BMCC: ProRes HQ video and audio tips
From the Vimeo page you can download the “original MOV” to see a higher-quality (less compressed) 1920 x 1080 version of the video.
Video: Recorded using the BMCC’s “ProRes 422 HQ” 220 megabit/sec. mode set to “Video” (Rec.709) gamma. The BMCC was set at 800 ASA, with the white balance set to 3200K, 29.97 fps. The camera’s zebras were set at 100%. Exposure & lighting was adjusted so that a white card positioned in directly front of the talent’s face was just below clipping (e.g.: no zebras).
When shooting ProRes or DNxHD, the BMCC records its best balance of high dynamic range & low noise @ ISO 800 (its native ISO), and using the BMCC “Film” DR setting. However for this video I wanted to see what the BMCC’s “Video” mode looked like.
I didn’t use any ND filters for this shoot, but just an FYI: When using ND >9, adding an IR cut filter is advised. “Infrared pollution” affects most modern video cams to a varying degree, and can cause black objects and video in general to look tinged with brown/red/magenta. The choice of which IR cut filter is best to use tends to be sensor-specific. There’s information on cost-effective IR cut and ND filters specifically recommended for use with Blackmagic cameras in a detailed thread on the BMCuser forum. (Based on the info in the thread on BMCuser, and because I already own ND filters, I’ve since bought a “Hoya UV IR cut filter 77mm” for use with my BMPC-4K.)
Interview lighting: Key light is a 2K Arri tungsten fresnel bashing through a white cotton bed sheet; the back/hair light is a 250w Mole tungsten fresnel through diffusion. A 48″ white bounce reflector is located just off-screen on the talent’s left (camera right).
Audio: [Note: These audio settings were used with BMCC firmware v.1.2. Later firmware versions may require different settings. Always record your own tests to verify settings appropriate for your production & workflow.] Recorded in-camera using a Sennheiser ME64 mic through a SoundDevices MixPre preamp. The line level output of the mixer was recorded by the BMCC set to “Line level”, with input levels set at 85%, and the BMCC’s internal mic set to 0% (off). Using these settings, the MixPre’s test tone plays @ -18db in FCP7.
UPDATE 12/22/13: “WhiteRabbit” has posted a helpful summary of the current state of BMCC audio performance as of firmware v.1.3.
Lenses: 45 year old Nikkor “F” SLR primes from KEH. The interview wide shot uses a 35mm f2, the close-up a 85mm f1.8, both at f4.
Edited in FCP7.
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