António Morais čuči s fotoaparatom

Broj 6: snimanje fotoaparatom Alpha 7S III

António Morais

Ja sam António Morais – snimatelj i Sonyjev ambasador iz Portugala. Još u djetinjstvu otac je na mene prenio ljubav prema vizualnoj umjetnosti, od slikarstva do fotografije i filma. Uskoro sam shvatio da statična slika nije bila dovoljna da kristalizira moje zamisli i znao sam da želim nešto više. Zamrzavanje trenutka imalo je svoju čaroliju, ali njegovo oslobađanje unutar četiri ruba kadra doimalo se izazovnijim. Kada sam diplomirao, nisam prestao snimati videozapise, što je rasplamsalo moju strast prema kinematografiji. Putovao sam u više od 30 zemalja s onim što najviše volim, sa svojim fotoaparatima i opremom. Kada naiđem na poteškoće tijekom snimanja, smiren sam i osjećam se privilegirano jer smatram da moj rad pomaže drugima da putuju, bilo tako što im pokazujem stvaran svijet ili fikciju kroz slike koje snimam. Nedavno sam imao priliku snimati s novim fotoaparatom Alpha 7SIII i odlučio sam ga testirati u uvjetima filmskog seta za snimanje svog novog projekta: „Broj 6”.

Number 6: Choosing the right equipment for the Alpha 7S III

For this short movie, I opted for a very simple and versatile setup to have mobility in my shoot. I used a SmallRig cage, an Atomos Ninja V monitor, along with a baseplate, rods and support for the matte box.

For lights, I chose an all LED light setup. I love them as they are so fast and convenient to assemble. With the help of Filipe Ferraria (gaffer) and Pedro Teixeira (light assistant) we were able to achieve some very complex light set-ups in a tight schedule. To give you an example on how difficult it was, we shot inside the Planetarium’s dome where we had to work with the projector’s light as our base exposure which ended up being at 24fps 1/30 of a second at 16,000 ISO. Unbelievably, we were working with some of our cinema light sources at only 5 to 10%!

Another important aspect of filmmaking is choosing the right lens. For me, it had to be the G Masters lenses as they are designed specifically to take the best of the Sony cameras. For different looks, I opted for 24mm f/1.4 GM, 135mm f/1.8 GM and 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS.

Finally, the audio part was exclusively done in post-production. For storytelling purposes, we had to have a sound design that matches the style of the short movie. Ricardo Teixeira, the director, worked closely alongside Daniel Carvalho, our music composer, to achieve the level of sound intricacy that this piece needed.

António Morais kadrira snimku na fotoaparatu

Number 6: Choosing the right settings on the Alpha 7S III

Overall, I found the Alpha 7S III more mature and well-rounded than previous Alpha 7S models for filmmaking as you can see in the video. I shot in 4K (UHD) from 24P to 120P and at the highest resolution and a less compressed video codec (XAVC-S-I) at 10-bit 4:2:2 to get the best out of the image in all our lighting setups.

For picture profile, we opted for S-log3/S-gamut3 for the best dynamic as the scenes had a lot of contrast. The White Balance was of course set for each specific scene. For colour grading, we worked with Stéphane Sagaz, a Colourist and DIT, and developed a LUT to make the most of the dynamic range when used in S-log3/S-gamut3 to give everyone on set a view on the look of the final shot we were aiming for. This process is very important to give the whole crew a sense of where the final movie is going and creating this LUT in advance was also very useful to start the editing process as well and gave us a good base.

When it came to autofocus, I adjusted the speed and tracking sensitivity settings that let me emulate a manual rack focus. The camera behaved flawlessly every time except when it was completely dark in the scene, unsurprisingly.  For these special light conditions, it was very easy to make it lock focus on a certain position and wait for the light to turn on again to focus on a face again. In these situations, I used manual focus using the focus assist function which is a joy to use with the new EVF and LCD screen. Speaking of the screen, the touch integration and new menu made this camera even more fluid and easy to use. The battery life and the heat dissipation are also very impressive from an operator point of view, especially on the 16-hour shooting day we had.

Number 6: The post-production process

Post-production is an important process at Golpe Filmes. Our workflow involves both Adobe Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve to work in tandem. For this project we transcoded the footage to a more manageable file to edit in Premiere and then we linked to the original files for the final grading. In this final process the 10-bit 4:2:2 codec made everything more enjoyable and more creative.

The director worked on the editing process with the help of Ana Moreira the Assistant Director alongside the Colourist Stéphane Sagaz. On the style we chose, we are now in an era where pastel colours are quite mainstream. I really like to go against this approach. Therefore, we opted for more punchy and contrasted images by using lighting ratios and colour contrast on set and refining in post for the light and colours to shine. I have always liked accentuated looks and I admire DP’s that have a body of work that showcases them. Two of my biggest inspirations are Roger Deakins ASC and Vittorio Storaro ASC, who both work within those boundaries of light and colour.

António Morais fokusira snimku na fotoaparatu

Datoteke koje stvara Alpha 7S III mnogo su bolje nego na starijim modelima. Najveća je razlika, naravno, 10-bitni 4:2:2, ali ima tu još nešto. Čini mi se da je Sony malo dorađivao boje nastojeći postići prirodnije i čišće nijanse kože, što je vrlo dobro. Nemojte me pogrešno shvatiti – i prethodni su modeli bili dobri, ali su bili ograničeni 8-bitnim kodekom. Još jedan važan aspekt snimanja kratkog filma jest i brzina prijenosa datoteke. Nove CFExpress Type A kartice baš su jako brze! Kopirali smo punu karticu od 160 GB za manje od 3 minute na setu. Jasno se sjećam, primjerice, da sam dao karticu Franciscu (1. pomoćniku redatelja) i dobio je natrag za tren oka između dva namještanja kamere. Zatim sam pitao Stéphanea mogu li je formatirati bez straha, a on mi je rekao da mogu jer ju je kopirao dvaput! To govori sve o tehnologiji na kojoj se te kartice temelje.

Kao što sam već napomenuo, ovo je mnogo potpuniji i zreliji fotoaparat od njegovih prethodnika za profesionalnu upotrebu. Iskustvo na setu bilo je besprijekorno i fotoaparat me nikad nije iznevjerio. Od fotoaparata očekujem kvalitetu i pouzdanost, a to sam od fotoaparata Alpha 7S III i dobio. Ne mogu riskirati da na setu ni na sekundu posumnjam u opremu jer mi je potrebno što više vremena za kreativnost.

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