Category Archives: Cinematography

Hurricane Kids – Over | Cinematography + Behind The Scenes

A few weeks ago we shot a music video for Hurricane Kids‘ new single ‘Over’! Check it out below. We had so many laughs on this two-day shoot, what a blast! This is the first music video we shot on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera too! Massive thank you to all of those involved in the video {credits below video} – couldn’t have done it without ya!

Director: CaptainHook
DP: Alex Jenkins / CaptainHook
Producer/Props/Styling: A Couple Of Night Owls
Production Assist: Danelle Bourgeois
Gaffer: Alex Jenkins
AC: Manon Laffitte
Jib/Lighting and 2nd Camera Assist: Ben Grainger
Make-up / Wardrobe: Nella Louise Zisser and Hurricane Kids
Venue Lighting Assist: Joshua Strand
On Location Sound: Scott Seabright
Pixel Drape Op: Ryan of The Production Co.
Edit/Grade/FX: CaptainHook

Shot on BMCC EF. Graded in Davinci Resolve. Compositing/FX in Nuke.

Crime Storm…

Behind the scenes…

Also posted in A Couple Of Night Owls, Behind The Scenes, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Grading, Music | 1 Comment

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera | Cinematography

Hook has been lucky enough to be able to test out the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera that’s due for release pretty soon. He was given the green light to be able to show this first set of footage that he got on it. Check it out! Below the video is a bit of commentary from Hook if you want any of the technical details…

From Hook:

I have been out grabbing some footage and testing this little guy the last week or so and having a blast! I really can’t get over the image that’s coming from this tiny little package. Amazing. The stealth factor is also great as everyone assumes you’re on a typical “point and shoot” and don’t think twice so pay you no attention. I can see myself shooting casually with this more than my EF 2.5k model (which I plan to sell to get the MFT mount version) as it’s so portable and light-weight, I can take it just about anywhere with me. I couldn’t bring myself to rig up this camera as it kind of defeats the purpose to me.

The footage is mostly made up of our Canon L Primes via the Redrock Live Lens adapter so that I can control aperture on our lenses. Some shots are with the Panasonic/Lumix 12-35/2.8 (thanks to Gilbert for loaning me this and a couple of other active lenses to test with).

Lenses used in this clip are:
Canon 24/1.4L
Canon 35/1.4L
Canon 50/1.2L
Canon 100/2.8L
Panasonic/Lumix 12-35/2.8

Everything is either handheld, on a monopod, or on a Glidecam HD4000 (thanks to Si Moore). Majority is shot at ASA400 (did not shoot RAW) with a few of the night shots at ASA800, but even some of them are at 400. Most of the night shots are also at F1.4. The glidecam stuff by the beach was the Lumix 12-35 at around F16 (don’t have any ND’s that fit the filter thread). Otherwise the majority of the day shots are at F2.0 using Tiffen IRND’s to get appropriate exposure.

Shot in BMDFilm with my LUT applied, and only minor corrections beyond that. You can find my LUT here.

I can see this camera becoming VERY popular. Great stuff and congrats again to all the team at Blackmagic, plus a HUGE thank you to BMD for letting me take this guy for a test drive!!

Music by the amazing Lennon and Maisy

Also posted in A Couple Of Night Owls, Grading | 2 Comments

Showreel | Colour Grading

Hook is a master of colour grading. It’s not a topic that most people know about, and most probably don’t even know what it actually is. In very simple terms, it’s basically colour correcting and creating a look for video footage. And Hook is the man at it. Below is a showreel that Hook put together of some of his colour grading work. Seeing the before and after footage really illustrates what he can do.

Colour grading done in Davinci Resolve. Originating footage from Red, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and 5D MKii and MKiiis.

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Blackmagic Cinema Camera | Cinematography

If you follow us on Facebook, you may already know that Hook got a new toy not so long ago… a Blackmagic Cinema Camera (aka. BMCC). Oh boy, does he love it! He has spent the last few months putting together some test footage from it. It’s one awesome looking camera, especially considering how inexpensive it is really. Check out his videos below and some nerdy notes from him about each one! I may feature in the first one… :P

BMCC – Auckland City

This is various footage of my amazing girlfriend Danelle (the better half of “A Couple Of Night Owls”) and other people walking around Auckland over various days (in-between busy work schedules) since i first got my Blackmagic Cinema Camera. I shot at various times of the day to see how it would handle, including under the middle of the day “brutal” NZ sunlight. I really can’t believe how well the camera handled those situations – the dynamic range is amazing. I shot at spots we have taken stills at before on our 5Dmk3′s, and to put it bluntly the BMCC kicked it’s ass! It was able to retain so much more information in shadows/highlights compared to our stills, i really wasn’t expecting this even though there has been much talk about the dynamic range of the camera.

Blackmagic, I think you’ve done an amazing job with this camera. Yes, everyone is waiting for certain firmware updates and OLPF’s etc, but the core image/colour is just fantastic. There were no lights/reflectors/diffusers used in any of this footage and I really can’t wait to shoot some stuff with more ‘controlled’ lighting. There have been concerns about the ‘small’ sensor and getting shallow depth of field (I had them too), but what I’ve found is that not only does “deep DOF” look great from this camera, but shallow depth is completely possible and looks equally great. Getting “wide” shots in tight small rooms with some shallow depth may be trickier (you need fast/wide/good glass) but otherwise it’s no real concern.

This footage is a mixture of RAW and Prores (RAW until around 1:15, then prores until the end – BMDFilm used for both) and they definitely have a slightly different look. RAW is full of detail and colour, but I also love the prores and I think in some ways it looks more “filmic” than RAW (dare I say it!). Some of the footage was also shot before I had built my shoulder rig and I was only using the screen on the back of the camera, but most was using my shoulder rig and there’s a couple of (poorly executed) glidecam shots (I don’t recommend trying it without a vest!! Thanks again to the Atkins brothers for the glidecam vest and Si Moore for the HD4000).

Lenses used:
• Canon 14/2.8L
• Canon 35/1.4L

Tiffen WW ND1.2 / IRND1.5 4×4

Graded in Resolve, “assembled” in Premiere (hardly what I would consider an ‘edit’ :P )

Music (used with permission) by the amazing Ben King from the Grand Rapids‘ album “Faintheartedness” (which I also had the extreme pleasure of mixing!)

BMCC Goes to Bootcamp

My first test shooting Prores on the BMCC – My friend Tumehe runs a bootcamp here in Auckland, NZ so me and a couple of friends used it as an opportunity to test out the camera (it was their first time shooting on the BMCC and my first time shooting Prores with it – all my previous tests were shot RAW). I pushed the limits of exposure shooting this (both under and over) and learnt a lot in the process by seeing where I could take it later in grading.

Thanks to Mike Braid + Grant Findlay for hanging out and shooting with me, Ryan Baigent from Locus Creative for the Jib, the Atkins bros for the Glidecam Vest, Si Moore for the HD4000, and Mike Viskovich for the edit. Music (used with permission) by Tumehe.

Lenses used:
• Canon 14/2.8L
• Canon 35/1.4L
• Canon 50/1.2L
• Canon 100/2.8L

Tiffen WW ND1.2 / IRND1.5 4×4

Shot in 30fps, conformed to 25fps for a slight “slow motion” effect.

Graded in Resolve.


Also, this is his BMCC rig so far…

The rig is actually pretty well balanced (thanks to the hyperdeck shuttle and switronix sitting on the back), Hook thinks he could improve it by getting the BMCC further back onto his shoulder. The only piece in this rig that isn’t his is the actual shoulder pad (shoot35), which he’s borrowing from Mike (cheers!). Hook tested Mike’s shape shoulder pad too, which allows the BMCC to sit more on the shoulder so he may go for that. Not sure yet.

Hook also used a redrock offset at the front to get the zacuto grips more central to my body, which makes operating much more comfortable for him (you can see his DP6 in that picture too).

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