(Fremeont, CA--August 7, 2019) Blackmagic Design today announced that Canada based Echo Bay Media used two Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4Ks and a Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro on the all new Science Channel series, “Legends of the Deep.” The Pocket Cinema Camera 4Ks captured underwater shots for the aquatic series, and then DaVinci Resolve Studio was used for the final color grade by Marc Bachli of Sim Post Toronto.
“Legends of the Deep” follows Céline and Fabien Cousteau as they set out to explore shipwrecks, strange scientific occurrences and mysterious natural anomalies, all beneath the sea. Produced by Cineflix Productions, Curve Media Limited, and INE Entertainment L.L.C. for Discovery Inc.’s Science Channel, the four part series debuted on June 9, 2019.
To shoot on location in Belize, Bermuda, Nova Scotia and Cyprus, Cineflix enlisted the help of Producers and Cofounders of Echo Bay Media Scott Wilson and Andre Dupuis due to their extensive experience shooting underwater. To capture underwater shots, Wilson and Dupuis selected two Pocket Cinema Camera 4Ks for their usability, portability, and cinematic footage that easily matched the other cameras in their shooting package.
“Leading up to the first shoot in Belize, we knew that we’d be filming from inside very small, confined three seat submersibles that are underwater for hours at a time. Space was at a premium, so we needed compact cameras that were incredibly reliable. Due to the submersibles’ size, there was often only room for the camera operator and two hosts, so we couldn’t be there ourselves to help troubleshoot if anything went wrong. Fortunately, we were able to confidently rely on the Pocket Cinema Camera 4Ks to capture exactly what we needed in difficult underwater shooting conditions,” said Wilson.
Controlling the lighting in underwater environments is very challenging, particularly when an ancillary submersible is providing external light, so the Echo Bay Media team relied on the cameras’ low light capabilities and dynamic range, as well as DaVinci Resolve Studio’s noise reduction features.
According to Dupuis, “It’s very dark underwater so we had our ISO set at 5,000. Even at that level, it was only a matter of minor noise reduction in DaVinci Resolve Studio, which we were able to easily take care of ourselves. Although a second submarine was on location providing some light, communication is very challenging underwater, so we’d either have very dark or extremely bright lighting conditions. Fortunately, it didn’t create an issue because of the cameras’ dynamic range.”
Bachli added, “Since the lighting was so difficult in the underwater shots, we had to mitigate some of the resulting grain with DaVinci Resolve Studio. We were cutting these low light shots with very well exposed ones, so we wanted to make sure that everything flowed together smoothly. Often times in this situation, we’d add grain to the well exposed shots to make them aesthetically similar. However, DaVinci Resolve Studio’s shadow control and noise reduction tools provided exceptional results. Initially, there were serious concerns about the possibility of matching these shots but those concerns went away quickly as soon as we saw what was possible with DaVinci Resolve Studio.”
In addition to leveraging the cameras’ small footprint inside the submersibles, Wilson and Dupuis also used the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K for interior vehicle narrative shots of the Cousteaus.
“The narrative shots of Céline and Fabien in the car were done very quickly. The Pocket Cinema Camera 4Ks’ setup time is so minimal that it was easy for us to experiment with different setups without wasting valuable production time. We were able to quickly configure a dashboard mount with one unit on each host and then quickly switch to one unit outside of the car looking in. Having these options on a run and gun shoot such as this allowed us to try things we may not have ordinarily been able to and guaranteed the best look possible. Additionally, the color science of the camera is incredible, so skin tones just come alive,” added Dupuis.
Echo Bay Media also used an URSA Mini Pro while shooting the series. According to Dupuis, “Thanks to its uncompromising value, we knew we were in a great position to use the URSA Mini Pro on this series. The URSA Mini Pro proved to be rugged and quick to setup with great latitude, wonderful color and comparably light weight.”
Dupuis concluded, “The great thing about the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and the URSA Mini Pro is that they’re incredibly affordable without compromising quality. The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is such an amazing compact camera in terms of what you get out of something so small; I’m getting shallow depth of field with incredible dynamic range, and the color is amazing. Paired with DaVinci Resolve Studio, we were able to achieve world class production value at a fraction of the cost.”
About Echo Bay Media
Since founding Echo Bay Media in 2000, Andre Dupuis and Scott Wilson have created hundreds of hours of award winning programming for the likes of Netflix, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and more. Specializing in travel and documentary programming, this Emmy nominated team is unmatched in their ability to deliver astonishing cinematography from any environment and have filmed in over 90 countries, and on every continent. Being licensed commercial divers and certified pilots means that Echo Bay Media is equipped to film on land, sea and in the air.
Photos by Çapkin van Alphen and Stephanie Pickering
Sim is a leading supplier of studios, production equipment, workflow/dailies and post production solutions. With offices spanning North America, Sim's team and services have supported features such as "Deadpool" and Oscar winning documentary, "OJ: Made in America," and hit series "Game of Thrones," "Mr. Robot," "Stranger Things" and "Handmaid's Tale." Sim Studios supports TV series, feature films and commercial productions with over 400,000 square feet of first class studio and production facilities in Vancouver. Sim Lighting & Grip provides services and equipment from hubs in Vancouver and Toronto; Sim Camera provides rental equipment and support from hubs in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, Northern Ontario and Atlanta. Sim Post provides an array of services from workflow/dailies, to online and offline editing, to final color/DI and visual effects, to sound editorial and mixing. Sim Hollywood is located in the former historic Eastman Kodak building, and provides the industry's only camera through post services venue. Sim is backed by Toronto based investment firm Granite Partners. For more information, visit siminternational.com or visit us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn @simcomplete.
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