Definition September 2020 - Web

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

26 DEF I N I T ION | SEPTEMBER 2020

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