Blackmagic - Pocket Cinema Camera 6K - xxxHolic

Blackmagic Design’s Pocket Cinema Camera 6K has been used to shoot xxxHOliC, Mika Ninagawa’s action film adapting the popular manga created by the CLAMP collective.

The highly anticipated xxxHOLiC tells the story of Kimihiro Watanuki, a high school student disturbed by his own abilities to see the supernatural, and Yūko Ichihara, a powerful witch who owns a wish-granting shop. Ninagawa, the film’s director, was a big fan of the original comics, and in fact had been planning for a decade how to turn this project into a live action film. For the filming, he collaborated with cinematographer Daisuke Soma, with whom he agreed that the look of the film had to involve vivid colours and a particularly carefully chosen set design.

The focus on a particularly striking look was a primary objective from the beginning of the film’s production, as Soma recalls: ““Filming began just as the quarantine period in 2020 ended. At the beginning of the film, there is a scene in which the main character runs away from an unknown black shadow. We shot this scene in Shibuya and Harajuku, where not many people were walking around at the time, using the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. I wanted to create a sense of dynamism in this scene, so the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K was my first choice. I mounted the camera on a pipe and shot the scene running while holding the pipe with my assistant. I also used the camera mounted on a tire doll.”

Soma considers one of the main advantages of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K to be its portability, as he was able to “shoot quickly in different locations in a city” using the Blackmagic RAW format, which made it easy to make all the footage look the same.

Blackmagic - Pocket Cinema Camera 6K - xxxHolic

xxxHolic, colour-keyed with DaVinci

The colour grading of the images was carried out using Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio. The approach was unconventional, as Soma recalls: “I requested to boost colors and contrast for the scenes of another world where the mysterious character, Yuko, appears. It is like an explosion of colors, representing Ninagawa’s world. On the other hand, the intro scene is very desaturated, giving the feel of seeing black and white manga. The original manga has a very contrasty black and white look, so I aimed to create a similar look. With DaVinci Resolve, it worked well to distinguish the look between the real world and another world.”

The cinematographer highlights another key defining feature of xxxHolic: “By inserting some scenes that do not have many colors, we refresh the audience’s eyes so that they don’t get used to the intensity of the colors. It helps the colors pop when they move onto the new scene.”

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By • 29 Aug, 2022
• Section: Catchment, Postpro