The August issue of Definition is now available for your reading pleasure – and it’s as hot as a UK heatwave! Packed full of inspiring production features, industry insight that ensures you’re in the know, with gear guides to keep you up to date with current and future tech trends, make it your must-read this month. We’ve hand-picked a few of the finer features below, but plenty more awaits inside the full issue. Be sure to pick up a copy!
STUDIO LINES WHATEVER SPACE YOU NEED, WE HAVE THE PLACES TO CALL
AUGUST 2022 DEFINITIONMAGAZINE.COM
THRILL OF THE CHASE How seamless VFX remodelled the action in Bosch: Legacy
Printed in the UK
MAGIC POWERS Blackmagic’s 6K cinema cam is a pocket rocket! Find out why
DOCUMENTARY KIT FOR TRAVELLING LIGHT FUJIFILM X-H2S ON TEST EURO CINE EXPO: MUNICH SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
ENTER THE METAVERSE A BRAVE NEW WORLD IS SET TO TRANSFORM THE WAY YOU WORK GAME Top of their Emmy-nominated DOPs revealed, plus Danny Cohen on defining the London look in Slow Horses
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T he inaugural Euro Cine Expo in Munich will be remembered for a number of things. For some people, cancelled flights played havoc with plans, as did customs hold-ups for others. I’ll remember it for a couple of firsts: it was the first industry show I attended (thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome), and the first time I contracted Covid-19. A mild dose, thankfully. What was undeniable was the sense of optimism in the hall, albeit tinged with a degree of frustration. The industry is undeniably back up to speed – but with fully functioning productions comes a greater demand for kit, and raw material shortages are causing supply issues. Despite this, there was new equipment to ogle – see my show report on page 15. Attentions now turn to Amsterdam and the mighty IBC, which is just a few weeks away. In a spectacular bout of double-booking, I won’t be at the RAI. I’m rather deflated, given what a thoroughly amenable bunch of people populate these events. I’d like to meet more of you! Not to worry, as we leave the pandemic in our rear-view mirrors, the chances to do that will keep coming. Enjoy the issue.
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Definition is published monthly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Definition is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Definition that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Prices quoted in sterling, euros and US dollars are street prices, without tax, where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.
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Cover image Squid Game | © Netflix. All Rights Reserved.
3. AUGUST 2022
Industry 15 ONLY HERE FOR THE GEAR From small LEDs to enormous batteries, here are the new product highlights from the inaugural Euro Cine Expo 34 T HE STUDIO EXPANSE We round up key studio facilities across the UK and further afield 43 ENTER THE METAVERSE Part 2 of our round table discussion tells you all you need to know about the opportunities this brave new world brings
Production 06 ON THE COVER
Why Lee Hyung-deok of Squid Game could be heading for Emmy success this year
08 SPY GAMES
DOP Danny Cohen goes into forensic detail about creating the London look in Slow Horses
26 THRILL OF THE CHASE Police! Cameras! Action!
Deconstructing the challenge of creating a white-knuckle ride in Bosch: Legacy
Gear 22 BLACKMAGIC PCC 6K G2 A cine camera that fits in your pocket? Well, yes! 50 FUJIFILM X-H2S Legends in lenses, but will this latest model cement Fujifilm in camera folklore too? 60 LIGHTENING THE LOAD Essential kit bits to ensure
documentarians stay fleet of foot
66 SMOOTH OPERATORS
New gear from DJI has Ronin 4D tech in gimbal form. Find out whether it meets expectations
Regulars 71 CAMERA LISTINGS
Spec-tacular product pages
5. AUGUST 2022
ON THE COVER. SQUID GAME
Won direction N ominations for the 74th Emmy Awards were score and acting. One area where it didn’t get a look in, however, was cinematography, where nominees in the six categories included Ula Pontikos for Russian Doll , Eric Koretz for Ozark , Gregory Middleton for Moon Knight and Lee Hyung-deok for Squid Game . The story of 456 desperate contestants pitted against each other and a faceless foe to win 45.6 billion won remains one of the most striking series of the last 12 months. Much of its huge global success can be attributed to Hyung-deok’s handiwork, which has now been recognised in the outstanding cinematography for a single-camera series (one hour) category. released on July 12. HBO’s Succession led the way, racking up a total of 25 nods across a broad spectrum of categories, including directing, casting, Unsurprisingly, given its phenomenal global success, a second round of Squid Game is in the works. The Emmy Awards ceremony takes place on September 12.
SQUID GAME ON THE COVER.
07. AUGUST 2022
PRODUCTION. SLOW HORSES
Oscar-winning actor Gary Oldman’s first TV lead role sees a British espionage drama with a difference – the spies are rubbish. Cinematographer Danny Cohen delights in this London-centric thriller-comedy Spy games
WORDS. Julian Mitchell IMAGES. Apple TV+
S low Horses is an Apple TV+ cinematographer Danny Cohen points to a primary reason for that: the streamer is investing heavily in its fledgling service. This, of course, means buying the show in the first place, but also upping the data rate from its broadcast servers to elevate the viewing experience. London-born Cohen is obviously proud of the production, as it drips with the capital’s cool and even has Mick Jagger composing and singing the title track. The Rolling Stone is a fan of the original books by Mick Herron and was so keen to be involved, he turned the song around in a couple of days. The production revels in the colour and tone of the seventies and eighties production, so compared to other streaming services, it has an extra measure of ‘gleam’ to it. The show’s espionage genre, but never has a spy story picked over the deficiencies of its spooks so much. At its heart, the story is a fast- moving thriller, but it originates from a despondent place with some great twists. A CONTORTED SMILEY ‘Slow horses’ is the name MI5 gives to the headquarters and residents of a downtrodden department of failed spies, misfits, malcontents and loafers. They
inhabit Slough House, a nondescript north London address with a back entrance and grimy office interior. Their boss Jackson Lamb, played by Gary Oldman, is also past his prime, but delights in making his miserable crew even more downbeat – to the point where they demand P45s and leave. In fact, that’s his brief... get rid of the slow horses. Oldman is almost like a twisted version of his George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – browbeaten, toxic and absorbed by revenge and malice; it’s a great performance. As Cohen remarked, “Why wouldn’t you refer to that role as a conscious decision?” Mick Herron’s books were rich pickings for the adapter Will Smith, director James Hawes, production designer Tom Burton and Cohen. The characters and scenarios were lifted from the page and set free in a production that was almost instantly awarded a second series – and then a third and fourth soon after. There are plenty of books to keep them going. SLOUGH HOUSE For Cohen, who was prepping Season 3 when we talked with him, it was initially a matter of finding the right look for Slough House. Its suffocating
“Production revels in the tone of the seventies and eighties espionage genre, but never has a spy story picked over the deficiencies of its spooks so much”
SLOW HORSES PRODUCTION.
OLD FACES Oldman’s famous depiction of George Smiley plays against this subversion of the genre
Did you know? Season 3 of Slow Horses will be based on Real Tigers by Mick Herron.
09. AUGUST 2022
PRODUCTION. SLOW HORSES
DOWN FOR THE COUNT Life in Slough House is dull, until the team get dragged into nefarious games
Did you know?
The Stansted chase scene was originally meant to be in King’s Cross station.
of the Realm. In it, a journalist exposes a Member of Parliament as a spy. “It has an amazing sense of place, set around Fleet Street and Whitehall. It’s very specific, which I tried to translate to Slow Horses . There’s a ton of spy movies like The Third Man , The Spy Who Came in from the Cold ; they’ve all got something, you just need to mash them together. It needs to be logically done to work for Slow Horses , however.” On location – and on-set as much as he could – Cohen used practicals to light scenes, especially in Slough House, which always had to have this sparse, ‘sticky carpet’ vibe. Aesthetically, he was searching for a naturalistic feel as an initial instinct, to control and shape
the look organically. “That was a big part of what I was up to. Director James Hawes wanted to deliver something that people hadn’t seen before within this upside-down spy genre.” DUCK AND COVER If you haven’t read the Herron books or seen the show, you won’t know about the added element: comedy value. This is a typically British depreciation of others, which is the bed the plot lies in. It’s inherent in the way the narrative is driven and brings a dark humour to scenes. But violent action is often only around the corner. Cohen needed to reflect this, bringing in three Arri Alexa Mini LF cameras to cover the ensemble’s banter. And lenses were from Panavision. “There were always two cameras, because you want to cover more than one person in every take. We used three as much as possible. It’s all about coverage, as you don’t want the actors to repeat it and repeat it. You need to try and reduce the number of takes by increasing the number of cameras. It’s the way to go. “There’s inevitably a compromise with lighting, as with a single camera you can shape it a lot more. If you go multicam, some shots might not look that pretty, but you strike a balance. You get an immediacy with the acting by getting the coverage.”
and grimy office spaces set against the splendour of MI5’s slick and shiny fortress. The production had also been able to build out Slough House and the MI5 HQ, maximising the oppressive nature of one against the professionalism of the other. It’s a weird kind of Upstairs, Downstairs arrangement. “Having the build, we could design the shoot to really flow. The fun of it is, you can do interesting things that would be difficult in a real location.” Cohen had plenty of previous spies to reference, including Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer films, which also accentuated a bleached and low-contrast look. But he was to hark back to one of cinematographer Sir Roger Deakins’ first films, made in 1986: Defence
“The director wanted to deliver something people hadn’t seen before in this upside-down spy genre”
Did you know? Writer and adapter Will Smith also worked on Veep , The Thick of It and Avenue 5 .
HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVE The sleek interiors of MI5 contrast with the home of the slow horses
PRODUCTION. SLOW HORSES
MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE The importance of lighting competed with the desire for a multicam shoot
SLOW HORSES PRODUCTION.
THE SPOOKS With a story taking place in the shadows, the DOP casts an eerie glow over proceedings
Did you know?
Part of the Stansted Airport chase cuts to Wembley Stadium because of the need for escalators.
Cohen’s camera sits on characters’ shoulders, spending time with them as they go about their duplicitous tasks. He also utilises a surveillance style of shot, gladly spying on proceedings. The camera snoops on people through doorways and broken frames, as Cohen’s stills training comes to the fore. “That’s all about the nature of spy films and to keep the tension flowing. One of the things James Hawes wanted was to always feel like the camera was alive. Even on static scenes, it is always doing something, even if it’s just a bit of movement. It could never be dull to look at – a little bit of dynamism gives the image life. It has an unsettling feeling, creating an impression something is about to happen.
“For static scenes, the camera is always doing something, even if it’s just a bit of movement”
“You don’t want to overdo it, you have to be subtle. Too much will get noticed and it may become a hindrance.” NOT A BOND MOVIE The first season starts with the reason why main character River Cartwright, played by Jack Lowden, is exiled to Slough House – the scene of his huge mistake and transformation into a slow horse. To stage this, the production was lucky enough to hire a terminal at London’s Stansted Airport. This was in the middle
of lockdown, so it wasn’t doing anything at the time. Cohen explains how they took advantage of the opportunity. “Stansted said that if we turned up, they would give us access. We had about five days to shoot it and, as the whole terminal had been mothballed, we moved in. Weirdly, it gave us a lot of freedom we wouldn’t normally have. On a regular day, they have 90,000 people going through there. “It did have its difficulties, as everybody had to be tested for us to operate in a Covid-safe way. But the way we shot was in a typically thriller style – you’re going 90 miles an hour and are suddenly put into reverse. You set it up to be a successful chase and then don’t deliver, which is the tone of the show; it’s not a Bond movie, even though it starts out just like one.” The Stansted shoot purposefully paralleled a famous scene in Casino Royale , placing the viewer in familiar territory: good spies overcoming bad with a frenetic chase. The way Slow Horses subverts that from the beginning seals the flavour of the show. River’s failure is a recurring theme, but his redemption slowly overshadows it. Season 2 of Slow Horses will stream this year, with Seasons 3 and 4 expected in 2023
13. AUGUST 2022
EURO CINE EXPO ROUND-UP INDUSTRY.
Only here for the gear
Small, but perfectly formed, the first Euro Cine Expo was a must-visit for equipment lovers. We round up the main finds on key stands
WORDS. Roger Payne
T he phrase ‘the show must go on’ has never been so apt. Amid a flurry of flight cancellations from the UK and issues with stock held up in customs, the inaugural Euro Cine Expo took place in Munich’s Zenith Kulturhalle at the beginning of July. Yet despite these logistical challenges, it
proved a success, with a broad range of exhibitors showcasing latest launches and providing a glimpse of what’s to come in the months ahead. Alongside the show were seminars, presentations and workshops, including conversations with three-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer
Vittorio Storaro AIC ASC and renowned German DOP Armin Franzen. Plus, a special two-day workshop hosted by Arri lit up proceedings in its home town. Team Definition attended both days – and the after-show party on day one (for research purposes, of course) – here’s what we found.
15. AUGUST 2022
INDUSTRY. EURO CINE EXPO ROUND-UP
Blinded by the lights Unsurprisingly, LED solutions dominated, with a broad range of companies showing their wares. For larger lighting set-ups, it was hard to avoid LCA, with banks of multicoloured arrays on all four corners
of its stand. Among the highlights, the company displayed the Auroris: with 24 large format pixels in an ultra-slim 3x3m fixture that provides cinema-quality white light, full-spectrum colour and comes with a range of accessories. More modestly sized, Creamsource’s Vortex4, a 1x1ft 325W LED light with a CCT range from 2200K to 15,000K and IP65 weather resistance, also caught the eye! At the opposite end of the scale, Astera’s Hydrapanel offers plenty of versatility in a small, 25W light that can be mounted anywhere. Brick-shaped, the Hydras may be stacked together to emit even more powerful beams, and feature a powerful magnet for easy mounting on metal surfaces. Its range of accessories are also magnetised for simple attachment and removal. Modest in dimensions, it still manages to kick out 1300 lumens and features both wired and wireless DMX connectivity. Plenty of full-colour lighting options were highlighted by a whole variety of manufacturers, with both Aputure and Nanlite displaying their latest additions in this space. Nanlite’s most recent is the Forza 60C with its RGBLAC six-colour system. Weighing just over 1kg, this compact head pushes out close to 13,000 lumens from its 60W output. This was shown alongside the bi-colour Forza 150B. Aputure, meanwhile, gave attendees the opportunity to get a good look at the
the forthcoming bracket that enables four LS 600 or LS 1200 series heads to be mounted together, while smaller lighting fans will be keen to get their hands on the 1ft MT Pro 36-pixel light tube that offers a vast range of creative effects. Pricing and availability for both the four-light bracket and MT Pro are to be confirmed by Aputure. Finally, Litepanels lit up the Teltec stand with its Gemini 2x1 Hard LED. With 23,000 lux on tap, it claims to be brighter than any other 2x1 panel and provides anything from a hard 20° light to a softer 100° output, plus full RGBWW and a whole host of special effects.
Light Storm 600c Pro, the company’s first- ever RGBWW Bowens-mount LED that completes the LS 600 series with a full- colour version. Those looking for greater LED power are sure to be interested in
LCA – lcauk.com Aputure – aputure.com Astera – astera-led.com Nanlite – en.nanlite.com Litepanels – litepanels.com Contacts
EURO CINE EXPO ROUND-UP INDUSTRY.
Powering up For many, Euro Cine Expo gave the first opportunity to see Anton/Bauer’s new VCLX NM2 in the flesh. A 600Wh block battery, it offers 14.4v, 28v and 48v outputs, making it ideal for cinematic productions employing power-hungry
cameras, lights and accessories. A built-in LCD screen allows you to check battery status, plus the NM2 uses NiMH cells, so can safely be taken on a plane. Charge time is just five hours, the unit is water-resistant and uses passive cooling, so there’s no fan noise on-set. It will be available from August. Core SWX offers a similar unit in the Maverick block battery that has 639Wh, along with 14.4v and 28v outputs. Built for high-demand situations, its internal charger can power the pack back up in five hours. The Helix Max series, meanwhile, are dual-voltage onboard battery kits available in 98Wh and 147Wh capacities, in V-Mount, 3-Stud and the new Arri B-Mount platform. They work as either 14v or 28v battery packs, power on existing chargers, and sustain up to 20A at 14v and 10A at 28v. More modest in size, but no less useful, is Swit’s Mino-S140. A small
available to cater for all your power needs. The Nxtgen 25 gives out a huge 25kWh, while 145kWh can be found on the larger Nxtgen 145. Both recharge fully in an impressively short four hours and use li-ion cells.
140Wh V-Mount, it has the added advantage of a USB-C port – perfect if your Apple Macbook is running low. Cinegreen, meanwhile, sits at the very opposite end of the battery spectrum, with its smallest – the Nxtgen 25 – requiring a small trailer to transport it. The tech is currently used in the construction sector, as well as war zones and other locations where grid electricity is temporarily or permanently unavailable. More environmentally friendly than diesel generators, the company is expanding these silent-running units into film production, with a range of outputs
Anton/Bauer – antonbauer.com Core SWX – coreswx.com Swit – swit.cc Cinegreen – cinegreen.com Contacts
17. AUGUST 2022
INDUSTRY. EURO CINE EXPO ROUND-UP
Glass acts If anamorphic lenses are your bag, Hawk is a name to seek out, providing a huge range of options in 1x, 1.3x and 2x magnifications. The company also makes a smaller selection of spherical optics. Its full range was on display at the show, from MiniHawks with super-close focusing capabilities through to V-Plus zooms, including Vintage 74 models that offer the benefits of modern lenses with a seventies look. When it comes to an older aesthetic, Schneider-Kreuznach certainly knows how to please. Its Isco4all set combines three stand-alone spherical cine primes and a legendary Iscorama anamorphic front adapter. The three Iscospherical A+ cine primes offer focal lengths of 43, 58 and 85mm and feature a 2.4 T stop, along with amber coating for distinctive flares. With a highly competitive price point, it seems the primes and adapter are proving a hit, both with owner-operators and the rental market. Zeiss, meanwhile, proudly displayed its entire set of Supreme Primes, running from 15 to 200mm following the addition of the 15mm T1.8. Deliveries of the new lens start this month, so users will soon be able to experience its quality, light weight and versatility for Super 35 and full-frame cameras.
Looking for something more quirky on the topical front? Vocas was keen to extol the virtues of its five-axis dioptre holder. With five movements: lateral, pitch, roll, height and yaw, it’s compatible with any 138mm dioptre, allowing subjects both near and far to remain in sharp focus. A flexible cuff prevents light leakage, meaning it can go on any lens.
Hawk – vantagefilm.com Schneider-Kreuznach – schneiderkreuznach.com
Zeiss – zeiss.com Vocas – vocas.com
EURO CINE EXPO ROUND-UP INDUSTRY.
In need of support
You couldn’t turn a corner in the Kulturhalle without seeing some form of support: dollies, cranes, sliders and wearables, stretched as far as the eye could see. The Betz-Tools Wave1 helps camera operators maintain a level horizon whether mounted on a Steadicam, remote head, hard mount or other handheld rig. Measuring less than 2.5in tall, the Wave1 provides +/-25° of pan-and-tilt movement – a very simple way of ensuring footage stays on the level. Panther has a huge range of support options. Recent innovations showcased at Euro Cine Expo included the Vario Jib L, which offers up to 287cm of extension (with optional 100cm additional), and its Tower sliders. The latter can be mounted vertically or horizontally on any car, with up to 3m of movement for payloads up to 80kg. A real head-turner on Panther’s stand (and around the show for that matter) was the Easy Rider, an electric trike with seats for a camera operator fore and aft. Capable of a 400kg payload at up to 19mph, it has an estimated range of 19 miles, so you can shoot plenty of moving footage before needing a recharge. The rear detaches to create a two-wheel rickshaw for manual operation. Finally, if you asked nicely on the Tiffen stand, they would have showed
off the forthcoming one-piece base for the Steadicam M-2. Enabling you to connect both monitor and power on one accessory, this will be available soon, although no firm date has been confirmed.
Betz-Tools – betz-tools.com Panther – panther.tv Steadicam – tiffen.com Contacts
Any more for any more? A Euro Cine Expo report wouldn’t be complete without a mention for CVP, whose team pulled out all the stops to ensure their commanding stand overlooking the hall had plenty of hands-on opportunities. From lighting to camera rigs, monitors and lenses, this was well worth a visit. Similarly, Arri gave showgoers plenty of chances to try the Alexa 35, complete with its first new sensor in 12 years. There’s some big footsteps to follow, but with 17 stops of dynamic range and Reveal Color Science, it’s sure to deliver.
Arri – arri.com CVP – cvp.com
21. AUGUST 2022
GEAR. BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA 6K G2
Need a small, powerful camera with filmmaking credentials? You could go for a stills/video hybrid or, on the other hand…
WORDS. Roger Payne
T he notion of creating meaningful content on a camera as small as Blackmagic’s pocket cinema cameras would have been ridiculous a few years ago. But tech has changed, and models like this are democratising the filmmaking process, putting pro-spec footage and features within reach for the most modest of budgets. Costing just £1989, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2 – to give this latest release its full name – provides a raft of high-end cinematic functionality for little more than the cost of a new iPhone. With a Super 35 sensor, Raw file format and colour science plucked from the company’s top-end Ursa Mini Pro 12K, it’s all here. Granted, it may not shoot a whole production, but it has a broad range of applications. Just ask
Taika Waititi, who used the 6K Pro version on Our Flag Means Death (see Definition , July 2022). Of course, Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera concept is nothing new – the company showed the first model back in 2012, with a 6K version seeing the light of day in 2019. This G2 updates that original 6K model by adding functionality from the pricier 6K Pro, launched in February last year. As a result, the family still features three models, all within £1000 of each other. The 4K with its Micro Four Thirds sensor sits at the lower price point, the 6K Pro at the higher end, leaving the 6K G2 to slot neatly between the two. SO, WHAT’S NEW? If you’ve come to this feature wanting to know how the G2 differs from the original 6K
model, let’s keep you sated. The most striking physical change is the addition of a tilting rear LCD, taken from the 6K Pro. Delivering the same touchscreen functionality as the rest of the family, the added tilt feature makes for easier composition at higher and lower angles. Plus, it provides easy access to controls, and a more efficient way to make focusing changes. The G2 is also powered by a larger battery. Gone is the standard Canon LP-E6 familiar to many EOS still camera users, in comes the NP-F570. The new battery offers 3500mAh compared to the 2130mAh on the LP-E6. Naturally, this leads to longer runtimes between charges – up to 60 minutes is claimed. Adding the tilt feature
PRACTICAL STYLE The five-inch rear screen is bright and clear, with an easy-to-use interface
BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA 6K G2 GEAR.
SENSOR 23.1x12.99mm Super 35 MAX. SHOOTING RESOLUTION 6144x3456 pixels (6K)
RECORDING FORMAT Blackmagic RAW 3:1, 5:1, 8:1, 12:1, Q0, Q1, Q3 and Q5 at 6144x3456, 6144x2560, 5744x3024, 4096x2160, 3728x3104 and 2868x1512 with film, extended video, video dynamic range or custom 3D LUT embedded in metadata. ProRes at 4096x2160, 3840x2160 and 1920x1080 with film, extended video or video dynamic range or custom 3D LUT
EXTERNAL RECORDING 10-bit via HDMI
RECORDING MEDIA 1x CFast 2.0, 1x SD UHS-II card. 1x high speed USB-C expansion port for external media INPUT/OUTPUT 1x HDMI, 2x mini XLR analogue switchable between mic with phantom power support and line level (up to +14dBu), 1x 3.5mm Stereo Input, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C for external drive recording, PTP camera control and software updates ISO 100-25,600. Dual native ISO at 400 and 3200
“The most striking physical change is the addition of a tilting rear LCD, taken from the 6K Pro. Offering the same touchscreen funtionality as the rest of the family”
SCREEN 5in Full HD tilting touchscreen LCD
faithful colours. A new 12-bit gamma curve captures more data in highlights and shadows, plus the Gen 5 science preserves colour and dynamic range data in metadata. If you’re scratching your head wondering how the 6K Pro is any different to this, let’s clear that up. In addition to all of the above, the range-topping model features built-in ND filters – with two, four and six stops of compensation.
and a larger battery does make for a modest weight and size increase – the body now tips the scales at 1.2kg compared to 900g for the original 6K. An additional mini XLR input, for extra options when connecting microphones, has been squeezed in the G2’s side panel. Last, but by no means least, it uses Blackmagic’s Generation 5 colour science, for more accurate skin tones and
ALL THE GEAR The compact G2, along with the Pro model, comes with stellar updates
DIMENSIONS (WXHXD) 180x123x112mm
WEIGHT 1.2kg with battery and memory card
23. AUGUST 2022
GEAR. BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA 6K G2
DESIGNED FOR FILMMAKING With the key changes covered off, we can get down to the important business of discussing the essence of the Blackmagic PCC 6K G2. In simple terms, this is a camera designed for filmmaking (although it does also capture 21.2-megapixel stills), with a Super 35 sensor and a Canon EF lens mount. That means you have plenty of optical choices, alongside a sensor large enough to provide fine control over depth-of-field. Artistic defocused backgrounds with lots of bokeh? No problem. It’s great for use with anamorphic lenses, too. The sensor offers dual native ISO settings of 400 and 3200, with the range up to 25,600. Dynamic range (DR) extends to 13 stops, which is consistent from ISO 100 to 1000, but starts to drop beyond that. Between ISO 1250 and 6400, DR is around 12 stops; at 25,600 it drops to just above ten. At almost all ISO settings, the range extends further into underexposed than overexposed areas.
buttons in close proximity to the sculptured grip for intuitive handling. It may look like a mirrorless stills camera, but the easily accessed controls show that it’s very much a movie-focused machine. Functions that would be buried deep in the menu on a stills model, for example, are in plain view and can be customised. Measuring five inches from corner to corner, the rear LCD is larger than most and runs the Blackmagic OS, helping with familiarity if you use one of the company’s other cameras. Tap and swipe gestures change LCD functions, plus you can delve deeper and take full control over the more advanced features. The monitor also allows you to view 3D LUTs, to get a more accurate view of how final footage will appear.
Frame rates and resolutions are broad. At the top end, the G2 offers 6K at 50P, or 60P if you use the 2.4:1 ratio, which crops the sensor to 6144x2560 pixels. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Full HD records at up to 120P, while there’s a 3.7K 6:5 anamorphic option at 60P. Naturally, these are all maximum frame rates; all the standard rates from 23.98P upwards are also supported. Codecs are equally broad, with Blackmagic Raw at various bit rates and a selection of ProRes 422 options to choose from. The camera can hardly be described as an aesthetic tour de force, but it’s clearly designed with function rather than form as a driving force. The body is made from carbon fibre polycarbonate, so is both light and strong, plus it features a range of key function
A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE The tilting LCD screen makes it easier to monitor the action
“In simple terms, this is a camera designed for filmmaking, with a Super 35 sensor and Canon EF lens mount... plenty of optical choices”
BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA 6K G2 GEAR.
Your at-a-glance guide to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera family Side by side
Blackmagic PCC 4K
NEW! Blackmagic PCC 6K G2
Blackmagic PCC 6K Pro
Micro Four Thirds
Max frame rates
DCI 4K/60P, Full HD/120
6K/50P, DCI 4K/60P, Full HD/120P 6K/50P, DCI 4K/60P, Full HD/120P
Built-in ND filter
5in 1920x1080 fixed touchscreen LCD
5in 1920x1080 tilting touchscreen LCD
5in 1920x1080 tilting touchscreen LCD
1x HDMI output, 2x mini XLR input, 1x 3.5mm stereo input, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
1x HDMI output, 2x mini XLR input, 1x 3.5mm stereo input, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
1x HDMI output, 1x mini XLR input, 1x 3.5mm stereo input, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
Weight (body only)
“For those occasions that it proves useful, it’s got the versatility and feature set that make it worth its weight in gold”
or the USB-C connector can be used to trickle charge. While on the subject of options, the G2 has provision for an optional electronic viewfinder, making for easier viewing in bright conditions. The £499 Pro EVF offers a proximity sensor, +/- 4 dioptre adjustment, built-in status information and a digital focus chart. Clearly, the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2 is not suitable for every application. But for those occasions that it proves useful, it’s got the versatility and feature set wrapped up in a compact, lightweight body, worth its weight in gold. At this price point, it’s something of a no-brainer, especially when you consider it also includes a full version of DaVinci Resolve Studio. We’ll have a full test in a future issue of Definition .
File storage can be done on SD, UHS-II or CFast media, and the USB-C port also allows external media to be connected directly. The port transfers data at up to 5Gb per second, giving you the opportunity to max out the G2’s quality settings, safe in the knowledge that it will all be stored with a suitably high-speed external device. CONSIDER THE OPTIONS As previously mentioned, the updated battery does provide longer shooting time, but those working away from mains power should consider the £125 optional Battery Pro Grip. This houses a further two NP-F570 cells, to extend recording times to three hours. For those near mains, the supplied AC plug pack powers the camera and charges the battery simultaneously,
STAY CONNECTED AT ALL TIMES An extra socket to plug in a microphone has been added to the G2’s side panel – one of the many exceptional features
25. AUGUST 2022
PRODUCTION. BOSCH: LEGACY
The immensely popular Bosch saga has returned for a sequel series. For Jeremy Nelson of Moving Target, it demanded VFX nuance and a well-equipped set of software Thrill of the chase
WORDS. Lee Renwick IMAGES. Amazon Freevee
BOSCH: LEGACY PRODUCTION.
CLEAN-UP Compositor Jeremy Nelson is tasked with removing production remnants from the shot, in scenes like this expansive car chase
I n today’s landscape of film, visual effects are easily spotted. Expertly executed as they are, viewers know in their hearts that heroes do not truly soar down from the sky, hideous beasts do not exist and magical lands will never be found outside of the screen. That’s not to shatter the illusion of cinema; such artistry draws us in to fantastical narratives like never before. But what of cold, hard reality? In the world of detective Bosch – the compelling lead in the series of the same name – there is little room for wonder. In the latest
iteration, Bosch: Legacy , his Los Angeles backdrop is as frosty as ever. Viewers may be surprised to learn any VFX work was done at all, thanks to the skill of creatives like compositor Jeremy Nelson. He and his team’s invisible fingerprints are all over the new series, but a few key moments stand out. “One of the big sequences is a police chase through Downtown LA. Suspects are escaping in a car and a police helicopter is following overhead. You see the city and the vehicle below, as well as the helicopter itself from an even
higher perspective. Police are tracking with a spotlight as it weaves through the streets,” describes Nelson. “What that involved was getting rid of visible crew, trucks, traffic cones, chasing camera cars and more – in big, sweeping helicopter shots. That required a lot of 3D tracking and 3D projection – plus matte paintings, usually done by Alan Munro.” In addition to his hands-on talents, Munro served as VFX supervisor for the show. As the founder of Moving Target, he oversees content throughout the entire production cycle. “We’ve done quite a few helicopter shots on Bosch over the years – but, thanks to Jeremy, this particular one is my favourite to date,” Munro notes. Delivering some of the most exciting results, this sequence is typical of Nelson’s input on the season. As
“Viewers may be surprised to learn any VFX work was done at all, thanks to the skill of creatives like compositor Jeremy Nelson”
27. AUGUST 2022
PRODUCTION. BOSCH: LEGACY
Production Fact File
ADAPTATION It is loosely based on Michael Connelly’s The Wrong Side of Goodbye
CAST Businessman Carl Rogers was recast – now played by Michael Rose
SCHEDULE The new series began filming on 23 June 2021
number of compatible platforms to garner the best results. “SynthEyes is my 3D tracker of choice, and I used Blackmagic Fusion for most other requirements. I love how easily the 3D system integrates. I can get a lot of shots done in a pretty short space of time. It’s all thanks to Fusion, mixed with a little of my talent,” Nelson laughs. “SynthEyes, for the money, can’t be beaten. Once you’ve got your 3D track, you essentially have a computerised version of the environment. Imagine taking a cardboard cutout of a stop sign and projecting a real image of one on to it. You could take a second camera and film that realistic-looking copy from any angle, up to the point it begins to warp. I pick the right frame to be projected, then we go into that and make matte paintings. For the helicopter sequence, there were lots of details to get rid of – and parallax to consider – on buildings, for example. Finally, it’s a case of rotoscoping, blending and making colour corrections.”
ever, it’s a factor that’s determined much earlier, during the shoot. “Most of our work on Bosch: Legacy revolved around tasks like that,” he says. “Getting rid of crew reflections in windows, for example. They film the show pretty fast and loose. Thankfully, they don’t have to be too careful about this level of detail in the moment, since we’re here to support them, cleaning up footage afterwards. Because the cameras are always moving dynamically, you have to recreate the shot in a 3D world.” Like any creative, Nelson has his preferred workflow – combining a
“SynthEyes is my 3D tracker of choice, and I used Blackmagic Fusion for most other requirements. I love how easily the 3D system integrates”
HOT PURSUIT Police track a suspect through Downtown LA in a helicopter, making plenty of VFX work for the team
Did you know? Bosch was originally going to be made into a film series back in the nineties.
PRODUCTION. BOSCH: LEGACY
After using Fusion for years – early enough to have befriended the original programmers, in fact – Nelson has seen many iterations. He’s pushed the platform to its limits on countless productions, including every season of Bosch . “One thing Blackmagic has been doing recently is making a lot of the tools GPU- based, which has sped up the workflow a lot,” the specialist explains. “It was also the first node-based compositor. That’s a great way to work, because you can determine everything you need to know by looking at the node tree. If you pick up someone else’s shot in a layers-based program, you can’t tell what’s been done. For the team I work closely with, I can determine who was on a sequence purely based on the way they’ve developed their node tree. It’s that personal – seeing their mind mapped out, right on screen. “When I started out, the platform cost thousands,” Nelson continues, “but now it’s in the hundreds – or free with a Blackmagic cam. I actually own their first 4K camera and use it on Bosch all the time. When I need some smoke, water drops or other elements for post-production, I film them myself. Because I recorded the footage, I know what frame format
LIKE FATHER... Bosch’s daughter Maddie (played by Madison Lintz) returns from the original series, now an LAPD rookie
BOSCH: LEGACY PRODUCTION.
Did you know? The character Honey Chandler only appeared in one Bosch book, The Concrete Blonde .
A TRUE LEGACY While the new name belies its status as a sequel, the show is a continuation of the detective’s story
“We’ve done a lot of cool computer graphics before: creating aeroplanes and other big additions,” Nelson recalls. “The producers loved it and wanted to see us put up for an Emmy nomination. Alan and I saw a chance to be extra exciting, so we got a little crazy trying to make everything look super-real. Much of that season looked more like a movie than a TV show.” Working in a world so tethered to reality isn’t a problem, as Munro explains. “It’s more of a constraint on everybody else than our VFX team. All productions, be it Bosch or Beetlejuice , live in a created world. Our job – always – is to come up with exciting visuals that fit into what that world happens to be. I guess it’s all about understanding the rules and playing by them.” “On a show like Bosch: Legacy , if you do your job well, it doesn’t look like it’s had any VFX work at all,” asserts Nelson.
to import at, then it’s simply drag and drop. If I need to trim the clip, I do that in DaVinci Resolve first, then render out those frames. If colour correction is required, I can do that within either software. For simple 3D tracking, I’ll keep it in Fusion.” Munro echoes Nelson’s sentiments on the platform, crediting his long-time collaborator’s hard work. “Fusion has been an integral part of the Bosch toolkit since the first season. I would say that every year, there will be at least one shot nobody thinks is doable. And each time, that shot is done by Jeremy in Fusion.” Having gone from strength to strength, it’s impossible to ignore the changes in Bosch ’s creative process – culminating in Bosch: Legacy . In certain moments, VFX work has been more outside the box – although you may not spot it as an engrossed spectator.
Concluding any and all comparison, the compositor shares information likely already known by fans around the world. “ Bosch: Legacy is basically Season 8 of the original show. Everything people have come to love is still there. We’re working with the same crews, directors and writers – so we’re old hat now, which is a good thing. Once you get in your groove, you want to stay in it. So, we’re still telling the grounded, true-to-life stories. There’s no cartoonish villain coming in to blow stuff up. That’s what I like about the series, as a viewer myself.” Throughout conversation, it’s evident Nelson has great admiration for the show – not least the part he’s been able to play within Munro’s Moving Target collective. “We work on it like it’s a movie, instead of one episode after another. There’s time to tweak our work and go through multiple rounds of notes. If the effects look better than you often see in TV, that’s why. Cliché as it is, I love the people I work with on Bosch . We’re a little family that gets to meet up once every few months to do work we enjoy.” Bosch: Legacy is available to stream now on Amazon Freevee
“Our job is to come up with exciting visuals that fit into what that world happens to be. It’s all about understanding the rules and playing by them”
31. AUGUST 2022
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE. FUJIFILM
A GLITTERING FAMILY AFFAIR
The trio of Premista lenses are making waves. Just ask cinematograper Philipp Blaubach BSC, who used them on Bridgerton and new Disney+ series Culprits
WHILE PRIME LENSES have been stock- in-trade for film and TV production for decades, zooms are rewriting the rule book. Leading the charge is the Fujinon Premista Series, offering a cinematic vision that’s practical, with astonishing edge-to- edge sharpness and clarity. Plus, three is definitely the magic number. The trio of optics offers a faster workflow – thanks to fewer lens changes – without any compromise in quality. From the wide-angle 19-45mmT2.9 with large- diameter aspherical lens elements, through the 28-100mmT2.9 standard zoom giving the equivalent of six prime lenses, to the far-reaching 80-250mmT2.9-3.5 telephoto zoom, the line-up provides an impressive array of options. What’s more, they all feature internal zooming for a further enhanced workflow. From the age of ten, Philipp Blaubach had his sights set on cinematography, playing around with the family video camera, following his fascination with cinema. Two years at the London Film School cemented his talent, and a burgeoning career was kick-started by
OUT IN THE COLD Filming for Disney+ heist drama Culprits, Blaubach had to fight the elements with a pared-back crew – using the lenses in very challenging -18°C conditions
camera operator, but I love the aspect of getting hands-on. Not just for technical and creative reasons, but because you are so close to the cast and part of the communication process – building up a great rapport with the actors. While questions of long lenses, wide angles, static or action shots are often determined by the script, there’s always an element of improvisation. Zooms can help with that.” Blaubach first used Premistas on the second series of Netflix behemoth Bridgerton – and they proved a perfect match. “There is such a high production value, from the costumes to hair, make- up, jewellery and flowers. Everything is so impressive. It’s often a concern with lenses that there’s breathing when you pull focus on the zooms… the Premistas don’t do that. They were a fantastic match for the primes we used, as there was so much candlelight, glinting and jewellery. Low- flare characteristics were essential.” As all DOPs know, there are many factors when trying to create the ideal big picture. “As the background was very bright, I was looking for bokeh to be
commercials. Today, he’s at the top of the tree, having worked with the likes of Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and Kate Moss. “When I came to London, I didn’t even know that the DOP was separate from the
FUJIFILM ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE.
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER With the jewel-like lighting of Bridgerton, the Premistas proved their worth
circular,” Blaubach explains. “Often, you get angular iris blades, so that becomes the shape. But the Premistas delivered a sharp, modern look with round, out-of-focus highlights. It was very impressive.” Shooting on a Sony Venice 6K, having three zoom options close at hand was both practical and time-saving. “You can’t just use any Super 35 lens, because they vignette. But with the Premistas, I could consider whether I was doing a long lens close-up, medium two shot or wide vista. It makes sense to have all three – plus, they’re well-built and the focal ranges aided
perfectly for exterior shooting, generating a high-contrast look that’s very malleable in post. No detail is lost, and I ended up using the zooms more than I anticipated. “Their versatility came to the fore on a scene that required snowy, arctic conditions. Scheduling forced it back to April, so Norway was the chosen location. We had to fight hard to make it happen, using a scaled-back, guerrilla-type crew. Just two cameras and two operators on snowmobiles, with all equipment in six backpacks. No flight cases or monitor trolleys were allowed. It was more of a documentary approach, and the Premistas delivered – even in -18°C.” Whether it’s a freezing blizzard or a high-society ball, Blaubach knows where to go. “In Bridgerton , Season 2, episode 3, Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) is by his father’s grave, talking to his mother. I noticed the focus fall-off, with some foliage glistening in the background. It had a magical, three-dimensional quality.” For a hands-on filmmaker with attention to detail, such gifts are a godsend.
us when doing crane shots in the air.” The 19-45mmT2.9 can be utilised handheld, with a Steadicam or other stabilising system – and even on a crane, delivering a new perspective to filmmakers. Blaubach has just finished working on Culprits – an upcoming Disney+ series starring Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Gemma Arterton and Eddie Izzard. He was in it for the long haul – and so were the Premistas. “I finished up last month, having started in June 2021 – a massive project. It’s a heist drama set across three timelines, so the Premistas were ideal. They also worked
WHEN IT ALL COMES TOGETHER There’s no way of predicting how exterior shots will come through on camera, but Anthony Bridgerton’s emotional graveside interaction with his mother had particular poignancy for Blaubach
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