Today, I stand on the NAB floor with my wife Lydia, CEO of Hurlbut Visuals. We both reflect on how far we have come. It was Lydia’s vision to build the educational/inspirational HURLBLOG, which passes on our collective experience and trail-blazing spirit. She envisioned the innovation arm, our Master Cinema Series in conjunction with the Letus Corporation to toss gasoline on the revolutionary fire. And the Hurlbut Visuals’ creation arm has produced the next chapter in Canon’s story. What a visionary woman.
At a trade show such as NAB, you can get caught up in looking at all the camera technology, gizmos, gadgets, etc. so quickly. But the story seems to always ground me.
Today, Hurlbut Visuals launches a short film written and directed by another very talented woman, Po Chan. The Ticket is her follow-up to The Last 3 Minutes. Please enjoy!!!
The Elite Team and Talent watching playback on an HP Dream Color Monitor
The right tool for the job has always been my mission. It’s whatever camera helps tell the story, aids in character development, helps deliver emotion, and transports you to a unique cinematic world for you to experience. Wouldn’t you say that is the primary goal of a cinematographer?
The 1DC on a Master Cinema series rig with Tiffen Glimmer Glass
Testing Canon 1DC 4K DSLR
When Canon approached me to test and shoot a short film for their new 1DC 4K DSLR, I was more than excited. This is the world that I have been trailblazing for quite some time.
When the camera was delivered to Hurlbut Visuals, my Elite Team and I sent it through various tests, using what we had learned from our collective experience with the Canon 5D MK II. After the first night of testing, one word came to mind. WOW!!!
Steadicam Operator Chris McGuire operates the Steadicam with the revolution head
When you harness 4K into the small footprint of a 1D, give it the processing power to record to little CF cards with no external recording devices needed. Now that is where the WOW factor comes in.
I can blind you with tech specs, and wine and dine you with test footage, but this is not what I am about. If this unique device transports you and rivals 35mm film, then my job is done.
Elite Team Member Mike Svitak
Everything about this camera will blow your mind. The image stands alone, with not even one competitor entering the playing field. What you are going to see on the web will never do this camera justice. You need to run out, knock down doors, and demand screenings of this camera on a 4K Sony or Barco projector. I have walked up to 6 inches from the screen, and you cannot see a pixel.
If there were only one booth, you could visit this week, that booth would be Canon. This is a company that I believe in, not because they make the best DSLRs in the world, but because they are coming from R & D that is about replicating film, not HD video. This is a big difference. Canon is delivering DIGITAL FILM, now in 4K. In this creation, they combined both divisions – Video and DLSR. So you are getting the collective brain power of two huge engineering monoliths. This is a big step for Canon.
This is as Techie as I get…
Out of the gate, the camera functions just like a 5D, 1D. It uses the same menus, and it is easy to navigate. You can save all your favorites and settings on a CF card and pass them from camera to camera. It records 23.98 at 4K at a size bigger than super 35, which gives you a shallower depth of field.
It has a mirroring function so that you can view the back LCD screen, as well as an external EVF or monitor. 4GB equals 1 minute of 4K. Lexar cards that process at 1000 mb/s, UDMA 7 are the only things that can capture this baby. 60p at 1080 Full frame sensor, so you gain all the benefits that the 5D’s full-frame sensor gave you. The rolling shutter was less apparent. Moire did not exist. Picture styles are like on the 5D, so you can go in there and make your own.
Canon Log was one of the most exciting functions of the 1DC. At 400 ISO, it will give you a dynamic range of 12.5 stops. The log looks unbelievable. You can expose it easily, not like Cinestyle or other flat files. No h.264 codec here. This records motion jpegs, and the WOW factor goes up when you see how the slight compression to the cards makes it look just like film. This compression, which I have embraced and love, soften the highlights and skin, and rounds the 4K capture.
The contrast ratio feels more like a hill than a cliff. Skin tones are absolutely beautiful. Vitality abounds with the Canon’s sensor and color space. I could care less that it is 8 BIT color. I am getting it very close, and Dave Cole, our colorist at Technicolor, had a huge range to deal with. Canon’s 8 BIT feels like 12 BIT with its color space and reproduction.
The effective native ISO of the chip is 400 ISO in Canon Log. There are no native ISOs like the 5D, 7D, and 1D. Through testing, I was able to go to 6400 on the Neutral picture style as well as Canon Log and see the noise that I saw at 1600 ISO on the Canon 5D, which is what 70% of the night photography was shot at on Act of Valor. That noise is minimal.
It doesn’t look like the C300 at 6400 ISO, which looks very noisy and a grain texture equal to 5219 pushed two stops, which is marginal. Shooting at 6400 ISO, with minimal noise/grain will shake things up. I felt that it handled the highlights of night photography wonderfully on Canon Log. Holding all detail in color on neon, Flo’s, street lamps with no hot burning video looking Boca.
There was no evidence of sensor pattern in the out-of-focus highlights that you get from every other camera. It just plain looked like film. This is an A Camera system. Period!!!!
This is just the beginning of a 5 week series about the inner workings of The Ticket. There will be a BTS post, two lighting posts, a producing post, and texture process post, so stay tuned.
Thank you to Simon Beins and The Three Fishermen for the original song “Those Kisses” on “The Ticket.”
Looking for mentorship in the film industry? Schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with master colorist David Cole (The Lord of the Rings) today! This is where you can get expert advice from an industry professional on your career or a particular project.
David Cole began his career in 1996 in Melbourne, Australia in the telecine department of AAV Digital Pictures. While maintaining his position as a colorist, his role expanded to Technical Director of Digital Film. He also assisted in the visual effects department as a Technical Director, writing scripts and other tools for the CG group.
In 2001, Cole joined The Post House Ltd in Wellington, New Zealand, as a Lead Digital Colourist on Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, and over the next several years helped pioneer DI in Australia and New Zealand. In 2004, Cole joined Weta Digital as Supervising and Lead Digital Colourist, setting up and leading the DI division for Peter Jackson’s King Kong, for which he earned a nomination for Outstanding Color Grading – Feature film, from the Hollywood Post Alliance Awards in its inaugural year.
Cole moved to Hollywood in 2006 and joined LaserPacific which later became Technicolor. In 2013 Cole moved to Modern VideoFilm and in 2016 started at FotoKem. Since arriving in Hollywood he has graded such films as Dune, The Tomorrow War, Minari (HPA nominated), TRON: Legacy (HPA nominated), Pride and Glory (HPA nominated), The Book of Life, Kong: Skull Island, and multi-Academy Award-winning Life of Pi (HPA win – Outstanding Colour Grading – Feature Film).