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HomeCraftsCameraJon Hess Relies on Blackmagic Cameras for Dead Men Float

Jon Hess Relies on Blackmagic Cameras for Dead Men Float


Director, producer and writer Jon Hess recently relied on Blackmagic Design’s Cinema Cameras and Pocket Cinema Cameras to shoot Dead Men Float, his first new film in more than a decade.

Hess developed and co-produced the Academy Award-nominated American History X, and directed such films as Watchers and Alligator 2.

Dead Men Float is a horror film focusing on the evil that remains in a house years after a terrible event and how this impacts a family in their new home. The film, which will be released theatrically worldwide and online later in 2014, combines a number of different looks that Hess and his production team worked on as the drama events unfolded. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera was the main camera used on the film, with the Pocket Cinema Camera used for hard to reach angles and shots.

Shot completely in RAW, taking advantage of the cameras’ 13 stops of dynamic range, Hess was able to capture a huge amount of data and create an efficient post workflow, which included color correction using DaVinci Resolve.

“With the Cinema Camera, it is amazing the amount of information that you get in each clip and then are able to use that data as creatively as you want,” said Hess. “The camera really opened up what I could do creatively. One of the best examples of the camera’s quality was during a pivotal night scene. We set up the camera, shot at ISO (1600) and were able to get this beautiful night scene that in the past, would have taken a whole film crew and a large budget to get.

“During shooting, we really tested taking the camera as far as it could go. Even going five stops over what the scene needed in some shots, and every time we were able to come back and get great final images with the amount of data that shooting in RAW allowed,” he added. “We could be incredibly flexible in how we wanted to approach each shot.”

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