Marinette - Blackmagic - URSA Mini Pro 12K

Blackmagic’s URSA Mini Pro 12K camera was used by cinematographer Xavier Dolléans to capture the shots that later included VFX for ‘Marinette’.

Marinette tells the story of Marinette Pichon, a French women’s soccer pioneer and one of the sport’s most prominent players. MPC, a company specializing in visual effects with extensive experience in terms of crowd generation, would play an important role in this production, always under the baton of cinematographer Xavier Dolléans (AFC).

Marinette - Blackmagic - URSA Mini Pro 12KAfter multiple conversations with Laurent Larapidie, visual effects supervisor at MPC, Dolléans decided to form a team independent of the main production to organise extras and sign scenes where VFX intervention would be required for audience duplication. Larapidie recalls how the process went: “I had entire stadiums to fill with 70 extras. We’d shoot those extras from different angles, frequently changing their props, clothing and positions. It was a time consuming exercise, but the ability to work autonomously on this part of the shoot saved production considerable time. We used CG crowd simulations for the very wide angles, but being able to use ‘crowd elements’ gave us more opportunities to achieve convincing effects.”

Marinette - Blackmagic - URSA Mini Pro 12KDolléans and Pichon decided to capture these scenes with a URSA Mini Pro 12K unit, a “camera that’s easy to set up, simple to operate and well thought out.” “A quick run through from the technical team to get up to scratch, and I was good to go. Plus, it’s relatively light, and we could mount it on a slider, keeping us mobile. That made handling it on the turf and changing angles easy,” says Larapidie. The Blackmagic camera was equipped with Orion anamorphic lenses from Atlas Lens, and most of the visual effects shots were recorded in 8K resolution at 48 f/sec and an aspect ratio of 2:39 to match the images captured by the main cameras.

The footage came to visual effects supervisor Niranjan Siva, who was pleased to be able to work with “4K EXR files, down sampled from the 8K by the lab” and to use a “ACES color managed workflow,” which allowed “to crop or zoom in on the visuals without sacrificing quality.” Looking back, Dolléans is pleased with the performance of the URSA Mini Pro 12K on Marinette: “It is not uncommon in the film industry that VFX is called upon to perform miracles using media that lacks detail and resolution. With Blackmagic’s 12K sensor, that problem doesn’t exist.”

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By • 10 Jul, 2023
• Section: Catchment