Blackmagic Design announced today that the short film “moments,” produced by Kansai TV, was shot on the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K digital film camera. The film won Best Achievement in 8K Production at the Lumière Awards 2023, a prestigious award recognizing outstanding advanced visual content. Additionally, the film used DaVinci Resolve Studio, editing, color grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software.
Kansai TV, known for creating various television programs, has a super high definition video production team called “UHD-works,” which has been producing a variety of works since 2016.
The film “moments,” centered around the theme of preserving what is cherished for the future, is a short documentary that closely follows the life of a family living on Awaji Island, Japan. The film’s director, editor, colorist and producer is Kazuma Yano, a Kansai TV editor, while the cinematography was carried out by Kohei Higuchi, a cinematographer from the same company.
“There was actually some anxiety about shooting a documentary in 12K resolution,” said Higuchi, regarding the use of the URSA Mini Pro 12K for shooting. “I typically shoot documentaries for news coverage. At UHD-works, I’ve shot documentaries as well as fictional works, filming in 4K or 8K. As the resolution increases, achieving precise focus becomes more critical. Although I used the URSA Mini Pro 12K for the first time on this project, the URSA Viewfinder provided exceptional visibility, and I felt more confident in my shooting as we began. In documentaries, capturing the expressions, gestures and words of the subjects is crucial, making the camera’s mobility important. The URSA Mini Pro 12K is considered a cinema camera, yet it offers ease of use in documentary shooting as you can control it using buttons and knobs on the camera body without needing to navigate menus for setting adjustments.”
Yano, the director and producer who also served roles in post production, stated, “Originally, we hadn’t considered finishing this film in 12K resolution. However, during the editing process, there was little need for cropping or zooming, which convinced me that I could finish this film without losing original quality of footage, so I decided to complete the film in 12K. Also, we wanted to showcase our work on a 16K display at the Shiseido S/PARK in Yokohama. It was stunning to watch our piece on the huge screen. The picture looked so beautiful and I was so happy that we made this film in 12K.”
Furthermore, Yano created both a color version and a monochrome version during post production. “I had long wanted to create a monochrome work in HDR. Monochrome allows for the most use of dynamic range to express light and shadow. In this case, I adjusted brightness and curves in monochrome. With no color to consider, I was able to refine the tonal range, particularly in the shadows. From there, I was inspired to add colors to the monochrome version, leading to the creation of a color version as well. I approached grading with the intention of reproducing the memory of colors from the shooting,” he explained.
Higuchi added, “Because we shot in Blackmagic RAW, I shot with consideration that these shots would be graded later. Nevertheless, aspects like capturing light and shadow are things that can only be expressed during filming. I felt the URSA Mini Pro 12K captured light beautifully, especially when I viewed the monochrome footage. Despite the 12K resolution, the images aren’t overly sharp or excessively vivid. I was truly moved watching the graded footage.”
“Even though it was shot in 12K, Blackmagic RAW is easy to work with, allowing us to toggle between proxy and full resolution playback in DaVinci Resolve during post production. While editing, I sometimes checked the color of shots with the RAW grading tool in DaVinci Resolve. It’s incredibly convenient to complete the entire project in one software product,” concluded Yano.
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