Making Their Mark - Amazon Original - Blackmagic Design

Making Their Mark, an Amazon Original that can be enjoyed via Amazon Prime Video, was shot by Melbourne production company JamTV with cameras from Blackmagic Design.

The seven-episode series, filmed during 2020, brings viewers closer to six Australian Football League teams by combining footage from the games with footage from inside the sporting venues, executive suites and players’ lives. JamTV Australia used several URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 units as the main camera to capture shots of the teams, players and coaches.

On the other hand, the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, also from Blackmagic Design, was used for stabilizers and to film shots at independent frame rates. In this way, as Matt Koopmans, director of photography, points out, up to five cameras were used in several matches: two fixed cameras, two in the locker room and one for commentary.

JamTV ended up recording more than 2,500 hours and 650 TB of footage in Blackmagic RAW 8:1 format, employing more than 20 camera operators across the country.

Making Their Mark - Amazon Original - Blackmagic Design - Arte

Making Their Mark Post Production

Specialist company Spark Post Production handled ingest and low-res editing, while Blue Post’s Marcus Herrick was responsible for color grading the series. Herrick faced a number of challenges, but the main one was matching the Blackmagic RAW footage to the material shot during the games: “Thankfully Blackmagic RAW has a lot of dynamic range. It also keys well, which made matching grass and skin tones easier,” says Herrick.

To organize and color grade the footage shot previously or with other cameras and drones, Herrick turned to DaVinci Resolve Studio’s color space conversions and group adjustment tools. “Each game shot had a minimum of three separate keys for skin tones, football pitch and highlight control. Bringing the broadcast footage’s highlights into the HDR world, especially stadium lights, gave them a type of HDR ’twinkle’. This required a careful mix of curves and keys to separate the highlights and remove color contamination to bring them up above 100 nits and still look good. I was able to do this all efficiently with DaVinci Resolve,” adds Herrick.

SDR and HDR versions

BluePost was responsible for producing Making Their Mark in SDR and HDR, including UHD HDR10, HD HDR10, UHD SDR and HD SDR versions. For this purpose, the company relied on DaVinci Resolve Studio’s integration with Dolby Vision to optimize the conversion from one format to the other. The playback of the images, on the other hand, was done using Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink or UltraStudio devices.

The Dolby Vision tools in DaVinci Resolve Studio, as Herrick notes, were a great help: “Being able to grade in HDR and then have Dolby Vision Analysis give you an SDR version was a massive time saver. To make it even better, the ability to grade HDR on one monitor and simultaneously see SDR on a second monitor, gives you confidence that both versions will look great.”

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By • 27 Aug, 2021
• Section: Catchment, Postpro, Television, TV Production