(Fremont, CA--May 24, 2016) Blackmagic Design announced today that URSA EF and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K were used to shoot the popular TV drama series "Utenai Keikan." Production of the show is also based around a number of Blackmagic Design products, and is graded using DaVinci Resolve.
"Utenai Keikan," (means a 'cop who can't shoot'), is a suspense crime TV drama series based on a novel by Yoshiaki Ando, depicting the strife and revenge drama of an internal police organization. The main character Reiji Shibazaki, played by the actor Shinnichi Tanabe, is a police inspector who had progressed through the ranks at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. However, he was trapped by someone and forced to resign. Shibazaki then swore his revenge and to regain his position back as the head at the police department.
Takahiro Imai, the DoP of this series, used URSA as the A Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K as the B Camera. "In my past, I have primarily shot with film cameras. This show is the first time that we have used the URSA as the A camera. Most of the scenes were shot with the URSA, with narrow shots needing a smaller camera as the only shots not done on the URSA. For these we used the Production Camera 4K. The shoots went very smoothly and the URSA has a great sense of stability like film cameras."
Imai continued: "Usually, the sound of a camera's fan would be a problem when using similar sized cameras. However, since URSA adapted a water-cooling system, the operational sound was very quiet so that the shooting team gave it very high praise."
Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder was attached to the URSA and used for this series. "Since I have a lot of experience in film shooting, I am used to creating scenes looking through a viewfinder. Therefore, to find a camera with a high quality viewfinder is one of the most important elements. Clipping highlights and crushing shadows can be easily caused if you were using a low quality viewfinder, making it hard to see the right color and brightness. However, the Blackmagic Viewfinder has no color bleeding and no further delay from the camera. It's quite amazing that you can get the Blackmagic Viewfinder at this price."
The show also uses Blackmagic Design's SmartView 4K monitors for on set monitoring and DaVinci Resolve Studio for color correction.
"We used the SmartView 4K for monitor checking on set," Imai continued. "I used it by switching two ways; one with the LUT on and the other keeping it as log. SmartView 4K is affordable and its battery drive is supported by 12V, so it worked as the ideal solution for shooting."
The show, which is shot in RAW, is graded at Tokyo's Interceptor Inc production/post production house.
"Even though the file size could be large, we decided to shoot all the scenes in RAW because it allowed us to get the perfect image that we wanted. During the test footage, we created the comparison of RAW and RAW 3:1. No one could tell the difference, so we decided to shoot in RAW 3:1. It's great that we could save up the data while keeping the quality we wanted," said Imai.
Genta Tamaki from Interceptor Inc., who is in charge of grading the show, explained: "People definitely have a tendency to expect high contrasted hard-boiled images for a police TV drama. You do actually get a hard-boiled kind of impression at the first look, but this story is not a typical so-called morality play, with the hero running to solve crime incidents. Therefore, I got a specific request from Mr. Imai to draw a line from those typical images and make it unique, using different color tone. For that reason, I reduced saturation to lower the contrast on purpose."
Tamaki continued. "For flashback scenes, I boosted up the saturation. The footage shot with the Blackmagic camera can keep all the colors remaining at the same levels, even when raising the saturation quite high. With other cameras, sometimes it could affect red too much and could fall apart. But with Blackmagic cameras, you get to shoot very flat footage without those problems, so it's very handy. Even when I lowered saturation to make it look like black and white footage, I was not worried that some colors could be still left in gradation. How it fades its color was just impressively beautiful."
Imai added, "A very useful aspect of shooting with URSA is that it has the monitor and the setting screen on the right side as well, so that both my assistant and I could check and operate. I felt that the design of the camera is more like a film camera, so it was very easy for me to use. Not just only the camera, but all the other peripheral equipment was affordable, so it was great that we could manage to shoot RAW even with the limited budget."
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 real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design's DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company's Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD 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 go to www.blackmagicdesign.com