After a screening in the screening room of new studios in Adelaide we’ve made some decisions about how we’re going to approach 100 Bloody Acres.
Deluxe in Melbourne did a great job of putting together the footage from our tests. They have just updated their LUSTRE grading system and they had some initial issues with accessing the HDR material of the EPIC.
I have to say the HDR function was amazing to see once they managed to find a way to access the shots in their 2K DPX pipeline.
But for several reasons, we’re going to shoot Acres on Alexa. Not only that we’re going to shoot using pro res on SxS cards.
We dual recorded to ARRI RAW using the ASTRO recorder and to LOG C 4:4:4:4 on the SXS cards, so we were able to do a direct comparison between them. I can honestly say that there was only a small difference between them both that I could discern on the big screen.
In the LUSTRE suite, when Deluxe colourist Stanly A/B compared them on a still frame you could barely see a difference. There were small things. Very fine detail like whiskers and pores of the skin were a little softer but otherwise there was really no difference between them.
Dynamic range was the same, and Stanly had no trouble moving the grade around on the more compressed pro res images.
The reality is, that there seems to be very little grading difference, very little downside to the compression, and barely any discernible resolution difference. Given our slightly remote shooting environment, it means that the post workflow is simplified.
The boys also liked the look of the Alexa. EPIC certainly had more of a stylised look compared to the more neutral look of the Alexa. There were small differences but the Alexa really seemed to have more dynamic range without bringing HDR into the scenario.
It was interesting to see HDR in action and it certainly is incredible what it can restore.
However, one of the main downsides to HDR, is that post are pretty much going to treat it like a VFX shot, effectively compositing the information back into the grade.
With HDR being treated like a VFX shot because of the nature of how it works, it means they then place a SURCHARGE on the HDR shots. In other words, it’s going to cost more to shoot HDR. I guess eventually there will be a way to use the X track of the HDR in the timeline without a consequence to post, but even the other Resolve facility I’m working with are also charging a surcharge to process every HDR shot that makes it into the grade.
We also like the HAWK anamorphic lenses over the Lomo’s. Although the Lomo’s had a great look, they are definitely a lot softer over all.
The Lomo’s, especially the very wide 35mm were exceptionally soft as you went to the corners.
The Hawks by comparison were fairly sharp across the field and still rendered the mildly distorted yet oh so pleasing anamorphic look. The other upside to the Hawks is that there are lot more focal lengths to choose from. The Lomo only comes in 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm. The Hawks are 28mm, 35mm, 45mm, 55mm, 65mm, 80mm, 110mm and 180mm. They also do a 45mm-90mm T2.8 zoom.
So for Acres, it’s Alexa to SxS cards, with HAWK 1.3x Anamorphic primes. I’ll post the actual tests after next week.