F3: 'Colony' (Sci-Fi Short)

Grug

Well-known member
Hi guys,

Here's 'Colony', a gritty little sci-fi short I shot on the F3 a while back, that's just been released on DUST (and generated some, shall we say, "energetic" discussion over there!).


I think it's a pretty good example of just how much punch the 4:4:4 image out of the F3 can pack, as it's a pretty extreme (and specific) grade I used to create the sense of an alien world.

It was a seriously tough one to shoot, wildly under-resourced as we were. But an exciting challenge thanks to the range of techniques I had to apply (dry-for-wet, wild exteriors, and studio interiors, complex composites, vfx plates etc. etc.). It was a production that really forced me to stretch myself, and I always appreciate that.

Here are some screengrabs, and if they pique your interest, feel free to take a look at the finished film.

Would love to hear people's thoughts.

Cheers,

Mark

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Thanks guys, appreciate the kind words :)

This is stunning. I’m curious as to what was the budget?

I don't know the exact figure, but it was REALLY tight. I think it may have been around $4-5k all in. Our lovely production designer Maddie built three of the tents in total. I shot plates of them from multiple angles to allow our VFX wiz to do the set extensions with.
 
I know you sold your F3. did not pulled the trigger for the second one and watch it dissapear under my nose on ebay. What is th magic recipe that you used in mny of your movies to get the most of the F3 ? Many had the camera but what you were able to get from an F3 is top notch
 
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I know you sold your F3. did not pulled the trigger for the second one and watch it dissapear under my nose on ebay. What is th magic recipe that you used in mny of your movies to get the most of the F3 ? Many had the camera but what you were able to get from an F3 is top notch

I honestly couldn't pinpoint a magic recipe for the F3 specifically. It's the same approach I've used with every camera and format, from the filmstocks I initially learnt on, to the digital formats today.

I use my lightmeter to set the ratios that I want on set (or want to balance to on location), and work hard to maintain the consistency of those ratios throughout the scene.

It's also about learning how much latitude the sensor or stock you're using will give you, and how much leeway you have to under or overexpose it for the sake of capturing the full dynamic range of that scene. Highlights are always the thing that gives away digital capture (compared to film), so doing everything you can to protect them (without compromising your midtones too much) is really important to me as someone who's generally trying to create images that look "filmic".
 
Hey there. I was more interested in the post production workflow, luts ( if any ), color grading. I have seen a lot of F3 footage but your results are by far among the best if not the best :)



I honestly couldn't pinpoint a magic recipe for the F3 specifically. It's the same approach I've used with every camera and format, from the filmstocks I initially learnt on, to the digital formats today.

I use my lightmeter to set the ratios that I want on set (or want to balance to on location), and work hard to maintain the consistency of those ratios throughout the scene.

It's also about learning how much latitude the sensor or stock you're using will give you, and how much leeway you have to under or overexpose it for the sake of capturing the full dynamic range of that scene. Highlights are always the thing that gives away digital capture (compared to film), so doing everything you can to protect them (without compromising your midtones too much) is really important to me as someone who's generally trying to create images that look "filmic".
 
Hey there. I was more interested in the post production workflow, luts ( if any ), color grading. I have seen a lot of F3 footage but your results are by far among the best if not the best :)

Well thank you mate, that's very kind :)

The grades are a mix. Some using conversion LUTs I made from the F3's SLOG/Sgamut to the newer LC709 or S709 SLOG3-based LUTs; some the Impulz LUTs, and some just tweaking the saturation and contrast from scratch. I'll generally try all three options and go with whichever seems to get me closest to the end result I'm after with the minimum amount of fuss.

For tweaking colour balance, these days I tend to work with the Hue vs. Hue and Hue vs Saturation curves most. They help me to rein in the colour palette, when there's too much going on (generally due to an insufficient art dept budget).
 
Mark great s*%te! you definitely mastered the F3.. I gave up long ago prematurely, and then moved to the F55, which I still haven't mastered :nads:
 
Mark great s*%te! you definitely mastered the F3.. I gave up long ago prematurely, and then moved to the F55, which I still haven't mastered :nads:

Thanks mate :)

I'm just in the middle of a short at the moment that we're shooting on the F55, I'm loving having the beefy 4k 16-bit masters again. The quality is insane!

Not loving the fiddliness of using LUTs with the camera though (I'd forgotten how messy they made the process). At least with raw I can shoot in SLOG2 (to get false colour in the EVF) but can switch to SLOG3/Sgamut3.cine in the grade.
 
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