DEFINITION May 2022 - Web

Welcome to our double show issue, featuring 100 pages of innovation, behind-the-scenes capture, editing and VFX techniques from Hollywood blockbusters such as The Batman, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Hawkeye and Uncharted. We also look at the importance of tactful documentary for the provocative Secrets of Playboy and garner industry and technological insight from six rental house experts in our famous roundtable series.



Printed in the UK


Office gossip How the visual language of Severance helped underline the show’s duality theme

Taking stock

Rental houses reflect on current and future market trends

LIGHT FANTASTIC DOP George Richmond channels dark arts to embody the more sinister feel of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore


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A nd we’re back! After Covid-19 face-to-face meetings, collaboration and – let’s be honest – too many drinks in the bar. The mood in the hall at Battersea was one of palpable excitement. Meetings were had, plans made, gear coveted – we are moving forward. Of course, BSC is just the start. Over the coming months, Team Definition will be heading stateside for both NAB and the Cine Gear Expo, as well as attending events closer to home – we’ve got a preview of May’s MPTS in this very issue. If you see any of us at the show – we’re easily identified by our branded shirts – be sure to come and say hello. Really. played havoc with the show season for the past couple of years, BSC Expo sparked a welcome return to To the issue, which I think ticks all the boxes. Fascinating insight on the latest productions, expert comment on the challenges facing the industry, news, equipment guides and tests – it’s all here. The rental round table on page 47 makes for interesting reading, especially if you’re looking for a steer on the best tech trends. But with shows back in full swing, I’m all for the now. I’ll see you out there!





BRIGHT PUBLISHING LTD Bright House 82 High Street Sawston Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, UK EDITORIAL DEPUTY EDITOR Chelsea Fearnley FEATURES WRITER Lee Renwick CHIEF SUB EDITOR Alex Bell SUB EDITORS Matthew Winney & Harriet Williams CONTRIBUTORS Verity Butler,

ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 SENIOR ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE Emma Stevens 01223 499462 DESIGN DESIGN DIRECTOR Andy Jennings DESIGNER Lucy Woolcomb JUNIOR DESIGNER Hedzlynn Kamaruzzaman AD PRODUCTION Man-Wai Wong


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. Cover image Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore | © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Adam Duckworth & Phil Rhodes EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Roger Payne




3. MAY 2022

Regulars 23 INDUSTRY BRIEFINGS VP developments, new kit, and a green light for €300m Emerald Isle investment



Your search for a new camera starts here. Dive into our swimming pool of tech specs

Industry 17  MPTS PREVIEW

Heading to the Media Production & Technology Show? Here’s what to look out for at Olympia London


Part 2 of our rental round table sees the panel crystal-balling the future of the loan market




DOP George Richmond conjures up a sinister feel in the latest

instalment of the magical Fantastic Beasts franchise


How three female directors helped bring one salacious story to the screen in Pam & Tommy



Jessica Lee Gagné puts in overtime to create the perfect work-life balance on Severance

Virtual Production 60 VIRTUAL FLOW

Why developments in VP are shaking things up


55 69

Filter and lens options to help you create the perfect aesthetic 69 PANASONIC LUMIX GH6 Feature-laden model could get you into (and out of) tight spots

5. MAY 2022


DOP George Richmond softens the visuals, as the third Fantastic Beasts film digs deeper into dark themes WORDS. Chelsea Fearnley and Lee Renwick IMAGES. Warner Bros. The magic touch

IT’S BACK! The new Fantastic Beasts returns to Hogwarts. Theseus and Newt Scamander walk the Wooden Bridge

07. MAY 2022


F antastic Beasts: The Secrets of reviews or the fall from grace of a certain Hollywood A-lister, we were nonetheless excited to see the trailer for the third Harry Potter prequel head back to Hogwarts. But even with the famous wizarding school in the picture, we know this wasn’t going to be a movie about academia – was it ever? No, this is a story about Mads Mikkelsen’s Gellert Grindelwald and his rampage to establish a new world order, in which witches and wizards rule over muggles; a story that’s not too dissimilar to Lord Voldemort’s supremacist vision in the Harry Potter series. Grindelwald and Voldemort share a lot of the same criminal traits, and as their powers increase and the wizarding world becomes darker, so do the visuals. After a coffee with Fantastic Beasts director David Yates, who was also acquired for the final four instalments of the Harry Potter series, DOP George Richmond was hired to take the film in a new direction. He explains: “They wanted to change the style, but what that meant precisely they didn’t know straight away. We started by looking at concept drawings – they were quite advanced in the process by the time I came on board, and these images of sets and other things they wanted to build were very beautiful. Dumbledore sees the series weave in the Potter lore we’re all familiar with. Chalk it up to plummeting I used them as a springboard, to pitch ideas to David about how it could come across, and we progressed with shooting

THE WIZARDING WORLD Director David Yates and DOP George Richmond work with an all-star cast to bring the third feature in the series to life, with Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) facing off against Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) again

makeup, taking note of the time of year you’re shooting and the orientation of sets as they’re being built – and whether you’re going to need hard or soft light.” A METALLIC WASH With the focus of the story shifting ever so slightly away from Eddie Redmayne’s

tests and developing LUTs before settling on a look that was velvety.” Richmond continues: “Of course, there were a lot of twists and turns along the way – deciding on the look for a movie, especially one as big as this, is a journey done in prep. It comes through seeing the different costumes, hairstyles and

SILKY SMOOTH DOP George Richmond describes the film’s aesthetic as ‘velvety’, which was developed over a lengthy pre-production process after considering the production design, hairstyles, makeup and costuming – as well as the story’s thirties setting. Anamorphic lenses were vital in crafting this nostalgic look



The spellbinding aesthetic of the Fantastic Beasts universe is a sum of many parts. Not least, the digital intermediate. For the series’ third feature, Goldcrest’s supervising colourist Rob Pizzey headed up a talented team to refine the look. “I have a fantastic relationship with George Richmond,” he says. “We’ve worked on many films together over the years, and I became involved with the project when I discovered he’d been brought on as the cinematographer. “I met David Yates during an LUT building session in pre-production. We created a filmic look with a soft, cool bottom end – and David loved it. We wanted something different, compared to the previous two films. The Secrets of Dumbledore has a dark vibe to it. It’s heavy, but rich at the same time.” In a picture full of the fantastical, grading stretched beyond a single DI. There were plenty of VFX scenes to account for. Thankfully, led by executive DI producer Jonathan Collard and CTO Laurent Treherne, Goldcrest was involved in the original VFX pipeline set-up. “Once the DI started, I had eight long, unattended days to match everything up for a first pass before George and David Colour wizardry

BROTHERS IN ARMS Callum Turner (left) and Eddie Redmayne (right) return as the Scamander siblings

could view the results,” Pizzey explains. “We addressed notes from each of them, and knew the film was in a good place. “The VFX team were supplied with the LUT George and I created much earlier in production, so there was consistency through dailies all the way to the final DI. The quality was breathtaking, and we didn’t have to use any mattes in the grade. A month after our initial work was a crazy two weeks of finishing the deliverables.” There’s still plenty of fun to be had, though – even against the clock. After all, it’s what filmmaking is all about. “The Erkstag wizarding prison was enjoyable,” Pizzey recalls. “It’s dark and dangerous down there! Bringing the humour to life, while retaining the nasty atmosphere, was the challenge. We manipulated shadows and worked with different layers to do this; it goes to show how crucial the grade is for storytelling.” The final deliverables were theatrical 4K DCP and 4K Dolby Vision DCP, as well as home entertainment UHD Dolby Vision HDR and SDR Rec. 709 passes. “HDR works well when the characters cast spells. The extra luminance and subtle colour nuances really pop,” the colourist concludes.

Newt Scamander and his menagerie of unusual creatures, Richmond pitched to Yates a softer lighting style than had been seen in the preceding films, which were much more colourful and sharper in contrast. As the story gets darker, so does everything else – and it was important to the DOP that the blacks were not inkjet, as this would become irksome for viewers. It’s very difficult to watch something dark and high-contrast. Lighting was therefore as crucial to this production as the placement of his camera. “It goes hand in hand for me… trying to control where the camera is, so

09. MAY 2022


the lighting works well, and trying to manipulate David’s strong ideas of how to construct a scene, so it looks as good as possible. I directed my gaffer not to overlight or overfill the images; David and I wanted to keep the lighting soft and give the impression it was all single-source. The reality of this, with the enormous sets and lots of actors, is impossible. But it would at least look this way. “With lighting foundations in place, we moved on to colour mixes, ranging from cooler shadows to warmer highlights,” Richmond explains. Fans of the Harry Potter series will have seen this style before, because it’s an LUT with silvery blacks, and bears a resemblance to the LUT used in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince . That film deliberately steered away from the vibrant hues that became a staple of the series when Christopher Columbus helmed The Philosopher’s Stone . This cinematic progression also had something to do with Richmond’s choice of camera and lenses. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its follow-up, The Crimes of Grindelwald , had been shot on an Arri Alexa 65 and Prime 65 S lenses. Together, they can produce an overly sharp image if not handled with care – and although the team did, Richmond needed reliable tools to ensure a softer

“I directed my gaffer not to overlight or overfill the images; David and I wanted to keep the lighting soft and give the impression it was all single-source”

look for the third film. “I wanted a new system, and went for the Alexa LF paired with Panavision Ultra Vistas. These 1.65x squeeze anamorphic lenses can fit a 240 image exactly into that VistaVision-style chip from the LF camera, to give it the same height as the Alexa 65. I did this, but with the addition of a filter to bend out

the image – softening and distorting the edges to produce an old-world cinematic look. Anamorphic is always going to be softer than spherical, but I wanted to take it a step further, shooting on the larger chip,” he explains. “I’m drawn to this look at the minute, but my tastes often wander from film to film – which is exactly

Did you know? JK Rowling was credited as the sole writer of the first two films in the Fantastic Beasts series, but Steve Kloves serves as co-writer for this latest instalment. He wrote all but one of the original Harry Potter films.

WHAT’S IN THE CASE? Expect more weird creatures for Newt’s assistant Bunty Broadacre (Victoria Yeates) to look after


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A MAGIC MIXTURE Characters from the prequel series collide with imagery from the original Harry Potter films

ensure they were symbiotic with the period sets, costumes, hair and makeup. He explains: “I spoke with the art department and asked if they could build a two-walled set to look into with the camera. One wall would contain a window, and inside would be soft furnishings with all their different textures, as well as candles and other

what they should do as the technology changes and evolves.” SETTING THE PERIOD Shooting on a larger, more filmic sensor with anamorphic lenses was a perfect fit for the setting, cast against a thirties backdrop. But Richmond still took them through a rigorous testing process, to

types of light, like oil lamps. Characters would also be coming in and out in costume. In this set we had put together for testing, we would run through it with a lighting chase that had differently coloured key lights, fill lights, back lights and top lights, experimenting with colour temperatures and playing around with lenses to see how they’d react. We’d try as many variations as possible, before pushing it to make the images break and understand the limits of our ideas.

GLOBETROTTING The Secrets of Dumbledore takes viewers to far-flung locations, with some intriguing new faces

13. MAY 2022


STICKING AROUND Newt Scamander inspects one of the fantastic beasts of the film’s title

“Testing can be done in a million ways,” he continues. “But I find this easy to show to the directors and producers, exemplifying what I can or can’t do with their intentions. From there, you can settle on the quality of the blacks and highlights – and what we would call warm or cold. It creates a toolbox of parameters to move forward with.” Richmond was professional about not giving anything away, but he did reveal a favourite scene that places Newt Scamander in China. While we’re looking forward to seeing the film head back to Hogwarts and reignite some nostalgia in fans of the Harry Potter series, we can’t wait to explore magical communities elsewhere in the world. Fantastic Beasts

has already given us the French and American equivalent of the Ministry of Magic, and will only continue to expand on the wizarding world, as it follows the quest to end Grindelwald’s plan for superiority. Like all totalitarian leaders, we assume his plans are global. Richmond explains the beauty of the shot and why he rates it so highly: “It’s the opening scene, Newt arriving in China

and heading into a bamboo forest – and the way it’s shot makes it my favourite. He is on his raft and, as he steps off and walks toward the forest, the camera pans up and gives a close-up. It’s very Indiana Jones, which wasn’t the style we were going for, but in that sense it’s quite fun and cinematic.” Fantastic Beasts is out now

Production Fact File

LOCATION Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden hosted much of production on the feature

CAST Johnny Depp shot just the one scene before he was told to leave

SCHEDULE Filming was pushed back a year due to the pandemic

15. MAY 2022


London calling

After a Covid-related lay-off, the Media Production and Technology Show is back in the capital. Here are a few reasons why you should visit

WORDS. Roger Payne

W hat a difference a year makes. Just 12 months ago, amid the teeth of the pandemic, the Media Production and Technology Show (MPTS) team made the bold decision to postpone the event,

community, eager to explore the latest tech and learn more of industry developments. Register to attend the event for free, see a full list of exhibitors, and browse details of the seminar programme at: .

vowing that it would return in May 2022, bigger and better than ever. Well, now’s the chance to discover if they’re true to their word! On May 11 and 12, London’s Olympia is set to be overflowing with members of the media and broadcast

Blackmagic Design Stand L352

Hawk-Woods Stand U526 Power giant Hawk-Woods will be showcasing the MXB-880 – a solid, but lightweight battery with an in-built charger. It boasts 880Wh in a small form, weighing just 7.2kg. It’s the first battery designed within Hawk-Woods’ new Mini range of floor batteries, and has received glowing reviews so far. The sleek, tidy design gives it a professional look, while practical features like a durable handle make for easy carrying. Also noteworthy

Where better to learn about the latest incarnation of DaVinci Resolve software than at the Blackmagic Design stand? The team will be able to demonstrate version 17.4.6 which, among other things, now supports Nikon Raw, offers better audio proxy handling, and provides improved stability for 3D renders in Fusion on M1-powered Apple Macs. If it’s more kit you’re after, the full line-up will be on show, including the three-in-one Ursa Broadcast G2. Launched

late last year, it can work as a 4K production, 4K studio or 6K digital film camera!

are the dual voltage outputs and display screen. At the moment, a lighting version is in development.

Aspectra Stand L502

If you’re searching for a camera power solution, Aspectra will be displaying PAG’s innovative offerings. PAG is known for providing advanced battery technology in the form of PAGlink, a unique system of intelligent linking batteries. If you’re looking for big power without the weight, explore the Mini PAGlink system. It offers lighter kits in 50Wh and 99Wh capacities – ideal with smaller 4K camcorders, large format cameras, monitors and panel lights.

17. MAY 2022


Red Stand L730

MPTS provides another opportunity to get hands-on with Red’s flagship DSMC3 camera, the V-Raptor, alongside the Komodo 6K. The team will offer demonstrations of both machines, allowing you to experience the V-Raptor’s new multi-format sensor, making in-camera format selections from 6K Super 35 to 8K large format. The Komodo is an impressive beast with a global shutter sensor, guaranteeing Red’s high standard of image quality.

Aputure Stand U520

Aputure’s LED lights are growing in popularity. Head to stand U520 to see recent releases, including the Light Storm 1200d Pro and Nova P600c flagship models. The LS 1200d Pro is the brightest unit in Aputure’s line-up, boasting a 1200W COB, claiming to be the highest-output Bowens-mount fixture on the market. Using LumenRadio CRMX and Art-Net/sACN via an etherCON connector, the LS 1200d Pro integrates seamlessly into any professional DMX interface. The Nova P600c is a 600W RGBWW LED soft light that combines intense output with precision colour quality. It has a CCT range of 2000-10,000K.

Holdan Stand L642

Roe Stand L108

NDI network performance monitoring software, which enables testing of network speed, performance and stability, from one or more NDI streams.

UK distributor Holdan will be showcasing its new production, post-production and IP streaming solutions, giving you plenty of reasons to head to stand L642. Highlights include the Atomos range of on-camera monitor/ recorders and production monitors, and BirdDog’s broad selection of PTZ cameras. Visitors will also be able to check out Dyno, BirdDog’s recently released

Premiering at the MPTS show, Roe Visual will bring along some of its dedicated LED products for the film and broadcast market, including its next-generation Ruby and Amber 1.5 LED panels. Furthermore, Roe Visual will sponsor the Virtual Production Stage, highlighting its extensive experience as a supplier for the world’s most prominent VP set-ups. Ask for its

LED products for virtual production, and GhostFrame solutions for broadcast and film applications.

Don’t forget the seminars! MPTS is much more than simply an opportunity to get to grips with all the latest broadcast tech. A comprehensive seminar programme spread across eight theatres provides a swathe of networking and educational opportunities, too. Louis Theroux kicks things off, discussing his varied career in the Keynote Theatre at 10.30am on May 11 – with over 150 panel discussions and masterclasses following thereafter. A comprehensive list of seminars is on the MPTS website.

19. MAY 2022


Denis Villeneuve’s interpretation of the 1965 Frank Herbert novel sees Dune bridge the gap between blockbuster and art house, with DOP Greig Fraser delivering visuals as spellbinding as the story. It was no surprise, then, that Fraser picked up a coveted gold trophy for best cinematography at this year’s 94th Academy Awards. The busy DOP, whose latest work can be seen in Matt Reeves’ The Batman , had previously been nominated for an Oscar in 2016 for Garth Davis’ Lion , and is set to reunite with Villeneuve for Dune: Part Two , currently in pre-production. Backstage, he talked to press about the sequel: “I can’t give you any scoops… but Part Two is a bigger story. I read the script, and was more blown away than by Part One .” Fraser also spoke about his team, praising those who won Oscars for Dune in editing, production design, visual effects, sound and score, but weren’t recognised in the broadcast. “I understand the economics involved in giving screen time to every facet of a production… but televising these successes would allow young people to see there are more options in film for those that don’t want to be an actor or director.” Throughout a humbled speech, Fraser touched upon the importance of training and education, to encourage race and gender diversity; especially in cinematography, with its stiff reputation as a boy’s club. He explained: “There’s a long lead time in cinematography – you need to learn your craft. So, we’re seeing talent from the early 2010s rise through the ranks. The process for women and minorities to have a voice in the cinematography world has started, and I’m excited to see what will happen ten years from now.” With everything Fraser said, there was a tune of appreciation for his director, ‘Master’ Villeneuve. He concluded his acceptance by saying: “Every story that’s published about my achievement tonight should start with his name – because if the story and characters are right, you can’t help but film something magical.” Sci-fi success DOP Greig Fraser takes home gilded statuette for Dune



Dune winners BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Greig Fraser, DOP

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS Paul Lambert, production VFX supervisor Gerd Nefzer, special effects supervisor Tristan Myles, VFX supervisor, DNEG Vancouver Brian Connor, VFX supervisor, DNEG Montreal

BEST FILM EDITING Joe Walker, editor

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN Patrice Vermette, production designer Zsuzsanna Sipos, set decorator BEST SOUND Mark Mangini, supervising sound editor Theo Green, supervising sound editor Doug Hemphill, rerecording mixer Ron Bartlett, rerecording mixer Mac Ruth, production sound mixer

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE Hans Zimmer, composer

Shot on

Camera: Arri Alexa Mini LF Imax

Lenses: Panavision H Series and Ultra Vista

21. MAY 2022


Industry briefings The latest news, views and hot tips from the world of video production


the app. The 10C weighs 170g, but delivers production-level colour rendition using state-of-the-art RGBWW colour-mixing technology. It features a wide bi-colour CCT range of 2700- 7500K, CRI of 95 and TLCI of 97 with GIM adjustments, accurate rendition of 36,000 colours, and 15 fully customisable special effects. Several power supply options are available, including the E27-socket AC input and USB Type C DC input. It can be powered by directly connecting to a standard household outlet. Or by attaching to the magnetic mount adapter, battery adapter or a wired controller exclusively developed for it to achieve a stable power supply. Prices start from £75 for a single bulb, to £1416 for a 12-bulb outfit. Finally, the handholdable Pavotube T8-7X is a lightweight, one-metre LED tube that creates moody atmospheres, stage decorations and more. It provides 36,000 colour variations, uses wireless connectivity and has a built-in battery for cable-free creativity. The T8-7X is available as a single tube for £95, or a four-tube kit with case for £370.

lights also feature a Bowens mount, to provide a broad range of shaping options, a quick-release clamp for easy attachment to stands, and Bluetooth connectivity for precise control from the Nanlink app. Available for pre-order from the end of May, the 720 will retail at £1745, the 720B at £1963. For filmmakers seeking a complete lighting solution, the Pavobulb 10C enables users to set the mood with buttons on the product itself, or via

Nanguang is celebrating its 30th anniversary in style with a range of products, including Nanlite’s brightest spotlight ever. The Forza 720 and 720B ‘redefine performance and value in high-powered lights’, offering 800W power output and average CRI of 95 for the 720, and 96 for the 720B. The key difference between the two is lighting colour. The Forza 720 is Daylight-only, while the 720B is bi-colour, offering a range between 2700K and 6500K. Both

Nanguang Photo and Video Systems was established in 1992, gaining recognition as a key innovator in the design and fabrication of technologically advanced LED systems. Its highly effective and respected range of Nanlite, Nanlink Proud parent

exciting new products. However, it’s our people and customers who remain at the forefront of everything we do. I am immensely grateful for the support over the past three decades, and looking forward to our future together.”

and Nanlux lighting solutions are now sold in over 85 countries. “Our first 30 years have been important,” says managing director Nancy Zheng. “But we now look to the future,

with technological advancements and

23. MAY 2022



The Virtual Production Stage at Garden Studios has reopened after upgrades and improvements. These were based on feedback from productions using the facility over the past year. Tech developments include the rebuilt LED ceiling, which is now motorised and suspended overhead, making it possible to expand the wall up to 18m wide. Mobile LED totems have been redesigned to be more powerful and flexible, and processing power has been upgraded, in turn augmenting real-time rendering performance. The stage has also been fitted with air conditioning and heating, plus there are now more bathrooms and dedicated private green rooms.

Sumolight takes it to the max Versatility is the name of the game with Sumolight’s new high-output Sumomax. Designed to inspire creativity, it acts as a key light, hard light, punch light, space light and soft light. Fully modular, this full-spectrum RGBWW LED fixture offers low weight and slim, hexagonal form factor, measuring 561x500x175mm/22.1x19.7x6.9in. Fixtures stand alone or may be tiled, honeycomb-style, to fit any array and build of light boxes or walls. They come complete with internal power, on-fixture display panels and DMX/RDM, Ethernet or Wi-Fi control. Built for safety compliance in any condition, the Sumomax is IP65-rated. Sumolight UK has also opened a showroom, demo and testing suite at the world-famous Elstree Film Studios. To celebrate, it is offering up to 50% off until 15 June 2022 on fixtures, with other savings on accessories.

BFI and Lee Filters welcome new faces Five new members have been appointed to the BFI Board of ON BOARD (Left to right) Monica Chadha, Elizabeth Karlsen, Laura Miele, Scott Stuber, Edgar Wright and Tim Richards. The first five join BFI chairman Richards on the Board of Governors for the next four years

Governors. Monica Chadha, board advisor and consultant; Elizabeth Karlsen, producer and co-founder of Number 9 Films; Laura Miele, EVP and COO of Electronic Arts; Scott Stuber, head of global film at Netflix; and filmmaker Edgar Wright take up their duties in May 2022, serving four years alongside current governors – and chairman Tim Richards. Across the pond, Lee Filters has brought in industry veteran Nick

TEAM PLAYER New operations manager, Nick Lampke

Lampke as operations manager. At its facility in Burbank, California, Nick will oversee purchasing, logistics and customer service.


Musicbed has launched a short film competition, with $100,000 in grants and gear up for grabs. The annual contest requires entrants to use a soundtrack from a pre-selected Musicbed playlist, then make a film in one of three categories. The top prize in each wins a $15,000 grant, plus a bundle of gear and assets. This year’s categories are Narrative, Spec Ad and Documentary. Films must have a runtime between 30 seconds and ten minutes. A People’s Choice will also be available, which carries a $5000 grant and gear prize.

Submissions close on 10 May, with voting for the People’s Choice award running from 13-27 May. All winners will be announced on 7 June.



ROE BUILDS GREAT WALL IN THAILAND Roe Visual has teamed up with Supreme Studio to build Thailand’s largest XR LED wall. The main vertical wall measures

supervisor Brynley Cadman said: “The LED products provided by Roe Visual were impressive by every means. We look forward to the excellent footage and unique projects created by this amazing XR LED wall. Hopefully, we can create magic for our customers through the combination of creativity and advanced video production technology.”

37x4m and is made up of Diamond DM2.6 panels; a 6x3m ceiling comprises Carbon CB3 tiles. Both are optimised for film and commercial shoots. Commenting on the installation, Supreme Studio virtual production

Tambora batten passed to Limelite Limelite Lighting has become one of the first in the UK to stock Clay Paky’s new Tambora batten. “As a dry hire and production supplier, we needed a product that was adaptable for a range of applications and offered creative possibilities,” said Matthew Mountier, director at Limelite Lighting, explaining why its dynamic pixel mapping and motorised movement appealed. “Having extensively researched batten products by comparing specs, costs and availability, the Clay Paky Tambora was the most attractive option. So far, we’re delighted with our decision, and receiving positive feedback from designers and technicians.”

The power of Greystones – Irish creative industry gets €300m boost

portfolio, joining Ardmore and Troy Studios, which it acquired in August 2021, and other studio facilities across the globe. The partnership’s affiliate, The MBS Group, will assist in the purpose-built studio design, oversee operations, and provide production services and equipment rentals when the new facility opens. Once complete, Greystones will be Ireland’s largest studio complex, with more than 670,000 sq ft of studio space on 44 acres with sea views, including 14 state-of-the-art sound stages. The first seven of those – and associated office, workshop and backlot spaces – will be delivered in mid-2024. Ireland’s finance minister, Paschal Donohoe, said: “The AV sector is worth over €1b to the Irish economy, with approximately 12,000 people employed in film, TV and animation production. The new development in Greystones will be a major boost for the creative economic sector, and contribute to 1500 new jobs once operational (and 450 during the construction phase), along with other direct and indirect benefits to the economy.”

joint venture between the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and Capwell – a Sisk family investment vehicle – with financing estimated at nearly €300m. Greystones Film and Television Studios will be the latest addition to the Hackman Capital/Square Mile Capital

Ireland’s high-end film and television stage capacity is set to double, following the selection of Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management to develop and operate the new Greystones Media Campus in Killincarrig, County Wicklow. The two-phase development is a



Hulu’s Pam & Tommy is a production roller-coaster of celebrity passion and crime. Divided between a predominantly female set of directors, we break down how each one stepped up to the plate Sex, lies and videotape

WORDS. Verity Butler



29. MAY 2022


PUBLIC PROPERTY The ultimate blonde bombshell, Lily James brilliantly illustrates how Anderson’s beauty was both a blessing and a curse



R aunchy, gripping and salacious, Hulu’s latest dark comedy, Pam & Tommy , kicks off as a whirlwind example of the frivolity of a celebrity lifestyle. However, this is tainted by a complete loss of any sense of privacy – especially for a woman already seen as a global sex symbol. Rather than a simple biographical piece focused on the relationship between Baywatch star Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan), the plot centres on a driving character – the constantly out-of- his-depth carpenter Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen), who takes vengeance on Tommy Lee when he is fired without pay. He does so by stealing, manufacturing and selling the couple’s sex tape online. The leaking of such tapes has become common in the 21st century, but this was an early example of one going viral via the internet. This is wittily emphasised by the characters’ lack of knowledge or understanding of what the ‘web’ actually was – it had only existed for less than a year at that point in the story. The mid-nineties era is also heavily present in the show’s sets, wardrobe

and music. We are undoubtedly in 1995, especially when watching Pamela and Tommy meeting, getting high and married, despite having only known each other for 96 hours. This eight-part series was divided up between an eclectic handful of mostly female directors – their individual styles reflected subtly by the final product of each episode. START WITH A BANG The first three episodes were taken on by Australian-American director Craig Gillespie. Most known for I, Tonya and Cruella , his approach could be described as a model of precise extravagance. This style suits the series perfectly. Trombone shots are in abundance, as Tommy locks eyes with Pamela in a sultry nightclub; making it feel as though you are both watching in the third person, but also locking eyes with the pair of them yourself. We personally embark on the journey of Tommy’s crazed pursuit of Pamela. Following her after one meeting to Cancun, partying two nights away together on drugs, and ultimately ending

SPOTLIGHT Pamela’s interview with Jay Leno is re-enacted, with the actress having to light-heartedly discuss the scandal

up on a beach with her in a white bikini saying, ‘I do’ – four days after meeting. All 100% historically accurate, the introduction undoubtedly reels you in with its flamboyance. Standout elements of Gillespie’s contribution are the slow-motion sex scenes – Tommy having held off until this point because he ‘does things by the book’. They quite literally depict the climax of this four-day relationship and subsequent marriage. But what Gillespie also manages to achieve is a portrayal of how Pam and Tommy see their relationship – an exciting, Bonnie and Clyde-style romance – while trying to ground the audience with the ridiculousness of this fantasy. Tommy’s conversation with an animated version of his penis also helps. RAMPANT SEXISM Episode 6, Pamela in Wonderland , is the only one taken on by director Hannah

Did you know? On-set, Lily James wore a prosthetic forehead and chest, dentures, blue contact lenses and a blonde wig. Sebastian Stan spent hours getting up to 30 tattoos painted on him, grew out and dyed his hair, and wore brown contact lenses, pierced nipples and a prosthetic penis. Their wardrobe was not custom-made, but purchased second-hand, based on the clothes Anderson and Lee wore during that period of 1995-1998.

31. MAY 2022


Production Fact File

LOCATION Filming was in California – including the Baywatch and Cancun scenes

CAST James Franco was initially lined up to play the part of Tommy Lee

SCHEDULE Conceived in 2018, it took only four months of 2021 to shoot

deposition – taking place for their lawsuit to go through – where she is forced to watch the entire sex tape in a room full of male lawyers, in order to ‘verify her identity’. Notably, Tommy doesn’t have to. The crisp and harsh colours of the boardroom setting are a brash ripping of the Band-Aid from Pamela’s warm and vibrant life story. The mirage of her wonderland is more than shattered. A VIRAL CATASTROPHE The fifth episode, and the concluding one, were directed by Gwyneth Horder- Payton. With a reputation for TV shows that have male characters struggling with issues of violence, including The Shield and American Horror Story , a character like Tommy Lee made her a perfect fit. Focusing not just on the final shift in the relationship between Pam and Tommy, we also see the momentous, inexorable rise of the internet. This is illustrated when the couple realise that the problem has gone beyond Gauthier’s website, where copies could merely be ordered online and shipped to people – what they are truly fighting is the unstoppable force of the web. Slowly panning from Tommy’s horrified realisation of the fact that the tape can now be streamed online for free, to the brick-like original Apple

“The crisp and harsh colours of the boardroom setting are a brash ripping of the Band-Aid from Pamela’s warm and vibrant life story”

Fidell. Known best for A Teacher , she delivers a vulnerable lull in the series with this 27-minute section. A huge shift in tone surfaces, as we see Pam lifted onto a pedestal, providing an overview of how she has ended up in the glorified spotlight we still see her in today. Where preceding episodes are centred around the Seth Rogen character

or Pam and Tommy’s tumultuous relationship, this one stands on its own as a bridge to the series’ conclusion. There are constant jumps between past and present, helping to construct an understanding of how Pamela perceives her situation – offering a clever reflection on previous experiences. A prescient moment is the flashback to her arrival at the Playboy Mansion – from her first photo shoot, to her meeting with Hugh Hefner. But we witness a contrast, following her evident unhappiness on the set of Baywatch , where she never has any lines and is controlled by men, with every shot below the neck of her legendary red swimsuit. We see a liberated Pamela instead, allowed to be herself entirely. This is highlighted by a montage sequence of Lily James standing by a window and gradually gaining confidence, ultimately taking control of the shoot herself. What makes this episode stiflingly tragic is that it leads to Pam and Tommy’s

HANDS-ON Not only does Seth Rogen play the aggrieved carpenter Rand, but he’s also an executive producer

33. MAY 2022


DEDICATION Sebastian Stan fasted for 16 to 18 hours a day to lose weight and get closer to the shape of Tommy Lee

were leaked online, in what was called ‘Celebgate’ – including some from Bell’s wedding night. “This was an opportunity to humanise someone who was exploited,” Bell said in a recent interview. ”I felt protective of how Pamela was portrayed.” Pam & Tommy not only reflects on a story of glamour, crime, romance and comedy; it acts as a celebration of female talent in the production world. It brings to the table new cinematography approaches when it comes to ethically depicting a delicate topic – but with a tastefully humorous alacrity. Pam & Tommy is available to stream on Hulu and Disney+

the two ended – and on terrible terms – to this day, they claim to be the love of each other’s lives. SENSITIVE STORYTELLING Completing the triumvirate of female directors, with two episodes, is Lake Bell – who is also enjoying an extensive film and TV acting career. While many people have criticised the show for regurgitating the sex-tape controversy, Bell understood more than most what she was taking on. In 2014, photos and videos of dozens of celebrities

Macintosh computer fuzzily stating in block capitals, ‘The Pamela Anderson sex tape: watch for free!’, heightens this final moment of defeat for the pair. Horder-Payton’s approach to the denouement of the show also pays gentle homage to what was said to be the truth behind their relationship. The closing shots detail Pamela having her ‘Tommy’ knuckle tattoo modified to say ‘Mommy’, following by her standing up, smiling softly to herself, glancing at a poster of Tommy on the wall – she looks on lovingly. A nod to the fact that, although

ON THE RUN The series highlights Anderson’s frustrations with Baywatch, as she struggles to get more than a couple of lines of dialogue at a time – the general focus is on her physical assets

35. MAY 2022


FLYING FIELDWORK Cameraman Martin Janes travels light, works fast and delivers impactful results – and it’s all easier than ever with the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch in hand

SHIFTING GEAR Read speeds up to 1050MB/s and write speeds up to 1000MB/s make for rapid transfers that need to be seen to be believed

If 4K footage from a drone or mirrorless camera isn’t challenging enough, higher-end professional workflows utilise even larger files. “I was recording ProRes Raw with the cinema camera, but even that flew across from the monitor/recorder to the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch,” Janes continues. “There are obvious benefits to the codec, like a better editing experience. You’re getting more data, which means more bandwidth for grading, for example. But those benefits are only made possible through much more sizable files, which is a problem. Having an SSD that handles so much data, so quickly, is hugely beneficial.”

MARTIN JANES CREDITS much of his success to versatility – and versatile he certainly is. Over almost 20 years, he’s become proficient in editing and After Effects, animation, live streaming and more. Working under the moniker Bella Films, the capable creative still sees himself as a cameraman first and foremost. “I do commercial, sports coverage, adverts and events. I’m currently working on a project for a government authority, requiring both ground-based and aerial footage of a local area, for promotional and tourism purposes. This shoot took place in the field, so I had the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch in a mobile workflow.”

With broad compatibility, this portable drive is a highly versatile device. While it works for anything, from external recording to a post-production scratch disk, it also brings lightning speeds to the fundamental parts of every video project. Transferring footage from both his drone memory card and a cinema camera monitor/recorder, Janes’ needs were demanding to say the least. But the Samsung shouldered the responsibility. “The data transferred on and off the portable drive so quickly – it’s phenomenally fast. I’ve got seven SSDs from another brand, which I’ve always thought impressive, but the Samsung is so much quicker,” he enthuses.



ON THE MOVE At a featherweight 58g and minuscule 85x57x8mm, the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch is well at home in any on-the-go set-up. And with PC, Mac and Android compatibility via USB Type C to C and Type C to A, what you pair it with is completely up to you

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch is a highly compact device. The extent of it, though, pleased Janes all the same. “One of the first things I noticed was its aesthetic design. And it’s small enough to fit in the front pocket of my laptop sleeve. Other drives can’t – it’s so handy to carry around my whole set-up in a single bag.” Turning to yet another unique physical feature, Janes ponders the use of the drive’s fingerprint scanner – backed by robust AES 256-bit encryption. “This project wasn’t as confidential as others, but with many clients, and working on behalf of production companies, I often handle data under NDA. In that sense, this layer of security can’t be overlooked.” It’s clear the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch has impressed Janes above and beyond SSDs that came before. “You know it’s going to live up to potential, because this is Samsung. I feel confident putting my data on the portable drive, knowing its other products have never let me down before. Every detail in the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch has been made for good reason. For me, it’s all about the portability and the speed.”

Naturally, a man of varied expertise would have loved the chance to push the portable drive’s capabilities elsewhere. “This project was all about the efficiency and reliability of transfers – but having seen it handle Raw footage there, I’d love to test it as a portable memory source for post-production work. “Still, I was thoroughly impressed by the transfers alone. One moment, while on location, I decided to fly the drone for

one last repeat, to ensure the shot was perfect. I left the other card copying onto the Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch, and it was holding a lot of data. I expected it to finish by the time I’d completed the sequence, but the transfer was done before even relaunching the drone! That efficiency meant I could go to the next location on time, without worry.” With portable right there in the name, it should come as no surprise that the

37. MAY 2022

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