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Going Wild: Capturing African Landscapes and Life for 'One Planet' PDF Print E-mail

Director/producer Chadden Hunter and cinematographer Susan Gibson recently headed to the savanna grasslands of Kenya with the ARRI Amira. 8/19/2014 4:15 PM Eastern

Cinematographer Susan Gibson with ARRI Amira.

Director/producer Chadden Hunter and cinematographer Susan Gibson recently headed to the savanna grasslands of Kenya with the ARRI Amira camera to begin shooting footage for One Planet, a documentary series produced by the BBC’s Natural History Unit that will air in 2016.

“We’re trying to give an experiential feel of the wider habitat, which means we can use slightly more toys and techniques to create an immersive viewing experience,” says Hunter. “Given that, and the fact that this was the first shoot of a big series, we took out a lot of new equipment and experimented.”

“I knew that the ARRI Amira was a documentary-style camera with great ergonomics,” adds Gibson, “and it just seemed like a compact, lightweight option that wouldn’t have lots of wires hanging off it when you’re shooting. I’ve used the Alexa before and was blown away by it, so a camera that has the same technology in it but is more compact can only be a good thing.

“It’s great being able to change the Amira’s frame rate very quickly at the flick of a switch in the field, and to customize the buttons to the frame rates you want,” she continues. “We filmed herds of buffalo with loads of cluster flies around them. We wanted to show the volume of flies and all the mud the buffaloes were flicking around—the 200 fps really brought that out. And we only went through about three batteries a day, which is amazing given how often we were shooting at 200 fps.”

Director/producer Chadden Hunter

Regarding light, Gibson says, “We were often filming at dawn or dusk, when the light changes very quickly, so being able to easily adjust the amount of ND was very useful. You don’t really want to be moving around in front of the camera when you’re trying to film an animal, so the internal ND filters are a lot better than fiddling around dropping filters into a mattebox, because you might scare the animal off.

“You don’t seem to be able to under- or overexpose with the Amira,” the cinematographer adds. “We were putting it through quite a lot, with dark buffalo backlit against a rising sun, but the tonality was incredible. I also experimented with filming jackals and hyena after the sun had gone down completely, and the images were totally usable for situations when you’re trying to capture animal behavior.”

“There’s a tonality to the image from ARRI’s sensor that I just love as a field director working with natural light,” Hunter concludes. “Some other cameras and formats have a less realistic color balance to them. I don’t know how to describe it technically, but when I look at the organic and earthy feel of the Amira image, it strikes me as an ideal way to capture the natural world.”  

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  Section:  Articles - File Under:  Video News  |  
 
'70s Sci-Fi Inspires New Robyn and Röyksopp Music Video PDF Print E-mail

8/19/2014 4:15 PM Eastern

Robyn and Röyksopp have released the second music video off of their collaborative album Do It Again. The video for "Monument" was directed by Max Vitali and inspired by the '70s sci-fi comics the guys of Röyksopp grew up with.

Watch below. (via Digital Arts)

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Understanding Apple's ProRes Codec PDF Print E-mail

8/19/2014 4:00 PM Eastern

In a free recorded webinar, Phillip Hodgetts works to demystify the ins and outs of Apple's ProRes codec.

Register and watch it here.

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And Above All, Watch with Glittering Eyes PDF Print E-mail

8/19/2014 3:30 PM Eastern

A stil from a Colin Rich time-lapse.

There are certain video topics to which I am particularly susceptible: essays on my favorite cinematographers (Roger Deakins; Christopher Doyle), any interview with Werner Herzog conducted at any time over the past 40 years, bears relaxing on hammocks, compilations of Christopher Walken dancing, every interactive Arcade Fire, and, of course, time-lapse videos. In order for me to properly obsess over a time lapse, it should include any of the following: star trails, the aurora borealis, freeways at night, clouds or shimmering bodies of water. For reference, please view any/all of Colin Rich’s videos.

Lately, however, I’ve been watching a ton of drone video footage. I can’t seem to get enough. (If you’d like an appetizer, take in Ian Wood’s aerial tour of Los Angeles below:)

Downtown Los Angeles from Ian Wood on Vimeo.

Ian Wood's drone footage.

An article in our sister publication, TV Technology, attempts to articulate its appeal: “As viewers, we’re in love with aerial footage. Aerial gives life to our nighttime dreams of floating above the earth, awash in the beauty of the cities, farmland and mountains below. About 20 minutes after photography itself was invented, Frenchman Gaspard-Félix Tournachon hopped into a hot air balloon and started snapping—no mean feat considering he had to bring a darkroom aloft and process his collodion plates on the spot. Our photographer forebears have used kites, rockets and even carrier pigeons to capture the aerial images that set human imaginations aflame, and despite your self-pronounced sophistication, you’re no different, baby.”

With that in mind, we’re producing a “Drone Videography Field Trip” in Los Angeles on September 30. If you’re interested in joining us, the structure allows students to break into small groups and experience three distinct aerial videography techniques, from basic to advanced, in addition to one-on-one hands-on pilot instruction. Visit http://nextvideoexpo.com/drone-videography-field-trip for more information.

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The State of Video Storage PDF Print E-mail

8/19/2014 3:30 PM Eastern

Larry O'Connor, founder of Other World Commuting (OWC), discusses what he feels are the challenges facing cinematographers today when it comes to video storage.

He says, "Most new cameras today use SSD (solid state drives) to capture content because it provides relatively high capacity, low battery draw and is rugged. For obvious reasons, I’d like to see more camera manufacturers adopt the Blackmagic approach and use an industry-standard interface and then test/certify specific products for their cameras. That broadens the options for the cinematographer, lowers his/her storage costs and enables storage providers to add newer, better, higher-capacity products more quickly for today’s creative artists."

Read the full story here.

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