(Fremont, California--March 11, 2013) Blackmagic Design announced today that directors Josh and Jason Diamond of the Diamond Brothers shot Sesame Workshop’s, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, "Can You Tell-y Me How to Get to a Billion?" and "Counting the 'You's in YouTube" videos with Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Josh and Jason Diamond worked with DP Timur Civan on the four day shoot, and NYC based freelance colorist, Juan Salvo, used Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve to color the project.
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"Shooting ProRes was a plus in that we were trying to find the best ISO to f-stop ratio. All the characters have fur and fringe, and there’s much more fine detail," said Josh. "Being able to try a couple shots in various settings then pop the SSD out and quickly pull some keys in After Effects directly from the SSD was a huge time saver. We were able to compare and contrast while setting up so we weren’t fighting with it in post. There was no secondary processing or transcoding to go through."
Spending sometimes as little as 40 minutes at a location, the team had little time to set up before they were shooting, breaking down, loading out and moving to the next location.
"We weren’t able to scout any locations ahead of time, so we showed up with a small lighting package and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The camera is small, light and doesn’t need a lot of accessories, and we were able to leave it rigged so it could be powered up and shooting in seconds," said Josh. "Having 13 stops of dynamic range gave us the flexibility to say 'there’s a lot of nice natural light, so let’s throw up one Kino for fill and shoot.' Also shooting in Log allowed us to protect our highlights much easier."
With a Rec 709 image on the camera’s built in display, the team viewed a Log image on a secondary SDI monitor and benefitted from being able to use both images to determine if the shot looked good or needed adjustment without having to waste time setting up a large producer’s monitor in tight spaces.
"We were able to roll in, take five seconds to look around, figure out who and where we were going to shoot and go. We even filmed at a school with three and four year olds who weren’t going to sit patiently for long," said Josh. "The Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s versatility, ergonomics and efficiency were key to our workflow for this shoot."
"I was able to hand hold the Blackmagic Cinema Camera for almost six hours without a break, which enabled us to stay on schedule, get extra takes and move between the numerous locations with minimal crew. The camera was critical to the speed we required," said Timur Civan, DP. "The Blackmagic Cinema Camera gave us the most image quality per pound of any camera out there, and we were able to deliver image quality on par with cameras costing three times as much, but at half the size weight and complexity. It has a great run and gun form factor with a big cinematic look."
Shot in ProResHQ, the footage was edited by Sesame Workshop and then sent to Juan for color grading. Since the footage was shot in Log, Juan ensured the contrast, exposure and saturation were appropriate for each distinct setting, and Resolve's Log grading tools allowed him to dial in exposure and contrast as desired.
"The latitude and tonality of the footage were excellent, and Resolve’s robust Log grading and agile secondaries made it a breeze to work with," said Juan. "In almost every shot, I used secondaries, qualifiers, Power Windows and custom curves to get the footage looking just right. And having all those functions available at the push of a button from my control surface made it a cinch in a time sensitive environment. Resolve allowed me to render out review versions and final deliverables in real time."
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s DaVinci Emmy™ award winning color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. For more information, please check http://www.blackmagicdesign.com.