Sweet Shot of the Week #7: “Apocalypse”

June 3, 2012
By

This is just a quick shot from Varga Changizi’s short film called “Area 6”. This is a Beijing demolition zone. Everything’s been destroyed just enough to prevent squatters from living in the buildings. Great backdrop for a disaster movie. With an overcast day, grey bricks, white walls and so on, the contrast range in the scene is so low that the LogC footage looks like a grey test pattern. There are situations where I now understand it would be better to shoot something like Rec709 with Arri’s Low Contrast Curve applied as a look file, just to get a little more bang for your bytes. Still, after color grading, there aren’t any noticeable banding artifacts, even though the highlights have been boosted 200%, and the blacks have been crushed. The latitude of this scene was about four stops, but it’s been stretched out in the grade to cover 8 or 9.

This shot would have been better if we’d waited for it to get a little darker, so that you could see some light from the fire spill on the walls. As it is, the ambient light is too bright, so the fire almost looks plastic, like it’s been added in post.

Arri ALEXA Camera Settings:

  • ISO 800
  • 60 fps
  • 180 degree shutter
  • ProRes 4:2:2
  • 5600 degrees Kelvin

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