Racers on the track at the 2024 Superkarts! USA Winter Series with palm trees in the background

Flying Lap Media Shoots with Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K

Blackmagic Design today announced that Chris Ortenburger of Flying Lap Media, best known for shooting dynamic auto racing footage, recently shot the 2024 Superkarts! USA Winter Series with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K digital film camera.

Already accustomed to the Blackmagic Design cinema camera family, Ortenburger chose to move to the full frame Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K for this event, which was a familiar format from past days. “Having begun with video on a DSLR many years ago, my first efforts in filmmaking were with a full frame camera,” said Ortenburger, “Since then, the industry has shifted almost entirely toward the Super 35 format. Finally getting the chance to shoot full frame again instantly reminded me how fun and captivating it can be. It gives you tremendous power to get separation with subjects and create compositions that show a much wider frame for dynamic storytelling.”

With his customers insisting on multiple format deliverables, Ortenburger was excited about the Open Gate 6:5 format sensor. “Being able to shoot open gate is also a tremendous boon to filmmaking,” added Ortenburger. “Love or hate vertical video content, it’s here to stay. Much of the paid work we do requires creating vertical content for daily social delivery, followed by a horizontal, more historically cinematic version at the end. Previously, this created a conundrum around how to capture the footage. The open gate option gives tremendous flexibility in using a single shot for a variety of aspect ratios. We can get a full frame image and then crop in post to the desired size, whereas before we had to shoot the same clip twice, once in portrait and once in landscape.”

The L mount on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K added a new dimension to Ortenburger’s glass choice. “Our setup is about as lean and minimal as it gets for the work we do,” he continued. “Because we shoot fast moving, high speed racing cars, we need the reach of a true telephoto lens, which means much of our kit is still primarily photography glass with older EF mounts, which work great using a low cost adaptor. But now, with the new L mount, the scope of lenses we can use expanded tremendously. We were able to play with new and incredible offerings like the SIRUI 35mm anamorphic, and it opened up an entire catalog of options previously unavailable.”

Flying Lap Media has become a key player in action sports cinematography, with its unique focus on both the sport as well as the humanity behind it. With the manic pace of a race weekend at any level, Ortenburger finds he must react quickly in any situation. “Everything we shoot at a race is ‘run and gun,’ which means we’re always relying on natural light. Often we have to carry our gear on our backs for the entire day. So, the lightweight form factor of Blackmagic cameras is ideal for a long day of filming. This style of filmmaking can perhaps be best summed up by being able to quickly adapt and change to whatever is unfolding in front of you.”

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Always being open to using all the tools in his kit, Ortenburger found at times the need to mix the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K with his Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro digital film camera throughout the day, trusting that the imagery would work together in an edit. “The color science and footage coming out of the full frame camera worked effortlessly with the footage from our existing Pocket 6K Pro,” added Ortenburger. “Having a unified color science and file format made coloring and grading a breeze, while having a Blackmagic RAW file that’s very forgiving also helps our workflow tremendously. With changing light conditions or often very harsh sunlight, the ability to change things like ISO in post production, in a nondestructive way, makes the difference between getting the shot and not.”

The company also continues to perform all post production in DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, color grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software. “Having the Blackmagic Design ecosystem for both shooting, and of course editing and color grading, is the glue that holds everything together. The camera and the software integrate seamlessly, and having features like direct upload to platforms like YouTube makes it effortless to deliver work. The relative cost of the gear too, cannot be overstated. Blackmagic Design is putting true cinema grade power in the hands of mere mortals, often for a price point that’s insanely hard to believe.”

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