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    Camera Notes from Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg.
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    Camera Notes from Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg.

    DOP Sam Morgan Moore shoots independent feature on Black Magic 4k Cinema camera.

    Principal photography has wrapped on independent feature 'Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg'. An adventure film for kids, starring kids. The kids summer holiday is disrupted by mysterious activities on the caravan park where they are spending their summer. The gang strive to work it all out, their progress is hampered at every step by disbelieving adults.


    IMDB; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3800520/...f_=tt_ov_st_sm
    Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/nelsonnutmeg
    Homepage; http://www.nelsonnutmeg.com

    "Nelson Nutmeg is a very simple film in terms of cinematography, really performance and story telling are the elements that bring strength to the film" says Sam.


    The camera/lighting department was usually three people, Sam and a couple of assistants. Most of the film was shot on a tripod with some sequences the camera was on the shoulder. Day lighting was mainly the modification of natural light with reflectors and scrims, the INT scenes and night scenes were fully lit. The camera was simply chosen for it's amazing image quality and great price.


    "We did some testing and felt that shooting raw would bring little to the look of the film, which is naturalistic, we elected to shoot 4k pro res, the entire film coming in at around 10TB of rushes which is quite enough for a small production to handle. We used the BMC film look which very simply moves to a fully saturated image with the application of one LUT in Resolve." Says Sam.


    The camera SDI was fed into a Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle using the HDMI out of the Shuttle to feed Sam's onboard SmallHD_DP6 hdmi monitor, the SDI out of the Shuttle to feed the directors monitor. "The looped monitor setup did not cause any latency issues which was most pleasing."


    A Hawkwoods breakout box fed the onboard monitor, the camera and Shuttle. "Usually with a single battery change at lunch time - when we also swapped SSD so that the DIT team could ingest the mornings work while we shot in the afternoon"
    Sound was kept completely independent of the camera, our sound operators recording to Sound Devices audio recorders.



    "We did some shots on a small jib arm, for that we stripped the camera back to keep the 'head' light and simplify setups; the small size, low mass and onboard battery made such shots simple with the BMC - I love the concept of the 'removable camera head' where the camera is split to keep the sensor and lens almost separate from power monitors and all the other bits. Such a split is really only available by using a BMC or an Alexa M at a far higher price point"


    "There are some chase shots operated from shoulder mount from my rickshaw - clearly the global shutter of the camera came to the fore for the chase scenes"


    Sam used his own set of 1980s nikkor glass - "Id say that 80% of the exteriors are shot on my 35-70 3.5 zoom - which is very fast to move to the next setup and occasionally crash in from an MCU to ECU during a take. For INTs we used mainly a nikkor 50 1.8 prime"


    "I found that the 800 ISO to be as clean when well exposed, this low sensitivity did not hamper us when shooting INTs which were mainly lit with a few redheads, dedos and practicals, we shot some night EXT scenes and again creating a 'thick enough negative' was not a problem, we used a package of about 250w of battery driven LED lights for the night work - very minimal" says Sam.


    "I had been concerned about the lack of inbuilt ND in the camera, we however found that at 200ISO a simple 2stop ND solid (made by B+W) usually provided enough filtration to shoot at around 5.6 in full daylight, we did not experience any problems with IR contamination"



    As well as the BMC we also did some shots with a GH4 (Steadicam) and an Nex5n, on a drone, neither camera was considered strong enough to cleanly intercut with the BMC.


    "Overall shooting this was very easy from the camera side - a cheap setup really can produce an image that will project in a theatre, the only desire I had to improve the visuals was to shoot more into the night and at dusk, but the strict schedule of child actors precluded that in the main. An interesting challenge to the cinematographer ..we had to do a few night, scenes both INT and EXT, in full midday sun!"
    Last edited by morgan_moore; 10-07-2015 at 10:11 AM.


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    First light grades.

    Billy in the rain
    Untitled_1.2.1.jpg
    Woody heads over a cliff
    Untitled_1.8.1.jpg
    The Kids Den
    Untitled_1.9.1.jpg
    The Colonel takes evasive action
    Untitled_1.13.1.jpg
    Billie hides out
    Untitled_1.14.1.jpg
    The Colonel gathers intel
    Untitled_1.17.1.jpg
    CU in the Den - this is a iphone pic of the DIT laptop!
    IMG_1278.jpg
    Last edited by morgan_moore; 12-30-2014 at 09:24 AM.


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    Legs
    _SMM5074.jpg
    Scruffy rig
    SMMandBMC.jpg
    Some of the cast and crew
    _SMM5303_1000.jpg
    ND gelling a caravan to control INT/EXT ratio.. (after guidance from Charles Papert )
    gelling.jpg
    Last edited by morgan_moore; 12-30-2014 at 09:17 AM.


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    Senior Member stefanhuberfilms's Avatar
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    totally missed that thread! looking great sam!


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    Thanks for looking. Im getting a couple of clips soon.


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    Ive just updated my 'drama' reel some NN stuff is the second section..



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    Senior Member QuickHitRecord's Avatar
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    I love that you shot this with old Nikkors. Do you have any footage from the rickshaw shot? I'm curious to see how that worked for you.

    Also, the scenery looks really familiar. I recently watched the first season of a show called BroadChurch. Same location?


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    Yep it is the Broadchurch location - they were easy to snag as they are cool with film crews.

    "Broadchurch for kids!"

    Rickshaw is completely great you can see a running shot in my reel above shot on it, from a different film - no shots from NN and rickshaw are out yet. I used the GH4 and my Steadicam Pilot on the rickshaw (the reel shot is Pilot/FS7)


    Old nikkors.

    Hmm modern AF glass sucks IMO. Id always use them or Canon FD or Contax.. or cine lenses of course. We did use the 11-16 Tonka for a couple of wide shots and it was fine apart from electronic aperture which of course sucks.

    The think about the 35-70 3.5 is mainly you are shooting wide open (round Bokeh) and that range basically covers all the singles and two shots, just going to the 18 for the wide - so all the ext shots were done with 2 lenses (and the nikkor 50-300 and 11-16 for some trick shots)

    Mainly I used the 50-300 when I had to hide from the drone!

    S


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    Senior Member QuickHitRecord's Avatar
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    I used to own a copy of the Nikkor AI-S 35-70 f3.5. Really nice piece of glass but as I recall the front element rotated when focusing. Did you use screw-on filters?


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    It does. Yep I had a 3 stop and a 6 stop screw ons from b+w and a French flag. All lenses had step rings to 77mm. I had a matte box in reserve but it is too slow to use with stills lenses. I badgered the production to buy a second set of Nd so the assistants could prep the next lens but that was too costly!

    The directors did remind me that I only had to be faster than the other departments


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