Definition April 2021 - Web


Living and working through lockdown has certainly thrown us some technical challenges, but the GFX100 promises to overcome those. It offers medium format in a stylishly compact package, while refusing to compromise on visual detail PERFECT STAGE FOR GFX100

BY NOW, DOPS will be used to the fastidious rules and restrictions that come as a bargaining chip for the blessing of still being able to work during lockdown. You need to adapt with much smaller crews and without the luxury of choosing from a selection of expensive LF cameras and lenses. This was certainly true for Jake Polonsky BSC, who wanted to create a short, but meaningful film about the challenges the arts industry has faced during the pandemic. That film is called 2020 Vision , focusing on a poem by Hussain Manawer. “I had been fortunate to meet Hussain on an Apple TV documentary about mental health, and thought he’d be the perfect person to write something about this past year and the effect it’s had on us,” Polonsky says. Polonksy’s portfolio includes the films The World’s End and Senna , and TV series Doctor Who , Hustle and Spooks . Plus, music videos for artists such as Lily Allen, Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse and The Verve. He’s no stranger to large format, and advocates its use because it “brings the opportunity to achieve a narrow depth- of-field on a wide-angle lens, adding a sense of three-dimensionality that was particularly crucial for capturing projects like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch ”, which he photographed on the Alexa 65. Getting his hands on a big-budget camera like the Alexa 65 to shoot the short film would have been tricky, not least because of the manpower required to operate it effectively. So, when Fujifilm announced the GFX100, with its almost 65mm sensor, Polonsky jumped at the opportunity to test it out for this project. Unlike other LF cameras from Sony, Red and Arri, the GFX100 and GFX100S

IMAGES Haris Zambarloukos (above, in grey) added cinematography genius to the production, while dancer Will Thompson (top right) interpreted the choreography of Maxine Doyle to perfection

started producing digital stills cameras, I was on board – starting with the beautiful X-Pro1, through to the X-T3, that I still have. The colour science was always good – I felt a special response to colour contrast that was extremely pleasing,” he explains. VISUALISING POETRY “The next challenge was figuring out how to make a film that wasn’t just an illustration of the poem, nor something filled with familiar images of lockdown,” Polonsky says. “I contacted the Music Venue Trust, hoping it might connect me with some of the venues that had been closed and struggling since March [2020]. It struck me that there was something interesting about those empty spaces that might make an effective visual companion to Hussain’s words. Many places were supportive, but none more so than the beautiful art deco Troxy in Stepney, which generously offered us two days of filming.”

cameras are significantly smaller and much more compact, and the sensor used for recording is actually bigger than the Alexa 65 in 16:9 mode. They both boast a 100-megapixel “Medium Format” CMOS sensor that is 44x33mm in size and allows for 10-bit 4K video to be output via HDMI, with a choice of 400Mbps, 200Mbps and 100Mbps bit rates. “Although it wasn't designed as a dedicated motion picture device, the GFX100 delivered beautiful images,” he says. “The larger-than-full-frame sensor, combined with Fujifilm’s excellent colour science, gave an interesting and original feel to the material that I thought would be appropriate for the film.” Polonsky shares a long history with Fujifilm, going back to the Fujifilm Scholarship days, which he won in 1996 while studying at the Royal College of Art. “I’ve always been a Fuji fan and its 500T emulsion was a firm favourite. When Fuji went out of the negative game, but

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