Pro Moviemaker Autumn 2018

GROUPTEST: PRO FILTERS Transform your movies with these essentials

One graduate reveals what she learned after a year of studying TALES FROM FILMSCHOOL


The debate you must read


AUTUMN 2018 £4.99




The new breed of LEDs that are taking over

SOUND SORTED How to choose and use mics

ACTION STATIONS! The best kit for speedy shooting THE HOT LIST Latest trends in filmmaking you can’t ignore

PLUS Simplify your post-production with our real-world guide to editing Making sense of VR: How business is booming for immersive filmmakers Tripods, mics, bags, hard drives & lots more gear tested and rated


OPINION by Adam Duckworth



The serious money was, as a rule, to be found in charging for work destined for big national or even international campaigns for corporate clients. In recent years, the vast majority of customers have asked for some footage or short films to be made available for use on social media – for which there is often no extra fee offered, or a very small fee, because “it’s just for use on the web”. But as clients increasingly move their marketing spend from traditional media to social media, filmmakers are left with the low-fee option of social media or internet-only campaigns for which the fees are lower. And as social media platforms now run and charge for ads, or charge for promoted posts on Facebook and Instagram, this is a cheap way of clients getting content. Switched-on filmmakers are now reassessing this model, and when pricing up jobs are now taking into consideration how many people are likely to see the content on the client’s social media channels and whether the client is planning to pay to promote it, as that way it will have even more commercial value because it will be seen by more people. If you have your own large social media followings, then by posting your latest work on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you are exposing the client’s brand to a big audience – and more than just the terms of number of followers; by posting, there is an element of you endorsing the brand, which has a cost, too (not least in that rival brands might not hire you in future to avoid any potential conflict). So clients should be made aware of it and should pay for that, or it should certainly be part of the negotiation around fees. However you approach the issue it’s becoming clear that now, more than ever before, is the time to be smart about social media...

Welcome to the autumn issue of Pro Moviemaker , and as you read this the teamwill be preparing to head off to the giant IBC Show in Amsterdam, to get another fascinating insight into the the future of filmmaking. If you’ve never been, then put it on your agenda for future years because it’s a rare chance to meet pretty much all of the manufacturers, movers and shakers in one place – and you learn so much. As always we’ve got an issue packed with reviews of the very latest gear, so look out for our test of the exciting new 6K Super 35 Kinefinity Mavo, while we’re also putting the Panasonic GH5S and its Sony rival, the A7 III, head-to-head to compare the qualities of these two feature-packed mirrorless marvels. On the features front we’ve got a report from the recent Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, one of the biggest events of its kind on the world, while we’re also looking at whether stock footage is now a viable way not just to provide those jaw-dropping – but frustratingly expensive – sequences in your production, but also whether it could make you additional income as a supplier yourself. Also unmissable is our profile of VR specialists Vision 3, who are proving beyond any doubt that this cutting-edge technology is here to stay. Another jam-packed issue, in other words, so take a look inside and enjoy!



The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers

Editor in chief Adam Duckworth Editor Terry Hope Senior sub editor Lisa Clatworthy Sub editors Siobhan Godwood, Felicity Evans & Lynne Maxwell EDITORIAL ADVERTISING Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 Advertising manager Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Design manager Alan Gray Designers Lucy Woolcomb, Laura Bryant, Man-Wai Wong & Mark George PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck

Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ

Pro Moviemaker is published quarterly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without priorwritten permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. ISSN number: 2045-3892. Pro Moviemaker is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Pro Moviemaker 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 are street prices. In sterling they includeVAT but US dollar prices are without local sales taxes. Prices are where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.




The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers




The latest in cool kit from the Cine Gear Expo at paramount Studios in Los Angeles, plus exotic new lenses from Sony and Fujifilm, and a look forward to the mega IBC Show in Amsterdam.


From kit to codec, marketing to social media, we take a look at the trends in filmmaking right now that you really can’t afford to ignore. 28 PLUNGING THE DEPTHS If you think making normal movies is tricky enough, meet the man who has made it his mission to shoot underwater as much as he can. 34 RETRO IS THE NEW THING It’s all about a vintage aesthetic and library footage at the world’s top documentary get-together, the annual Sheffield Doc/Fest. 38 LIVING THE DREAM The young filmers making huge waves in the market. If you love shooting but hate post then perhaps you’re not doing it right. Check out our handy real-world guide to shooting for the edit, organising your footage and improving your movies. 48 UNDERSTANDING LUTS How Look-Up Tables can really make your life easy and give a seriously stylish edge to your films. We look at how they work, what to watch for and where you can get some LUTs for free! ACADEMY 44 POST-PRODUCTION MADE EASY




54 PLAY THE STOCK MARKET Do you think that using stock footage in your edits is a mark of failure to get the real shots you need? Read our guide to how and why you should use stock to take your movies to the next level, and how you can sell your own archive footage. 62 MAKING SENSE OF VR For the forward-thinking filmmaker who is prepared to forge a path in the latest cutting-edge tech, VR can be a lucrative market that’s hungry for top-quality content. We meet the man whose business is booming thanks to top-quality immersive content.




The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers


71 THE NEWS FROM ABOVE! All the latest from the world of UAVs such as the new laws that are coming to UK to tighten up on unlicensed drone use and the new Parrot 4K. 74 DRONES: MUST-HAVE OR OLD HAT? Drone use has exploded but for some, it’s just a fad that doesn’t hugely add to production values any more. We look at the debate on whether the time is right to join the drone bandwagon or whether that (air) ship has already sailed.



Always wanted a RED but couldn’t afford it? The Kinefinity Mavo 6K is the new Super35 camera that’s modular like a RED but at less than half the price. 86 SONY A7 III VERSUS PANASONIC GH5S It’s the shoot-out between the ultimate mirrorless cameras for filmmaking. Can the full-frame Sony beat the Micro Four Thirds Don’t fix it in post but get it right in camera! Filters for everything frommirrorless and DSLRs to full-size cinema cameras rated. 102 AUDIO BASICS EXPLAINED Getting the sound right is a tough ask for many but we help with some tips on what to buy and how to use it. 106 MINI TESTS We take a look at kit ranging fromMiller and Manfrotto tripods to two sorts of camera bag, a custom Peli case insert and lots more. 122 LONG-TERM TESTS How has our Sony A9, Andoer slider and Tenba bag held up? 124 BUYER’S GUIDE: GEAR FOR ACTION SHOOTERS If your business is shooting fast-moving subjects in locations all over the planet, you need to take a look at our guide for the best kit. Panasonic? We put them both to the test. 94 FILTERS FOR ALL CAMERAS




CINE GEAR EXPO SHOWCASE Hollywood stars! If you’re into the latest tech in terms of cameras and lenses, then the Cine Gear show is the place to be WORDS JULIAN MITCHELL T he annual NAB show in Las Vegas may be the world’s biggest show for filmmaking tech, with everything from TV studio and VR technology to live streaming and lots Cinefade was showing a new product evolved from its magic filter which allows

CW Sonderoptics showed Leica lenses, including the new Thalia range ready for the large-format explosion. Duclos Lenses was on the side of the street which you would recognise from the Austin Powers movies. Matthew Duclos was showing his new Duclos 1.7x Expander, the saviour of the S35mm lenses for those who intend to use large- format cinematography. The Expander effectively increases the image circle of the taking lens, providing a narrower field of view but with great image quality. MK-V Omega was showing demos of its new VR set simulation. You can actually practise your camera moves with equipment from cranes to dollies and you can even import your own virtual sets so initiating gear set-ups before you get on the real set is a possibility. In Panavision’s backyard you’d expect a big showing and we weren’t

you to change depth-of-field while keeping a constant exposure. The new product gives you the Cinefade effect but is also a variable ND filter, so you can dial the level of ND that you want. Canon showed the new C700 FF camera with its non-standard sized new sensor. As a show promotion there was an offer to update your C700 with a new sensor block for only $2500. The Carl Zeiss booth was all about the new Supreme large-format lenses, as early adopter Balazs B commented: “The lenses have a beautiful gentle roll-off on the focus while still retaining the resolution demanded by high pixels count cameras.” Hive Lighting showed a line of stinging insect named lighting including Bee, Hornet and Wasp. The Hornet 200- C uses only 150Wwhich the company rates as equivalent to a 650-1000W incandescent.

more. But if it’s cameras, lenses and gizmos to capture footage you’re into, then the Cine Gear Expo in Hollywood is the place to be, held on the huge backlot of Paramount Pictures every summer. The show is booming due to the location with its exclusive fake New York streets and eateries, and the glamour of operating in such a hub of film and TV production. Looking around, I picked some cutting- edge trends in filmmaking technology, starting with high-end camera maker ARRI , which provided the kit for the vast majority of Oscar-winning films this year. On show were the custom-made lenses used in Solo: A Star Wars Story – the now famed DNA glass that persuaded DOP Bradford Young to stop searching for his lens choice. Anton Bauer was showing its new battery range with the Dionic XT90 and 150. Wildlife filmmaker Bertie Gregory said: “What stands out for me about the Dionic XTs is that they work really well in the cold, have great capacity, and save weight and space.”

disappointed with launches, competitions and an art installation. Four new large- format lens sets were on display. Primo X “If it’s cameras, lenses and gizmos you’re into, then the Cine Gear Expo is the place to be”




is the first cinema lens designed for use on drones and gimbals – fully sealed, counterbalanced to be aerodynamic and come in 14mm (T3.1), 24mm (T1.6) and a 24-70mm zoom (T2.8). H Series is a traditionally designed spherical lens set created with vintage glass and coating, offering slightly elevated blacks for softer contrast. Ultra Vista is a series of large-format anamorphic optics. And PanaSpeed is a large-format update of the classic Primo. Panavision also showed the newly created DXL-M accessory for RED DSMC2 cameras. It brings popular features of DXL to RED MONSTRO, GEMINI and HELIUM sensors, such as the DXL menu system (via an app for the iPhone), LiColor2, motorised lenses, wireless time code (ACN), and the Primo HDR viewfinder. Talking about RED, its announcement about slimming down the range of cameras it offers certainly took people by surprise. There is now just the DSMC2 camera BRAIN with three sensor options - MONSTRO 8K VV, HELIUM 8K S35 and GEMINI 5K S35. This streamlined approach will result in a price reduction compared to the old line-up. Finally, Sony had a remote camera system based on the Venice full-frame camera, and details of version two of the Venice firmware with amongst other features: Dual base ISO, with 15+ stops of exposure latitude supporting high base ISO of 2500 in addition to existing ISO of 500; selection of off-speed fps in individual frame increments; several imager modes, 25p in 6K Full-Frame, 25p in 4K 4:3 Anamorphic, 6K 17:9, 1.85:1 and 4K 6:5 Anamorphic and now users can remove the PL mount and use a wide assortment of native E-mount lenses.

IMAGES The Cine Gear Expo at Paramount Studios in Hollywood saw lots of the latest kit on show, from the lens used to film the latest Star Wars film to the latest Panavision glass and lots more.




World’s lightest 4 00 mm f/ 2 .8 lens and fingerprints. There’s a drop-in filter slot that accepts 40.5mm filters, and an optional

Sony has proven it’s serious about pros with a 400mm f/2.8 prime lens that’s the lightest of its type, and lighter than some rivals’ 300mm f/2.8 optics. It’s the first large aperture super-telephoto prime to join the E-mount line-up and fits FE-mount bodies like the A9 and A7R III and also Super35 cinema cameras such as the FS5 and FS7 –making it ideal for wildlife or sports shooters. The lens will ship in September, priced at £10,500/$16,250. The light 2.9kg/6.4lb weight of this lens is thanks to an optical design that includes three fluorite elements, with a reduced number of elements deployed at the front of the barrel, as well as use of magnesium alloy components. The lens has two newly developed high- speed Linear Motors that Sony claims gives a five-times improvement in moving-subject tracking performance. There is an 11-blade circular aperture for smooth bokeh, and the lens is compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters. There is a lightweight carbon fibre hood, built-in optical stabilisation and the lens is dust and moisture resistant with a front element coated with fluorine to resist dirt

circular polarising filter will be available. Sony has also revealed a free firmware upgrade for its A9 camera to make it fully compatible with the new 400mm lens. Sony users used to be hampered by a lack of lenses, but many manufacturers now offer optics in the E-mount fitting. Sigma recently made its ART range of primes available in a Sony mount, and Tamron has launched a 28- 75mm f/2.8 zoom to fit the cameras. Zeiss is widening its range of Batis lenses to include a new 40mm f/2 model, and there are newmanual focus models available from Samyang and Voigtländer as well as more budget brands Laowa and Neewer. Sony is believed to be working on more pro-level lensesin E mount, such as a 200- 600mm zoom, 500 and 60mm f/4 primes using the same technology as the new 400mm lens, a 24mm f/1.4 and a 135mm lens.

BIG GUN STEALS THE MEDIA PRODUCTION SHOW Canon’s full-frame C700 cinema camera got its first UK showing at the Media Production Show in London’s Olympia and wowed the crowd, especially as it was rigged up with accessories for professional moviemakers. For those with less deep pockets, the Kinefinity range was on show, including the Terra 4K and Mavo Super35 cameras. Their stand was always crowded as punters checked out the hardware and footage from both cameras on high-resolution monitors. The Chinese-made cameras offer RED-style modularity at a fraction of the cost. And still with cinema cams, the BlackMagic Ursa Production camera – like a cheaper, stripped-down Ursa Mini Pro – was also a big hit. There weren’t many new products revealed at the show, as many manufacturers showed off their products that had been unveiled at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. But you can rely on British lighting firm Rotolight to pull something out of the bag and so they announced the launch of the NEO 2 Explorer Kit. It’s a portable, lightweight three-light kit ideal for owner-operator cameramen on a budget. Now held in a new lightweight case rather than Rotolight’s older hard cases, the kit is far more portable and comes with light stands, colour filters, and power supplies for the three heads for £1200/$1400.

VITEC KEEPS IT BRITISH British tripod giant Vitec has opened a new purpose-built

66,000-square-foot factory in Bury St Edmunds, where they have been based since 1964. It’s the design home of the company’s brands including Autocue, Autoscript, O’Connor, Sachtler and Vinten, and has a carbon-fibre cell for the manufacture of the award-winning camera tripod, the Flowtech. Vitec was started in 1910 by William Vinten and went on to invent groundbreaking cameras, supports, cranes, dollies and pan- tilt camera heads. Early on, the BBC standardised on Vinten equipment, a partnership that remains strong.




Fujifilm lenses target the pro Fujifilm’s goal to be a serious

player in the professional stills and moviemaking market has taken a step forward with the launch of a 200mm prime lens with a very fast f/2.0 maximum aperture which comes bundled with a 1.4x teleconverter. So on a camera like Fujifilm’s latest X-H1 which has an APS-C size sensor very similar to Super35, the lens alone acts like the full-frame equivalent of a 305mm f/2.0 optic. And with the 1.4x converter, it’s the equivalent of a 427mm f/2.8 so is ideal for sports and wildlife shooters. It will cost £5399/$5999 when it hits the shops in September. It has optical image stabilisation, is weather sealed and has a total of 19 elements, including one Super ED and two ED elements. The front element has a fluorine coating to protect from fingerprints. Fujifilm has also revealed an 8-16mm f/2.8 zoom to be launched in November for £1799/$2000, and future plans for a 33mm f/1.o lens. This would be the equivalent of a 50mm lens on a full-frame sensor.

If you’ve been experiencing delays in your orders of SmallHD products, it’s because the American firmwas hit by a fire at its headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. “We could see flames and smoke pouring out of everywhere, but nobody was hurt,” said chief exec Wes Phillips. “Smoke and soot permeated everything. We had to throw away millions of dollars worth of inventory. Some of that takes 14 weeks to replace,” he said. The fire was spotted by Small HD employees who were working late and were the only people in the building at the time. SMALLHD HIT BY FIRE

Adobe Rush into sharing Adobe has revealed Project Rush, designed for high- quality editing of footage on a smartphone or tablet then immediately sharing the film to social media. It’s ideal for video bloggers who use their phones to record, edit and share footage quickly, but want the flexibility of professional editing software. It’s an integrated desktop and mobile software that syncs projects to the cloud so you can work on them on any device. It uses all the Creative Cloud apps like Premiere Pro and After Effects plus Adobe Stock and editable Motion Graphics templates. The project is in Beta test phase and Adobe are recruiting testers.

CREATE FLAREWITH A MAGICWAND AND PIXIE DUST! If you don’t like faking flare on your films in post-production then you might be interested in creating it in-camera using the all-new Flaresticks. You just hold the Flarestick in front of the lens to create blurring or reflection as Fairy’s Favourite, Fat Lady, Magic Wand, Pixiedust and The Ball and each costs £39/$52 or a full set for £132/$174.

They are the brainchild of DOP Dirk Wojcik who says it’s a more professional solution than flea market substitutes such as used crystals, glass fragments and cellophane gels.

effects, or shine a light through to create some natural-looking flare. Currently the range includes such evocatively-named Flaresticks




We’re constantly endeavouring to improve Pro Moviemaker and to reinforce its credentials as the magazine of choice for those running a commercial filmmaking business. As part of this it’s crucial that we understand which areas of the magazine you enjoy the most, which products you most want to hear about and to get a better idea of the profile of our readers. To help us to do this we’re inviting you to take part on our latest reader survey. Get involved here: We hope you can find time to take part and we’ll be looking at the results to make decisions on the future direction of the publication. Be part of our future and have your say on what you want to see in these pages! Plus you could win a bottle of champagne. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

Coming to Amsterdam this September, IBC 2018’s celebration of everything new and exciting

Future Zone provides an informed glimpse of the technology that’s just around the corner. Bringing together the very latest ideas and concepts from international industry and academia, the focus is on showing how new technologies grow from their first inception, progress through research, development and validation, to mature into the groundbreaking applications and product standards of the future. At the Partners Pavilion, engage with representatives from the show’s partners, arrange meetings, digest specially curated content, learn about the latest initiatives and find out how you or your company could get more closely involved. Launch Pad is the place to see the latest innovations. For anyone with a keen interest in the future of the filmmaking industry or who just enjoys the buzz of innovation and cutting-edge product, this is the place to be. As always, the Pro Moviemaker teamwill be there, bringing you back all the news. Register at:

Now in its 51st year, the huge annual IBC show takes place in its usual venue, Amsterdam’s RAI Halls, 14-18 September, with the associated conference running 13‑17 September. Billed as the world’s most influential media, entertainment and technology show, the event is massive, spilling out across no less than 15 halls, and it’s packed with visitors from across the globe. Last year 57,669 people attended– a figure that’s expected to be smashed this year. The big players all have huge stands crammed with products and personnel to show them off, and there’s a supporting programme of events and workshops to back up the exhibits on the floor. Highlights include the Big Screen Programme, focusing on how innovation in tech is allowing filmmakers to bring stories to life like never before. The presentations will feature production talent behind blockbuster features and major episodics including Game of Thrones and Deadpool .

IMAGES Meet the movers and shakers, check out the latest ideas and innovations at IBC 2018 – and read all about it in the next issue of Pro Moviemaker magazine, out December.





Dr JonathanWardle is director of the National Film and Television School and his vision includes making its students ready to be industry leaders

I n a world where some would question whether study or experience is the best way to break into the filmmaking industry, the National Filmand Television School (NFTS) claims to offer the best of both worlds, with a line-up of courses that are carefully geared towards delivering the skills and contacts that specific roles demand. Heading up the school is Dr Jonathan Wardle, whose previous experience includes establishing postgraduate partnerships with the BBC, Guardian and Sony Computers Entertainment Europe at Bournemouth University, and writing

the Creative Skillset ‘Build Your OwnMA’ framework. Made director of the NFTS last year, he’s responsible for developing a number of new courses working in partnership with organisations including Sky, Channel 4, Discovery Networks International, the BBC and Aardman. We caught up with him to hear his take on the world of filmmaking and education. We teach what other schools don’t It was a huge privilege to get the job of director last year after working at the NFTS since 2012. When I first joined the School it had 240 students and taught a very core

set of courses, but nowwe’ve got over 500 students and teachmore behind-the- camera courses than any other film school in the world. We teach everything from assistant camera to production accounting and script supervision, which are areas no other film school teaches. So the School changed and strengthened in that period by having that diversity of students. We’remore popular than Oxford and Cambridge! I think it’s fair to say we don’t have problems with applications in core areas. Actually, the numbers show that we





get more applications at postgraduate level than Oxford and Cambridge, and we’re undeniably in a growth area. The tricky bit is where people want to work in high profile areas, such as directing, writing or producing, yet that might not be where the demand is. That’s why we’ve developed courses such as script supervision and production accounting, because there’s a real industry skills gap in those areas. You need to focus to thrive We’re postgraduate, so that means - although it’s not a prerequisite - that most students have already done an undergraduate degree in a generalist area. What they come to us for is to build a portfolio and specialise in a particular area. The film and television industry is not a generalist discipline – you build a career and life in a particular area. And it’s only because of the specific nature of what we do and because people spend two years building a portfolio that within a few weeks of graduating they have the potential to get top jobs. For example, one of our 2017 composing graduates, Segun Akinola, has just been announced as the new composer for Dr Who , which I don’t think would have happened if he’d done a bit of sound, a bit of editing and a bit of composing. He got that job because he focused. Be clear in what you want to achieve We also run diplomas, which are typically a year long, in particular areas such as production management, because there would be diminishing returns in areas like that if students were here for two years. A one-year Production Management diploma is just as valuable as a two-year MA in many ways because graduates are going to join at a junior level anyway, whereas with directing you’re using the second year to create a set of original films and work which becomes a way of getting hired on top shows. I always say at open days: “If you don’t know what you want to do but you know you want to broadly work in the film or television industry, this isn’t the right place for you. Only come here if you’re really clear where you want to be as we can help you achieve that.” Experience and learning work together The whole philosophy of how the courses are taught is learning by doing. Students learn how to be a production manager

by production managing multiple films. They learn how to be a composer by doing the music for games, animations, fictions and documentaries. The teaching and the workshops wrap around that rather than workshops running separately. Every course has great exposure to the industry so, on screenwriting for example, they don’t do work experience but spend a lot of time with production companies interfacing with development people; on the Production Management Diploma, students do month-long placements, so it depends on the discipline. You can always learn something We’re probably the biggest provider of short courses for the film and television industry in the UK and have a reputation for being able to support people at an early or mid-career stage. The short courses are not for people who know nothing: they are for people who are already working but want to expand their skillset. For example, someone may have been working in development for some time but they want to understand productionmore so they go on a short course to expand their horizons. We work with about 700 people a year on short courses and they are very practical. You have to build up a track record The fact is that you’re never going to get given the gig of shooting a high-end TV drama or a feature unless you’ve done it before, so you have to build a portfolio and track record as a DOP, which is different to being an assistant in the camera department. You need a slate of work where you’ve made the choices. By coming to film school you get to do that, and a lot of our students come because they’ve tried to work their way up. They might have finished their undergraduate degree at 21 and worked for a couple of years in the industry, but they can’t seem to make that jump to the next level of their career; they come here and spend two years building a portfolio, so that when they leave they have a real chance of getting the break they want. Don’t be allergic to ‘practical’ We don’t see ourselves as being an academic route but rather a very practical route. What students are paying for is the space, time and support to make a portfolio of work. Some people say ‘don’t go to film school, go and make a film’, but I would argue that the fees to come here

ABOVE Plenty of real-life, practical experience gives added value to the NFTS’ educational offer.

are around £12-13,000/$15,929-17,245 a year and we give £11/12k a year to students to make their graduation film, so they get a lot back in terms of production budgets. For that they will go away having made three big, substantial films and two or three smaller films. Filmmaking should be accessible tomany A huge part of what we do is support British talent. Last year 68% of the student body was British, 48%were female, 26%were black and ethnic minority British and that only happens because of scholarships – last year 83% of the British students who applied got some level of financial support, which is means tested. They apply and they might get all their fees paid or a proportion of their fees paid, and we match themwith donors. We have about 80 industry donors who give money to support that. Expansion is the key to success My mission is to build on the national element of the school’s name and to do more in the nations and regions. We’ve already opened a base in Glasgow and are in the process of thinking about where else we might operate from. We are also thinking about the outreach work that we do, and what we might do to support people at a lower entry point like we do with the BFI FilmAcademy, which is aimed at 16- to 19-year-olds. All in all, it’s an excitingmoment in time for the School.

“We’re probably the biggest provider of short courses for the film and TV industry in the UK”

More information




A journey intowedding cinematography Meeting andmarrying successful wedding photographer Kate Hopewell- Smith was the catalyst for Brent Kirkman to leave the IT industry after 25 years to start a fresh career as a wedding filmmaker

I am very much a second career cinematographer. I have, however, always had a love of video and filming so when I met my wife – Kate Hopewell-Smith – shooting movies was a natural development from just shooting stills and a business evolution that I encouraged us to consider. Having completed a private pilot’s licence in 2000, I was also keen to explore the aerial imaging world – the perfect excuse to invest in some drones! I cut my teeth shooting video on DSLRs and relatively quickly became frustrated with their limitations. I was particularly exasperated by the lack of dynamic range, being able to judge exposure only on an LCD screen, the imposition of a maximum record time, manual zoom control, poor autofocus and lack of good audio recording control. Using a DSLR is basically like filming in JPEG – everything is baked in - so I needed to choose my

settings wisely as there was very limited scope to make any adjustments later on. Kate’s business was, and still is, known for photography and any filming work was an add-on. We made the decision to launch a new, luxury, imaging brand that gave the three disciplines we offer equal importance. In 2017 we launched Photography, Film and Air byLumiere – positioning ourselves at the high-end with a focus on destination weddings. After becoming frustrated with my DSLR and with a higher pricing strategy it became clear that it was time to invest in a more professional platform. I needed to be able to produce better quality footage and have far greater scope for post- production colour grading – particularly as we wanted to offer photography and films with a unique look and feel. I began to do my research knowing it would be a significant business investment and was seriously considering




Canon and Blackmagic – hiring in kit to test in real-life wedding scenarios. One major consideration, however, was our vast collection of Nikon glass, and this introduced me to the Sony offering. The Sony PXW-FS7 has a very shallow flange distance which basically meant that I could use Nikon glass in conjunction with a Metabones Speed Booster. With this in mind I hired the Sony for a Blenheimwedding and loved the ergonomics and functionality it offered. The hire price included a Sony 18-110mm f/4 G OSS PZ Cinema lens and through experiencing its incredible focusing and zoom system I never actually got to use any of my Nikon lenses on the day. Investing in a system I’d found my system. There are many things about the kit that impress me but I particularly enjoy filming in S-Log. This gives me far more control in post- production and I was blown away by the increase in dynamic range. This is an important element of how we work – both of us love high contrast scenarios and often shoot straight into the light or in low-light situations. I was finally able to deliver films that were truly cinematic and had the same look and feel as our photography. Both Kate and I shoot photography and video – assisting each other if we are only booked for a single discipline. This meant that I also needed to consider what system Kate or other second shooters should film on and, while I didn’t envisage this being another FS7, I didn’t want to be including footage shot on DSLRs when my own footage was much better quality and offered far more flexibility. Fast-forward to The Photography Show this year, when we explained to the Sony team that we needed to understand their Alpha Series better for our photography/ video education offering: Training byLumiere. They were happy to lend us two A7 III bodies and lenses and we both put them through their paces. It came to the point where we were due to send the kit back and neither of us wanted to.

“I’d foundmy system. There are many things about the kit that impressme, particularly S-Log”

What we promise is a ‘creative team that works completely in sync with each other and with our clients, providing a single approach to shooting and directing, light and location and of course the final results that are crafted with the same style and finish’. It’s so much easier when you have a singular vision and creative style – I understand what Kate is striving for in terms of light and exposure and we don’t even need to communicate on why we are directing in a certain way. Video post-production takes longer than stills - after all I have to watch the entire wedding again - and Kate tends to deliver before me. What we always love is the feedback after a couple see their film: they always say it is like watching their photographs come to life. I feel very happy with my current filming set up – having the benefit of a pro cinema set up as well as two additional Sony Alpha cameras and lenses which are highly capable and seriously deliver for the price point. It’s also worth noting that the A7 III is a fantastic camera for drone platforms and electronic gimbals. So we’re covered on all fronts and couldn’t be happier!

I asked for an extension because we were filming a wedding with Eddie Redmayne and I wanted my second shooter to be on the same platform. The A7 III has many colour profiles including S-Log so you can understand why I made the request. My second shooter turned up the night before and I told her that I wanted her to shoot Sony. There was a mild panic but after an hour her comment was ‘well this will be easy’. So now I had found my second shooter camera body. Luckily, Kate was having the same love affair with the Sony Alpha series in relation to stills, and this summer she’s switched. We now have two A9 and two A7 III bodies and a great range of G Master lenses, which we can use on the FS7 as well. We finally have the Holy Grail of a single system across both stills and video. People often ask us how Kate and I can live and work together, considering weddings are not the most relaxing of work environments and historically something of a war zone for photographers and cinematographers! When we are just shooting stills we occasionally have had difficult situations with video teams. Conflict can arise around such things as who gets pole position, while the use of flash can ruin footage. This is why we much prefer it when we are commissioned as a team to deliver both photography and cinematography. We fully understand both worlds and accept that there are times of compromise and patience – always putting the couple first.

More information

IMAGES Adopting Sony kit for all aspects of the business, byLumiere deliver stills and video with the same look and feel.





The red-hot trends in filmmaking right now and how you can get involved to boost your business


F ilmmaking is a fast-paced world, with new technologies pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and what’s in demand from clients changing all the time. It wasn’t that long ago that affordable, large-sensor digital cameras were out of the financial reach of the independent filmmaker. Affordable drones, motorised camera stabilisers and point-of-view action

lights would never surpass tungsten and HMI are eating their words. But after the dust has settled from the big show season which included the BSC and Media Production shows in London, and NAB and Cine Gear Expo in the USA, there are key trends that are emerging, are about to explode or have indeed exploded in a big way. Ignore them at your peril.

cameras that shot in 4K at 60fps were the things we could only dream about. Now they are everyday and pretty much expected as tools to raise the production values of your films. It’s only in the past couple of years that Super35 cinema cameras have become far more affordable, and dedicated cinema glass to go on them, too. And the people who thought LED





It wasn’t that long ago that LED lights were being touted as the best new thing in filmmaking, and many scoffed. The view was they were inconsistent in colour, weren’t powerful enough and would never take over from the hot tungsten and HMI lights the film industry had used for decades. But that has changed a lot in recent years, as LED technology has boomed. And as camera sensors have improved, there often isn’t the need for such powerful lights as a filmmaker can crank up the ISO. LEDs are typically smaller and lighter, quicker to spark into life and don’t need anywhere near the power of larger HMI lights. Huge ballast packs and trucks filled with generators are not needed any more. And if they are used a lot, the savings in electricity over older-style hot lights can make financial sense. They are flicker free and many can be wirelessly controlled via Wi-Fi or DMX, so it can integrate with existing systems. The technology has now reached a new point, with many of the serious brands launching LED lights – in everything from large soft panels to punchy hard lights – with red, green and blue output as well as the traditional daylight or tungsten balance. With a bit of tint thrown in if you were lucky. At the major shows this year, the big thing in lighting was RGB or RGBW lights, signifying that these lights could either have adjustable colour temperature and tint to produce white light, or be set to output any colour you like via a mix of red, green and blue. This has been a major breakthrough to get the colours accurate, as well as being able to produce clean white light. Byron Brown, product manager of industry giant Litepanels, said: “Quality control of LEDs will continue to be a critical factor in creating top-quality lighting. Most top quality, multicolour LED lighting products will also be calibrated at the factory to ensure consistent and accurate colour performance.” For now, there are more large, soft light panels available than more punchy lights as they overheat if too much power is in too small a space. Incandescent and HMI bulbs create an enormous amount of power in a very small space, while LED technology is still catching up. But this is

IMAGES Embrace the rainbow with the latest RGB and RGBW lights from the likes of ARRI, Litepanels and Fiilex.

“Quality control of LEDs will continue to be a critical factor”




If you’ve come to filmmaking from professional photography then it comes as a bit of a shock that the vast majority of video isn’t shot in Raw. Stills shooters predominantly use Raw for ultimate quality and flexibility in processing, and now that experience is increasingly coming to filmmaking. It’s about having the best-quality information that you can push and pull around in post-processing. You can have 10-bit 4:2:2 footage at 400Mbps shot in Log via a relatively lossless codec, but there is nothing like having the actual Raw data itself to play with on your faster computer packed with accurate grading and editing software. And if you think it’s only for high-end productions, you’d be very wrong. A DOP and lighting tech can set up lights on big-budget films so the contrast and white-balance is controlled – all under the watchful eye of a director monitoring everything on a colour-corrected screen. But the typical small crew or run- and-gun operator has to multitask, often in less-than-perfect mixed lighting. So being able to perfect it afterwards is a huge bonus. RED pioneered Raw shooting with its modular cameras shooting RedCode Raw files, but these are the domain of the few well-off filmmakers. Now Raw is becoming much more affordable, with cameras like the URSA Mini Pro and Kinefinity range offering it, Canon’s EOS C200 with its own slimmed-down Raw Light format and Sony’s FS5 and FS7 outputting Sony’s own Raw files – but all these need an intermediate step to make the files useable. And file sizes can be huge, meaning you need a fast computer and shares in hard drive manufacturers. 2. GET READY FOR RAW

Now there’s ProRes Raw which takes the Raw files from cameras like the Sony FS700, FS5 and FS7 Mark I and IIs, Canon EOS C500 and C300 Mark II, Panasonic EVA-1 and VariCams and even DJI cameras, and records them on an Atomos recorder. They offer the flexibility of a Raw file, but in a smaller size and with the benefits of a ready- to-edit format. The new Apple ProRes Raw is a free upgrade to owners of the Atomos Shogun Inferno or Atomos Sumo19 monitor/recorder. As long as your camera can output Raw via SDI then the recorder will translate that Raw data and convert it into the much more efficient ProRes Raw format. The biggest issue in shooting in Raw has always been the vast amounts of data. If you shoot Raw from cameras like Sony’s FS5, you can fill a 500GB hard drive in less than 15 minutes. With ProRes Raw, the Atomos records the Raw from the camera to one of two versions, Apple ProRes Raw or the higher-quality but larger ProRes Raw HQ. Using new compression techniques, ProRes Raw files are sized between conventional ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 HQ, while ProRes RAWHQ generally fall between those of Apple ProRes 422 HQ and Apple ProRes 4444. So essentially, file sizes that are reasonable to record and store. There are no additional steps in editing. You just use the footage as you would normal ProRes, except you have much more control. And the workable file sizes mean they can be edited on an iMac with no speed issues at all, and no frames dropped in playback. Of course, as it’s an Apple format you have to edit in Final Cut Pro X but it’s hoped other NLEs will follow suit.

changing rapidly and lights like the Fiilex Matrix II are already hitting the market and making an impact. Al DeMayo, the CEO of LiteGear, said: “The LED revolution that has taken place worldwide, in nearly every market segment, has largely been with the use of non-directional LED chips. Frankly speaking, they are much easier and cheaper to produce and these 120º, wide output LEDs are ideal for soft light fixtures. “Our business grew up using directional light fixtures such as fresnels and PARs with diffusion or bounce boards to create beautiful soft light. Today soft light is easy and uses far less area around camera. Directional light fixtures are coming but are a much greater challenge to make as they require engineered optics. Especially challenging is the use of phosphor-corrected, ultra-high CRI white LEDs. I think we will soon see high-quality directional white light as the technology and design evolves.” Of course it’s the new RGB coloured LEDs that are making an impact now, with lights like the ARRI SkyPanel and Litepanels Gemini allowing you to quickly use a full spectrumof colours to add lots of impact to any scene. No gels needed any more.





Facebook is not only a giant in social media but also as a marketing platform for lots of commercial companies, and media brands use it to get their messages out to the general public. Three years ago Facebook announced it was going to give preference to video content over still photographs and text, which sent many companies into complete overdrive as they hired people who could quickly make video content for them and get it out on Facebook. And many media companies went video mad, quickly hiring inexperienced and cheap filmmakers to put out as much content as possible in the hope that they’d sell expensive adverts around and in it. But it didn’t work anywhere near as well as was expected, as the content was often of poor quality and it led to digital- only publishers andmarketing companies slimming down and cutting their staff. Turns out, Facebook viewers don’t want to see amateur content fromprofessional brands.

And this year the mighty Facebook announced it would prioritise content from user’s friends rather than companies and media brands. The Facebook-led video bubble had burst. But now, the market has matured and the demand for talented moving-image storytellers is growing. Forward-thinking companies of all sizes are hiring staff or freelancers to produce quality video to make all sorts of shorts – everything from traditional adverts to documentaries and even scripted content. This branded content, if done well, engages with audiences and by producing and distributing it themselves, big clients can keep control of both their brand message and costs. That means that branded content films, commissioned by advertisers who want editorial-like storytelling to build their brand but ultimately sell products and services, are booming. It allows talented filmmakers to be creative and make good-quality films, paid for by

companies who have money to spend and are willing to spend it on talent. Some companies like energy drinks giant Red Bull have huge editorial departments dedicated to making high production value films of everything from action sports to rock music. Others just want instructional videos to host on YouTube, or behind the scenes with their ambassadors showing their products in real use, rather than as an advert. Tackle this market, and there is plenty of work. “Forward-thinking companies of all sizes are hiring staff or freelancers to produce quality video tomake all sorts of shorts”





If you’ve ever fallen in love with the look of high-end Hollywood productions, especially big-money sci-fi, then one of the reasons they look the way they do is down to using anamorphic prime lenses. Anamorphic is a very expensive type of lens with its own signature letterbox- style widescreen look, producing the long horizontal flares so favoured by sci-fi filmmakers as well as oval out-of-focus highlights. However, there is usually a massive price tag on these lenses which are often custom-made by some of the world’s finest lens makers such as Cooke. But the anamorphic style is coming to the masses with a raft of new products. The Panasonic GH5S, for example, supports anamorphic shooting via special and more affordable anamorphic lenses from companies like SLR Magic who offer different levels of anamorphic ‘stretch’ to suit different cameras. A set of three 2.0x lenses costs around £9300/$8500, while a

wider 1.33x set is more than double that – so they’re still not exactly cheap. And now, SLR Magic has revealed an new anamorphic adapter which can convert conventional cine lenses. The Anamorphot 65 is a 1.33x adapter used on cameras with a 16x9 sensor ratio that screws onto the front 82mm filter thread. This makes it ideal for some of SLR Magic’s own primes, but also Sigma lenses and the FujifilmMK 18- 55mm and 50-135mm cine zooms. For around £1380/$1500 it can give a great approximation of the anamorphic look to serious cine glass at an affordable price.

For years, you’ve probably winced at smartphone users holding their phones vertically to shoot video clips. But that’s the way that the majority of users hold their devices, so social media giant Instagram has responded. They have launched IGTV, a new video-hosting social media app where the videos can be up to an hour in length – instead of the usual minute on the regular Instagram app – and are designed to be shown full-screen on vertical smartphones. IGTV is like a mobile-specific version of YouTube, where users will have their own ‘channel’ and followers will be able to ‘like’ or subscribe to that channel, comment on them and recommend videos to their friends. And the videos autoplay as soon as the app is switched on – just like a TV set. IGTV content will also appear on the main Instagram app, which is the most important social 5. INSTAGRAM TV IS NOW

media platform in certain countries like the USA, especially in targeting users of a certain youth-led demographic. That means advertisers, companies who want branded content and media outlets will suddenly be looking for videos shot vertically that work on smaller screens. Be prepared, work out how to do it better than others and you will be able to sell your services to a world eager for vertical, smartphone- ready video.



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