4-PAGE VIRTUAL IBC ANNUAL CONFERENCE GOES DIGITAL P44
September 2020 £4.99
GEAR GROUP Best lockdown product releases
Small animal stories on Netflix FE ATURE
KILLING EVE | OPERTEC STEEL BOY | BATH BALLET INDUSTRY REVIVES | VOCAS FX9 RIG | IBE OPTICS FILTERS
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EDITORIAL Editor Julian Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org Staff writer Chelsea Fearnley Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Sub editors Felicity Evans and Elisha Young ADVERTISING Group ad manager Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 email@example.com Account manager Russell Marsh 01223 499461 firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Designers Lucy Woolcomb, Man-Wai Wong & Emily Lancaster Ad production Man-Wai Wong PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck
The principal cast of Killing Eve
A s we compile our list of returning productions, we look at one that just slipped through the Covid-19 net. Tiny Creatures had in fact graded two of its eight episodes when lockdown happened and remote working technology took over. The new Netflix show isn’t a documentary, it’s a staged animal drama shot in 8K and mastered in HDR, which seeks to entice younger viewers to discover the wonders of natural history. It’s not just for youngsters either – family viewing is the ideal audience. We also look back, pre-lockdown, to one of the best-looking episodic television programmes of the year: the third series of Killing Eve . While the production design earned an Emmy nomination, it was the DOP, Julian Court, who caught our eye by producing one of the best-looking shows we’ve ever seen. You’ll notice a couple of new sections in this issue, with Gear first look and Video briefing making their debuts. The former focuses on quick product reviews that aim to give you final confirmation of how good a product is, and the latter is a snapshot of industry news. Enjoy the issue.
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COVER IMAGE Tiny Creatures, © Netflix 2020
Definition is published monthly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Definition is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Definition that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Prices quoted in sterling, euros and US dollars are street prices, without tax, where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.
SEPTEMBER 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 03
SET- UP 06 TITLE SEQUENCE
Take a peek at The Umbrella Academy , Netflix’s explosive comic book adaptation.
The latest news and views from the world of video production, plus a first look at professional, must-have kit.
17 GEAR GROUP
An in-depth round-up of the gear released over the lockdown period. WI LDL I FE Yet another Netflix triumph – the secret life of mice, squirrels and other ‘tiny creatures’. DANCE As lockdown hit live performances hard, one ballet maestro came up with a solution... DRAMA Fabulousness and intrigue in front of the camera is matched by ingenuity behind it. FEATURES Production is tentatively starting up again as we come out of lockdown, but will the industry survive the setback?
22 TINY CREATURES
31 BATH BALLET
34 KILLING EVE SERIES 3
42 A NEW CHAPTER
44 IBC GOES ONLINE
This year, in response to Covid-19, the IBC Show goes virtual. Check out our four-page special on the event.
GEAR TESTS 48 IBE OPTICS FILTERS
Cinematographer Rina Yang tries out IBE’s new Effect Filters.
56 CAMERA LISTINGS
Our unique camera listings now offer kit essentials and recommended accessories.
SEPTEMBER 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 05
BACK TO SCHOOL The Umbrella Academy is back for a second season on Netflix and with it, the same cinematographers bringing this parallel universe story to life. Neville Kidd and Craig Wrobleski used similar capture methods to Season 1, with large format cameras from Arri, including the LF and the 65, but the glass came from Zeiss’ superb Supreme range. The show has gained its fair share of awards, with many for the increased VFX work – especially for the beautifully realised Dr Pogo by Weta Digital.
06 DEF I N I T ION | SEPTEMBER 2020
SEPTEMBER 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 07
I NDUSTRY | BR I EF INGS
The latest news, views and hot tips from the world of production. This month, a million-dollar prize – and a right bunch of dummies
CVP is looking to play a large part in helping the industry get back to work as production restarts post-lockdown. From flexible finance packages and the reopening of its showrooms to inspirational podcasts, it has put together a range of measures to help reinvigorate business and get content flowing again. Wildscreen announced the nominees for the 2020 Wildscreen Panda Awards. Documentary thriller Sea of Shadows from National Geographic leads the way, picking up four nominations out of the nine film categories for editing, music, producer/ director and sound. Canon has developed a sensor that allows cameras to measure distances and create 3D images with less latency and more accuracy converted into multiple electrons – allowing for a range of imaging improvements, such as accurate distance calculation for 3D images and quick capture. However, until now it’s been challenging to achieve the high pixel counts needed to apply these capabilities to industries such as than ever before. SPAD sensors allow a single photon of light to be
feature films and commercials, has launched its latest
ABOVE It’s worth checking out some of CVP’s new flexible finance packages
film competition, affirming My Rode Reel as a big- calendar event for filmmakers. Entries are open now and close Wednesday 7 October. Rob Savage’s new horror film Host , shot entirely during lockdown, tells the story of six friends who hire a medium to hold a shockingly spooky video séance, also during lockdown. It is partly inspired by a prank the director played on his friends during a Zoom chat that went viral.
England. It will support non-profit and independent cinemas that are facing prohibitive challenges in being able to reopen and
aircraft. The goal for the team at Flying Pictures was to develop a drone that removed the restrictions inherent in traditional drone technology – an aircraft capable of flying the heaviest camera and lens packages available today, enabling filmmakers to achieve their creative visions without any need to compromise. Rode has once again upped the ante, offering a monumental $1 million in cash to the winner of its annual short film contest. This is the biggest cash prize ever offered in a short
operate while social distancing is in place.
DNEG Feature Animation Thank you, Healthcare Workers aims to recognise and celebrate the tireless work of these extraordinary people. The DNEG Feature Animation team has put together an animated short film, featuring the team’s Queen’s Guard mascot.
autonomous vehicles, healthcare and AR/VR.
The BFI has released the guidelines for the £30m Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in
Ranger from Teradek is the world’s first zero-delay wireless 4K HDR video system. It can transmit
Flying Pictures, providers of helicopter and drone services for
SEPTEMBER 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 09
INDUSTRY | BR I EF I NGS
reimagine familiar workflows for the new reality. Solutions aim to be scalable and cost- effective for your business, covering a range of typical working scenarios. detect fake news, cyberbullying and other online harms is being developed at the University of Exeter Business School. Sigma has released a major new firmware update (Ver2) for its Sigma fp. Acting on feedback from fp users, the update includes a range of new features – it enhances the camera’s functionality and ease of operation, and it fixes some bugs. Atomos has released a free update to enable 5.9K Apple ProRes Raw recording for Panasonic Lumix S1H – with Atomos adding an AtomOS Beta update to facilitate Apple ProRes Raw recording. Users can A digital tool designed to register to download the new AtomOS Beta via the Atomos website,
uncompressed 4K, 10-bit, 4:2:2 video up to 5000 feet line of sight, with less than 1ms of delay.
experiencing up to 5.9K p29.97 or 4K p59.94 ProRes Raw recording. 3.5K Anamorphic ProRes Raw recording is set to be added in the final release. Inspired by the steamy short stories of Anaïs Nin, the new 1950s-set drama series Little Birds, from Warp Films and Sky Atlantic, was shot by Ed Rutherford. Post is by Dan Coles’ team of colourists at Technicolor, sound mixers are Gareth Bull and Richard Straker, with VFX from Gary Brown. MPC Episodic has grown its senior team with the hire of seven key creatives. Christopher Gray joins the studio leadership team from Framestore as executive producer; visual effects supervisors David Sewell and Michael Bell, CG supervisor Steven Godfrey, and VFX producer Patrick Dean all join from Double Negative. The team brings a combined experience of more than 60 years to MPC, with credits including The Witcher, Black Mirror, Chernobyl, The Boys and the Watchmen series. The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) board of governors has elected a new officers. Stephen Lighthill has been elevated to president; VPs are Amy Vincent, Bill Bennett and John Simmons; treasurer is Levie Isaacks; secretary is Gregg Heschong; and sergeant-at-arms is David Darby. The British Society of Cinematographers (BSC), Association of Camera Operators and ScreenSkills have joined forces to form a new mentoring programme designed to support cinematographers and
camera operators from groups under-represented in the screen industries.
VFX studio Jellyfish Pictures has expanded its operating model to access talent across the world. The company opened the world’s largest virtual studio at the end of last year and has now moved on to its next stage of development. If you’re looking for an extended runtime of up to six hours for the new Sony A7S III, the Core SWX Powerbase Edge could be it. Also featured: two p-taps and two USBs for additional accessories, such as an on-camera monitor or light (or to even charge your smarphone). DOP Rodrigo Prieto shot Taylor Swift’s video for her song Cardigan and had to wear two face coverings – a mask and an acrylic shield – for most of the two-day shoot. Unsurprisingly, the video was shot remotely on a robotic crane. Hollywood’s first high-profile pandemic- themed movie recently began shooting in Los Angeles, directed by Michael Bay. “We are literally going to be the first film shooting in LA,” Bay announced when cameras started rolling. soap operas are welcoming new (and quite wooden) cast members for love scenes. This is because they’re mannequins. Initially, producers took out love scenes, but this failed in terms of plotting, so the call went out for the dummies... Also in the US, some
Sony has announced the HDC-P31, a multi- purpose point-of-view system camera with enhanced remote features and advanced HDR workflows. The compact HD camera provides HD HDR capabilities and features a global shutter three 2/3-inch CMOS sensor system, enables high sensitivity and low noise. Creamsource has launched the Vortex8. It’s a 650W high-power LED 2x1ft RGBW lighting system, with CCT ranging from 2200K to 15000K. It can be used as a hard punch light to bounce or push through diffusion, or as a creamy, soft light with the Creamsource Dome or DOP Choice Snapbag. SohoNet’s latest ebook shows how M&E teams can make home-working a success and gives advice on how to effectively
BELOW From DNEG Feature Animation’s short film, Thank you, health care workers
10 DEF I N I T ION | SEPTEMBER 2020
SET- UP | GEAR NEWS
Our round-up of the latest and greatest kit for production crews. This month, we shine a light on the newest lights, bulbs and hard drives GEAR FIRST LOOK
WORDS JUL I AN M I TCHELL AND ADAM DUCKWORTH
For pros who need the finishing, work-ready touches to their FX9 – Vocas has the answer VOCAS PRODUCTION KIT FX9 PR I CE £ 1 456 / $ 1 884
foundation where everything locks together as it should, and doesn’t move. The kit comes with all the bolts you need, and hex keys to snug it all down. The heart of the system is the shoulder base plate, which should be considered an essential buy for anyone wanting to use the FX9 on the shoulder. The kit bolts securely to the bottom of the camera and the soft rubber shoulder pad is adjustable forward and backwards, using a single clamp lever. It means you can adjust it to balance just right for your own needs, and to take into account the weight for different lenses and attachments you might be using. This base plate has quick- release mounts, so you can snap it on to a large tripod base plate. We used it with a Protech VST-14 and it worked absolutely flawlessly. On to this bolts the left-side handle extender arm and beautiful wooden handgrip. This really does add stability when you are shooting handheld, making it far less wobbly than just using the standard right- side handle. The plate also has 15mm rails to attach a matte box, follow focus or other bolt-ons. At the top of the camera is the viewfinder bracket with NATO- style rail, and it’s a great bit of kit. It mounts to the standard top bracket
f you’re lucky enough to be the owner of the latest full-frame Sony FX9 camera, then you’ll
ABOVE The Vocas kit bolts securely on to the bottom of the camera
quickly realise the expense isn’t over yet, as you need accessories to turn it into a fully production-ready rig. Of course, you can buy mix-and-match brackets and the like to customise it to your needs, but Dutch grip specialist Vocas has taken all the hard work out of sourcing parts by unveiling its Production Kit for the for Sony PXW-FX9. This kit combines the most popular Vocas accessories into a complete set and features a 15mm Universal shoulder base plate with rubber shoulder pad, and standard 15mm rails. There’s an H-cheese plate that fits inside the original Sony top handle, giving extra connection points on top of the camera for 1/4- inch and 3/8-inch accessories. Also included, a viewfinder bracket based on a NATO rail to prevent the viewfinder from tilting, plus a left-side handle extender and ergonomic wooden handgrip, providing comfortable hold while operating the FX9 on the shoulder. Typical of Vocas quality, all the kit is precisely machined and fits perfectly to the camera. The FX9 has an all-metal chassis and the kit bolts right onto this, giving a solid
and can swivel towards the back of the camera for portability or when packing. For use, it swivels forward and the standard screen fits right to it. There’s no movement, as often happens with the standard viewfinder bracket. It oozes quality. The kit turns the camera into a very useful shoulder-mount rig that gives the camera ultimate flexibility. It adds 1215g/2.68lb in weight, but it’s a worthwhile pay-off for the improvement in ergonomics. MORE INFORMATION: vocas.com
SPECI F I CAT IONS MATERIAL: ALUMINIUM, RUBBER, STAINLESS STEEL BAR SYSTEM: 15MM ROSETTES: 2 INTEGRATED SHOULDER PAD: STANDARD SIZE, REMOVEABLE CAMERA MOUNTING POINTS: 1 WEIGHT: 1215G/2.68LB
12 DEF I N I T ION | SEPTEMBER 2020
GEAR NEWS | SET- UP
Astera lighting has launched its NYX Bulb, one of the new breed of colour-tuneable LED bulbs for professional film, stage and event productions ASTERA NYX BULB PR I CE £90 / $ 1 1 9
TITAN ABOARD Astera’s Titan LED engine delivers precise colours and authentic white tones with an ultra-high CRI and TLCI, and emits 750 Lumens comparable to a conventional 60W bulb, drawing just 10W of power. The RGB + mint + amber LED engine is the same as that of Astera’s Titan Tube, so these sources can be mixed and matched together. NYX Bulb offers the same colour rendering – with CRI and TLCI at 96 to 98 and 3200 to 6500° Kelvin respectively – and a full range of precise colours unlocked through digital calibration. The tuneable white range goes from 1750 to 20,000K, and a full range of gel filter numbers can be reproduced. Control includes inbuilt LumenRadio wireless DMX, which can be run via any lighting console, as well as more locally via the aforementioned Astera app. The inbuilt Bluetooth receiver is a new feature, allowing users to control NYX bulbs directly from their smartphones without needing an Astera ART7 box, and will be available via a software update in the second half of the year. The first Astera NYX Bulb that is connected via the Bluetooth signal enables the control of all the other NYX Bulbs in the range.
YX Bulb is designed for gaffers, DOPs, lighting and set designers, visual artists and anyone
BELOW The NYX Bulb comes in a set of one or eight, with PowerStation included
needing adaptable practicals or feature lighting bulbs quickly and effectively. In addition to movie shoots and television studios, it’s also good for theatrical sets and for scenic elements on tour shows and live events. Being sized like a regular LED bulb, it’s lightweight, flexible and controllable. It comes complete with a CRMX receiver for wireless DMX, plus RF and Bluetooth modules for control via the Astera app on a smartphone or tablet. NYX Bulb can be powered via an E27 socket (E26 in the US version) or with a standard power bank. Due to its compact form, it is the first Astera light source to offer external battery options (rather than inbuilt).
MORE POWER A dual power option can be either 90-240V AC (via a UK E27 or US E26 socket). A DC socket is also available for connecting external batteries or power banks, for which a USB cable is included in the box along with the bulb. CupBouncer is one of the first offered accessories. When NYX Bulbs are used in conjunction with lampshades or other coverings, this is attached to the bulb via a suction cup and reflects light back towards the base, controlling the light spread. The Astera PowerStation is another (and pretty essential) multifunctional accessory, which has an inbuilt battery unit for powering NYX Bulbs. The PowerStation can also be used to programme the NYX Blubs with parameters such as DMX addresses, colours and other settings via its display and keyboard, and when the NYX Bulb is disconnected, these settings are retained. Rear-side magnets for hanging the NYX Bulb together with an integrated airline track, where several mounting grips and accessories can be connected, enhances the practical options for how and where NYX Bulb can be installed. Currently available through Astera’s global distribution network, NYX Bulbs are available as single units or in sets of eight, complete with a PowerStation included inside the case for charging and programming the bulbs. The PowerStation is also available as a single, stand-alone unit or as a set of eight PowerStations in a charging case, for setting up eight NYX Bulbs quickly and efficiently. MORE INFORMATION: astera-led.com
SEPTEMBER 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 13
SET- UP | GEAR NEWS
The latest external hard drive from LaCie is stealthier, sturdier and speedier LACIE RUGGED SSD PRO 1TB THUNDERBOLT 3 PR I CE £ 379 / $379
USB-C PCs, as some Thunderbolt 3 SSDs don’t. The drive works with Apple’s Time Machine, and comes with LaCie Toolkit software, which offers additional features such as drive mirroring and backups. There’s also a five-year warranty and five years of free Seagate data recovery software, which is one of the best. The Rugged SSD Pro also comes with a free, one-month Adobe Creative Cloud membership, with all the apps such as Premiere Pro CC and After Effects. And, of course, it’s rugged. It’s waterproof and dust proof to IP67 rating, can withstand a drop of 3m/9.8ft on to a hard floor and is pressure resistant. LaCie says it can withstand being driven over by a two-tonne car. This is now our go-to hard drive on location when we want speed and portability, but we do use a Thunderbolt 3-equipped MacBook Pro laptop. When we get back to base, we download the files to desktop-style units with a backup system for ultimate security. However, if your computer is not Thunderbolt 3 compatible, you’re better off saving a bit of money and going for the regular LaCie Rugged SSD versions. MORE INFORMATION: lacie.com
range has long been the new black when it comes to the fastest portable external hard drives.
It’s been almost impossible not to have owned, or at least worked with, one of LaCie’s Rugged external hard drives, made so obvious with their orange rubber coating. Now, black is back, and the latest Thunderbolt 3 LaCie Rugged SSD Pro drives are more stealthy, much faster and a lot more rugged in every way. The latest family of Rugged drives uses a silent SSD inside, far faster and more reliable than any conventional HDD, which has a spinning, mechanical drive. (All these HDD units will eventually go wrong. They obviously don’t like to be dropped and will eventually wear out and die.) SSD drives have no moving parts so there’s nothing to wear out, and they’re much smaller. LaCie’s Rugged SSD drives still come in the trademark orange and are ideal for 4K video, and come in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB versions. These are the standard flavours that transfer data at up to 950MB/s, and are compatible with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C and USB 3.0 on Mac and Windows computers. The black Rugged SSD Pro is the professional version, and is ideal for up to 8K video. It has the same connectivity, but can manage transfer speeds of up to 2800 MB/s when used with a Thunderbolt 3 computer. That’s incredibly fast, and lets you download files or edit with no slowing down at all. The included cable also works with USB-C computers, as this is the same fit as Thunderbolt. But you do lose the impressive data transfer speed this way. At least it works with
SPECI F I CAT IONS CAPACITY: 1TB TRANSFER SPEED: UP TO 2800MB/S HARD DRIVES: NVME SSD CONNECTION: THUNDERBOLT 3, USB 3.1 TYPE-C CONNECTORS: THUNDERBOLT 3 CABLE
SOFTWARE: LACIE TOOLKIT DROP RESISTANCE: 3M/9.8FT DIMENSION (WXLXD): 65X17X98MM / 2.6X0.7X3.86IN WEIGHT: 100G/0.22LB
14 DEF I N I T ION | SEPTEMBER 2020
GEAR NEWS | SET- UP
SPECI F I CAT IONS
CAPACITY: 1TB POWER: 12,000 LUMENS CRI: 97 AVERAGE, 99 AT 5500K COLOUR TEMPERATURE: 2800-6800K IN STEPS OF 50 GREEN/MAGENTA CONTROL: -25 TO +25 ONE-TOUCH SETTING BUTTON: DAYLIGHT/TUNGSTEN CONNECTIVITY: BUILT-IN WI-FI, DMX WITH OPTIONAL CONTROL BOX DISPLAY: OLED
POWER: AC OR BATTERY DIMENSION (WXHXD): 285X160X120MM WEIGHT: 1745G/3.85LB
Produce stills and videos in one go with the latest light from this Swiss company BRONCOLOR LED F160 PR I CE £ 1 469 / $ 1 699 roncolor might not be a well-known name among filmmakers, but for photographers its course, using large softboxes with double layers of diffusion does cut the power down significantly. That’s not a problem when using flash, but for video use it presents limitations,
RIGHT Long- beloved of photography pros, Broncolor’s new LED light aims to please filmmakers and togs alike
products are often very high on the list of dream lighting kit. The Swiss company makes some of the most well-respected lights, many of which have been the backbone of top rental studios or leading professional’s toolkit for decades. Of course, a lot of that reputation has been built on incredibly high-spec flash units. As Bron has seen its customer base move headlong into video, the company has focused on a new sort of LED light that is aimed at hybrid stills and video shooters. The LED F160 is built to allow photographers to produce photo and video shots in one go, using the wide range of Broncolor light shapers that many already own. From beauty dishes to parabolic reflectors, snoots to softboxes, there is a vast array of light shapers to offer far more control than most video-based systems. Of
especially when mixing bright, ambient light with LED lighting. The LED F160 works so well with the Bron light-shaping accessories because it’s designed as a point light source. This is then focused in the light shapers, allowing very precise light guiding. There is a small dial on the side of the unit that allows the light to be focused slightly, giving even more precision control. The light itself has a very high Colour Rendering Index, which is an average value of 97, and at 5500K is as high as 99 (says Broncolor). Using the rear OLED panel, it’s easy to change lighting the power output, increase the colour temperature from 2800 to 6800K in steps of 50, and alter tint from green to magenta. Our tests showed very accurate output. A single button on the rear overrides the settings and toggles
between daylight and tungsten, for quick changes. Overall, the performance was bright, consistent and accurate – as you would expect from such a high-end manufacturer. The light has built in Wi-Fi to integrate with the Broncolor bronControl app, and can be controlled via DMX with an optional control unit. To use it on location – so potentially away from an AC power source – Broncolor also sells the li-ion battery kit, which comes with a 36V XLR V-mount battery, a V-mount stand clamp and a charger. The kit costs £516/$639 and at full power gives around 30 minutes of juice. It can be recharged in around 90 minutes. MORE INFORMATION: broncolor.swiss
SEPTEMBER 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 15
MI XED BUNCH | GEAR GROUP
AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CONCENTRATING ON ONE GROUP OF GEAR, THIS MONTH, WE PLAY CATCH-UP WITH SOME NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
WORDS JUL I AN M I TCHELL
SEPTEMBER 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 17
GEAR GROUP | MI XED BUNCH
Samsung 870 QVO 8TB SSD
Wooden Camera RED KOMODO ACCESSORIES
EOS R5 CAMERA Canon
Samsung has announced its second- generation quad-level cell (QLC) flash drive, the 870 QVO SATA SSD. It features possibly an industry-leading capacity of up to eight terabytes, which brings it into the realms of the professional user, with its mix of speed, storage capacity and reliability. In the past, consumers have had to choose between SSDs – which provide superior performance – and HDDs, which traditionally offer greater capacity. Samsung’s 870 QVO SSD, however, is able to reliably offer the best of both worlds, making it an optimal choice for mainstream PC users who prioritise performance and value, as well as for professional users who require high levels of capacity. Following the launch of Samsung’s first consumer QLC drive – the 860 QVO – in 2018, this is Samsung’s second- generation QVO SSD, which offers a doubled capacity of 8TB as well as enhanced performance and reliability. The 870 QVO offers sequential read and write speeds of up to 560 MB/s and 530 MB/s respectively, with the drive’s Intelligent TurboWrite technology allowing it to maintain peak performance levels using a large variable SLC buffer. The drive also delivers a 13% improvement in random read speed compared to the 860 QVO, making it ideally suited for everyday computing needs such as multitasking, gaming and web browsing. The renewed Data Migration and Magician 6 software provides a host of improved and added features, enabling users to upgrade, manage and optimise their SSDs with greater ease. The 870 range comes in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB and 8TB models, and is already available, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of £110.99 for the 1TB model, and also comes with a three-year limited warranty.
Wooden Camera has announced a full range of Red-approved accessories compatible with the much-anticipated Red Komodo camera. These products are currently available for pre-order with an expected shipping date later in August. Accessory kits range from Base, Advanced and Pro, and include all-new Red Komodo-specific accessories like the LW 15mm Baseplate (Red Komodo) and Complete Top Mount Kit (Red Komodo, Arca-Swiss). The Complete Top Mount Kit features a new top mount that provides a centre Arca-Swiss-style dovetail clamping slot, as well as 1/4in-20 and 3/8in-16 threaded holes for attaching accessories. The complete Top Mount Kit includes all three top mount Arca-Swiss accessories: top handle, monitor hinge and top-plate. Each Arca-Swiss accessory is also available as a Top Mount Kit or by itself. To mount each Arca-Swiss accessory to the camera, the top mount is required. This provides users the option to mix and match accessories to meet their production needs. Designed specifically for the Red Komodo, the Canon RF to PL Mount Pro (Red Komodo) adapts PL lenses to the Canon RF mount on the camera. The B-Box (Red Komodo) attaches easily to the camera’s BP-9 battery slot and provides a breakout for the camera’s EXT connector. Power the camera with the Battery Slide Pro V-Mount or Gold Mount (Red Komodo). This product attaches to the BP-9 battery slot and powers the camera using a right-angle LEMO compatible connector. Wooden Camera has also announced production-ready kits for Canon’s R5 camera bound for high-end videography, including a unfied DSLR small cage, a Canon RF to PL mount for cine lenses and Zip Box Pro for unwanted flares.
The new Canon EOS R5 camera is seen by many to be the natural successor to the 5D Mark II first seen back in 2009 – this, of course, is from a videography standpoint. The spec at least is impressive; this is the highest resolution EOS camera ever. The DIGIC X processor, CMOS sensor and RF lenses combine to advance image quality and achieve a resolution exceeding 45 megapixels. Up to 100% AF coverage with 5,940 selectable AF points and ISO range of 100-51,200 keep subjects sharp, even in extreme low-light conditions. Dual-card slots support a high-speed CFexpress and SD UHS-II card, housed in a weather-resistant magnesium body. The headline is, of course, the 8K capture, especially at 12-bit Raw video internally using the full width of the sensor for a cinematic result, with continuous eye and face AF tracking for people and animals. Starting from an 8K base, the EOS R5 also delivers great 4K. Capture 4K DCI (full-frame) and 4K UHD at frame rates up to 120p (119.88fps) with 4:2:2 10-bit quality, enabling high-resolution slow motion with full AF performance. User demand sees the return of the multicontroller to EOS R5 with touch- and-drag AF using the 3.2-inch, 2.1 million dot resolution, vari-angle touchscreen. With Dual Pixel Raw also supported, correction of the focus and contrast in the background and changing the lighting in portraits is possible after capture – enhancing creative possibilities. The 0.5- inch electronic viewfinder (EVF) refreshes at 120fps with 5.76 million dot resolution for a staggeringly realistic view of the world comparable to an optical viewfinder. Basic high-end spec is 8K Raw internal video recording up to 29.97fps (non-cropped), 8K internal video recording up to 29.97fps (non-cropped) in 4:2:2 10-bit Canon Log (H.265) or 4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ (H.265).
18 DEF I N I T ION | SEPTEMBER 2020
MI XED BUNCH | GEAR GROUP
ALPHA 7S III SONY
URSA MINI PRO 12K Blackmagic Design
Bebob V200/A200 MICRO BATTERY
12K for moving images! What is it all about? Well, it’s about the development of sensors, also a little bit about marketing, but also about the old adage of imagery ‘starting large and downsizing to something smaller’ and you will get a better final image. The Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 12K is a new digital film camera with a new 12,288x6,480 12K Super 35 image sensor, a claimed 14 stops of dynamic range and high frame rate shooting at up to 60fps in 12K at 80 megapixels per frame. This new third-generation model supports new Blackmagic Generation 5 colour science and higher Blackmagic Raw performance, all in the Ursa Mini Pro camera body. The combination of 80 megapixels per frame, new colour science and the flexibility of Blackmagic Raw makes working with 12K a reality. Oversampling from 12K gives customers the best 8K and 4K images with the subtle skin tones and extraordinary detail of high-end stills cameras. Customers can shoot at 60fps in 12K, 110fps in 8K and up to 220fps in 4K Super 16. Ursa Mini Pro 12K features an interchangeable PL mount, as well as built-in ND filters, dual CFast and UHS-II SD card recorders, a SuperSpeed USB-C expansion port and more. Ursa Mini Pro 12K’s extreme resolution is vying for the film and high- end television market, IMAX as well as plates for VFX capture and more efficient green screen work. This super sampling at 12K means customers not only get better colour and resolution at 8K, but also a smoothness that comes from making aliasing invisible. 12K at 60 fps is impressive, or you can use in-sensor scaling to allow 8K or 4K Raw at up to 110 fps without cropping or changing their field of view. The key to this 12K worflow is Blackmagic Raw to make 12-bit Raw workflows in 12K doable. Just imagine editing 12K on a laptop!
Once Canon launched its EOS R5 camera, it was almost inevitable that Sony would counter with its latest low-light star, the A7S III. Fanboys and girls will muddy the water with their tainted affiliations, but we prefer to wait and see until some cinematographers who earn their living in the business try them out. As with the R5 though, the specs are mouth-watering. Featuring a new 12.1-megapixel back-illuminated full-frame image sensor with ultra-high sensitivity and 15+ stops of dynamic range, a host of impressive video recording capabilities (including 4K 120p and 10-bit 4:2:2 colour depth), a new heat dissipating mechanism, dual slot relay recording enabling over one hour of 4K 60p movie shooting until battery ends, a new autofocus system, and touchscreen interface and side-flip LCD, the new Alpha 7S III certainly impresses. The Alpha cameras have found professional homes all over the world and are well known for their low-light performance. The 7S III follows this tradition with classic A series sensitivity. The new 35mm full-frame 12.1-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor reduces rolling shutter by up to three times and utilises advanced light- gathering techniques to ensure high sensitivity with low noise, allowing users to shoot in low-light situations without large-scale lighting set-ups. In addition to improved image quality, the image sensor includes a focal plane phase detection AF system – a first time for an A series camera. To complement the new sensor, the Alpha 7S III also includes a new BIONZ XR image processing engine that promises to provide up to eight times more processing power, which should minimise processing latency, and enable many of the hallmark stills and imaging features of the camera. You also get dual CFexpress Type A card slots, enabling high-speed data transfer in a compact size.
In line with the industry trend towards lighter and more powerful devices, Bebob has launched its new V200micro and A200micro battery packs. Available as V-Mount- (V200micro) and Gold Mount- compatible (A200micro) versions, both feature 196Wh and 14.4V (16A maximum discharge current). The Bebob V200micro and A200micro lithium-ion packs only measure 75x101x81mm – that’s about two thirds of traditional 200Wh batteries. But their size doesn’t mean they’re less smart that other batteries: an integrated LED flashlight can be activated at the touch of a button to light up dark settings. The rainproof ‘Twist D-Tap’ output allows you to plug a D-Tap connector into the battery with a free choice of cable trailing from the left or right. To power accessories, atop each Vmicro and Amicro is a USB port with a sliding cover to keep the elements out. On the side of each battery there is a five-step, colourful LED ‘power remaining’ indicator that monitors battery life. They also conveniently support through-the- finder power data protocol from Arri, Red and Sony cameras. Below the power gauge is a push button to wake up the battery, check the power status or to activate the built-in LED flashlight. Engineered and handcrafted in Germany to the highest specifications, all Bebob batteries feature composite housings, which are stackable for easier transport on-set. Another unique Bebob feature: the cells of all Bebob batteries can be exchanged and re-celled once their capacity becomes insufficient after years of use. To recharge, Bebob offers its own range of micro chargers, including one-, two-, four- and eight-channel simultaneous chargers, as well as numerous battery plates, power bars and adapters. Optional hot-swap adapters provide uninterrupted power through battery changes.
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GEAR GROUP | MI XED BUNCH
Using sophisticated generative design software to conceptualise solutions helped us achieve the most efficient design
DUCLOS PREMISTA MOTOR BRACKET
OPERTEC STEEL BOY SERIES
The latest product from Duclos Lenses has been tailored for Fujinon’s relatively new Premista zoom lenses. The motor bracket provides a robust mounting point for the Heden M26T and CM55 zoom motors while adding minimal weight to the camera package. A zoom gear extension segment keeps the motor as close to the lens as possible without interfering with other components. Matt Duclos, the company’s chief engineer, describes the goals for the new product. “We spent months refining this product. Using sophisticated generative design software to conceptualise solutions allowed us to achieve the most efficient design possible. I’m pleased with the result and look forward to seeing our clients pair the Premista zooms with our new Motor Bracket.” The kit includes an adjustable eccentric ring to achieve the perfect mesh between the zoom gear and the motor. Installation is quick, user-friendly and requires no modification to the original lens. The motor bracket kit is machined from billet 6061 aluminium. Duclos Lenses has also introduced the 15mm LPL Macro Extension Tube specifically for LPL mount lenses and cameras. Attach the Duclos LPL Extension Tube to any LPL mount lens and your close focus will be reduced to impressive distances, all while maintaining maximum image quality.
Among other products of the Opertec company, there are new telescopic cranes called Steel Boy 15, 20 and 25. Steel Boy is a brand-new generation of camera cranes. Being lighter and easy to dismantle and reassemble, Steel Boy is ideal for use on small and large stages, TV stations and, because of its rigidity, it is perfect for use on a tracking vehicle. The crane can be mounted to any platform via standard Mitchell flat base. The cranes take power from AC or DC (battery) source. Features sourced from Opertec include quick assembly, compact size and light weight, fast and effective rebalancing and calibration, AC and DC powering, and straight line and pan compensation. Steel Boy 15 has a maximum lens height of 15ft, a telescopic range of 15ft, a maximum payload with camera of 50kg and a maximum speed of 1.3m a second, which can be boosted to up to 1.9m a second on request. As for SteelBoy 20, it has a maximum lens height of 19ft, a telescopic range of 20ft, a maximum payload with camera of 50kg and a maximum speed of 1.3m a second and possibly up to 1.9m a second on request. Finally, SteelBoy 25 has a maximum lens height of 15ft, a telescopic range of 15ft, a maximum payload with camera of 50kg and a maximum speed of 1.3m a second and possibly up to 1.9m a second on request.
SAMYANG VDSLR MK2 RANGE
Samyang has enhanced its cine lens line- up with the introduction of the VDSLR MK2 range. The cine primes range comprises four of the most-used focal lengths around: 24mm T1.5, 35mm T1.5, 50mm T1.5 and 85mm T1.5. With updated weather sealing and nine aperture blades, the range’s focal lengths and scales have been made visible from both sides. Available in seven mounts, including Sony FE and Canon RF, the line-up makes for a versatile set. Each lens boasts a sleek design with a black and matte finish and comes with declicked aperture and focus gear rings. They have a long focus throw of more than 130° and all four of the lenses have aspherical elements to reduce spherical and optical aberration. The 50mm model takes this a step further with a hybrid aspherical lens element to maintain its smaller size. On top of this, a further model is set to be released by Samyang early next year – the VDSLR 14mm T3.1 MK2. The lenses range from £399.99 to £639.99 and are available as multi-lens kits, complete with waterproof custom cases. The first stock is out now.
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WI LDL I FE | T I NY CREATURES
CREATURE FEATURE The new Tiny Creatures series on Netflix combines anthropomorphised drama with 8K HDR natural history
WORDS JUL I AN M I TCHELL / P I CTURES NETFL I X
I n 1963, Disney released a feature film called The Incredible Journey . This was a stock Disney feel-good experience of the time, but with a soft serving of drama to make the finale that much sweeter. The journey in question was the one made by two dogs and a cat, across 200 miles of the Canadian wilderness back to their human family. For the animals, it must had seemed just like lots of extra walkies. A kindly sounding narrator witnessed the journey and the anthropomorphised difficulties they experienced along the way. Great family entertainment with hardly any
ignorantly seized upon some sequences as real, which proves a visit to social media instantly lowers your IQ by a margin. In fact, Tiny Creatures represents the very latest in technically efficient solutions to vastly complicated production demands. So efficient, in fact, that the Covid-19 pandemic only caught up with it during the final stages of the HDR grade. THE MESSAGE Producer, director and DOP Jonathan Jones is a celebrated natural history cinematographer and has worked on
on-screen human interaction except to set up the storyline of the trip. Netflix’s new natural history show, Tiny Creatures , harks back to that genre, but wraps it in some hugely enjoyable cinematography that, at the same time, seeks to educate you in the behaviours of some of the smaller animals on Earth; those who don’t usually get the billing that the bigger stars of the animal kingdom do. So, we have various mice, rats, owls, ducks, squirrels and birds seemingly experiencing stressful life events for our entertainment – internet trolls have
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T I NY CREATURES | WI LDL I FE
We were always working on what the animals’ natural behaviours were, which were often around things that they liked
numerous observational natural history shows like Planet Earth II , as well as Hidden Kingdoms back in 2014, which concentrated on the smaller animals that populate forests and jungles but, importantly in reference to Tiny Creatures , was shot from their own lowly perspective. Jones explains the basic differences between his show and more traditional documentaries. “This show is, in some ways, completely different from shooting traditional natural history, as those shows shoot a lot of footage and then come back and try to find their story. We had our stories already and, like a commercial for instance, we then had to find out the best way to shoot them.”
Although Jones worries about the trolling the show has received, he’s proud he’s made something that families can watch and also surreptitiously acts as a route into the meatier natural history shows like Planet Earth and Our Planet . “The young kids who have no interest in natural history might use Tiny Creatures as a springboard to the other shows. That’s how I sold it to Netflix, as an entry point,” he says. “Also, although we have a great score from Benjamin Squires, if you do turn the sound off, you don’t lose any of the meaning. The message still comes through. “We leant on our years of experience to make the shows and would never make an animal do something it was uncomfortable doing, so we were always working on what their natural behaviours were, which were often around things that they liked, for example feeding and exercise.” It was this enjoyable behaviour from the animals that was the fabric and starting point for the narratives. “They would be out doing their thing, but we would put a
Jones took his skills in capturing footage from the small animal kingdom and decided to move away from the observational to the resurgent staged- narrative, animal-behaviour genre; thinking back to US content like The Incredible Journey and even Tom & Jerry – the way the humans are characterised in Tiny Creatures is a nod to the weary perception that animals have of humans in those classic cartoons.
ABOVE Jonathan Jones, the director and DOP of Tiny Creatures, shooting on location
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WI LDL I FE | T I NY CREATURES
BELOW No CGI was used in the making of Tiny Creatures
RIGHT Tiny Creatures pretends to be based in the US, but was mostly shot in the UK
desert in the background or an attic in the background to weave our stories into it.” Even though at its heart this was the basis of the show, there were dozens of layers of process above it. Each episode of the eight required 27 days to shoot, but at times Jones was working on up to five shows at the same time, so no real timeline makes much sense. The shows would generally go on location for three days and then come back to what ended up being about 1000 sets to capture the behaviour. “For natural history, that timescale is just unheard of. It was the result of a new way of working with post. We actually edited the show at the very same time as we shot it. So, at the end of the filming block, the rough cut was finished, which would then go to Netflix,” says Jones. THE PROCESS As much as could be shot in the UK was shot there, but usually three days was
Because of the need for animal welfare, we pushed massively into LED lights
days on location. We knew every single backplate that we needed to film and every photograph that we wanted to do.” The team also saved time by not doing any CGI in any of the shows, although they also say that some animal confrontations never happened in reality. Jones explains the trick: “Everything is real and practical, but done in plates, so all we did in the edit was layer up layers of video and we were just drawing feathered masks around things. That’s all the show is, very simple but planned.” To prove how efficient the shooting was, they ended up shooting around four hours of television, but didn’t shoot a single pick-up frame. That’s pretty rare in natural history shooting. Traditionally, you would design a narrative show with animals as a heavily
allotted to shooting in the US, which is where the show pretends to be based. Jones breaks down the shooting blocks: “Pretty much three days on location for every episode. The Arizona episode is an exception, where we were on location for the whole month, because of the animals – we couldn’t get them in the UK,” he says. “After the three days, we would come back to the UK, look at the rushes, figure out the backplates and build that into the story.” To previsualise everything, the team storyboarded every single frame. “I think we had over 4000 frames we drew, so every single shot was hand-drawn, but not like a sketch, because everything was meticulously planned through the eye of the camera,” Jones says. “Because of that, it meant we could plan everything and was the reason we got away with only three
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T I NY CREATURES | WI LDL I FE
RIGHT Some of the animal confrontations never happened in reality, but were clever editing
comped show, so you can engage two animals in violent confrontation without one even seeing the other, but for Tiny Creatures , the term to use is ‘stitching’. It’s the same shot, but shot twice. Take the example from the first episode, where you have got the narrative of a young kangaroo rat evading a harris hawk. You run one shot with the kangaroo rat in it, he goes back to his trailer and then the hawk is brought in to fly through the scene. You then basically draw a line between the two and make sure they don’t cross and that’s how you’d make them chase each other. “What we worked really hard on was to make sure that the animal’s eye lines were true,” says Jones, “so the hawk would look down on where the mouse was. We had to make sure that nothing moved in the set or you have to shoot the shot all over again. It was simple, but incredibly technical. The driving force of this technique was to shoot the animals on the same day to keep the
could prepare their animals for what was needed. Without that, the stories were in danger of not being realised when, say, a squirrel was just not feeling it on the day. “So it was a massive collaboration of people – you couldn’t just wing it. As soon as we’d finished our animatics, we knew that the score had already been written, so we could start building in score right at the beginning. It’s such a great process and so different to any other show I’ve ever done,” explains Jones.
production rolling and also to make the shows look as real as possible.” Even the windows had practical views outside of them taken during location, but blown up and put on boards so everything remained in-camera. THE ANIMALS Tiny Creatures is nothing without the normal behaviour of the animals, so part of the preparation and the reason for the detailed previs was so the animal handlers
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WI LDL I FE | T I NY CREATURES
Real time doesn’t read with animals like it does with people – when you film insects, you can film them at 60fps and they look normal
Dedo lights, little pin lights of colour, which are completely cold but have a beautiful quality and are completely dimmable. We also had Skypanels from Arri – a huge mixture of lights actually. For the most part, the lights were very organic; it was about where the source was coming from – was it a window, was it practical? We built the scene around that.” Completing everything in-camera does also allow you to move on if you have a problem – you just fix it there and then by stopping up or down in the moment, for example. “I’m not a big lover of green
Another benefit of knowing exactly what you have to shoot is making sure every shot is the best you can make it, making sure all the lighting works, for instance. Working with animals makes lighting decisions very important, as you can’t overheat the talent. Jones explains the plan to avoid this: “Because of the huge need for animal welfare, we pushed massively into LED lights so we would have HMI sources for windows, for example, but actually it was just bright enough to add a little haze in there for atmospherics. But I used a load of
RIGHT The sequence with the harris hawk hunting a kangaroo rat was staged
screen unless you really have to do it,” says Jones, whose history of shooting natural history gives him that experience and love of the ‘moment’. Additionally, as the show was going to be mastered in HDR, they had to think about what works and what doesn’t, particularly specular highlights and the detail in the shadows. THE CAMERA Jones and his company Ember adopted the Red camera a few years ago, and have never looked back. The company has a Helium 8K model, which was used for part of the last Planet Earth programme. As Netflix requires HDR for its deliverables, the effect on Tiny Creatures was to create a cutting- edge look for the staged behaviour. “We never shot anything in 4K, only 8K, except when we shot with the Phantom Flex for slow motion. Although Red’s slow motion is part of why it has been so popular in natural history, we didn’t want to slow it down that much, because the ultimate
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