS7 Mark II – need the right bolt-on bits to customise them into working, professional tools. And in this month’s issue, we take a look at some of the best and most useful kit you can buy to pimp your camera, so you can use it to its full potential. We also have tests of some of the summer’s hottest new cameras, like the Panasonic S1R, Olympus OM-D E-M1X and JVC HC500 as well as lots of other accessories in our huge section all about filmmaking gear. All to help you make wise buying decisions, which can make a very real difference to the films you make – either creatively or by speeding things up – and therefore give your business a boost. After all, time is money: so spend both wisely.


Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ

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.




The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers




Full-frame camera owners rejoice as Canon reveals its vintage-style Sumire primes and Fujifilm shows its premium Premista zoom lenses. 8 SAMYANG TARGETS NIKON Z CAMS The new Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 mirrorless cameras get more lenses to fit as Samyang reveals its latest optics, plus Manfrotto details its new Nitrotech tripod kits. 1O THE NEW DAVINCI CODE! Out-there Aussie codebreakers BlackMagic reveal an all- new Resolve 16 grading and editing software package, a dedicated editing keyboard and PCC4K battery grip. How an aspiring filmmaker used the most basic of kit to turn a passion project into his first full-length feature documentary film. 18 BORN TO BE HIRED! Professional photographer and filmmaker Richard Bradbury retraces the USA road trip from biker flick Easy Rider on a Harley-Davidson; and records it all on Sony mirrorless. FEATURES 12 THE DIY FEATURE FILM




26 SPEEDY GRADING Famous post-production house Soho Editors reveals the quickest and best ways to really get the colours right in the latest release of Adobe Premiere Pro CC. 30 LIGHTING FOR ATMOSPHERE Famous horror film director Tom Paton reveals his favourite tips, tricks and techniques on how to master light to create whatever atmosphere you want for your film. From gels and modifiers to lots more, he spills the beans on his lighting know-how.



37 ASK THE EXPERT Inspired by our tale of how pro adventure sports filmmaker David Spurdens made the leap from being a stills photographer to a well-respected cinematographer, one reader gets hints and tips on how to break into this exciting profession.




The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers


39 THE NEWS FROM ABOVE The high-end helicopter filming firm that is branching out into drones with their own UAV, the 512GB mini memory card and more...



The MFT camera goes pro in a large way with the latest Olympus offering. With stunning image stabilisation and great video spec, it’s a real winner for shooting fast-paced movies. 46 JVC HC500 It’s the brand-new all-in-one 4K camcorder that’s perfect for live streaming. We get our hands on a prototype of the pro-spec machine that’s affordable and packed with innovation. 50 PANASONIC S1R Panasonic’s new full-frame mirrorless camera is put through its paces to see if it’s an investment you should be making. 56 GROUP TEST: AUDIO RECORDERS We take a look at external recording devices that will give a real We review a budget Sennheiser wireless audio kit, SmallHD monitor, Benro gimbal, Manfrotto hard case, Lacie hard drive, lenses from Tokina and Voigtlander and more. 76 BUYERS’ GUIDE: CINE CAM ACCESSORIES Take a look at our guide for the best kit to add to your Canon C200, Panasonic EVA1 or Sony FS7 II that will really make a difference. boost to your audio. 62 MINI TESTS




LIGHTWEIGHT LUMIX Panasonic’s new Lumix G90 has some of the features of the GH5 but is smaller and more affordable. The £899/$999 MFT camera has a 20.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor, five-axis image stabilisation and offers 4K recording as well as HD up to 120fps for super slow-motion. There is Face/Eye Detection AF, an OLED Live Viewfinder with 2,360k-dot resolution, 100%field of view, 0.74x magnification and a three- inch OLED rear monitor. It is capable of 4K video at 30p/25p/24p and Full HD at 60p/50p. It can record 4:2:2 8-bit to an external monitor and V-Log L is pre-installed for wider dynamic range.

Old-school look for Canon

are £6840/$7410 for the 24, 35, 50 and 85mm lenses, and £7164/$7410 for the 14, 20 and 135mm. They are designed for a softer, more cinematic look and warm colour tone rather than the ultimate in sharpness across the frame. They feature a large aspheric element and anomalous dispersion glass, which claims to offer a ‘delicate, velvety nuance’ when shot wide open. All lenses have an 11-blade iris and precise manual control, with virtually no focus breathing. The lenses all have 0.8 pitch lens gears for both iris and focus rings and these are positioned consistently across the range. There is a 300° rotation angle for precise focusing. They all have the same 114mm front diameter to speed up lens changes when rigs are used, and use 105mmfilters.

Canon has revealed a brand new range of seven prime cinema lenses that not only are designed for use on full-frame or Super35 cameras but give a unique, vintage-inspired feel to the images. The new Sumire Prime lenses look almost identical to the current range of Canon primes and are all fast T-stop optics with an interchangeable PL mount, which can be modified to an EF mount. That makes them ideal for high-end full-frame cinema cameras like Red, Arri or Canon’s own C700FF as well as full-frame Canon DSLRs. However, the Sumires are almost double the price of the standard Canon cine primes. The widest is the CN-E14mm T3.1 FP X, alongside the CN-E20mm T/1.5 FP X, CN- E24mm T1.5 FP X, CN-E35mm T1.5 FP X, CN-E50mm T1.3 FP X, CN-E85mm T1.3 FP X and CN-E135mm T2.2 FP X. Prices


to transmit lens data to the camera and there’s a four-pin LEMO mount on the body. Both lenses use a 13-blade aperture for smooth bokeh, have a 280° focus rotation, 120°zoom rotation and 48° iris rotation. The shorter lens focuses to 0.8m/2ft 7in while the longer lens to 1.5m/4ft 11in. UK prices have not yet been announced for the lenses, which will be available this summer, but the US prices are £29,700/$38,800 for the 28-100mmand £765/$1000 more for the 80-250mm. More lenses in the Premista series will be revealed when they are available.

Hot on the heels of the popular FujinonMK and Cabrio cinema zooms for Super35 size sensors comes a pair of compact and lightweight zooms to fit full-frame cameras. The Fujinon Premista zooms come in 28-100mmT2.9 and 80-250mmwhich is T2.9 until 200mm then gradually ramps to T3.5 at the longer end. Both lenses are the same size and 3.8kg/8.3lb weight, tomake lens swaps quicker. If the 80- 250mmhad been a constant T2.9, it would have been larger, heavier andmore expensive. They come in a PLmount only. The lens mounts have a data port which uses a Cooke/i interface




Samyang’s speedy Z-mount glass



Neutral density and polarising filters have been launched to fit the DJI Osmo Pocket gimbal camera by Tiffen. The £49/$49 kit comes with an ND4, an ND8 and an ND16 that are also polarising filters. For £79/$79 the kit adds plain ND4, ND8 and ND16 filters. The filters are coated, waterproof and scratch resistant. BIG SPEC FROM SMALLHD Monitor giant SmallHD has revealed a new seven-inch touchscreen monitor with a stunning 1500 nits of brightness that’s guaranteed to be 100%DCI-P3 colour accurate. The 702 Touch’s resolution is 1920x1200, it has an SD card slot, two 3G SDI inputs, HDMI/SDI cross- conversion capability and can be powered by a pair of Sony L-series batteries. It costs £1554/$1299. If you have dreamed of a do- it-all lens then the new Foton 25-300mm f/2.8 zoom could be what you’re looking for. It’s a manual focus cinema zoom from a new lens company, but is made in China by DZO. It is PL mount and covers Super35 sensors, weighs 8.98kg/19.8lb (it’s no lightweight), and the company says it has a vintage look. It will be on sale next year at roughly £16,850/$22,000. The company doesn’t even have a website yet! ULTIMATE DO-ALL LENS FROM FOTON

Nikon’s latest full-framemirrorless Z 7 and Z 6make great filmmaking cameras, but are hindered by the lack of native fast lenses, with the 35mmand 50mm f/1.8 lenses being the quickest. Although you can use Nikon F-mount lenses via an adapter, many filmmakers prefer to keep things as light and simple as possible. Samyang comes to the rescue with two manual-focus lenses for the newNikon Z mount: the ultra-wide 14mm f/2.8 Z; and the 85mm f/1.4 Z, which is an ideal portrait lens. There is also a new autofocus version of the 85mm lens in a Nikon Fmount, which joins the AF 14mm f/2.8 lens which debuted last year. All three newNikon lenses aremulti-coated to provide excellent image quality and contrast from the centre to edges of the image, and they are all weather-sealed. The AF 85mm lens features a nine-bladed iris while the 85mmZ optic has an eight- bladed circular aperture for smooth bokeh. Price and availability will be announced soon.

Manfrotto has taken the Nitrotech technology from its popular N8 and N12 fluid tripod heads and is using it in its 600 series with the 608 and 612models. The Nitrotech 608 and 612 use the unique nitrogen pistonmechanism to provide continuous counterbalance and securely support loads up to 17.6lb/8kg on the 608 and from8.8lb/4kg up to 26.4 lb/12kg on the 612. The heads also feature a 3/8in Easy Link connector. No prices have yet been announced. Nitro technology trickles down


The Lykos 2.0 Daylight LED has a colour temperature of 5600K– ideal for cooling down skin tones –while the Bicolor features whiter, warmer LEDs, and is ideal for giving skin extra warmth. The lights use hotshoemounts which

A dedicated smartphone app to give full remote control is the latest tech upgrade for the revamped Lykos 2.0 LED portable lights. The water-resistant LEDs are available in Daylight and Bicolor options and use an app to control key functions such as brightness and colour temperature. Power is by dual-mount Sony L-type or Canon LP-E6 batteries, or by standard AC cable. The Daylight version has an illuminance of 1600 lux at onemetre while the Bicolor is 1500 lux.

can connect up to four Lykos units together. They can be controlled simultaneously via the app.




Major upgrade for Resolve it easy to scrub through all of the shots and quickly edit them to the timeline.

Industry-standard colour grading and editing software DaVinci Resolve 16 has had a major update that adds a totally new cut page specifically designed for fast turnaround, as well as dozens of other new features for editing, grading, VFX and audio. The new cut page is an alternate edit page designed for super-quick workflow. It has a streamlined interface and new tools to import, edit, trim, add transitions and titles, automatically match colour, mix audio and more. The normal edit page is still available and you can change between the types of edit page in the middle of a project. The cut page offers a fast way of finding clips. By clicking on the source tape button, all of the clips in their bin appear in the viewer as a single long “tape”. This makes

The new cut page also features a dual timeline. So if you want to move a clip all the way to the end of a project, you pick it up from the lower timeline and drag it to the end of the upper timeline to move it down the edit, for example. Other changes include a new adjustment clip to apply effects and grades to clips on the timeline, while quick export can be used to upload projects to YouTube and Vimeo. And new GPU accelerated scopes provide more technical monitoring options. The updated Fairlight page adds elastic wave alignment to stretch waveforms to precisely sync dialogue replacement with video, as well as immersive 3D audio support.

There are new ResolveFX plug-ins for adding vignettes, drop shadows, removing objects, adding analogue noise and damage, chromatic aberration, stylising video and more. There are also improvements to the scanline, beauty, face refinement, blanking fill, warper, dead pixel fixer and colour space transformation plug-ins.

DaVinci Resolve 16 is

available now as a free download.

Ultimate Resolve accessory!


Blackmagic’s latest Pocket Cinema Camera 4K can now go on shooting for longer thanks to a new battery grip that takes two Sony batteries. The grip can also power external flash disks or run the camera for more than two hours of recording time. The grip, common in stills photography but rare in cameras designed for filmmaking, replaces the camera’s standard Canon LP-E6 battery with two inexpensive Sony L-series cells. These can be charged via the grip’s 12V DC connection. The kit is made of carbon fibre with non-slip hand grips to make it easier to use for longer shoots. It costs £246/$245.

switches are the same type used by eSports keyboards and are designed for over amillion operations. The integrated search dial is machined fromsolidmetal and allows precise transport and trimming control. Plus the key caps, hand rest and key switches are all available as spare parts so the keyboard can be refreshed and repaired over time.

If you use DaVinci Resolve a lot, then this special Editor premium keyboard is designed to improves the speed of editing. Available in August for £966/$995, it’s designed as an alternative way to edit that’smuch faster than amouse because editors can use both hands at the same time. It’s a rugged all-metal design and the keys have a tiered profile so it’s easy to feel your way around. The key





Faced with what he saw as a lack of understanding about the provision of palliative care, Jean-Francois Rodrigues decided tomake a film, which swiftly turned into his first fully fledged feature


T he level of social injustice that can be found in our society these days might, ironically, be seen as somewhat of a blessing if you happen to be a documentary filmmaker looking for a subject to pick up. However, it’s not so great if the story happens to be on your own doorstep, which is the situation I found myself in recently. On the face of it, there’s nothing especially unusual about my story. My mother, at the impressive age of 93, succumbed to the dreaded ‘C’ word. Thankfully her time in hospital was short, as was her suffering, but the experience highlighted the lack of care I perceived

she received during that time and, as a filmmaker concerned with social issues, I felt compelled to do something about it. For decades, documentary filmmakers have utilised their skills to right injustices in society. In my situation, the injustice as I saw it was my mother in her last days of life failing to receive the care she “Concernedwith social issues, I felt compelled to do something about it”

deserved, while I remained oblivious to what was going on. The thing is, I had no understanding of what constituted palliative, or end of life, care, but as I dug deeper I realised that I was not alone in my ignorance. In fact, not understanding what palliative care is and what it has to offer to someone in their final days is widespread throughout the UK population. So, what would my role be in this overall narrative? I consider myself to be a competent photographer but a novice filmmaker – a view borne out, perhaps, by what were, at the time, my two three- minute documentaries that had gathered a miserly 20 YouTube views between




netted me £2200/$2900 and, with savings incorporated, I managed to scrape together the handsome sum of £3000/$3900. I looked to eliminate potential post- production issues by purchasing gear I was already familiar with and that would colour match. So, alongside my G80, I decided to purchase a Panasonic Lumix GH5 (£1200/$1550) and a selection of Samyang optics (16mm, 35mm and 85mm) together with dumb adapters (£500/$650). I also added a couple of Yongnuo LEDs, a Proaim Curve-N-Line slider with motion control, a Proaim blimp with dead wombat, a TascamDR-60D audio recorder, a Lilliput seven-inch monitor, a JTZ DP30 ABOVE Jean-Francois Rodrigues was a novice filmmaker who had only made three-minute documentaries before Searching for Meaning, inspired by his mother’s experiences

more like tenminutes in length. At this point, I needed to think seriously about the kit I had to work with, which, at that point, consisted primarily of a FujifilmX-T20 with an XF55-200mm lens and a 35mm f/1.4. Fortunately, however, I also owned a Panasonic Lumix G80, which I often used with vintage lenses for retro video work. However, as with every pivotal moment in a working life, there comes a moment when hard decisions have to be made. I was faced with two options: maxing out my credit cards or selling my photographic gear. There was only one scenario where I came out on top – so selling the gear was the way to go. The sale

them. Nevertheless, I could not ignore what I perceived to be social injustice and I felt if people had more understanding about palliative care they would, in most instances, be more likely to ask the right questions of the right people. Despite my lack of experience, I was determined to create a film that could make a difference. And so my production, Searching for Meaning , was born. Planning the film From the outset, I realised that all the things I needed to put across couldn’t be contained within a three-minute short. My aimwas to look instead at a production




cage for the GH5 and various accessories. This added to my existing Rode VideoMic and boom pole and a video tripod and fluid head and totally ate up my budget. As with so many self-taught creatives, I used YouTube as my font of all knowledge. This persuaded me that I was still lacking on the audio front, so I subsequently splashed out on a Rode NTG3 broadcast- quality microphone, taking on the £650/$850 cost via hire purchase. Having played with it, I felt the NTG3 – with its rich, deep sound – was worth the extra expense. I also decided to go down the 4K route, not because I was chasing the biggest and best, but because the extra resolution this offers delivers more options when framing in post-production. Broadcast quality My previous mini docs were pieced together using a run-and-gun approach, but for this more adventurous project, I was looking to reach a much bigger audience. I realised from the outset that my production needed to be broadcast quality. I knew that, with my limited experience, the only way I was going to stand a chance with the kind of distribution I was looking for was to enlist some expert support – not easy considering the limited budget I had to play with. Ultimately, I set up a filmmakers’ meet-up group and this made a huge difference. Before long, I’d been joined by an audio specialist, a producer, production assistant and a friend of mine with photographic experience who agreed to help out. Meanwhile, I took on the role of director, writer, director of photography, co-producer and editor. In total, there were five of us working on the project. I have previous experience as a journalist, so my overriding aimwas to

get the story at all costs and, as a relatively novice filmmaker, I hadn’t fully taken on board how this might affect the project we were working on. As I went through the early stages of planning, I realised the ten-minute production I had anticipated wasn’t going to be anything like enough. To fully explore the intricacies of the subject, I had to be a lot more ambitious. Subsequently, it expanded to become a full feature-length, 90-minute documentary and, as we went through the planning, it became clear to us all this was still a tightly told story – it was just that we were now exploring it properly. The format of the film revolves around a series of interviews with a number of leading experts in the field of palliative

“I decided to go down the 4K route, because the extra resolution this offers deliversmore options when framing in post-production”

BELOW To film Searching for Meaning, Rodrigues used a Panasonic Lumix GH5, Proaim blimp with dead wombat, a Tascam DR-60D audio recorder and a JTZ DP30 cage




ABOVE Searching for Meaning was filmed in 4K to get more options when framing in post-production. Over a terabyte of data was shot, but the end result will be downscaled to 1080p

mainly using the Rembrandt lighting technique. Overall, we shot over a terabyte of data, though the end result will be subsequently downscaled to 1080p, which was pretty much what I was looking to do from the outset. Learning curve Diving head first into a passion project of this kind was a daunting prospect and, as might be expected, the learning curve required was steep indeed. The interviews took us from London through to Leeds, West Sussex, Oxford, Warwickshire and Swindon. This amount of travel placed extra pressure on my finances, since the cost of petrol, food and an overnight hotel stay all came out of my pocket. Thankfully, as a teamwe were united in our determination to produce the best possible piece of work and to raise awareness about a subject we all cared about deeply, which affects us all. Frommy perspective, I started out as a novice and, truth be told, I still consider myself not far above that state, but now, at least, I do have a great piece of work under my belt that will serve as a foundation to grow from. I’ve always aimed high with

care and also some of those at the sharp end, who are undergoing treatment and can talk about the experience. Each interview featured a two-camera set-up: the GH5 fitted with a 16mm lens being attached to a seven-inch monitor on a static tripod, focusing on the broad side of the talent’s face, with the Rode VideoMic providing reference audio. Meanwhile, the Lumix G80 and 35mm lens were mounted on the Proaimmotion control slider to provide a degree of movement – its position being dependent on the layout of the room. The Rode NTG3 was used on the boom pole, connected to the Tascam recorder running on dual mono. I prefer recording separate audio, as it gives more leeway at the editing stage and it’s straightforward to sync with the aid of reference audio from the camera. Ever mindful of the need for a professional production, I signed up a specialist interviewer, which left the team free to focus solely on technical issues. We worked with natural lighting where possible, looking around for spacious, well-lit rooms when we arrived at a location. This was supplemented from time-to-time with the use of my LEDs,

everything I do, even if sometimes I miss the target and, for me, pushing boundaries is the only way I can learn. When it’s completed, Searching for Meaning will be screened at a number of locations during Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from 13 to 19 May. It will be the conclusion of an amazing project, and I’m so proud to have produced something I think does justice to the thought process that started the whole train in motion.

More information





EASY RIDER REBORN It was a dream job: the chance for photographer and filmmaker Richard Bradbury to retrace the steps of the anti-heroes fromEasy Rider and to take to a Harley-Davidson for the ultimate road trip


T he year 1969 was a big one for the US arts scene. Andy Warhol’s factory churned out multiple soup tins, and The Rolling Stones arrived with what would be named the ‘world’s first mythical rock tour’. The first draft of US troops to fight the Vietnamwar were crying out for a cinematic backdrop. The sterile consumerismof the fifties celebrated the middle-agedmarried couple, but Easy Rider , released in July 1969, made it cool to be young, free and rebellious. Even if their parents didn’t approve, every teenage girl in America wanted to hang out with a badass biker gang.

Starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, (long before they became global superstars), Easy Rider tells the tale of two Harley-Davidson-riding anti-heroes doing a one-off drug deal in LA. They ride across the states to spend their earnings in New Orleans but, let’s face it, I don’t need to tell you that, because I know you’ve seen the movie. It’s the Eleanor Rigby of the film world: you’re not sure when you first saw it, but you just know all the words. It’s part of every movie lover’s DNA. Easy Rider has become a rite of passage for every cool teenage boy (and quite a few teenage girls) in the English-speaking world.

RIGHT With a remit to celebrate the 50th

anniversary of the classic film Easy Rider, the shoot became a glorious road trip

This year marks the film’s 50th anniversary, so Harley-Davidson, in partnership with the US Tourist Board, contactedmotoring writer Jeremy Taylor andmyself to ask us if we’d like to re-enact the road trip (minus the narcotics). It took us the best part of five or ten seconds to say, ‘Yes, please!’ There were, however, a few issues to deal with. First, we could only find one free week in our calendars that coincided. We had to do the trip early last December and we could only reasonably do half the journey fromLA to Phoenix. Also, we wanted the trip to be for real, just like in the movie, so no support vehicles allowed. Packing gear Pete, Dennis and Jack didn’t need to carry camera kit to shoot stills and video along the way, so they could travel light. We, on the other hand, needed to think carefully about howmuch we could take with us. Our gear needed to be light and small enough to fit in the panniers of a Harley, but powerful enough to offer 4K video and advertising- quality stills. My brand of location stills involves off-camera flash for a rich, dramatic effect and we wanted to get plenty of high-end video for PR and promotional purposes. I like a challenge and I was determined to have a ‘no compromise’ kit to shoot full-frame stills and 4K video that I could carry on a motorcycle.

“I was determined to have a ‘no compromise’ kit to shoot 4K that I could carry on amotorcycle”




I’m still a stills guy, albeit one that shoots increasing amounts of video, so I had a fair bit of research to do. I had just taken the bold step of changingmy 25-year commitment to Canon to the new-wave mirrorless world of the Sony A7R III. I still own both kits, but the Sony is considerably smaller and lighter than the Canon, which is pretty important when you’re travelling on just two wheels. The A7R III’s video capability is also incredible: in addition to 42-megapixel stills giving billboard-quality imagery, the camera offers uncropped video with all versions of 4K and up to 120 fps HD. In low- light conditions, it’s among the best on the market, giving usable, clean imagery even at ISO 256,000, while the NP-FZ100 battery has a two-hour life (unlike its predecessor) and the camera rarely overheats while delivering a maximum 30-minute record time. Meanwhile, in-camera sound recording is no worse than any other camera and it has the usual external audio options available via the microphone jack. I had brought a full set of lenses, but wanted to save space, so I took the G Master 16-35mm f/2.8 for extreme-wide landscapes and the GMaster 24-70mm f/2.8 as a more general-use lens. Both these lenses offer staggering performance, with the A7R III’s in-body stabilisation giving almost gimbal-like stability. I was tempted

ABOVE Richard Bradbury used a DJI Mavic Air to capture aerial footage of his motorcycle road trip across the US

back up tomeet the iconic Route 66. We travelled through Joshua Tree and finally crossed the Mojave Desert before arriving at the largest Harley-Davidson dealership I have ever seen in Phoenix, Arizona. It didn’t take a genius to work out that, with that kind of scenery, a drone would be a useful companion in terms of producing footage for my personal use. I knew nothing about drones before this

to take the GMaster 70-200mm f/2.8 along as well for a more candid look and its dreamy bokeh, but it’s a big piece of glass and this trip was really about capturing the grandeur of the ‘Big Country’, rather than compressed long shots. Historic Route 66 Our route took us out of LA across Death Valley, down towards Palm Springs then




can choose to control the drone with the compact remote controller connected to your cell phone – or through simple SmartCapture hand gestures if you prefer. I have the Ferrari Red colour option, and it’s become my favourite flying companion. Before leaving for the USA with your drone of choice it is, of course, important to remember that FAA regulations state youmust have a Small UAS Certificate of Registration to fly in any US state. In addition to the usual regulations for drone flying inmost modern countries, this licence ensures you fly within the law in the USA. Travel without one and you’ll probably have your equipment confiscated and face a serious fine, so beware. You can apply for the licence online at where, for few dollars, you will be issued with a miniature certificate in just a few days. It can be stuck discreetly within the battery housing to be shown if required. I discovered that the advancedmulti- sensor obstacle avoidance system is switched off in Sport mode after I hadmy first crash into a rock face during a bike tracking sequence. To be fair, I had pushed it to the limit, and the little red drone had

trip, so I turned to the experts: my 11-year- old and 18-year-old sons. What these guys don’t know about drones is just not worth knowing. Despite never owning one, they both followed countless social media groups and were hotlined to every YouTube drone fanatic in cyberspace. The DJI Mavic Air stood out for me immediately, being better equipped than its smaller Spark cousin, yet more compact and affordable than the iconic Mavic Pro. Folding down to the size of an average croissant, I bought the Fly More Combo Kit with three batteries, givingme an hour of usable flight time. It comes with a very neat carry case that my fashion-conscious wife would describe as ‘clutch’ sized. Easy to fly, even for a novice like me, I nevertheless had a two-hour lesson from the great guys at the PhantomFlightSchool in Kent before I left for the US. Equipped with a three-axis mechanical gimbal, the Air shoots 4K 100Mbps video at 30fps with QuickShot functions, including the iconic Asteroid, Helix and Boomerang flight patterns. ActiveTrack makes following a movingmotorcycle a piece of cake, with a top speed of over 68kph, and you

damaged props and a piece of one of the legs snapped clean off. I tracked it down using the remote to a pile of rock debris where it lay upside down still blinking its lights. I dusted it down, fired it up and the drone leapt straight back into flight despite the battle scars… Awesome! The use of drones in filming has become pretty much expected by clients these days, and you just can’t fail to be impressed by the majestic scenery of Death Valley and the Mojave Desert as seen from the air. The tiny Mavic Air punches well above its weight in terms of features and video quality. On-bike shots No road trip would be complete without the mandatory on-bike camera sequences and, when it comes to action cameras, there really is nothing to compare to the GoPro. I have owned and loved Drift cameras and

“The use of drones in filming has become pretty much expected by clients these days”

ABOVE This is the kit Bradbury used for his journey. He had to think carefully about what to pack, since everything had to be accomodated in the carrier on the back of his Harley-Davidson motorbike. Alongside such essentials as Godox speedlights and ultra-portable light stands, he also packed a GoPro Hero7 Black and a DJI Mavic Air drone for aerial shots




have used them for on-bike shots mainly on race tracks before, but the newGoPro Hero7 Black is a huge step up from its predecessors. I used it for a combination of on-bike shots and walk about vlogging, and it was perfect for both. The Hero7 Black can shoot 12-megapixel stills and 4K video at 60fps. It also offers 8x slomo, water protection up to 10m and gives the kind of stunning results we’ve all come to expect from a box so small that I actually managed to temporarily lose it in my side pannier twice during the trip. The built-in HyperSmooth stabilisation is so good, you don’t need a gimbal for handheld shots. Try it – it’s incredible. The audio quality on this camera is leagues better than previous models as well, but I chose to add a wind deflector for the riding shots. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a sponge jacket to fit the 7 model, so I bought a 5 model jacket and carefully cut out the holes to fit the lens and screen. It was a bit tight, but worked a treat. I also recommend the GoPro 3-Way for handholding, which has a dinky mini tripod inside for freestanding shots. I bought my bike mounts fromTelferizer and, while these were sturdy and easily adjustable, I still wished I’d bought the Jaws Flex Clamp, as it would have been handy to change the camera position while riding. Ultimately, I only used one GoPro, which I repositioned around the bike at various points, but it would have been nice to have several to shoot multiple angles of the same “The newGoProHero7 Black is a huge step up from its predecessors”

fits into any flight-legal carry-on. It also comes with a neat Arca-Swiss style ball and socket head, with three-way locking and a friction-controlled liquid panning facility. Finally, I needed some off-camera flash, so stop here if you’re a video-only guy. The Godox 860 VII Speedlites are compact and very powerful and, when controlled off-camera with the X1 transmitter, they offer the same power as well as TTL and HSS capability of the Sony own-brand units. The difference is that the Sony units cost around four times the price. You do the maths! To partner them, Pixapro produces superb pop up 60x60cm softboxes, which are around £60 each. These come complete with a bracket for your speedlite and even a honeycomb grid add-on. One of my favourite finds were the Phot-R Ultra Portable Studio Light Stands. However, there was a problemwith the overall folded length, and they took some finding. I bought these in a pack of four for £91.95 including a carry case. Amazing value! They’re not as solid as my Manfrotto studio stands, but they’re all you need for a small speedlite or LED unit. Overall, the trip was a great success, with three different 4K video cameras, a drone, plus an advertising-quality, full-frame stills set-up, including lighting and stands. Literally everything (plus my own personal luggage) was carried on one motorcycle. The bike I was lent was a £40,000 Harley- Davidson Ultra Road Glide Lux and, while fantastic, it didn’t have the elegance of the ‘Captain America’ bike ridden by Peter Fonda in the movie. I’mpretty sure though, Pete would probably have preferred to do the return trip to LA onmy bike. He could probably have afforded it, too.

scenes. The 7 series apparently has voice commands, but I never mastered these since its buttons are large and easy to use, even with gloves on. Tripod tests Every photographer/videographer needs a tripod, and I have stacks of them. However, not one of the pods I own would fold down to airline carry-on bag while still offering me full head-height capability. This was probably my most difficult search – the trick being to find one of only a fewmodels that fold their legs back onto the shaft, covering up the head. The MeFoto RoadTrip was a clear winner. It comes inmultiple colour options, but I bought the slightly more expensive carbon version for its light weight. Inmy opinion, it’s the best-value, most stable eye-level tripod on the market. It folds down to just over 13in long, extends to eye level and comes in a carry case that

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ABOVE Along the way, Bradbury produced stills and moving footage of the characters and locations he encountered




Filmmaker Aaron Lieber talks to us about G-Technology’s portable rugged drives, with a focus on the new ArmorATD Road ready and rugged

A rmorATD is G-Technology’s G-DriveMobile SSD and G-DriveMobile Pro SSD. The new drive is intended for use on any adventure, across any terrain, and for Aaron Lieber – cool filmmaker and cinematographer from the OC – it’s typically filming surfers in the ocean. “It’s my happy place,” says Lieber. “But working in this kind of environment means I need a drive that is rugged enough to go withme. I rely on features, such as water-resistance and durability to giveme the reassurance that my shots are backed up to the drive. “What I love about the ArmorATD is its scalability. It is built tough enough for a professional, but it’s also great for a beginner who needs a reliable storage solution to keep up with their adventures.” latest portable hard drive. It joins the company’s rugged collection of drives, which includes the

“What I love about G-Technology is that it always make its products sexy. Drives aren’t something you think about as being sexy, but they’re themost important part of your shoot. You could have the best shot in the world and if it’s not backed up properly, you could lose that. It’s nice to have a product that you can not only rely on, but also enjoy visually,” says Lieber. Lieber uses all three of G-Technology’s rugged drives on his shoots because, like all filmmakers know, each project is different. It could be the kit, location or budget that’s different, but it’s important that storage companies understand this and provide a full spectrumof entry-level to high-end products for their users. The step up from the ArmorATD is the G-DriveMobile SSD, which is Lieber’s favourite drive. “It’s my favourite as it’s the size of my iPhone, smaller even. The read and write speeds are 560Mbps, and for my smaller projects, I can just edit straight off the

The three amigos The appeal of the ArmorATD is that it is affordable, but this added benefit doesn’t mean it falls short on its engineering or design. The drive is a deep blue colour, made of aluminiumand crush-proof up to 454kg (1000lbs). It comes with a rugged bumper that has a hugging texture to it, so it doesn’t slide around on any surface. It also boasts a cover to protect the USB port fromwater, dust or dirt. It’s the entry-level drive that can be taken anywhere and nomatter where you take it, you get a feeling it’s going tomake it back to your studio.

“It’s a product you can not only rely on, but enjoy visually”




LEFT Filmmaker, Aaron Lieber (centre), loved the attention to detail of G-Technology’s rugged drives

drive,” says Lieber. “Sure, you will need a fast computer, I usemyMacBook Pro, but you will really notice a rendering difference with this drive speed. I’ve even noticed a difference with a slower computer and this drive. It helps make up for that latency with being able to access information quickly. It’s why it’s my favourite drive.” The G-DriveMobile SSD is G-Technology’s most popular drive. What’s great about it, froman engineering perspective, is that the blue interior has a function – it pulls away the heat from the internal SSD to keep it cool, preventing overheating andmaintain performance. Most SSDmanufacturers will throttle the drive, slowing it down to keep it cool, but this affects the drive’s performance. The G-DriveMobile Pro SSD is the next step up and it is G-Technology’s most luxe portable rugged drive. It has Thunderbolt 3 connectivity with read speeds of up to 2800Mbps. It is designed for use on production sets, where you either need to transfer work quickly or work natively from it. At the NAB Show 2019, it was announced that a 2TB version of this drive is now available. Scalability G-Technology’s scalability of drives is what makes the company so attractive. Lieber has his own philosophy about the different needs of filmmakers and the type of drives

they need: “Everyone has a DSLR now and they’re either shooting 1080p or 4K of their kids who are either semi pro athletes or want to be pro athletes. I call these filmmakers Soccer Moms, and they need a drive that is reliable and fast, but is also affordable,” says Lieber. “The ArmorATD has the same goal of protecting your content as the G-DriveMobile SSD, but at a more affordable price. Of course, there’s the difference between SSD and HDD, but does a Soccer Momneed SSD?” It’s also important to assess your workflow and work out which drive is going to bemost efficient for you. “For me, time is paramount, so the faster drives, such as G-DriveMobile SSD and G-DriveMobile Pro SSD, are nice,” says Lieber. “I’ll spend

moremoney on them, but I can reuse them. A Soccer Mom could have a different workflow: they could buy the ArmorATD, use it, then put it back on the shelf for a week or so before using it again. An SSD doesn’t work for everyone, it depends on the level of content you’re trying to create.” Lieber recently shot a piece using all three rugged portable drives in Hawaii. The film is called Into the Wild and it’s about the importance of humans and nature. Its focus is on a boy who Lieber filmed for eight years. “My other big project is Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable , a feature-length documentary about a girl who lost her arm to a shark attack. The film is about how she’s recovered from it as an adult,” says Lieber. “Being a single shooter, I just need something I knowwill work when I plug it in. If I’ve got to overthink it, then it’s not for me. I think a lot of filmmakers are like that,” says Lieber. “This is why G-Technology is so appealing tome. I can just unbox a drive, plug it in and it will work instantly.”

“The ArmorATD is tough enough for professionals, but great for beginners who need reliable storage”

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SPEEDY GRADING IN PREMIERE The latest Adobe Premiere Pro CC software offers intuitive tools to get the colours right. Soho Editors boss Rory Cantwell explains the basics


O ne of the great things about the Premiere Pro approach to colour correction is that it adopts the same basic controls as Adobe Lightroom, where photographers fix hundreds of images fast and on the go. With Premiere Pro‛s integrated Lumetri Color correction tools, you can do many of the same fast corrections on video, with a whole host of other tools available help stylise your footage and design more

creative looks. Let‛s have a quick look at some of the features, and how and why to use them. Colour correction and film grading is usually a two-part process. Different people use different terminology with the same aim– to make shots look great. Colour correction Fixing issues that become apparent in the edit is the first step. This might be due to

“The bright highlights on the car and horizon looked very strong in the Luma Scope”

ABOVE Colour correction in Premiere Pro is efficient and effective, using the same basic controls as Lightroom






poor camera work, but it‛s often down to different cameras and lenses being used, or weather and lighting changes due to filming over a series of days. When the footage is edited together, it just doesn‛t flow. 1 Shot A (left) was filmed early afternoon. By the time the drone was up for shot B (right) the light was fading. In the edit, there is clearly a jump; I could have tried to push shot A and B tomatch, but I preferred tomeet both shots midway. I used the Comparison Viewmode to select my shots, then jumped into the Lumetri Workspace and opened the Basic Correction panel. In Tone controls, I lifted the Exposure to see howmuch brighter I couldmake the darker shot. As the footage was filmed with a high data rate, I had quite a lot of information in the shadow areas to work with. The bright highlights on the car, road markings and horizon looked very strong in the Luma Scope, so I used the Highlights slider to bring themdown. As the sun is much lower in shot B, I had darker shadows to bring up via the Shadows slider. To view the change, I hit the tick box for the Basic Correction to viewBefore and After. 2 Next, themedium shot of the car. The Basic Correction panel again was the best place to start. As it‛s naturally a brighter shot, I started by bringing the exposure ABOVE Footage taken at different times of the day proved problematic for colour consistency. Instead of matching one to the other, a middle ground was achieved


colour sliders and colour wheel to enhance the grass. In this case, I wanted to increase the saturation and contrast, bring the brightness down and introduce a bit more green from the colour wheel to help the grass colour match shot B. After a bit of back and forth, I could tweak both shots to bring the whole edit much closer together. 4 If you have a bunch of shots that are similar, you don‛t need to start from scratch every time. You simply select the clip with the correction you‛re happy with and hit Edit/Copy. Then find the clip you want to paste the effect to and Edit/Past Attributes. This gives you the option of which Attributes (video effects, audio effects, speed effects) you want to paste onto the clip and it instantly applies all the changes. If you havemultiple shots, just select them all before hitting Paste Attributes and you‛ll have all your shots matching in no time. Some shots will be harder than others to match, but there aremore tools available. Including the three-way colour wheels, you also have Hue/Saturation and Curves, which allows detailed selecting of colour based on hue, brightness and saturation. The number one tip for correction is – never use Auto correction; it‛s more trouble than it‛s worth as it uses computer values to balance, rather than the human eye. Best of all, if you don‛t trust your eye - or more likely, your monitor - you have the Scopes to check what is black, white, and what colours you are adding or removing.

down and the highlights up. As I did, I noticed a hot-spot on the car, so I used the Whites slider to bring the overall white level down. As the sunlight isn‛t as low in shot A, the shadows are not as dark, so I brought the shadows down a touch. In the Comparison view the two shots lookedmuch closer, but I wanted to tweak further. The grass in shot Bwas more vibrant, the grass in shot A less so, therefore I needed to bemore precise in the detailing. 3 In the HSL Secondary Panel, I selected a sample of the grass colour using the colour picker. As there are a few shades present, I used the plus colour picker to increase the number of shades selected, and then tweaked the selection. Then, I used the




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