Welcome to the new issue of Pro Moviemaker magazine The brand new issue of Pro Moviemaker magazine is packed with loads of the latest equipment and tests to help you make the right decision about what’s right for you and your filmmaking business. This issue we put three very different cameras to the test, to see if sensor size really does matter. From the MFT sensor in the Panasonic G9 II to the Super35-sized Red Komodo-X and the full-frame Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K, these are the tests you need to read. We also launch the second annual Filmmaker of the Year Awards as we seek out the best talent worldwide – and it could be you! With lots of money-saving advice, test reviews of accessories and all the latest and greatest equipment, Pro Moviemaker is out now!
FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR 2024 IS GO! Entries open in our annual contest to honour the best creative talent
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2024 www.promoviemaker.net @ProMoviemaker
The 70-200mm optic to rival Sony’s legendary G Master SIGMA SUPER ZOOM LENS RAISE YOUR GLASS
Hollyland’s wireless on-camera monitor, a super-size Zhiyun softbox, high-speed Sandisk CFexpress card, plus an 8TB Samsung SSD ON TEST THIS ISSUE
There’s massive buzz around Blackmagic’s shockingly affordable full-frame 6K camera
Super 35 stunner specially made for indie film production RED’S X-RATED KOMODO FIRST TEST
Prepare to be amazed by the Panasonic G9 II GEE WHIZZ!
Save serious money in your filmmaking business this year KINGS OF CASH FLOW
G0 GLOBAL Red’s new Komodo-X has the latest shutter tech, but it’s what you film that counts
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
Editor in chief Adam Duckworth Chief sub editor Matthew Winney Sub editors Martin Puddifer, Minhaj Zia Editorial director Roger Payne EDITORIAL
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Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 email@example.com Senior sales executive Claire Cornish 01223 499453 firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Magazine manager Lucy Woolcomb Senior designer Carl Golsby
Junior designer Hedzlynn Kamaruzzaman Junior designer and ad production Holly May PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck MEDIA SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS OF:
It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it. In filmmaking, that means you can make great films even with basic equipment. We all know iPhones have been used to make movies, or even Apple’s own announcement videos. As a magazine packed with equipment, we are fully aware that lack of kit shouldn’t get in the way of making great work – if you don’t want shallow depth-of-field, low noise, fast frame rates for super slow-motion or incredible colours, that is. Now add to that list: verticals that stay vertical. It seems the next phase of sensor technology has reached to an affordable level with global shutters, as found in Red’s Komodo series and now in full-frame cameras thanks to the Sony A9 III. Instead of the wobbly ‘jello’ effect of bendy lines when panning or shooting from a moving vehicle, global shutters totally stop this obvious aberration. The Red and Sony aren’t the first cameras to have these expensive global shutters, but are the first to bring it to market in a package indie filmmakers can afford. While tech heads may be elated at this emerging technology, it’s not much use if audiences don’t engage with the content. If you are a camera operator on a big project, that’s probably down to the director or DOP, for example. But for many indie filmmaking companies and owner-operators, it’s vital to keep abreast of changes in visual trends. For example, the explosion of cinematically shot drama on streaming services has led to an expectation of a similar look in everything from TV shows to corporate films. Adobe has released its huge annual research document into emerging trends for 2024 that include such nebulous concepts as Calming Rhythms, Wonder and Joy, Dynamic Dimensions and The New Nostalgia. These are set to make the biggest visual impact in 2024, and we cover them in this issue. Of course, you can carry on regardless – happy your work will keep clients coming back for more. But if you do take some of these trends on board, you can set yourself away from rival filmmakers. You could tell clients about how these aesthetics will be introduced into your work since they are what influential audiences want, making you more commercially valuable. Many clients work in PR and marketing departments who thrive on trend forecasting like this. Understanding how these trends can be used in marketing films could be a way to boost your business significantly. That might mean some new kit – maybe with a global shutter – to set yourself even further ahead. Food for thought as we enter a new year…
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Pro Moviemaker is published bimonthly 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. 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 include VAT (unless otherwise stated), 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.
ADAM DUCKWORTH, EDITOR IN CHIEF
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2024 CONTENTS AGENDA 6 SONY’S GLOBAL SPORTS LAUNCH The A9 III pioneers the next step for mirrorless cameras with its global shutter sensor and 120fps frame rate for stills. It’s also joined by the world’s lightest 300mm f/2.8 prime lens, perfect for action. 8 CANON SETS THE GOLD STANDARD Canon’s incredible 24-105mm f/2.8L is the first of a fresh hybrid line-up of lenses bringing power zoom control to the EOS R mirrorless range, as well as offering an expanded focal range with a constant f/2.8 aperture. 1O NANLITE’S SLIMMED-DOWN PANEL SHOW A pair of new Nanlite Pavoslim LED panels offer the benefits of lightweight LED flexible mats, but are quicker to set up and break down. Plus, the Production Futures Breakthrough Talent Awards celebrates youth stars. 12 ADOBE OUTLINES CREATIVE TRENDS Calming Rhythms, Wonder and Joy, Dynamic Dimensions and The New Nostalgia are the emerging global creative trends set to make the biggest visual impact in 2024. But how can this affect your work? 14 GET YOUR FLARES SORTED The Cineflares website is an interactive lens flare library offering handy comparisons with other optics. Plus Astera’s pocket-sized White Remote gives instant point-and-click control of its lighting system. 16 PORTABLE PELI PROTECTION Peli has introduced three personal utility cases in the Micro Case series, providing waterproof and dustproof protection for small tech items. Zhiyun’s latest addition to the Fiveray line is the M20 series of LED lights.
AWARDS 23 FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR IS GO!
It’s back! The search begins for the best creative talent in the world of commercial indie filmmaking. From branded content to commercials, music videos to YouTubers, the second annual Filmmaker of the Year Awards start now.
CASE STUDY 36 MEET THE ONE-MAN BRAND
The content creator making a name for himself shooting trade shows reveals the unique rolling location studio he deploys to make sure the cameras are ready to roll in an instant. He speaks on the importance of audio and how he captures it.
ACADEMY 40 MAKING YOUR CASH STRETCH FURTHER
Exploring the fast-growing world of ‘recommerce’ and renting: two sure-fire ways to minimise your spend on equipment this year. We divulge how to avoid the pitfalls of buying used, as well as selling your old and unwanted equipment.
The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers
GEAR 48 IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC
Blackmagic makes a big leap with its first-ever full-frame model, the Cinema Camera 6K. We put the very affordable machine to the test and fall in love with its high-quality Raw output. 56 RED KOMODO HAS THE X FACTOR The popular Red Komodo gets a total refresh to make it more suitable for general production use, including a brand-new sensor that unlocks frame rates twice as fast as the standard model. 62 PANASONIC’S G9 II ENTERS A NEW PHASE Micro Four Thirds makes a comeback with the Lumix that now boasts on-sensor phase detection autofocus. With a compact size and massive choice of codecs, this is a new lease of life for the range. 69 MINI TESTS: LOADS OF KIT RATED We try out a fast Sandisk CFexpress card, speedy Samsung SSD, the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Sports lens for E-mount, Zhiyun Lantern Softbox and Hollyland’s 5.5-inch monitor that streams to your smartphone. BUYERS’ GUIDE 78 WHICH TRIPOD IS BEST FOR YOU? This issue, we check out some of the top three-legged friends that form a key part of every serious filmmaker’s arsenal. From affordable to wildly priced exotica, there’s lots to tempt you. 48
Sony’s global game changer Sony has wiped out the dreaded ‘jello’
the 6K sensor. And the fast new sensor and processor allow use of Sony’s latest AI autofocus with up to 120 AF/AE focus calculations per second. The A9 III features a 24.6-megapixel stacked CMOS sensor with built-in memory and the latest Bionz XR image processing engine. Powering phase detection AF, the AI processing unit uses real-time recognition algorithms for diverse subjects in video or stills. Notably, it is claimed to significantly enhance human eye recognition and tracking, with pose estimation technology recognising body and head position. This enables the AF to lock onto and track a subject facing away from the camera or whose face is covered. It also excels in low light, functioning down to levels as low as -5EV in AF-S mode. Customisable focus areas have been expanded to include XS and XL in addition to the previous S, M and L sizes. The preset focus/zoom function allows focus and zoom settings to be memorised in the camera for quick recall. In addition to the existing custom white-balance frame size, users can now select other sizes for fine white- balance adjustment after an image has been composed. Designed for optimal video shooting, the A9 III features a versatile four-axis multi-angle touchscreen LCD monitor. Its electronic viewfinder boasts a high- resolution 9.44-million-dot Quad XGA
effect of skewed verticals in one fell swoop by launching the groundbreaking new A9 III, the first full-frame mirrorless camera equipped with a global-shutter sensor instead of a conventional rolling shutter. Traditional shutters read signals from top to bottom, causing distortion with fast movement, resulting in angled vertical lines. In contrast, a global-shutter sensor captures the entire image simultaneously, ensuring distortion-free images. Perfect for fast pans, scenes from a moving vehicle or speedy subjects, the global shutter excels for both video and stills. It enables full-power flash sync at all shutter speeds for stills instead of the usual cap at 1/250sec or 1/400sec in the case of the Sony. This eliminates banding from artificial lights and allows burst speeds up to 120fps with no distortion, blackout or AF restrictions. The maximum shutter speed is an impressive 1/80,000sec, dropping to 1/16,000sec during continuous shooting. Aimed at sports and wildlife image makers, the £6099/$5998 A9 III is the first Sony mirrorless to record 4K in 120p with no crop, and also shoots high-resolution 4K/60p videos with oversampling from “The A9 III is the first Sony mirrorless to shoot 4K in 120p with no crop”
stabilisation, delivering a claimed eight stops of shake reduction. Additionally, it inherits focus breathing compensation from the latest Sony A7R V model. For video colours, the S-Cinetone gamma – created for the Venice cinema camera – is included as well as S-Log3. In Log mode, imported user LUTs can be applied and the camera is compatible with the Monitor & Control mobile app. Unlike some models such as the older A9 and A9 II cameras, Sony has not slimmed down the video spec. As well as the high- quality UHD 4K video up to 60fps and 4K up to 120fps with no crop, it can also record 10-bit 4:2:2 internally using All-I encoding for maximum quality. It can also output 16-bit Raw via the full-size HDMI port to an external recorder. One of the key issues with a global shutter is that it can reduce the dynamic range and sensitivity of the sensor, which is why the standard ISO range is 250-25,600 rather than the 100-51,200 of the older A9 II. When shooting for maximum dynamic range, the S-Log3 setting gives a relatively high base ISO of 2000. So you will need ND filters to bring the aperture under control in bright conditions. Many of the camera’s fresh features are aimed at stills shooters, such as selectable shutter release lag modes as well as a Pre-Capture function, which begins taking photos up to a second before the shutter is actually triggered. Sadly, though, this does not yet work for video. The body of the camera is different to the latest crop of Sony’s high-end mirrorless offerings, and the grip shape is designed so that it can be easily held in the palm of the user’s hand to avoid strain when using a telephoto lens over an extended period of time. The optional £389/$398 VG-C5 vertical grip adds a second battery and replicates the main camera controls for vertical shooting. The A9 III transfers data up to twice as fast as the A9 II, while 5GHz communication offers improved speed and stability when shooting wirelessly. The A9 III allows stills and movies to be recorded to two media slots supporting CFexpress Type A cards, as well as UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards.
OLED, offering approximately 0.9x magnification. The camera includes advanced five-axis in-body image
FIRMWARE PROMISES MORE OPTIONS
The brand-new A9 III is already scheduled for firmware upgrades to introduce FTP operability, relay playback and C2PA format. Upgrades are coming to the A1 and A7S III, too, including the long-awaited focus breathing compensation, only available for compatible lenses. Additionally, DCI 4K recording at 24.00p will be added to the A7S III. This is 4096x2160 pixels and is the cinematic 4K film format. The 24.00p setting is often called true 24p and is the standard frame rate for movies. For many cameras, 24p means a 23.976p frame rate, which is for television. Like the A9 III upgrade, the firmware will give both older cameras C2PA format support, which creates an additional metadata set with tamper-proof provenance information about the file. The update also adds IPTC and FTP workflow enhancements to both cameras. The firmware will also update the Alpha 1 with relay playback.
COMING SOON The new A9 III will get a free firmware upgrade, as will the A1 and A7S III models
FAST TELE IS WORLD’S LIGHTEST 300 After years of not having a fast prime lens in its E-mount range between the 135mm and 400mm focal lengths, Sony has unveiled the world’s lightest 300mm telephoto. The G Master FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS costs £5799/$5998 and weighs just 1470g/3.24lb. It’s the first 300mm f/2.8 lens designed specifically for aberration and achieve high resolution and contrast across the entire frame. An 11-blade circular aperture mechanism contributes to smooth bokeh and each lens is individually calibrated during creation to optimise its quality. A combination of the two latest XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors and control algorithms provides fast and precise AF with low vibration. The internal lens barrel employs magnesium alloy for its
mirrorless cameras from any brand. While Canon offers its 100- 300mm f/2.8 zoom, this is almost twice the price and weighs 2590g/5.7lb. Alternatively, Canon still offers its DSLR-mount EF lens and Nikon its own F mount lens, which can be used on mirrorless with adapters. These both cost slightly more than the new Sony, and weigh 2400g/5.29lb and 2900g/6.38lb respectively without the extra bulk and cost of an adapter. The Sony lens joins the fast 400mm f/2.8 and 600mm f/4 primes in the flagship G Master series, designed for fast phase detection AF systems and built for incredible resolution of detail. The optical manufacturing includes three Super ED (extra- low dispersion) and one ED glass element to suppress chromatic
robustness and light weight. Since the weight isn’t concentrated at the front of the lens barrel, balance is improved for panning while shooting handheld. When deployed with the A9 III, you can assign preset focus to the function ring, allowing you to instantly adjust the focus to any position. There are focus hold buttons placed in four locations – which can also be assigned to a range of custom functions from the camera body. sony.com
SONY STUNNER It’s the first 300mm f/2.8 prime for mirrorless cameras, and is lighter than any rival DSLR versions
AGENDA NEWS Canon powers in with speedy zoom The Canon 24-105mm f/2.8L is the first of a new hybrid line-up of lenses which brings power zoom control to the EOS R mirrorless range, as well as offering an expanded focal length range with a constant f/2.8 aperture. It is designed so event shooters can use a single optic during an entire event, and add on power zoom control if needed. Alternatively, it’s a stop faster than the existing RF 24-105mm f/4L lens and offers a wider range than the RF 24-70mm f/2.8 version to give a fast, multi-purpose optic for filmmaking. The standout feature is the anti-shake technology. Unlike typical standard zooms,
To turn it into a powerzoom lens, new adapters will be available soon. The PZ-E2 features a USB-C port and compatibility with just the 24-105mm at the moment, and costs £1150/$999. The PZ-E2B offers USB-C port plus a 20-pin connection, and is priced at £1529/$1299.
the new RF 24-105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z boasts 5.5 stops of image stabilisation, which jumps to eight stops with an IBIS- enabled camera body. The lens features 23 elements in 18 groups, with four ultra-low dispersion and three aspherical elements to reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations. The Super Spectra, Air Sphere and Fluorine coatings minimise ghosting and flare caused by lens surface reflection. With a complex design and dual Nano USM motors, focus breathing is minimised. Equipped with two function buttons and an aperture ring, it’s priced at £3440/$2999.
Power comes courtesy of the RF mount or USB-C and there’s a manual-to-servo switch on the side. The powerzoom control allows for a button press to immediately go wide, or alternatively to the telephoto setting. Also new is the LH-E1 lens holder at £227/$199, which supports the RF 24- 105mm f/2.8 lens when used in a rig. RF OPTICS GO WIDE AND LONG
With a closest focus of 80cm/30in at 200mm and 5.5 stops of built-in image stabilisation, this lens, weighing just over 2kg/4.5lb, is compact and weather-sealed. The white paint finish aids heat dissipation. Featuring two AF stop buttons and a torque adjustment ring for customisable zoom speed, it’s crafted from 17 elements in 11 groups. At a more accessible £379/$329, the RF-S 10-18mm f/4.5- 6.3 IS STM is the widest option in the RF-S range for crop- sensor cameras. Offering up to six stops of stabilisation when used with IBIS, it has 12 elements in ten groups, plus two UD lens elements and a combined focus/control ring. canon.co.uk
Canon’s RF 10-20mm f/4L IS STM lens holds the title of the world’s widest AF zoom for full-frame cameras. With 130° coverage and a constant f/4 aperture, it introduces Control IS for correcting peripheral motion blur in both stills and video. As Canon’s inaugural premium L-series lens with an STM motor, it surpasses the speed of the existing 11-24mm EF lens and delivers smoother AF performance for video. Weighing 570g/1.3lb, it has built-in image stabilisation with a five-stop equivalence and costs £2579/$2299. At the other end of the scale is the new RF 200-800mm f/6.3-9 IS USM lens. It’s not very fast and doesn’t use premium L-series glass, making it more affordable at £2300/$1899.
BURANO GETS THE WOODEN TREATMENT Wooden Camera has unboxed an Elite Accessory System for the Sony Burano cinema camera. Featured are new D-Box and B-Box battery power solutions, as well as an EVF to match its functionality. The set-up comes with a baseplate with a low- profile Arca plate and riser plate. It is compatible with all bridge plates that use Arri standard height. The top- plate system adds multiple 1/4in-20 and 3/8in-16 mounting points. With the front-facing 3/8in-16 mounting points, the dual rod clamp can be added to secure the mounting rods. Prices are yet to be revealed. woodencamera.com
Nanlite’s slim fast solution
to round or square stands and trusses. Each kit comes in a padded carry case with a softbox, grid, power cables and four-pin locking mounting plate. This plate holds the light, while the universal holder can swivel and lock the fixture into position. Optional coupling accessories use the four-pin locking plates, enabling two PavoSlim panels to be connected for a larger light source. The panels have separate control units, ensuring easy access to onboard controls, even when positioned high on stands. Equipped with secure locking metal DMX/RDM ports and USB sockets capable of powering wireless DMX receivers, the PavoSlim 60C and 120C also boast built-in LumenRadio CRMX. Prices are £425/$399 for the 60B, 60C £649/$599, 120B £649/$599 and 120C £875/$799. nanlite.com
A pair of new Nanlite PavoSlim LED panels offer the benefits of lightweight LED flexible mats, but are quicker to set up and break down, with a tough construction to provide years of service. The PavoSlim products will initially be available as the 1x1 PavoSlim 60B and 60C, or the 2x1 PavoSlim 120B and 120C. The ‘B’ versions are bicolour with a CCT range of 2700-6500K, while the ‘C’ versions are RGBW with a CCT range of 2700-7500K and +/-150 of G/M adjustment, with built-in CRMX LumenRadio and presets for Lee filters. All models include DMX/RDM ports, Bluetooth and 2.4G wireless to connect to the Nanlink app as well as light mixing desks. Power comes from mains or the battery pack. There is NP-F and a V-Mount on the smaller panel and dual V-Mounts on the larger. Super clamps are included to attach the control units
PRODUCTION FUTURES AWARDS HONOUR PROMISING TALENT
the nominees and winners. We reach a fantastically wide pool of talent with the result that the awards event is a real celebration of positive change. It’s a free networking event in which newcomers feel part of a supportive, safe and inclusive community.” Mike Oates, director of Lights Control Rigging and Production Futures partner, added: “The future of this industry lies in the hands of young people, and we need to open our doors to them and provide support through workplace apprenticeships or workplace training. To be able to recognise all this through the awards is invaluable, and enables the nominees to show their talents and spend some time with industry professionals in
The Production Futures Breakthrough Talent Awards celebrate the achievements of burgeoning young talent making their way in the event and media production industries. Instead of trophies, winners will receive hands-on opportunities and access to major productions. With more than 200 attendees from countries including Germany, the USA, Dubai and the Netherlands, the 18 winners received their awards from chief executive Hannah Eakins at Production Park in Wakefield, south Yorkshire. “We loved the new concept because the recipients got so much more than a medal,” she said. “In some cases they won paid work opportunities, while others benefitted from mentorships or visits to award sponsor headquarters. A highlight for us was the diversity of
a relaxed atmosphere.” productionfutures.co.uk
AGENDA NEWS Adobe predicts 2024’s hottest visual trends
WONDER AND JOY
THE NEW NOSTALGIA
The four categories Calming Rhythms, Wonder and Joy, Dynamic Dimensions and The New Nostalgia are the emerging global creative trends set to make the biggest visual impact in 2024. Much of this will be driven by AI, which is ushering in a new era for professionals and consumers. That’s the headline announcement of Adobe’s annual report, which finds that consumers are increasingly prioritising balance in all aspects of their lives, with trends representing elements of both speed and relaxation. This is Adobe’s seventh year of examining emerging creative styles, cultural themes, consumer patterns, technology advancements and stock industry data globally. It identifies the trends and aesthetics that will dominate filmmaking, photos and social media. Filmmakers who want to be at the cutting edge or work with brands who are leading in current styles should consider the how the four creative drivers could influence their work in video content or motion graphics and templates.
“With mental and emotional health now a global priority, soothing visuals have a calming effect”
Calming Rhythms With mental and emotional health now a global priority, soothing and rhythmic visuals have a calming effect. These are being used by a growing number of brands. Calming Visuals can vary from abstract and repetitive backgrounds to slowly shifting and moving forms, often with relaxing sounds, music and ASMR content. Wonder and Joy Visuals that inspire a sense of awe and enchantment as a coping mechanism in the current economic environment. Wonder and Joy could span all types of experience – from simple pleasures including being a ‘kidult’ to luxurious travel experiences and AI-generated imaginative environments.
Dynamic Dimensions This category is inspired by elements that blend and create impactful visuals, with gaming and VR/AR images merging through video and illustrations. Dynamic Dimensions are ideal for Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects templates with existing motion graphics. The New Nostalgia This trend mixes vintage style with a contemporary interpretation and flair. With around half of Generation Z in the UK, North America and Australia claiming a desire to disconnect from their phones, they are turning to hobbies of the past – including photography – that help them feel detached from the real world. adobe.com
It’ll be all White on the night
Astera has launched the new pocket-sized White Remote for instant point-and-click control of its full lighting system. The remote acts as a partner to the existing FX Remote, which allows for easy colour, strobing and effect control. With both the FX and White Remote, a lighting tech can execute precise lighting changes in a flash. The White Remote can swiftly turn either one or a group of lights on and off. Additionally, it can quickly add lights into a control group, facilitating simultaneous changes across the entire group. There are buttons for light temperature running through 12 preset values from 2400 to 10,000K, along with CCT +/- buttons for more precise control. Five dimming presets provide brightness adjustments, along with +/- dimming buttons for fine-tuning. Max runtime can also be toggled on or off directly from the White Remote. BlueMode, Astera’s method for pairing lights with the Astera App, is streamlined to make it easier and faster to pair several lights in seconds.
such as the Runtime Extender battery pack. The price has not been confirmed as of now. astera-led.com
The remote works with a range of LED lights, encompassing the Pluto and Leo fresnels, Helion, Titan and Hyperion tubes, HydraPanel as well as accessories
DOMKE JACKET AND MORE Domke has unveiled the new Sling Bag, Black PhotoTogs Vest and Tech Pouch. The latest $140 Domke Sling Bag provides six litres of storage volume for a mirrorless camera with two extra lenses or mic plus a lens, as well as other essentials. The sling design allows easy gear access on the move with bag rotation from back to front. There are also pockets for AirTag devices and a padded zip pocket to store an 11in tablet. It comes in water-resistant black nylon or ultra water-resistant Rugged Wear brown. The $50 Tech Pouch organises memory cards, portable drives, tools, batteries, cables and more. Its suitcase-style design with full wrap-around zipper opens flat. Hidden pockets are built in to house small items and an AirTag. The top loop allows easy hanging from a light stand for convenient access on-set. The $117 Black PhotoTogs Vest revives the cargo vest with a utilitarian flair. Made of machine-washable black cotton, it has cotton mesh panels around the arms, yoke and back for cooling ventilation. Twelve pockets feature weather-tight zip-up closures and the oversized back pockets keep things put with zips, snaps or hook and loop fastenings. No UK prices have yet been set. tiffen.com
When choosing a lens for your next project, flare characteristics are crucial. Cineflares, an interactive lens flare library, offers a comprehensive view of each optic in action and allows handy comparisons with other lenses. Captured under controlled conditions using advanced motion control and high-res large format cameras, each lens displays its unique flare pattern, contrast-holding ability and individual colour response. This reveals the unique lens flare fingerprint of each serial number, going beyond brand and range information. This huge collection is the brainchild of DOP Markus Förderer and has even been tested by the likes of Seamus McGarvey and Oscar winner Erik Messerschmidt. “If you’re in search of a clean and neutral lens for VFX plates, or one with a specific flare pattern reminiscent of a certain period, Cineflares instantly reveal these lens characteristics to help make informed decisions,” says Förderer. Cineflares’ library spans wide open to stopped down, and from vintage to modern optics. Currently in its beta phase, a full launch is on the horizon. cineflares.com
AGENDA NEWS THE NEW PELICAN BRIEF
Hard case manufacturer Peli has introduced three new personal utility cases for the Micro Case series. The redesigned M40, M50 and M60 models all provide waterproof and dustproof protection for small tech items. The IP67-rated Pelican Micro Cases safeguard against heavy rain, temporary water immersion, dust, sand or dirt. Crafted from Peli’s crushproof polymer material, the cases feature a watertight O-ring gasket seal and redesigned dual latches. A lock hasp adds extra security with a padlock. The inner non-slip liner keeps items in place and is removable for cleaning. The cases offer more internal volume and feature an automatic pressure equalisation valve to balance interior air pressure. They are available in clear with a yellow or black inner bottom liner, and in black. Prices are £48.60/$25 for the M40, £55.60/$40 for the M50 and £69.50/$50 for the M60. peliproducts.co.uk
Connor joins Canon elite
new Ambassadors will aim to foster strong relationships between Canon and the professional community to support, educate, inspire and nurture visual storytellers in their fields. Canon’s European marketing director Susie Donaldson explains: “This latest Ambassador cohort will usher in a new era for the programme. We can’t wait to learn more about their perspectives using the camera as a tool for storytelling, as well as discussing topics and issues that really matter to them. The increased size of the programme also means that we can now reach and inspire even more creatives through workshops, talks and tutorials.” canon-europe.com
Talented British wildlife filmmaker Dani Connor has just joined the ranks of Canon Ambassadors, an influential initiative that unites photographers and videographers. Marking the most extensive programme update in the past three years, 62 image creators will be welcomed. There are five Brits in this year’s intake. Connor was passionate about wildlife and photography since childhood. Her career began in 2020 when she filmed a viral video of a family of orphaned red squirrels in Sweden. She has since developed a successful career in wildlife photography and video. Following a rigorous selection process by a panel of industry experts, this year’s
Zhiyun’s latest addition to the Fiveray series is the small but powerful M20 series LED lights. Featuring a unique form factor, they boast 20W output, a 4500mAh battery as well as a 40-minute runtime, providing powerful beams in a lightweight design. The M20 offers a colour ZHIYUN’S FIVERAY LED RANGE CONTINUES TO GROW temperature range of 2700 to 6500K, as well as a CRI of 95+, making it perfect for natural and accurate white light. The new M20C has additional RGB LEDs,
which offer an extended colour temperature range of 2500 to 10,000K and Bluetooth mesh capability. It has a CRI of 94+. The M20C also allows wireless lighting control via Zhiyun’s own mobile app, and includes extra lighting effects and Bluetooth mesh capability, allowing it to synchronise
with a diffuser, barn doors, a grid and storage bag. The M20 is £89 or £119 for the combo kit. The M20C is £139 or £169 for the combo. zhiyun-tech.com
multiple LED lights. Several lighting units can be stacked using the app. Additionally, the kits have an extension bracket and coldshoe while the combo version comes
BLACKMAGIC DESIGN ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE T here are big challenges when you decide to trek the Grand Canyon for five days, both physically and mentally. But this arduous journey is just one of five feats of endurance that athlete Leo Gripari undertook to raise funds for sustainable water projects in Uganda. Documenting his journey were director Charli Doherty, DOP Richard Jephcote and Tom Neish of production company Biscuit Bunker, who travelled every step of the Grand Canyon with him as part of their documentary film Maji . The strikingly visual film tells a story of Gripari’s gruelling efforts across five continents, as well as the broader issues around water sustainability and how it affects local communities – and on a global level. Charged with filming the epic journey, Jephcote talks us through everything he had to take in his kitbag on the Grand Canyon section of the trip. Grand tour Slogging through the wilderness, the key kit concerns are weight, battery life and media as there’s nowhere to charge a battery or power a laptop. The whole trip is built around how much a team can carry. You are expected to take your tent, sleeping bag, clothes, food and water for the full five days. As we were trekking in November, starting and ending most days in the dark, we needed a full range of warm winter clothing, along with shorts and a T-shirt for the daytime. Everything we needed for filming was in addition to what we had to carry to survive. So while trekking equipment is purpose-built to be light, DZOFilm lenses and V-Lock batteries aren’t. We also needed the camera built and ready to go, working within a strict timeline to hit all our trek milestones. On top of this, creative decisions made for the rest of the film had to continue throughout
Off the beaten track When trekking through the Arizona wilderness for an incredible five-day shoot, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras proved rugged yet light companions
FAST COMPANY The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro is quick to rig up and records incredible Raw files
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WATER FEATURES The crew had to navigate streams, tough climbs and scary drops while carrying all their kit
“Recommended weight for trekking in the canyon is max 18kg, but we were closer to 25kg each”
the canyon is up to a maximum of 18kg, but we were each carrying closer to 25kg. Most of our filming was a case of me throwing the Cinesaddle down and unzipping the Blackmagic 6K Pro, shooting quickly then moving on. There were no retakes or covering a particular scene from different angles. We didn’t have the time to do that and complete the day’s trek before nightfall. Our guide was pretty strict, and of course we needed to hit all the targets of the trek - from the South Rim to the North Rim and back again in just five days. The camera team was also racing back and forth to leapfrog Gripari and get shots ahead and behind him. All the creative decisions about shots are being made in the moment. There’s no recce, no pausing and no doubling back to get the shot. TRAVELLING LIGHT Camping gear and camera equipment were lugged through the tricky environment – but it all came through unscathed
so this challenge didn’t feel removed from the style established elsewhere. For example, lens choice should be consistent. Fundamentally, you make better creative decisions when you’re not exhausted from lumbering around kit all day, so we were keen to find a perfect middle ground of production value versus weight. With all that considered, in my bag was a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro kitted up as a shoulder rig with a DZOFilm 20-55mm T2.8 Pictor Zoom, monitor, filters and V-Lock batteries. Producer Tom Neish was carrying a DZOFilm 50-125mm T.2.8 Pictor Zoom, drives and a lightweight Benro tripod. That left the director, Charli, carrying a Pocket Cinema Camera 4K with a Meike prime lens on a DJI Ronin RS 2 motorised gimbal. The recommended weight for trekking in
AWESOME ARIZONA The Grand Canyon was a majestic background for the shoot – but it’s a tough location to live and work in for five days’ trekking
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TALKING ABOUT THE RESOLUTION! The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera series proved to be the ideal set-up for long treks into the Arizona wilderness, where size and weight was a huge concern, but they weren’t the only cameras used for Maji . “On the Grand Canyon shoot, we were on cinema camera – paid dividends in terms of quality and usability. And its codecs matched all the other smaller cameras perfectly to give a consistent look despite shoots in Nepal, Jordan, the US, Iceland and Uganda. Filming Maji was a logistical marvel, global water crisis. It showcases how countries all around the world are experiencing problems from droughts to flooding, taking a closer look
at these issues from the perspective of five specific nations. Endurance athlete Leo Gripari takes on a physical challenge in each location to raise money and awareness for sustainable water projects around the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. Interviews in the film feature experts and community leaders, from Icelandic glaciologists to US ecologists. Their perspectives enrich the narrative, shedding light on this multifaceted water crisis.
our own. Later in the production, we trekked up Mardi Himal in Nepal to 4500m in altitude, and took an Ursa Mini Pro 12K,” reveals DOP Richard Jephcote. “But only because we had a team of heroic Sherpas willing to help us carry all of the kit!” The incredible resolution of the 12K Ursa Mini Pro – and its form factor as a fully featured
spanning four continents in its creation. The team skilfully handled international equipment Carnets and tackled the challenges of filming in multiple countries thanks to weeks of intricate planning in diverse locations. The film is a feature documentary, produced by Biscuit Bunker in association with TGB Films and West One Entertainment, looking at the
URSA MAJOR The Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 12K’s phenomenal resolution came into its own on parts of the film
CREW CUT For the Indian and Greek shoots, there was enough help to cart around lights, the 12K Ursa camera and plenty more kit to the locations
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THE APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE Maji concerns the worldwide issue of fresh water supply
We downloaded all our cards to two Lacie Boss SSDs, which have their own batteries – and back up directly from the card reader. These also connect to an app on my phone, so I didn’t have to blindly trust that the data had been backed up. As it was November and got cold, our limited battery supply ran the risk of draining away in the night, so all full batteries slept soundly alongside us in our sleeping bags to keep them warm. Sleep was difficult at first, but gradually got more comfortable as the shoot went on. The 6K Pro was chosen because it’s compact, light and produces a lovely Raw image. The codec compression ratios also become an important consideration when working on documentary films like Maji . This meant we were able to drop down to 12:1 high compression on the Blackmagic Raws for lengthy interviews, or to squeeze the last juice from a card at
the end of a day. We’d then switch back to low compression for some beautiful B roll all in the same format, which is great for reacting in run-and-gun situations. Features like internal ND filters and quick power-up may sound very basic, but they’re an absolute must for responding to unfolding events in the moment. The rig was a mix of brands. I used Shape push-button handles for rapid adjustment and a light Tilta cage with top handle for the camera. The iFootage Magic Arms are rock solid for holding the monitor, quick to swap out and pack away. There is no brand loyalty – I use whatever works best for each element of operation. For lens choice, the DZOFilm 20-55mm T2.8 Pictor Zoom has a nice focal range to respond to unfolding action, so it was an obvious choice to leave on the A cam. It’s heavy, but has a lot of character compared to shooting with the more clinical stills
camera lens that would have been in the same budget range. There has been great footage shot of the Grand Canyon in crisp detail, but our story is a human journey through this landscape. One of my favourite uses of the 6K Pro came in Uganda when we needed to shoot inside a beehive. We wanted to get right into the hive and see things at bee level. But working in a full protective beekeeping suit makes operating cameras much harder – so we stripped the camera back, adding a Laowa probe lens on a small slider which meant we could still get the shots under pressure from thousands of angry bees. Then one of my favourite sequences: we woke before sunrise in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan to meet up with Salem Hussain from the Bedouin community. Everything we shot that morning has incredible colours and contrast between the sand, the sky and his white clothing. The DZOFilm lenses have proved an ideal match for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro for a softer, less digital feel. The whole film simply looks stunning, which makes all those arduous days trekking truly worthwhile.
Find out more about Maji biscuitbunker.com Tom Neish, producer Charli Doherty, director charlidoherty.com
GRAND DAY OUT The views of the canyon are incredible and worth the long and arduous hike
Richard Jephcote, DOP richardjephcote.co.uk
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Four-midable Sennheiser! The MKE 600 shotgun microphone has been awarded the Pro Moviemaker Gear of the Year award for XLR mics for an unprecedented fourth time I f you want to make a sound investment in your filmmaking, spending £235 on the Sennheiser MKE 600 XLR mic could be the best thing
you ever do. From its compact, yet rugged all-metal housing to its supreme sound quality, it will give many years of pro use and elevate the soundtrack of your films. That’s the view of thousands of readers of Pro Moviemaker magazine, who voted the super Sennheiser as the winner of the best XLR mic in the prestigious Gear of the Year Awards. Incredibly, it’s for a record fourth time. The Sennheiser MKE 600 is simply the XLR mic most professionals want. One thing remains constant, though – and that’s the need for a top-quality yet affordable mic. Whether you use a cinema camera, mirrorless with XLR adapter or a separate recording device, the Sennheiser MKE 600 continues to deliver. That’s testament to its lasting quality and performance. The unit has been tried and tested for many years by audio professionals, and this highly directional shotgun mic once again proves that sound output and incredible build quality confirm its status as a legendary product. It’s the professional XLR mic most independent filmmakers want to own, knowing as they do that audio is crucial to every movie. It is highly praised for recording vocals, such as interviews or conversation, which is imperative to get right every time. The MKE 600 has super speech reproduction and high intelligibility, thanks to its audio quality across its entire 40Hz to 20kHz frequency range. Due to its advanced design and length, which isolates sound and rejects unwanted noise from both the sides and rear, this is a highly directional mic. A switchable, low- cut filter reduces handling and wind noise even further, as well as background hum. It’s easy to operate with plug-and-play simplicity, a huge bonus for filmmakers. To combat wind noise, a foam windshield is included as standard, offering reduction of around 25dB. For very blustery conditions, Sennheiser’s MZH 600 blimp- style windshield is available as an optional extra and offers even greater isolation. The MKE 600 accepts phantom power from camcorders and cinema cameras, but can also be powered by a standard AA battery, so you shouldn’t have any power issues on location. A single AA offers approximately 150 hours of use. Plus, the
microphone includes an on-off switch to ensure the battery isn’t drained when the mic is not being used – a vital feature. When the low battery LED lights up, there’s roughly eight hours of recording time left. And one of the advantages of using battery power? It’s easy to use on a lightweight boom. Sennheiser also provides the KA 600 coiled cable as an optional extra, which plugs into the mic’s XLR connector but has a standard 3.5mm jack plug at the other end. That makes it ideal for smaller cameras like mirrorless or DSLRs, or even compact cinema cameras. There’s even a cable to connect it to a smartphone or tablet. With its incredible versatility, compact size, power options and legendary audio quality, it should be no surprise that the Sennheiser MKE 600 is a winner in our awards once more. Simply point the mic at your subject and let the advanced technology do the rest. SHOTGUN SUPERSTAR The Sennheiser MKE 600 has simple controls (above) and works on a camera or boom (right) since it is so lightweight
FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR
Our worldwide moviemaking contest honours the cream of current and next-generation creatives
AWARDS FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR T he Pro Moviemaker magazine Filmmaker of the Year Awards recognise independent filmmaking companies and individuals who continue to push the boundaries of creativity with small budgets but masses of passion. Our mission is to highlight the heroes of filmmaking who create incredible work from documentaries, sports, promotional films, marketing films, music videos, event coverage, weddings, social media and YouTube. We’re looking for the diligent image makers who go to great PICTURE PERFECT The spotlight is on 2024’s participants to shape the creative world
lengths to produce original and innovative content. Last year, the filmmaking world responded and we had scores of entries from a diverse range, from young filmmakers to experienced creatives. Entrants included music videos for famous bands; adverts from luxury cars to local shops; events from Sky Arts to small charities; documentaries commissioned by national newspapers and even a full-length feature film. Building on that success, it’s now time to open the Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2024.
“Our mission is to highlight the heroes of filmmaking who create incredible work”
CALLING ALL VIDEO CREATIVES!
documentaries. Entrants could be individuals or part of a team and can simply enter via a link to their chosen online submission, or by submitting their work directly. That’s because we want to make it as easy as possible to get involved, eliminating the need to create and shoot bespoke new content. However, there is also an open category where essentially anything goes. During the contest, which lasts until Mayb 15 for entries, every issue of Pro Moviemaker magazine will focus on the different categories and spotlight some of the entries that deserve special mention, broadening the exposure of the awards and its entrants. The awards will be judged by a panel of experts. Whether a film has millions of views or not, it’s all about the idea and final execution. Originality, creativity and excellence of execution are what’s important – not how many views the piece has had. Entering is easy, so if you want to be recognised by your peers and gain a marketing edge when pitching to clients, then enter the Filmmaker of the Year Awards now using the details across the spread. Choose a category or categories from the following pages, and let the world see your best work.
The explosion in creative video produced today is not through Hollywood movies or big-budget streaming services. It’s created by small, independent teams and people shooting editorial, marketing, commercial and social media films and shorts. From YouTube and Vimeo to social media adverts and branded content, live events and lots more, these platforms are bursting with stunning work from comparatively little-known creatives. We’re talking about those who have been largely in the background, yet are constantly having a huge impact on the way everyone consumes content. That’s the core of professional filmmaking around the globe, the hard-working creatives with problem solving at the core of what they do. The unsung heroes of the filmmaking world who create stunning work that is watched and enjoyed by millions. The visionaries who don’t think low budget means anything less than original and innovative content. Pro Moviemaker magazine’s Filmmaker of the Year Awards shine a much-needed spotlight on this community. Now in their second year, these awards are unlike the vast majority of filmmaking contests that so often focus on full-length or short-form narrative drama films and
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