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Dan Watt

BMPCC4k Real World Examples

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Recently shot two short films back to back with the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k and with each productions permission I cut together a short reel using footage from both.

The first production was a low budget environmental short. Went with the BMPCC4k because it easily fit into a backpack as a lot of the locations were hike-in. A majority of the films budget went to permits and gas as well so this camera seemed like the way to go. All of the lighting in this was natural light with occasional handheld bounce boards in the form of foamcore and bleached muslin. The next production was a horror short shot at a cabin in AZ, initially we were going to go with an Epic with the Gemini sensor but the lower cost and smaller profile of the BMPCC4k let us free up money in the budget for a jib and remote head (really just a Ronin-MX). Lighting was primarily tungsten fresnels, par cans, quasar LEDs and incandescent practical bulbs. Color grading was done in Resolve using the LUT provided by Blackmagic for this camera, I believe it's called their Extended Film lut. Same LUT for both films. While the finished products will likely have more finesse done to them in the grade I felt that these were adequate for the purpose of this post as it showcases the camera right out of the box. Lenses used were a set of older Zeiss Jenas. Flektogon 20mm f2.8, Flektogon 35mm f2.4 and a Pancolar 50mm 1.8. Lenses were adapted to the camera using a Metabones XL .64 Speedbooster which performed admirably. Camera was set to record in Blackmagic Raw Q0 4k onto CFast cards. I was pleasantly surprised with this camera, I really liked the layout of the various buttons, the quality of the LCD screen and the ease in combing through the menus. Only two things I'd ask for would be an SDI port (wrestling with full size HDMI connectors while on a gimbal was a pain) and a waveform monitor but to be honest I'm finding myself more and more satisfied with only using false color. Biggest issue I had was with clipping on the highlights, I've grown accustomed to the lovely roll off of Red and Arri but considering the price of this thing I can't complain. Besides, with older lenses it bloomed pretty nicely. With newer modern lenses it may help to have a promist or similar filter on hand if you'll be in a situation where it's impossible to avoid blow out. Really the only thing keeping me from buying one of these is the lack of stock everywhere. Had to rent one for these two shoots and I miss it already.

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Posted (edited)

Very nice! I was wondering what it would produce.

Liked the sand dunes and all the lighting variables. Should have explored more with the sun see-through of her dress. And some nudes. The ending was kinda abrupt on the 2nd film. Maybe that was intended?

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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They are clips from two different productions I was hired to shoot, not my own productions so I could only use a small handful of shots, plenty of other stuff that won't be seen until post is done on them, whenever that may be. 

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It looks amazing!

I've been playing around with mine for about 3 weeks now and I can't believe that footage comes out so amazing compared to anything this small that I've shot on.

I'm thinking of even ditching a rental on a project and just renting the lenses. But I'm not sure we've gotten used to it enough and have enough confidence to shoot a bigger project on it.

The battery life kind of sucks a little and not even the time but rather that it just dies and that's it no warning nothing. Other than that I'm so happy I got this thing.

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I am still not particularly impressed by this camera but that was nicely shot reel and amazing locations!

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