In late 2015, Smock Media, a Venice Beach-based film and VR production company, and the Victims of Communism (VOC), a Washington, D.C.-based human rights organization, came together and started The Witness Project. DP Benjamin Gaskell was brought on to tackle the first episode of the second installment, which would set the tone for the rest of the documentary series. The episode focused on Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada 2015 and 2016, and her story.
Q What challenges were associated with shooting? Did you have a hard time landing any shots?
A My favorite filming location was on a remote hill that had these beautiful rolling hills of golden wheat. It was quite a logistical challenge to work effectively in the space, and I had a lot of concerns while we were location scouting about making it work. However our skillful producer J.P. Mandarino was instrumental in putting together a plan that made the whole experience a very efficient operation. It was one of those shooting days where the crew had such a good time working in a beautiful location capturing a meaningful story that you could almost feel the disappointment when we called wrap. If only every shooting day was like that! haha! Another moment that stands out to me was towards the end of our first half-day filming together. We ended up shooting past golden hour and deep enough into civil twilight that our overall ambient light levels required me to push the camera to 1600 ISO to get proper exposure. I’ll be honest about the fact that I was nervous about how the grain structure wouldn’t match, however I was pleasantly surprised at how the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K performed. The color rendition and noise pattern of our twilight footage matched up really well with the rest of the project’s look and tone. It’s a nice feeling knowing that you don’t always have compromise the quality of an established look or aesthetic in order to get enough footage in the can at the end of the day. When you work with good crew and the right equipment you can do almost anything.
StarTech takes a look at upcoming 4K video trends including how it's being adopted, what barriers exist, true 4K ecosystem and more.
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Q How is 4K Being Adopted and Proliferated?
A 4K technology opens a world of possibilities for content creation and consumption. 4K UHD augments the viewing experience in applications like entertainment, digital signage, education, sports, surveillance, games and medical applications. Native 4K resolution is significantly better in resolving detail, allowing closer, more immersive viewing and scales down to 2K output with a higher quality picture than if created in 2K. An entire industry has emerged to enable a truly end-to-end 4K ecosystem - from capture, production, initial distribution, and secondary distribution to consumers. Consumer electronics equipment manufacturers, in particular, are embracing this revolutionary display technology and are the driving force behind making 4K mainstream.