DEFINITION May 2018

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May 2018

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HOME GROWN UK PRODUCTIONS RIVAL BEST IN THE WORLD

REVIEWS

SONNET FUSION DRIVE DJI ZENMUSE X7 CAMERA KINEFINITY TERRA 4K

AERIAL SPECIAL ARE DRONES REALLY CHEAPER THAN HELICOPTERS? SEE PAGE 38

NEW CAPTURE Immersion suits

LOOKING SHARP New 8K from resurgent giant

CRYPT COLOUR Tomb Raider’s pipeline

SCANDI NOIR Marcella’s nightmare take 2

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VERA Drama and production out of the top draw – and it’s home-grown.

Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ UK EDITORIAL EDITOR Julian Mitchell 01223 492246 julianmitchell@bright-publishing.com CONTRIBUTORS David Baillie, Adam Duckworth SENIOR SUB EDITOR Lisa Clatworthy SUB EDITORS Siobhan Godwood, Felicity Evans ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Matt Snow 01223 499453 mattsnow@bright-publishing.com SALES MANAGER Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 krishanparmar@bright-publishing.com ACCOUNT MANAGER Harriet Abbs 01223 499460 harrietabbs@bright-publishing.com KEY ACCOUNTS Nicki Mills 01223 499457 nickimills@bright-publishing.com DESIGN DESIGN DIRECTOR Andy Jennings DESIGN MANAGER

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Welcome New things, and especially new places, are attractive. Like magpies we are attracted to the shiny but sometimes to the detriment of what we have always known. So it has been with our relentless search for the best drama productions. But like the characters in the Pina Colada song we have gone full circle this month and searched closer to home with two shoot stories from ITV, Vera and Marcella Season 2. Vera especially caught our eye, with DOP Ed Moore bringing his full toy box to the episode called ‘Darkwater’. He, his director and editor strove to bring the relationship between the look and the narrative closer than ever with unusual framing, clever drone shot selection, smart use of shallow focusing, multiple shots of certain scenes and a minimal lighting design. Unfortunately for a group of ex-BBC camera people all this progressive shooting technique was too much and they waged a turgid campaign against Ed, calling for his return to film school. We thought that Ed had pushed the art of cinematography on and that’s to be celebrated when there is so much great-looking content vying for your attention.

Alan Gray DESIGNER

Lucy Woolcomb AD PRODUCTION Man-Wai Wong PUBLISHING MANAGING DIRECTORS

Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck MEDIA PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS OF

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.

JULIAN MITCHELL EDITOR

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TITLE SEQUENCE 06 UNSANE OR INSANE A-list director shoots with iPhone. NEWS 08 A GIANT REBOOTS Sharp has come out of the financial shadows with an 8K plan. SHOOT STORY 12 VERA’S DARKWATER The latest series of Vera has some of the best production skills around. 20 MARCELLA 2 How a new DOP subtly changed the tone darker still. 24 COLOUR THE CRYPT The colour pipeline – in detail. FEATURES 28 GEAR GROUP 9 wireless systems you need to know about. 34 ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT The clever use of Panasonic cameras and Fujinon lenses. 57 THE SPACE RACE Volumetric capture is just beginning to match resolution with depth. AERIAL SHOOTING SPECIAL 38 DRONES VERSUS COPTERS Are drones cheaper? 45 SHOOTING AT NIGHT How to shoot aerials at night in austerity Britain with the lights off. 52 REVIEW: DJI ZENMUSE X7 DJI’s Super 35mm sized sensor takes on the north face of the Eiger. GEAR TESTS 60 KINEFINITY 4K TERRA After months of chatter this value 4K camera finally breaks cover. 65 SONNET FUSION DRIVE As solid state drives attract with their speed we meet the fastest. 66 4K CAMERA LIST Keep up to date with the latest.

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A-list Hollywood Director Stephen Soderbergh shoots a movie with Claire Foy using only an iPhone 7 Plus camera. Discuss...

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ou might be amazed that a Hollywood director whose film credits include cinematic delights like Solaris , Ocean’s Eleven and Erin Brockovich has shot his latest movie, Unsane , with just an iPhone 7 Plus mobile phone. But remember that Steven Soderbergh did make Sex, Lies and Videotape for $1 million and it went on to make over $24 million! Unsane stars Claire Foy (the Queen from The Crown ) and Juno Temple. The film was shot in 4K, and the director heavily used a DJI OSMO stabiliser and FiLMiC Pro software to bring some semblance of cinema to the look.

IMAGE Director Steven Soderbergh on set, directing and shooting Claire Foy using the stabilised iPhone.

© 2017 20TH CENTURY FOX

08 NEWS INTERVIEW

SHARP’S 8K MISSION After their purchase by Foxconn, Sharp has targeted the wide broadcast and growing non-broadcast 8K camera market WORDS JULIAN MITCHELL

Sid. “We were in survival mode and didn’t have any long-term plans, but once Foxconn were in the equation we secured our day-to-day business, and it became possible to flesh out roadmaps and think about where we wanted to go. “Sharp decided that with its 8K expertise already in place, it wanted to broaden the 8K ecosystem by having content creation technology as part of the company’s portfolio. So we added a camcorder to the monitor range.

purchased by Foxconn almost two years ago. It has injected more R&D into Sharp’s agenda, which has benefitted our day-to-day roadmaps and added 8K as one of two key pillars of where we want to push for the future.” For Sharp, there is a plan to produce professional video cameras and monitors, and this is a long-term strategy for the company. “Sharp was in real difficulties for four or five years, basically from the crash up until Foxconn bought it,” says

harp has been a pioneer of flat panelled displays for a long time. They launched the first LCD display and also the first

ABOVE The new Sharp 8K camera – out now.

8K display commercially in Japan roughly two years ago. European general manager Sid Stanley lays down Sharp’s pedigree for what’s coming. “R&D and pushing the boundaries of advanced display technologies for the business and consumer markets is nothing new to Sharp. What we’ve seen is an acceleration in that, after we were

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INTERVIEW NEWS

NOT JUST OLYMPICS For those who might have thought that the new Sharp camera and monitor were just bound for the Tokyo Olympics, Sid explains that this is a long-term initiative. “When you’re a vendor that has the capacity to lead and to make markets, that’s where innovation comes from. Sharp’s heritage is around LCD and clearly NHK’s plan to show the 2020 Olympic games in 8K is a stimulus in our domestic market, if you like. We see both in the consumer space mid- to long-term globally, but in the business marketplace today an emerging requirement for higher resolutions than has previously been available. Clearly it’s at an incubation stage, but we are committed to working with partners in key verticals to understand what the business cases for those applications are and what the opportunities are. We are already spending quite considerable sums, not only in R&D but in exhibitions like IFA and ISE, where we had 8K taking a prominent position, to start showing to the market what the technology can do and discussing possible applications.” NON-BROADCAST MARKETS Content creation means different things to different people, and the fact that Sharp launches at IFA and ISE – which is more of an install show – makes you think that non-broadcast markets are also on their minds, as Sid explains: “Sharp is attending NAB and I’ll also look to exhibit at a

European broadcast show somewhere but for Sharp, it’s a learning experience. Clearly the professional market is still adopting 4K both in terms of a resolution to display and a resolution to move around networks with the bandwidth that’s available – it’s still in the early stages of getting to grips with 8K. Moving 8K around in a broadcast transmission sense is probably a long way off. “If I assess the enthusiasm we had at ISE where we had resellers from medical, automotive, corporate reception areas where they are super- excited about what this technology could do for them, whether it’s just simply showing off in the reception sense or whether in an R&D sense, showing images and components going through various processes and gaining insight in to what’s going on. So if you think about medical diagnostics, we had medical research resellers who were really excited how this sort of technology could help diagnosis. “We’ve got a bag full of leads from ISE and will continue to support those leads. Broadcast and production is not an area that we are experts in, but we’ll learn from NAB and we’ll learn from further sales and marketing activities in Europe.” Sharp’s current camera form factor isn’t going to change in the short-term, but might react to the markets that it has been exposed to. The company is presently on this fact-finding exercise. “If there’s a

BELOW The camera’s form

factor isn’t going to change short-term.

WE HAD MEDICAL RESEARCH RESELLERS WHO WERE REALLY EXCITED HOW THIS SORT OF TECHNOLOGY COULD HELP DIAGNOSIS

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NEWS INTERVIEW

sizes to follow. There will be a niche demand for those and we have that already; the camcorder is already commercially available in Japan, China and some of the other Asian markets. We would like to launch that in Europe as soon as possible but we have some European regulations to meet – it’s normal when you go from Asian to non-Asian markets. But I would expect the camera to be commercially available this year but at the latter end. The cost in Europe might show some modification expense but you can find out how much it is in Asia right now.”

the cost is too much for the return. But that knowledge in itself and the gaps in either feature, function, form or price is valuable to working out what it looks like as a market.” COMMERCIALISATION With Foxconn holding the purse strings it’s obviously important that these new 8K products start earning their keep. How is that reflected in the new roadmap? Sid explains his plans. “The commercialisation is in two parts. The monitors are commercially available in Europe now, there’s a 70in monitor and other

business case for something else then we’ll feed that back in to the factory.” What Sharp is planning echoes what Sony used to do, inasmuch as when a new format is introduced you top and tail the market with cameras and monitors or flat panels. Sid explains that the comparison is appreciated. “I worked for Sony broadcast and production for ten years. At Sony, when we launched advanced technologies you would look and see the insights of those verticals. That’s exactly what we were doing at ISE, and maybe at the moment it’s perfectly possible that

ABOVE Sharp’s 8K camera at the ISE show in Amsterdam earlier this year.

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SHOOT STORY VERA

Darkwater ITV’s popular police drama Vera has also been championed for its cinematography, we think this episode is a great example of it WORDS JULIAN MITCHELL IMAGES ITV/ED MOORE ITV’s po ular police drama Vera has also been championed for its cinematography; the Darkwater episode is a great example WORDS JULIAN MITCHELL IMAGES WARNER BROS. STUDIOS Darkwater

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VERA SHOOT STORY

IT’S BECOME A KIND OF PROVING GROUND FOR NEW DIRECTORS AND DOPS AS YOU AREN’T HELD BACK

he production world is moving so fast that there are bound to be some casualties. Improvements in technology

like LED lighting and new sensors impact on technique and craft but also new blood has new ways of doing things. So it was with Vera , a UK police drama series with feature- length episodes. Each series has four episodes shot with different DOPs and directors; similar to many other episodic shows in that respect. Unfortunately, the new series of Vera and Shetland have attracted some internet trolling, especially from a group of retired BBC camera people. They actually wrote a letter to Ed Moore’s agent, the DOP of both, saying that he didn’t know how to frame anything and should go back to film school. We think that they should applaud this superb example of new style visual storytelling. You can tell that we at Definition are big fans of Vera and especially an episode from the latest block called Darkwater . DOP Ed Moore and Director Lee Haven Jones teamed up for this show and have gone on to shoot a few Shetland episodes, also for ITV in the UK. Vera isn’t as serialised as it used to be so episodes don’t need the same story thread entwined through each. This has encouraged this swapping out of talent with the safety net of the same colourist to match anything that needs it. As a result, you get four individual little films, each with an identity of its own, something that was encouraged by the series producer. DOP Ed Moore thinks this approach is very refreshing and has unveiled new talent. “It’s become a kind of proving ground for new directors and DOPs as you aren’t held back by fitting a house style,” he says. “That said, of course there are only a number of ways to shoot the same sets. You watch a few episodes and get a sense of the style so you’re not wildly out.”

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SHOOT STORY VERA

DIRECTOR AND DOP Darkwater was the third job that Ed and Lee Haven Jones, the director, had done together and it’s obvious that they click. “We did the first Vera and just got on like a house on fire and then went on to work on Shetland and then back again for this episode of Vera . We doubled down on things that we wanted to try like the ‘mad’ framing or how to cover a scene and a whole lot more. The editor was also someone Lee works with a lot which is really important because they start to cut stuff on right on day one without the director there so you need an editor who is cutting the way the director would want it done. Especially for Lee and me as we like the wide, graphic shots and letting characters create their own blocking in the sense that if a character walks close to the camera then that forms a close-up rather than cut in another shot. If you get an editor who just puts in as many shots as possible, you’re kind of working against yourself. David Fisher, who cut the episode, enjoys holding on to shots for a long time which I think fits with our style. “We are all so used to watching content that’s made to such a high

frames so you have a situation where you’re looking through something, like a door or window. I also try to make something as completely black as I can get in every shot and something as white as I can get, even if it’s a tiny little specular highlight, like the inky blackness inside a van and the doors open to a bright sky outside. It just helps draw the eye in.” NORTHUMBERLAND VISTA For Vera the Northumberland countryside is of course also a character, which means plenty of location shooting and different shot designs, although Ed admits that he now artificially lights the drama less and less. “I am embracing more and more of what’s happening naturally. I’ll now take some of the light away and use negative fill to create more contrast: so big black cloths everywhere to try and get some shape back into the rooms. Brenda Blethyn, the actress who plays Vera, looks absolutely great in natural daylight. I struggled with her in an earlier episode as I tried to present her with an individual design but then that didn’t really cut together with other more aggressively lit shots in the same scene. If you can get her in a

standard. Lee and I decided that we could take more chances and be more expressive about how stuff is composed and put together, otherwise programmes start to look the same and be cut together in similar ways. Everything will be on the same cameras with the same lenses and the same shot design. “It’s good to try something new and we were often told to calm down by the producer. You can take it too far but it’s better to be overshooting the mark and coming back onto it rather than always doing the safest thing possible. We just pushed against the norm in a friendly way. We’re also very fond of frames within

ABOVE Director Lee Haven Jones and

DOP Ed Moore. ABOVE Brenda Blethyn as DCI

Vera Stanhope and Kenny Doughty as DS Aiden Healy.

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SHOOT STORY VERA

huge Northumbrian landscape on an overcast day with a little bit of fill to get under her hat, then she looks fantastic. “Now I just try and keep to a simple single source. This might be very big lights through windows but I back them off far enough so the light just naturally bounces off everything and ends up looking much more natural. I always say to directors that I’ll try and light from outside rooms because then the director and actors can work more freely in the location and they are not tripping over kit and other stuff. It works for me as well as inevitably as soon as you have lights in the room I feel you start to feel the source of it. It may seem a bit ‘lit’. You’re getting so close to lights, you’re feeling the change in brightness. Moving a foot towards a light that starts six feet from you is huge, whereas if you have a much bigger light 60 feet outside the window, that same one- or two-foot movement hardly makes a difference; it starts to feel a lot more believable. I’LL LIGHT FROM OUTSIDE ROOMS BECAUSE THEN THE DIRECTOR AND ACTORS CAN WORK MORE FREELY

SCENE ANALYSIS Most of the days of shooting Vera are about six or seven pages but there are heavier days. “These tend to be nearer the end of the schedule as that’s when you shoot all the police station stuff and it’s slightly lighter when you’re out on location,” says Ed. Most of the shooting is of the location, to show off the magnificent scenery, but there are builds, like the wooden house in the initial first few establishing scenes of the Darkwater episode that need special attention. “That house was a build. On that day we had about four, four and a half

pages to do because it was quite difficult to get to. You’re also chasing the light a little at that time of year, so you’re mostly going on instinct. I have found that even though you’ve got all the equipment there, it’s best not to be too prescriptive with the team in advance. What you actually do is just let them know about the big things in advance; if you know you’re going to need a 9000W HMI round the corner you let them know that because you can pre-rig all the cable and get that stuff in. “That whole scene plays almost entirely free from lighting. I did have to use a little bit of light as we were losing the light and there were rain effects on the windows and it sometimes helps to put a little bit of hard light back in. But now the digital cameras are so sensitive I always use Master Primes or some sort of lens that’s around T1.3. I find the shallow depth-of-field also helps on the wider shots. When you’re backed into a tight location, the fact that there’s a bit more focus fall-off on a Master Prime is great but mostly I use it just to suck in as much natural light as possible because otherwise stuff like a candlelight scene just doesn’t work. You end up having to supplement it with some sort of artificial light which just takes time. That opening shot of Vera in the wooden house is almost entirely natural light, candlelight and then maybe there is an M40 or some sort of HMI doing a little bit of something with the rain on the windows.

ABOVE Lee Haven Jones with the ALEXA Mini.

BELOW Using the ALEXA Mini made it easy to get into tight spots on location.

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SHOOT STORY VERA

VERA GEAR It’s because of the location-heavy shooting that Ed chose an ARRI ALEXA Mini (All camera and lighting was supplied by ProVision). “I try and make the cameras as light as possible, to remove as many barriers as possible to getting the camera into interesting places. It’s a friendly battle I wage with the camera assistants not to put more and more equipment on the camera. Sometimes you end up with the tail wagging the dog and any attempt to move the camera package takes ages. An ALEXA Mini just stripped down with a lens can be held over my head but an ALEXA Mini with batteries, transmitters, monitors, matte box and baseplate attached might as well be a full size camera. “The fact that the cameras also have the built-in motorised ND is perhaps the main reason I prefer them to REDs. It’s this practical benefit of having three NDs. You can quickly press a button on the camera and it’s ready to go without matte boxes for sliding filters in and out.” Ed’s love of using fast T1.3 glass does stress the focus pullers and Darkwater has plenty of beautiful pulls or walking into focus. “Focus pulling has evolved hugely and has

television with schedules the way they are. They are just as good as the expensive stabilised heads you use on a movie. Even if I’m just using them as a remote head so I can put the camera somewhere difficult. It’s so nice to say to a director that if he wants to do stuff on the move he can and you’re not going through the scheduling prep that schedules in a steadicam day.” Another impressive thing about Darkwater is its limited but effective use of drone cinematography with Ed’s own DJI Inspire 2 craft. “I fly the drone myself,” he says. “A show like this, with the scale of the countryside, as with Shetland , lends itself so well to drone shooting. In the edit I think they got the balance just right; it doesn’t outstay its welcome. It gives a scene an extra breath.” Ed is keen to point out that you have to think about the shots that perhaps aren’t the dialogue-heavy ones. “You might end up with lots and lots of shots of people talking and not enough of the interstitial shots, not necessarily drone shots but even just shots of people walking from one place to another. But in the pace of the story you find that you want them.”

moved on from people being very sniffy about putting down marks and using the old film way of doing things. To do it now with lenses like the T1.3, you have to be on monitors with peaking and maybe use new systems that have focus distance gauging sensors on the camera and other things like little sensors that you can place on the actors and track them. You just need as many tools as possible to grab sharps.” Ed is a huge fan of the new types of gimbal like the MōVI M15 and the new Ronin 2. “I usually couple them with a set of wheels with wireless control that work with the gimbals. I find them so valuable especially in

TOP Ed is a big fan of frames within frames. ABOVE Brenda Blethyn as Vera, haring through the Northumbrian landscape.

Vera series 8 is currently available on the ITV Hub.

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SHOOT STORY MARCELLA 2

Scandi Noir UK The second series of the detective series Marcella, written by The Bridge’s Hans Rosenfeldt, gets a new DOP and a new look WORDS JULIAN MITCHELL IMAGES ITV/KATE REID

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MARCELLA 2 SHOOT STORY

n the second of our ‘homegrown’ production stories we look at the Scandi noir-inspired Marcella , another detective with a secret but a brilliant gift for detection. Kate Reid, took on the role of DOP for the first three episodes of the new series. “The brief for Series 1 had been to ensure that it didn't look like the established Nordic dramas: they wanted it to have a distinct London identity and a colourful palette was part of this,” she says. “Because Series 1 (shot by Ula Pontikos, BSC) was so successful they obviously didn’t want to change a winning formula for Series 2.” However, the Series 1 director Charles Martin also made a return for Series 2 so there was more of a licence to modify and take the look further. “Charles wanted to push the thriller aspect; it’s a dark story so that allowed me to go a bit darker with the look. But there is still a strong sense of colour in line with Series 1.” Kate also had to keep in mind that Series 2 would be shot in summer, autumn and early winter while the drama’s time arc was only 18 days. “In a way the fact that we have such mixed weather in London actually helps to downplay any season shift. Also a lot of our exterior work was scripted for daytime because of the long summer days, but the moody dark feel was still needed. Wherever possible I tried to create a bright exterior that meant I could have shadow inside the room to give this moodier feel. Even if it was sunny outside you still had the darkness inside.” IN THE CUT REFERENCE Kate luckily had recently re-seen the 2003 Jane Campion film In The Cut ( DOP Dion Beebe ACS, ASC ), which gave her the reference she needed. “It’s an interesting film as it’s a thriller

set in a very hot New York summer,” she explains. “It’s got great colour and texture with strong highlights outside and really dark shadows when you go inside. I watched it thinking that this could be the way we approached Marcella in the summer. As it’s London there’s only so far you can make this idea work whilst still ensuring lighting continuity on overcast exteriors, but that had been the general idea. I would embellish the light from outside with 4K and 6K HMIs to give the suggestion of a sunny day outside. I obviously had to temper this if the matching exterior was overcast. “There were certain spaces – like the morgue for example – where we only had established a small corridor window for the light to come in, so narratively this space wasn't affected by ambient light levels. I could then go to town with the moodiness and pushing the colour.”

MOVING THE CAMERA The playbook from Series 1 wasn’t locked down too much so Kate could follow the narrative and adjust accordingly. “In a way that’s the best thing about having the same director who established the first series,” she says. “He knew the show inside out and what the world of Marcella was. As Charles was keen to push the thriller aspect more than had been established in Series One, he was very interested in slow-moving tracks and a kind of creeping camera so you could really play up that drama. My impression was that we did more of this in Series 2 than had been established in the first series; I think there was probably a bit more handheld in that series too. Generally we didn’t do much handheld unless there was a specific reason for it. Most of our work was done with track and dolly. We used a crane for some establishing shots in episode one where the first body is discovered but that’s all. We used Steadicam as well but obviously that’s quite a different movement and was primarily used for following characters, rather than

TOP DOP Kate Reid and Panasonic Varicam 35 camera. ABOVE Anna Friel as the troubled but talented detective Marcella.

LEFT Nigel Planer and Keith Allen on the Marcella set.

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SHOOT STORY MARCELLA 2

on the Varicam and to be honest when I first tested it I was expecting it to be a bit of a gimmick, thinking the 5000 ISO was going to be extremely noisy. But actually I was really impressed with how good it looked. So occasionally that did come into play and turned out to be a really useful feature.” Lens-wise Kate shot with the Panavision PVintage lenses that Series 1 was also shot on. “When I tested the cameras I also tested a few of my favourite lenses. I really like the Canon K35s but because I was changing the cameras I didn’t really want to change up everything. People were less nervous if I wasn’t changing everything! I had to prove to the director that we could still get the deep, rich blacks that he so liked in Series 1 with the camera.” Andrew Daniel at Molinare graded both Series 1 and then Series 2. He created a LUT with Kate during prep based on her tests which was also used throughout the series by the DOPs on later blocks (Maja Zamojda who shot epsiodes 4-6 and Adam Suschitzky, BSC on episodes 7 and 8). DIFFUSION Even though Kate used quite soft, older lenses she still added filtration; in fact, beauty diffusion in the shape of Glimmer glass which helped the leads look good throughout. “ We also used a lot of LED lamps on the show” which was primarily shot on location. “I have a bag of various textiles I’ve picked up over time, different fabrics that I’ll put over LEDs just to help them feel more natural” “ Marcella is shot in a lot of

WHEN I TESTED THE CAMERAS I ALSO TESTED MY FAVOURITE LENSES

the ‘creeping camera’ that implied an unsettling and unidentified voyeur, that could potentially feel as if we are in the killers perspective. “The camera movement was a suggestion of what the director called ‘the killer’s POV’,” she continues. “It might be a scene where the killer isn’t around but as an audience you get the sense of the camera movement not being motivated by a character in the scene.” VARICAM 35 Marcella is a Netflix series too so the use of a 4K capture device is mandatory. Kate tested a few cameras: two REDs, the Panasonic Varicam LT, the Panasonic Varicam 35 and the Sony F65. The F65 was the camera they used for Series 1. “All good cameras: and I felt that the F65 gave a beautiful image but was a bit bigger than we would be practical for some of our locations as there were very few builds. Also the Varicam 35 has a lower data consumption than the F65 which benefited the production, so I was happy to test it and it gave a very good result. I would definitely consider it again if there was a 4K requirement for a show. “I also used the dual ISO feature

different spaces as the main character is always going into people’s houses as part of her investigation work. So as much as possible I would utilise the available light depending how long we had for the scene and how quickly we could move in order for the light to be consistent. We did obviously have a large location package with HMIs. So where available light wasn't going to work they would come in to play outside windows and then I would treat faces with small LEDs or bounce from the floor. “The colour was the one thing that was specified should continue from Series 1. In that series there were a lot of night scenes, so it had a colour palette heavily featuring sodium lighting. When you then come to daylight scenes shot in the summer it’s harder to introduce that element of colour in a way that’s still truthful to the space and the story. So wherever it was possible I would create a darkness within interior spaces and introduce light sources that would augment that, to give that suggestion of colour.” With multiple locations as part of the thread weaving through this drama, Kate has managed to do justice to the Series 1 but also stamp her own identity on the look. Series 2 brings a moody contrast to the story which is perhaps more ‘Scandi’ than before but ironically becomes more ‘real’ at the same time.

ABOVE Kate wanted to carry through the moody light palette from Series 1.

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GRADE STORY TOMB RAIDER

Colour the Crypt After last month’s description of the shooting of Tomb Raider, this month we follow the dailies route WORDS JULIAN MITCHELL IMAGES WARNER BROS. STUDIOS

CDL Heading back to Cape Town to begin primary photography, Joshua set the initial look using Pomfort Live Grade Pro, and created a CDL for each scene. This was then passed through the on-set DaVinci Resolve system to be applied to the dailies’ colour. “I graded each roll on a shot-by-shot basis, matching any inconsistencies in lenses or exterior light, keeping to George’s exact look,” he explains. Joshua used an iMac as his primary DIT machine, mounted onto a foldable cart, allowing him to move around set. “I monitored all the camera feeds on two 25in monitors, fed by a Smart Videohub

were developed with colourist Greg Fisher, based on test shooting in South Africa. LUTs were created to deliver George’s desired aesthetic on a scene-by-scene basis on set. “Rich, warmer colours were used for the exteriors, set on the tropical island of Yamatai, while interiors such as the tombs, took on a darker, cooler palette. These juxtaposing looks add to the dynamic shift tonally in the film,” says Joshua. The film was shot primarily in 4:3 anamorphic, with a 2.8K ARRI raw negative captured on the ALEXA SXT and ALEXA Mini as well as 2.5K CinemaDNG RAW shot on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

ith most filming taking place in Cape Town, then moving across the globe to finish in London, planning

ABOVE The interior shots required a dark, cool colour palette.

was paramount, especially when it came to DIT, dailies and colour pipeline priorities. DOP George Richmond, put his trust in Joshua Callis-Smith, with whom he’d worked on projects including the Kingsman films and Eddie the Eagle . The scale of the film, alongside the contrasting shoot locations, meant the colour pipeline had to be seamless. Prior to principal photography the pair spent time with Company 3 to ensure monitors were calibrated. Two primary looks

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TOMB RAIDER GRADE STORY

in Resolve, which allowed us to replicate the colour work done on set by Josh, often utilising multiple nodes beyond that of the primary.” “With Tomb Raider , what helped immensely was the ability to create a custom metadata view for media processing, whilst retaining all the metadata for exports for editorial,” Allan continues. “This allowed us to focus on the main tags required by Company 3, yet also gave us flexibility with editorial’s requirements. The fact that Resolve is now a fully-fledged NLE means we could process any small editorial requests: a massive time saver, as we didn’t need to jump into another application or render out proxies before fulfilling these occasional requests.” Techniques developed throughout the Tomb Raider project have now been incorporated into The Refinery’s day-to-day workflow. “Attention to detail was integral,” reflects Allan. “We now set up custom metadata views as part of our standard procedure, even when jobs aren’t going to utilise media sharing platforms. It helps operators focus on many details at a glance, and enables us to move more quickly through the initial stages of any workflow.” Once filming was completed in South Africa, and dailies delivered, the crew flew to the UK for the final leg of the shoot, with Greg Fisher at Company 3 London completing the final DI.

“Having an entire dailies department on any large job is essential,” Joshua comments. “The volume of material, sheer number of cameras and number of units requires sizeable, dedicated dailies teams that can run 24/7 whenever and wherever it is needed.” Ensuring that George’s vision translated all the way through the colour pipeline fell to Joshua . “We had to find a system that would allow for a smooth transition between Cape Town and London. DaVinci Resolve acted as a base for this, with both companies reproducing dailies based on the colour information passed on from set,” he says. The Refinery took responsibility for the first section of dailies. After wrap each day, Joshua delivered a Resolve project and rushes to the lab. Allan Taylor, dailies colourist at The Refinery would then log and sync pictures and audio to populate his colour timelines, relying on Resolve’s support of custom metadata to process the media, whilst retaining all the metadata needed for editorial exports. “When we were happy that everything was logged correctly we ran off the various soft deliverables, including editorial MXF files and viewing dailies,” explains Allan. “Where anomalies were found, I would rebuild timelines based on new bin structures to accommodate new footage. In these instances, we would use the ColorTrace feature

WE HAD TO FIND A SYSTEM THAT WOULD ALLOW FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION BETWEEN CAPE TOWN AND LONDON

matrix,” he explains. “This allowed me to feed graded or log images to the monitors and scopes, while also distributing pictures to the relevant departments. Working with George, we used SmallHD OLED monitors on the cameras, which I sent a graded return feed to, so he could light his shots and refine that lighting set-up if required.” Transitioning between live colour and dailies colour, Joshua found this approach allowed him to work more efficiently. “Using Resolve, I can work at an incredible speed; the software is very intuitive when it comes to colour. My project is organised in a way that allows me to navigate through hundreds of hours of material and pinpoint what I need quickly,” he comments. “Meanwhile, the colour tab allows me to match material and – when needed – work into the image further with secondary corrections to enhance a shot. All of this can be fed easily through to the dailies team who then process the colour information and pass the soft deliverables on to editorial and marketing.” photography, equalling 186 hours of footage processed through Joshua’s on-set rig, having a dailies team in South Africa as well as the UK was an important contributing factor to the smooth running of the colour pipeline. TERABYTES With 180TB of principal

IMAGES The movie was shot partly in Cape Town, partly in London.

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MAY 2018 DEFINITION

26

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE SAMSUNG

The Samsung Portable SSD T5 drive may be small, but it’s made a huge difference to the workflow of this London colour grading studio TROOPING THE COLOUR

time, but luckily we were able to copy stuff on to the Samsung drive and then copy it off again really fast to save the session. That really saved the day as we weren’t sure how we were going to manage it in the time we had. It was fantastic.” Tight turnarounds are a fact of life in the picture post world and it turns out that in these situations these superfast Samsung Portable SSD T5 drives are perfect. Grace explains how the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drives work for The Look. “When we need files copied very fast and the client is waiting for a background plate or a VFX sequence, we can send this drive to them and they can send it back to us. We had a situation where the client needed to check colour spaces really quickly on their footage; we were able to send the

“It was also a lot smaller than most of the other current portable drives so it makes carrying it about simpler and more secure, as it will simply fit into a jacket pocket.” SPEEDING UP TURNAROUND The Look specialises in picture post which is mainly colour grading and online edit work. They are also responsible for the delivery of all the files when those processes are finished. Grace Weston is a junior colourist at the post company and soon found work for the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drive to do. “What we have been using the portable drive a lot for has been fast turnaround on things like VFX shots. For instance, we had some VFX shots sent over at the very last minute via our FTP. Unfortunately, one of our machines had a really slow connection at the

he Look in London is one of the country’s best colour grading studios, working on a mix of dramas, commercials

A DRIVE LIKE THIS IMPRESSES PEOPLE BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE, SPEED AND CAPACITY

and features. Its high-end media is produced by cutting-edge machines and high-resolution files are moved about with huge networks. But introduce an amazingly fast, small and secure Samsung Portable SSD T5 drive into the company’s ecosystem and great things start to happen. Chief Technology Officer and online editor Mark Maltby commented on the use of the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drive: “By the end of the test period this drive was the go-to drive for the team – it even replaced our 10GB network at times when we had to move content over the network and were getting unexplained low bit rates.

ABOVE The Samsung Portable SSD T5 drive is small, light and portable.

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SAMSUNG ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

of our main systems we don’t have internal storage so rendering files out onto this drive is a definite possibility with its transfer speed of up to 540MB/s. You can also work off the drive at this kind of speed.” The value of the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drive for companies with the need for uncompressed media. Currently terabytes of data are taking hours to transfer but more importantly using up hours of expensive machine time. “As a company we are looking at cutting down copying times from something like two hours to about 20 minutes,” says Grace, “and these portable Samsung drives will be an influential part of that process. When you add in HDR material, we are getting 16-bit TIFF sequences that could come out at about 5TB for an hour.” like The Look is only going to increase as files grow bigger THE VALUE OF THE SAMSUNG PORTABLE SSD T5 DRIVE FOR COMPANIES LIKE THE LOOK IS ONLY GOING TO INCREASE AS FILES GROW BIGGER

IMAGES The team at The Look very quickly found the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drive invaluable for their workflow.

drive almost immediately to them and the feedback was very positive and made us look very cool!” Although The Look’s FTP transfer is very fast, it doesn’t mean that other people have a similarly fast connection; these are times when a physical drive like the Samsung Portable SSD T5 is perfect. “We’re transferring 500GB files and so the 1TB T5 is perfect for that as it may take ages to download at the other end on a digital line. Also if many people are using the line for uploading or downloading, it may get slower as it tries to deal with all the traffic. I think receiving a portable drive like the Samsung SSD T5 impresses people because of its size, speed and capacity. Most

of our smaller drives are physically bigger than this and not as fast. Aesthetically it looks great and it’s self-powered. It’s crazy that you can get so much space in such a compact drive. “For us as a company, using this drive makes us look like we’re ahead of the curve.” LOOKS MATTER In the hugely competitive world of picture post Grace makes a good point. If her clients notice such an easy experience transferring files at hugely stressful turnaround times, then they will remember it for next time. But Grace also saw possible uses for the Samsung Portable SSD T5 drive in the studio. “On some

MORE INFORMATION: www.samsung.com/uk/ssd/

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MAY 2018 DEFINITION

28 GEAR GROUP WIRELESS SYSTEMS

Wires are so yesterday aren’t they? Our latest gear group concentrates on the wireless systems that are proliferating in our production and broadcast work lives

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WIRELESS SYSTEMS GEAR GROUP

BOXX TV ATOM Boxx TV has a number of wireless products on offer including the Atom dual channel directors monitor, the Meridian portable system, the Atom Lite system (pictured) and this one, simply the Atom. The Boxx Atom provides a zero delay microwave transmission solution for a host of video assist requirements in a small lightweight form factor. Operating within the 5GHz licence exempt spectrum, the features have been designed for today’s fast-moving productions. The Atom system has been optimised to work out of the box with minimal configuration. Performance can be monitored and adjusted in real-time at the touch of a button without manual pairing requirements or the need to connect to a PC to set attributes prior to operation. Atom operates well in a multi-camera environment by making the most efficient use of the available spectrum. The system ensures reliable coverage thereby reducing the possibility of interference when using multiple transmitters. The compact lightweight transmitter offers SDI, HD-SDI and HDMI inputs; perfect for a variety of uses including Steadicam, portable field monitoring and UAV video links. It is this small and lightweight form factor that is a real attraction for crews and directors. Also the on-board manual channel selector saves you time when you’re shooting. You also can’t overestimate the value of having a system that doesn’t need pairing from coming out of the box. Also unlike other similar systems there are no limits on the number of receivers you can connect to and there are no range limitations from this technology. That makes the Boxx TV Atom system perfect for multi-camera set-ups when start-up and fast initial camera recording is vital.

DEJERO ENGO Dejero’s EnGo mobile transmitter combines Dejero’s industry-leading auto- transport and adaptive bit rate encoding technology (which optimises picture quality when there’s limited available bandwidth) with HEVC. This means that field broadcasters can take advantage of the enhanced efficiency of HEVC compression to provide higher quality video at even lower bit rates. EnGo is probably the most versatile mobile transmitters out there – being mountable on a camera or vehicle, or carried in a backpack. Its picture quality, ease of use, and reliability are quite remarkable. This is down to Dejero’s patented network blending technology which enables the EnGo to efficiently transport high- quality video over multiple IP networks, including cellular, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and satellite; thus, delivering exceptional picture quality with extremely low latency. International travel is also made easier with global roaming options and the EnGo transmitter’s convenient user-changeable SIMmodule. It enables field operators to quickly and easily switch between different sets of SIMs for optimal performance in the local cellular network environment. EnGo also transfers video to Dejero receivers while live or recording, performs rapid uploading of recorded clips to get footage back to the station as quickly as possible, and enables field operators to rename the recorded clips to simplify file management. The EnGo Vehicle Mount Kit option allows the EnGo to be used like a rack- mounted encoder/transmitter in a cellular, satellite or hybrid IP transmission vehicle. It can also be quickly disconnected from the cradle and placed in a backpack or mounted directly on a camera to give crews maximum mobility at the scene of breaking news and at live events.

IDX CW-F25

Designed for on-air video contribution, the new CW-F25 wireless HD-SDI transmission system from IDX offers great image quality transmitting H.264 high profile video at up to 25Mbps. Adaptive variable bit rate prevents sudden disconnection and range is enhanced by the use of beam forming technology operating over four 4MIMO channels. Supported across the link are return video, intercom, tally, RS422 remote and Ethernet I/O giving the remote camera operator the features of a wired link in a licence-free product. The CW-F25 does restrict its transmission of video and audio to 2000m (6561ft) maximum range as long as you are experiencing free-line-of-sight. Most of these systems are successful because of the importance of the video signal. The IDX CM-F25 uses fully professional 3G-SDI /HD SDI links over H.264 compression at up to 25Mbps transmission rate. The unit also uses Adaptive Variable Bit Rate Control to make sure and provide a robust link at the highest sustainable video quality which is now an expected feature of wireless systems. A great feature from this IDX unit is the use of Beamforming technology which makes a directional beam between the transmitter and receiver limiting interference from other 5GHz users and providing a strong stable link. DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) provides auto selection from nine channels in total. Also Bidirectional Signal and Data Transmission support return video, intercom, tally and RS422 control data Wireless LAN Bridge Ethernet I/O at both Tx and Rx make a wireless bridge to support an IP camera feed, remote controller or other data link. There are also four channels of embedded PCM audio and the unit is fully certified for use in Europe.

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30

GEAR GROUP WIRELESS SYSTEMS

NIAGARA GOSTREAM

PARALINX TOMAHAWK2

JVC CONNECT

JVC continues to push the envelope of embedded connection products with the new GY-HC900’s complete IP workflow includes streaming performance up to 20 Mbps and built-in Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz) with dual external antennas. The camera also features Zixi error correction with automatic repeat request (ARQ) and SMPTE 2022 forward error correction for reliable transmission. Beyond ENG, the GY-HC900 could be an ideal choice for high-end EFP and studio fibre applications. It works with the FS-900 camera module, which attaches to the camera via a 68-pin interface, and feeds 3G-SDI signals, control, audio, sync, and intercom to a base station via fibre. An integrated 3G-SDI pool feed input allows the GY-HC900 operator to capture video and stream it live simultaneously. Camera functions can also be controlled via web browser or the JVC RM-LP100 remote camera control. The camera also boasts an IPX2 water-resistant rating for operation in challenging conditions. Other features include a genlock input, time code in/out, dual 3G-SDI outputs and an HDMI output, three XLR audio inputs, Ethernet and USB ports, wireless audio module slot, and an additional slot for future expansion. Equipped with an industry standard B4 lens mount and four-position optical filter. The 2/3in CMOS sensors, each with 1920x1080 pixels, combine with an f/1.4 prism to produce full HD images. The camera also offers an HDR mode for creative flexibility, as well as up to 120fps 1080p slow-motion recording. With dual memory card slots for SDHC/SDXC media, the GY-HC900 offers redundant, relay and backup recording modes. It also records proxy resolution video clips for offline editing or online posts. The camera includes a 3.26in OLED colour viewfinder, as well as a 3.5in LCD panel for menu navigation.

American company Niagara is known for the quality of its encoding but has now entered the on-camera streaming ‘straight to air’ world with its GoStream range. Niagara is already known for its high-end IP encoding for closed networks, but the company has seen the evolution of on- camera systems and brought its encoding knowledge to bear on the market. GoStream boxes can stream HD now and will soon be able to stream 4K. Niagara’s big claim to fame is the real-time aspect, which you would expect from an encoding specialist. The system comes with the Niagara SCX Encoder Remote Management software that includes enhanced audio features for adaptive and non-adaptive encoders. Additional options include an optional audio input card. Niagara products support the most popular content delivery networks (CDN) including Akamai, DaCast, Ustream and YouTube. GoStream is also compatible with streaming media servers such as Adobe Media Server, Microsoft IIS, the Wowza Streaming Engine and PC players such as VLC and IP Set Top Boxes. GoStream uses standard Internet to get to a user or a full platform; it’s interestingly also a recorder at a data rate good enough to broadcast from. The system will pick up Internet wherever it is but also has the ability to jump on a 4G data connection. Although GoStream is Niagara’s new on-camera system, companies like the BBC have many of their higher end rack-mounted IP streaming boxes. Corporations are also looking to these solutions for huge IP encoding projects which allow any person in a company to go live on-air without installing heavy fibre or typical broadcast infrastructures. So think ‘super conferencing’, but actually much more than that.

What do you really need from a generation- two on-camera wireless device? It would help if it was smaller, lighter and tougher. Well, what do you know, the new Paralinx Tomahawk2 is all those things as well as remaining the same long-range HD video system that offers you real-time wireless HD transmission for your television, film, broadcast, industrial and UAV/UAS application. It’s a video receiver and transmitter combo with a wide input voltage range of 6-28V, a dual input transmitter (HD-SDI and HDMI) and is lighter and 60% smaller than the first-generation Tomahawk1 so has a great small form factor. The Tomahawk2 is also compatible with the Teradek Bolt 2000, Sidekick 1 and Paralinx Tomahawk1. Tomahawk2 claims a range of up to 2000 feet (609m) and maintains a less than one millisecond latency glass-to-glass. The Tomahawk2 system features both 3G-SDI input (with loop-out) and HDMI input on the transmitter and a 3G-SDI output on the receiver. It transmits full-HD video (up to 1080p/60 4:2:2) and is capable of sending video to up to four receivers simultaneously. The transmitter weighs approximately 208g and the receiver weighs only 252g (both weights are without antennae). The Paralinx Tomahawk2 system is available for one transmitter and receiver pair. Battery plates, antennae, mounting brackets, power cables and custom cases are all available as accessories to help customise your set-up. Other features include 128-bit AES Encryption to make sure you get the ultimate secure transmission. Operation on 5GHz frequency band is guaranteed and Paralink is committed to conforming to major technical and environmental standards.

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