Blackmagic Design announced Kill Game, a new suspense thriller/horror film, produced by Marty Murray of Full Throttle Pictures and distributed by Vantage Media International (VMI), slated for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, was shot entirely on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and graded and edited using DaVinci Resolve.
The filmmakers were so pleased with the results of Kill Game they decided to also use the Blackmagic Cinema Camera for all reshoots and additional photography for their other new film, Paranormal Island, starring Lance Henriksen and Briana Evigan.
Ari Golan, owner of Atomic Imaging and cinematographer on Kill Game, shot all of the steadicam/B-Cam, underwater and 2nd Unit footage, as well as shooting all the second unit, pick ups and underwater sequences for Paranormal Island upon returning from working on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Kill Game is a horror film directed by Robert Mearns, with cinematography by Andrew Strahorn. The film follows a group of high school pranksters who one day go too far and kill another student. Years later they return to their home town when one of their friends is mysteriously found dead and one by one each member of the group is slowly and methodically murdered.
To capture the extreme brutality and dark imagery of Mearns’s vision, producer Marty Murray and Golan, co-producer, approached Strahorn and chose to use multiple Blackmagic Cinema Cameras as the primary units on the shoot.
“The director had a very specific vision for how he wanted every shot to look, and he wanted the entire movie to capture the darkness and horror that this group of friends was facing. We needed dark skies and morbid killing scenes. The brutality of the violence had to come out, but not be overwhelming. To get this, we needed a camera with high dynamic range and the ability to shoot in RAW so that the director could get all the data possible to really exercise his creativity,” said Murray. “The Blackmagic Cinema Camera fit everything we needed and the images were incredible.”
The film was shot in RAW using two Blackmagic Cinema Cameras. Footage was brought into DaVinci Resolve for a first pass grade and was then transferred to ProRes for editing. Once the footage received an initial edit, it was exported back to DaVinci Resolve for final color correction, editing and audio fixes by Golan. It was then output to ProResHQ, BluRay and DVD for delivery to Cannes.
“We really wanted to shoot on the Blackmagic cameras because of their workflow and image quality. Also, The camera had to be tough enough to work in some very difficult situations, and the Blackmagic cameras were extremely flexible,” said Golan. “The entire workflow was simple with RAW and DaVinci Resolve. We really put the camera through some torture tests and the image quality was great throughout.”
The shoot included working in a number of difficult locations and extreme weather conditions. In order to meet his vision, Mearns needed the action scene images to be up close and have a truly visceral feel. The Blackmagic Cinema Cameras allowed the filmmakers to get right into the middle of the action with their small form factor and design.
“One of the toughest shots we had was a POV shot from inside a car. We wedged ourselves into the trunk with no problem. The camera’s small form factor let me get my shot without worrying about losing image quality,” said Golan. “For another shot, we needed to shoot underwater and had a leak in the waterproof camera housing. About a quarter inch of the camera was sitting in water. It was not a problem at all, and the footage came out great. Although we certainly don’t suggest the camera is waterproof, nor recommend testing that attribute, it did survive the unintended water torture test.”
The film will be shown at the Cannes film market event, Le Marche du Film, in May. It will also be shown at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival and the upcoming international Shriekfest horror film festival. It will be distributed to theaters late 2014 by VMI.