The Ravens – Pre-Production testing

I’ve been in discussion for some time with Director Jennifer Perrott for her ambitious short film The Ravens.


Raven_shoot 010


One of the tricky things about executing this short will be photographing what I’ve since learned is one of the most intelligent and therefore “un-trainable” birds, the Raven (or Australian crow).

For extra complication, we also have a young child interacting with a Raven….what was that about children and animals again ?

One of our early tasks is to try and work out what we can do to meet the storytelling requirements  using real live ravens and then explore augmentation or perhaps digital ravens.

We organised a preliminary pre-test shoot to look at a  few things.  Firstly we’re auditioning the trained Ravens and seeing what they were like to work with and what we could expect from them in terms of performance, how long they would take to get used to us and if they could even do what we required them to do !

The star of this shoot was Russell (Crow).  He was a very handsome looking bird and we were able to get some amazing shots of him perched and flying. And he didn’t even throw a phone at us ! – and yes…I am wearing safety glasses !

Behind the scenes some EPK footage was shot using the Pocket cinema camera and a Lumix 14mm lens.  If you want a *sort of* greenscreen test with the pocket maybe this will be of help too.

Here are 6 ungraded ProRes shots.

photo 1

About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
This entry was posted in Black Magic Cinema Camera, Production and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Ravens – Pre-Production testing

  1. Darryl Gregory says:

    Very Interesting John, Cool little project and I bet you are learning as you go 🙂
    When Dealing with and shooting anything not Human it brings that extra…well let just say unexpected surprises, Looking forward to seeing this when completed.


  2. Very cool, John! I love ravens & crows, and can’t wait to see the Australian ones in your film and in-person someday soon.

    Interesting: There’s the “Australian Crow” and the “Australian Raven”. Cool!

    Best of luck on the new project and cheers!

  3. hpmoon says:

    FYI, the link reports “0 files” in the cloud.

  4. Pingback: John Brawley gives us some Prores Greenscreen Footage to play with, from the Blackmagic Pocket Camera | wolfcrow

  5. Mr.Dude007 says:

    why u wearing google? and thanks for the footage..and hope the birds is ok poor thing.

    • johnbrawley says:

      I was wearing protective goggles in case the bird came in contact with me. Ravens will attack eyes first.

      The ravens were handled by a professional animal wrangler. They are a protected species in Australia and you have to be licensed to keep them. These Ravens were failed release birds. So birds that have been brought to an animal shelter, and then weren’t able to be successfully released back into the wild, usually because they have a permanent injury that means they wouldn’t survive.


  6. Pingback: 6 Ungraded ProRes Greenscreen Shots From BMPCC And John Brawley

  7. WhiteRabbit says:

    Birdie Num Nums! Always good to have some handy…

    Thanks for Pocket files, jb. Downloading now.

  8. Pingback: Footage From the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Available for Download

  9. Pingback: BMPCC: Sample footage from John Brawley [updated] | Here For The Weather

  10. PiDstr says:

    Just wondering, how do they do the Ravens in ‘Game of Thrones’?
    Maybe there’s someone in their production who has wisdom to be called upon.

  11. WhiteRabbit says:

    jb, I had a quick play with your sample files in Premiere. Thanks

    Enjoy your sandwich!

  12. Pingback: The Ravens – Pre-Production testing | joh...

  13. Pingback: Our first day ‘test shoot’ | The Ravens Film Production Pty Ltd. The Ravens Film Production Pty Ltd.

  14. Pingback: Front Créatif de Montréal | Creation+MTL+QC

  15. Billy says:

    The reason they do not go back to the wild is that they are smart. So why would you want to go back to scratching a feed from stumps and road kill when it is all laid on at the rehab center? Maybe they too have learned how to bung on a sickie so as to stay comfortable.

    And don’t forget the collective noun for Ravens is conspiracy…. true.

  16. Any chance these files are still available?

  17. Pingback: John Brawley gives us some Prores Greenscreen Footage to play with, from the Blackmagic Pocket Camera - wolfcrow

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