Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K Penfolds Cortometraje

Cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh (ASC) has decided to shoot an experimental short film for Penfolds using Blackmagic Design‘s URSA Mini Pro 12K.

The piece, shot in Blackmagic RAW format and color-keyed with DaVinci Resolve Studio, celebrates the launch of a new wine collection, California Collection, created with Australian and Californian grape varieties.

The launch took place as part of a live webcast featuring dancers performing against a bright red backdrop. The dance symbolized the journey of cuttings from Australian vines transported and planted in California, bringing together the two hemispheres and grape varieties to create the unique California Collection.

Unique saturation and contrast

Dryburgh, whose career includes both television and film productions (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Piano, nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars), knew from the start that the production would require a different approach than usual: “There was a very specific design to the film. It was a striking dance piece that incorporated a strong red, the Penfolds color. Some shots included the dancers silhouetted against the red background, and it was important that the camera be able to deal with such saturated images, which it did.”

To work in these intense, saturated red tones, Dryburgh opted for the Blackmagic solution: “We shot a highly saturated, high contrast red background, and the URSA Mini Pro 12K delivered it flawlessly,” he says.

Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K Penfolds Cortometraje Baile

High frequency

Director Eva Midgley also appreciates the experience of working with the URSA Mini Pro 12K: “Penfolds is a luxury brand, so we needed a higher level look and also wanted its signature red color to be featured throughout. We really embraced it by using a bright red background with red lighting on it, and all the dancers’ dresses were red. The URSA Mini Pro 12K read the color beautifully, producing a rich look, and there was lots of definition in the footage. It ended up looking gorgeous rather than branded.”

She also highlights its high performance working at 120 fps: “The URSA Mini Pro 12K’s high frame rates let us capture the fast turns and high jumps at 120 fps.”

Post with DaVinci

In post-production, colorist Kevin Ratigan relied on DaVinci Resolve Studio and a DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel device for color grading. Because the film was shot in Blackmagic RAW format, Ratigan was able to more accurately control color during post-production. In his own words, “DaVinci Resolve Studio was a huge help for the grade, which had a quick turnaround. The goal was to highlight the dancers, keeping skin tones natural while taking advantage of the deep, intense red and warm color palette.”

One of the key briefs for Ratigan was to make the reddish hues look as close as possible to Penfolds’ corporate colors: “Using the various curves after an initial balance and look setting, I was able to shift the red hues to be deeper and more cohesive between shots, while keeping the Penfolds brand in mind. The Hue Vs Hue, Hue Vs Lum and Hue Vs Sat curves were integral for the subtle corrections needed to make everything flow together,” he concludes.

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For • 21 May, 2021
• Section: Capture, Postpro