Camera kits

Phantoms: Gets  Film Look

Phantoms: Gets Film Look

Director and editor Lauren Pushkin’s latest pop promo commission, Fifty Phantoms’ ‘Last Night’ called for a rich, vibrant look – without the budget for film. Her first port of call was VMI, where she hired a HPX500 camera with cine-style lenses, as well as the AG-HPG10 P2 archive unit and grip equipment.

Pushkin opted for the HPX500 as she knew she wanted to shoot on HD and on P2 in particular. Doing this meant she didn’t have to digitise footage, and slow-motion scenes could be shot at 50fps.

The promo, set in a nightclub, had a low budget, but compromising on the look or quality was out of the question. Without the budget to shoot on film, Pushkin wanted to use something that didn’t look like video. “It had to have a soft edge, with contrast, but not too saturated in colour. We wanted a rich, vibrant, yet ‘underworld’ look.

We used a lot of smoke on set and a ring light in the close-ups which really worked with the camera, softening the look, creating mystery and intrigue.”

To ensure she was ready to go on the day, Pushkin’s DoP set up the camera the day before the shoot, adjusting the gamma, focus, blacks and whites, adding the cine-style lenses, matte box and pro mist filters. On the day, she connected the cards to the archive unit “And this worked great. Once in the edit the footage was brought in at 1080p25 and it worked a dream. Both the slow-mo and normal-speed shots worked without any converting.

“The ease of use with the P2 cards was also fantastic – no digitising at all,” she adds. “When we got to the online, all the technicians thought the promo had already been graded! This meant we were able to spend our session matching shots to our favourite ones rather than having to create a look.

“When you don’t have the budget to shoot on film you’re always ready to be disappointed,” Pushkin admits, “but combining the cine-style lenses, the pro mist, smoke and a great DoP, gave a great overall look. Technology is changing fast at the moment, but P2 is a great way of working.”

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