HSI Productions’ director Joseph Kahn recently relied on Blackmagic Cinema Cameras and DaVinci Resolve to shoot and post FOX Sports 1’s premier commercial, “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Launched Aug. 17, FOX Sports 1 is a new sports network that will offer NASCAR, UFC, college football, college basketball and soccer coverage, along with studio shows, such as FOX Football Daily and FOX Sports LIVE.
The 90-second commercial called for aerial shots of a NASCAR race, so Kahn turned to Mi6 Films, an aerial photography and video company based in Southern California. Because the NASCAR shoot took place at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., Mi6 Films partnered with Beaufort, S.C.-based wollwerthfilms to achieve the aerial shots.
Wollwerthfilms specializes in aerial cinematography and provided a high tech remote control aerial cinematography rig, equipped with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera in order to help capture the intensity of a 200 mph NASCAR race.
“The director was looking for a really dramatic wipe reveal of the stadium and motor speedway with fans cheering and waving,” said Stephen Wollwerth, owner wollwerthfilms. “We were also able to capture a long, straight, high-speed shot where we cleared the fence and dropped down to just over the track level as cars were passing underneath.”
In order to achieve these shots, Wollwerth mounted a Blackmagic Cinema Camera on a 3X Pro v3 gimbal from PhotoShip One, which was then mounted on an aerial cinematography rig Wollwerth built himself. A Blackmagic Design SDI-to-analog Mini Converter was also mounted on the helicopter to convert the video feed to analog and downlink from the helicopter wirelessly for ground viewing.
“We needed really high video quality to match the other high-end cameras that were used for shooting, and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera fit right in,” said Wollwerth. “The footage was shot in 2.5K CinemaDNG RAW format for optimum image quality, and the 13 stops of dynamic range really gave us the latitude we needed. Even DIT Jeremy Ball commented that the latitude of the footage was amazing.”
Ball, owner of A GRADE, a Charlotte, N.C.-based postproduction facility, and Bryan Scibelli of production and post facility Cinemanix served as DITs for the Charlotte location and used Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve color corrector for setting up look up tables, data management, transcoding and rendering out on set dailies.
“We had a mix of Resolve and Resolve Lite, and we couldn’t have asked for a better organizational tool,” Ball said. “Resolve’s ability to add in different types of metadata carried through the post process was invaluable, especially with the multi-camera, multi-location and multi-day shoot. Resolve is affordable, fast and powerful, and provided us with a seamless process when it came to handling the multitudes of footage from a range of cameras. It’s pretty much the only tool out there that handles virtually any type footage. We were there on the first day of shooting, and Resolve set the standard for the entire shoot’s dailies process.”