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Old December 18th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #1
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NanoFlashes used in Duran Duran shoot.

Just thought you all might like to know that the nanoFlash is still an excellent fit for a lot of Jobs. On Friday night I was technical supervisor and camera operator on a major concert shoot. We used 12 PMW-F3's all recording to NanoFlashes to shoot a sell out Duran Duran concert in Manchester, UK. In addition to the F3's there were a further 10 assorted mini-cams and FS-100's doing various effects shots.

We chose the NanoFlashes due to the compact nature of the files they produce and the known high reliability in what can be a difficult environment for some recording devices. Some of the front of house cameras were operating very close to the speaker stacks where the sound levels are high enough to prevent hard disk and even some tape recorders from recording error free. The nanoFlashes performed flawlessly.

The NanoFlashes were set to 80Mb/s for the 2 hour concert allowing us to safely use just 2 64GB CF cards in each unit with a good safety margin. This alleviated the need to change media during the hectic non-stop shoot. In all we generated about 1.2TB of data in just 2 hours. Had we used ProRes HQ or similar we would still be backup up the estimated 3.5 to 4 TB of data that would have generated. When you add in a second copy for safety reasons, there's a big difference between 2.4TB and 8TB in terms of time and cost.

I had the luxury of a test shoot at an earlier Duran Duran concert a week ago where I was able to spend the evening working out the optimum camera setup and picture profile for the shoot, so any grading should be minimal and as such 8 bit recording will be perfectly adequate even for the high quality demanded by the band.

The film will be released later next year and distributed in various manners, some of which I'm very excited about, but can't say more right now. We used Arri Alura, Optimo lenses as well as B4 ENG lenses with super 35mm adapters. Focal lengths ranged from 16mm all the way up to 1m (1000mm).
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Old December 18th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #2
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Re: NanoFlashes used in Duran Duran shoot.

Sounds like a fun shoot!

I see more and more nanos around these days with video crews. Last night I saw an Advert on Discovery Channel for a show called Third Class Traveller with Julian Hanton. The photo during the titles showed him with an EX3 and a nano (I searched for the photo on the internet, but could only find it on a Latvian website):

LKTA ?inynas - kaimo turizmas, sodybos, poilsis, pirtys, pramogos, lankytinos vietos, amatininkai
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Old December 18th, 2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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Re: NanoFlashes used in Duran Duran shoot.

Dear Alister and Simon,

Thank you for posting this exciting information.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 01:17 PM   #4
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Re: NanoFlashes used in Duran Duran shoot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
The photo during the titles showed him with an EX3 and a nano (I searched for the photo on the internet, but could only find it on a Latvian website):

LKTA ?inynas - kaimo turizmas, sodybos, poilsis, pirtys, pramogos, lankytinos vietos, amatininkai
Those words are disturbingly familiar given the linguistic similarity between Lithuanian and Latvian. But as a Latvian-American, I'll provide the minor correction that it's a Lithuanian web site.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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Re: NanoFlashes used in Duran Duran shoot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
Sounds like a fun shoot!

I see more and more nanos around these days with video crews.
I hope the camera manufacturers notice this too, and just include the functionality in-camera. Perhaps that's asking too much.

For Alister's project, I'm curious if XDCAM EX 35 mbs was tested.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 03:10 AM   #6
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Re: NanoFlashes used in Duran Duran shoot.

I tested 35Mb/s 420 and 50Mb/s 422 during a prior DD concert on the same tour and found that both really struggled with the near constant flashing lights. Raising the bit rate to 80Mb/s gave a dramatic improvement.
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Old December 21st, 2011, 12:49 PM   #7
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Re: NanoFlashes used in Duran Duran shoot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I had the luxury of a test shoot at an earlier Duran Duran concert a week ago where I was able to spend the evening working out the optimum camera setup and picture profile for the shoot, so any grading should be minimal and as such 8 bit recording will be perfectly adequate even for the high quality demanded by the band.
Does this implicate that you would recommed in for example an EX3/nanoflash combination to use a well tweaked Standard Gamma above a more 'flat' Cinegamma that needs more grading? Because of the 8 bit charateristics of the footage.
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 02:50 AM   #8
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Re: NanoFlashes used in Duran Duran shoot.

You can grade 8 bit footage reasonably well, but the closer you can get the camera to your desired look the better. For the concert shoot we had some very extreme lighting to deal with, especially very strong coloured lights. So we used a semi flat in camera look (using a modified cinegamma) achieving 80% of the finished look in camera and then some minor tweaking in post to even out and finalise the images.

The entire production workflow for this project will be written up and a behind the scenes video produced which I hope will included examples of before and after footage. What we didn't want to do was use a log type gamma with 8 bit, that would be a step too far, but I've been shooting and grading 8 bit cinegamma material from NanoFlashes for a couple of years and it's always held up very well.
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