Thread: The first Hollywood movie shot on A7SII

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  1. #31  
    Quote Originally Posted by Misha Engel View Post
    The A7SII is a nice camera for when you want to shoot low-profile or in dimmed enviroments, but when you're used to RAW or proper mezzanine codecs with some bit depth it's a lot of work to get the colors right. For run and gun news work, just shoot Rec.709 and downscale it to 1080p and you're okay.
    - The "lot of work" part has been already been done, and from this point on can be avoided

    - That colour profile damages some image parameters beyond recovery

    - With a proper setup and workflow, that camera allows achieving top class colour performance

    : )
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  2. #32 Excellent work, Olivier. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olivier Boonjing View Post
    Hello!
    I shot a TV series with the A7s in Belgium that was later released internationally by Netflix. It's called "The Break". Here's a link to a small dop reel I edited: https://www.olivierboonjing.com/tvseries

    Olivier
    Loved that series, Olivier. Not only terrific cinematography but a great cast, story and design all around. Very much looking forward to the second season on Netflix. Thanks for your great work.
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  3. #33  
    Senior Member Jacek Zakowicz's Avatar
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    That was a well written show- really enjoyed it. Visually captivating just like it was shot with a bazillion dollar camera. Go figure....
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  4. #34  
    Senior Member Thai Christen's Avatar
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    I don‘t mean to derail this thread, but all those who enjoyed „The break“ should also check:

    Netflix The Forest, The Chalet; both great French Mini TV Series.
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  5. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olivier Boonjing View Post
    Hello!

    Of course it was Sony sponsored... I can't understand how swapping the whole monitoring and wireless setup (unless they had tons of those) can be faster than swapping lenses. And Hawk lenses were probably the only choice the cinematographer found to make the image of the A7s2 interesting for this story (and an expensive choice). To promote a project based on the camera it was shot on is never a good idea, no one cares.

    That said, I like the A7s2 for what it is. For some projects, it can be a good solution. I shot a TV series with the A7s in Belgium that was later released internationally by Netflix. It's called "The Break". Here's a link to a small dop reel I edited: https://www.olivierboonjing.com/tvseries

    We shot UHD Slog2 to Prores422LT on Atomos Shogun recorders for an HD release. Why? Because we had only 250K USD per episode and needed 3 cameras (two for the main set, one for second unit) for a period of 4 months. I wanted UHD so the editors could reframe and animate zooms, I could stabilise,... Back then (summer 2015), it was the cheapest 4K solution available and we needed a very light sensitive camera because of our small lighting package (we shot nights in forests with only battery powered LEDs). We didn't use fancy lenses either, mainly Tokina zooms (28-70 and 80-200) and Nikon AI-S primes.

    Color grading was more difficult than with an Alexa or Red. Everything went through denoising (with Neat Video) and a little grain was added.

    For season 2, we went for Sony FS5 in RAW to Prores. It they ever do a season 3, I hope we'll move to Red Helium, fingers crossed.

    Many nice looking and interesting movies were shot with lower end cameras (Frances Ha, Upstream Color, Tanjerine,...) but usually they had at least one good reason for it. Usually it's budget of course or more precisely the choice of putting the money into what's in front of the camera and decent salaries. Sometimes it is to be more discreet,... but for this movie, I truly see no reason. And by the way, who puts top 19mm top rods on an A7S2? That rig is huge ;-)

    Olivier
    Great Job Olivier! As Roger deakins would say if the cinematography doesn't get noticed, you did a great job. Watched 4 episodes so far. Did you luck out with the weather in the summer of 2016 or did you shoot mainly in the evenings and mornings, as there is little harsh light in the TV show so far? The tvshow itself seemed to have quite the budget though I reckon they could have given you a better budget for camera's and lights. (as there are a lot of actors, locations, extras). Great job none the less.
    What made you change the camera to the FS5 in season 2?(and not the ursa mini 4.6K, FS7 or red scarlet-w which are still low budget camera's). Is there behind the scenes footage of light setups? Did you use a lot of reflectors/diffusion boards?
    Last edited by Joe Cage; 12-08-2018 at 04:12 PM.
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  6. #36  
    Senior Member Jeffery Anderson's Avatar
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    the color representation is pretty bad

    strange that is a feature film going to theaters and I've seen much better on TV shows. Must be some sort of gimmick they are trying to use for promotion.
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  7. #37  
    Hello everybody,

    thank you all for the great feedback. I'm more than amazed that this little local project travelled that far around the globe.

    I wished we had more budget for cameras and lights but we decided to put the effort on the salaries and shooting schedule. Fingers crossed it will be better on future projects.

    I chose the FS5 (Raw to Prores on Odyssey 7Q+) for multiple reasons. First of all was the possibility to use a speedbooster (Metabones Ultra Nikon F to Sony E) so we could use still photo zooms (Angenieux 28-70 and Tokina 80-200) as our main lenses. We got used to these focal ranges on the season 1 (shooting on A7s) and they wouldn't have worked that well on S35.

    Another reason was sensitivity. The camera was rated around iso2500 (slight overexposure from the native iso3200 to avoid excessive noise) and we gained around a stop from the speedbooster. This allowed us to shoot the zooms around F4 which helped making them sharp enough. We also had many low light sequences where these extra stops helped a lot. We switched to Nikon AI primes when needed. One sequence in season 2 was a dark SM party shot mainly with torch lights (actors and extras manipulated those) and smoke at 6400iso (I would guess around iso8000 considering the speedbooster and overexposure) at F2-2.8 for example. For large night exteriors, our moonlight was a single 800w Joker in a pancake around 15m high.

    I quite like the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6k but it really is an iso800-1250 camera, Scarlet-W is about the same. We didn't go for the FS7 as it's the same sensor as the FS5 and we used the raw signal anyway so internal recording was not an issue. Plus the internal electronic ND is amazing. If I would shoot it now, I would guess the Gemini would be a great choice if we had access to Angenieux cine zooms.

    Our lighting package was small, biggest source was usually an Arri M18 (didn't have a generator most of the time). For bounced (ultrabounce) and filtered (quarter to full grid) sunlight quite a bit. The most difficult part was shooting with two cameras all the time. It doesn't always work to be honest, we had to compromise a lot. My wonderful gaffer is a very understanding person and thank him for that.

    There is a small making of for season 1 but it's not online. I'll have a look and see if I can discreetly upload it somewhere.

    Thanks again to you all, I told the crew people on Reduser had seen it and they were thrilled ;-)

    All the best,

    Olivier
    www.olivierboonjing.com
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  8. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olivier Boonjing View Post

    There is a small making of for season 1 but it's not online. I'll have a look and see if I can discreetly upload it somewhere.
    www.olivierboonjing.com
    Thanks for sharing your professional experience Olivier. Invaluable. Would really really like to see that BTS. Hope you can find it for us.
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  9. #39  
    Senior Member Thai Christen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olivier Boonjing View Post
    Hello everybody,

    thank you all for the great feedback. I'm more than amazed that this little local project travelled that far around the globe.

    I wished we had more budget for cameras and lights but we decided to put the effort on the salaries and shooting schedule. Fingers crossed it will be better on future projects.

    I chose the FS5 (Raw to Prores on Odyssey 7Q+) for multiple reasons. First of all was the possibility to use a speedbooster (Metabones Ultra Nikon F to Sony E) so we could use still photo zooms (Angenieux 28-70 and Tokina 80-200) as our main lenses. We got used to these focal ranges on the season 1 (shooting on A7s) and they wouldn't have worked that well on S35.

    Another reason was sensitivity. The camera was rated around iso2500 (slight overexposure from the native iso3200 to avoid excessive noise) and we gained around a stop from the speedbooster. This allowed us to shoot the zooms around F4 which helped making them sharp enough. We also had many low light sequences where these extra stops helped a lot. We switched to Nikon AI primes when needed. One sequence in season 2 was a dark SM party shot mainly with torch lights (actors and extras manipulated those) and smoke at 6400iso (I would guess around iso8000 considering the speedbooster and overexposure) at F2-2.8 for example. For large night exteriors, our moonlight was a single 800w Joker in a pancake around 15m high.

    I quite like the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6k but it really is an iso800-1250 camera, Scarlet-W is about the same. We didn't go for the FS7 as it's the same sensor as the FS5 and we used the raw signal anyway so internal recording was not an issue. Plus the internal electronic ND is amazing. If I would shoot it now, I would guess the Gemini would be a great choice if we had access to Angenieux cine zooms.

    Our lighting package was small, biggest source was usually an Arri M18 (didn't have a generator most of the time). For bounced (ultrabounce) and filtered (quarter to full grid) sunlight quite a bit. The most difficult part was shooting with two cameras all the time. It doesn't always work to be honest, we had to compromise a lot. My wonderful gaffer is a very understanding person and thank him for that.

    There is a small making of for season 1 but it's not online. I'll have a look and see if I can discreetly upload it somewhere.

    Thanks again to you all, I told the crew people on Reduser had seen it and they were thrilled ;-)

    All the best,

    Olivier
    www.olivierboonjing.com
    Hey Olivier,

    Netflix US released Season 2 of „The Break“ last week and I watched all 10 episodes in two consecutive evenings.
    WOW, what an incredible show. I am delighted that Season 2 can hold up with Season 1. Storytelling, acting and music are top notch. I also like your cinematography, simple but effective. And colors are better in season 2. Because it was shot on FS5 instead of A7S?

    What I noticed though is that you used more aerials in season 2. Due to budget constraints I assume these were shot with Inspire?

    All in all, congrats to the whole team. And it was a wise decision to put money into good actors than gears.
    Based on how season 2 ended, I guess there will be season 3? Lets hope so.

    Everyone who likes European TV shows (French language, although it is Belgium), please give „The Break“ a try.

    Best,
    Thai
    Last edited by Thai Christen; 02-13-2019 at 07:23 AM. Reason: Typo
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  10. #40  
    Hello Thai,

    thank you very much for your message!

    Colours are better because of the FS5. The RAW to Prores422LT recording on the Odyssey 7Q+ gives a solid 10bit file compared to the 8bit Prores422LT we had on the A7s. I must add that everything went through Neat Video Pro for a denoising as Season 1 too. It helps a lot.

    The aerials were shot by a separate team (many landscapes were shot by a B team too). They used a Blackmagic Cinema Camera 4K on a custom drone, both for season 1 and 2. I wish they could have a better camera for season 2 but budget was tight. As for their use, I think they needed more shots in the edit as the story unfolds in multiple villages, a broader setting than season 1.

    I found links to the making of season 1 and 2, unfortunately only in french. Hope you'll enjoy, here are the links:

    La Trêve / The Break Season 1 making of: https://vimeo.com/166500062
    La Trêve / The Break Season 2 making of: https://vimeo.com/325391184

    Thanks again! All the best,

    Olivier
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