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HomeGearTested Uses Micro Cinema Cameras to Shoot Arctic Circle Expedition

Tested Uses Micro Cinema Cameras to Shoot Arctic Circle Expedition


lr-articcircle1Blackmagic Design today announced that DP and producer Joey Fameli used several Micro Cinema Cameras to shoot a recent Arctic Circle expedition. Fameli also uses the Micro Cinema Cameras, along with Pocket Cinema Cameras, Studio Cameras and DaVinci Resolve Studio, to shoot and grade content for Tested, which is a website dedicated to covering ‘anything that’s awesome’ in science, exploration, nature, emerging technology, consumer technology and more.

Tested is Adam Savage’s (MythBusters) home on the web, and together with one of the website’s founders Norman Chan, they bring unique stories, videos, podcasts and more to readers. As Fameli explained, “Tested is geared towards a maker culture and encompasses all things in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field. As lead producer, I handle video content for the website, which can range from BTS footage of an experiment, special FX videos and visits to movie sets, build videos that chronicle Savage constructing a project, and even expeditions to the Arctic Circle.”

The Tested team was invited by astronaut Chris Hadfield as part of his Generator Arctic team on the Quark Expeditions tour. Traveling aboard the Russian Icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov, Fameli and his team spent 18 days sailing through Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic.

“The Micro Cinema Camera has a very small footprint with substantial battery life for the size, so they were perfect for capturing time-lapse and locked-off shots of the ship and its surroundings as we sailed through the Arctic,” said Fameli. “I mounted a few around the ship, taped hand warmers to the batteries and let them roll. In return, I got great time lapses of helicopters taking off, the ship slowly breaking through the ice, life aboard the legendary Russian ship and endless ice-covered landscapes.

“I also used the Micro Cinema Cameras to capture dash cam footage during a recent self-driving DeLorean shoot,” he continued. “I secured four Micro Cinema Cameras inside the car using gaffer tape and butyl to capture the driver, the passenger, a wide shot and outside the window. It was high noon, so we were dealing with harsh lights and dark shadows, and the cameras captured everything thanks to the quality and dynamic range. All the data was still there in post to bring the image back with DaVinci Resolve Studio.”

lr-arcticcircle2According to Fameli, Tested doesn’t shoot with a big crew and often times they have no control over the shooting environment. “Unless we are in the studio, we are usually shooting outdoors,” he explained. “That’s where the Micro Cinema Camera’s dynamic range really comes into play.

“We’ve also been using the Pocket Cinema Cameras for a few years now for a lot of run and gun work, on rigs and handheld, and the same is true for them,” he added. “When traveling as much as we do, you not only need that portability, but also broadcast professional quality that will match with other cameras. I’ve never been a DSLR shooter, as I came up through ENG, but I don’t want H.264 footage. I want RAW, ProRes, film dynamic range and color grading all at an affordable price.”

With the Micro and Pocket Cinema Cameras as staples in his arsenal, Fameli again turned to Blackmagic Design when it was time to upgrade Tested’s in-house live studio. “We recently revamped our studio, and whereas before we were using a few different cameras with different color profiles, we knew going into the upgrade that we wanted to give the studio one uniform camera setup and look,” he said. “We decided to go with the Blackmagic Studio Cameras because we needed multiple cameras and knew they could deliver on the price, quality,1080 content platform requirement and they were built for live production, so we can easily push out through SDI to the mixers.”

Fameli concluded, “We are finishing up building out the studio now, but we have big plans for it. We want to not only continue using it for live productions, but also for our build videos, taking advantage of the Studio Camera setup to capture multiple angles and provide our audience with a better viewing experience.”

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