Fremont, CA – April 5, 2017 – Blackmagic Design today announced that director of photography (DP) Sam Renton has used its Micro Cinema Cameras to help capture detail and action shots on the upcoming second drama series of “The Durrells,” written by acclaimed screenwriter Simon Nye and produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd.
Directed by Steve Barron, “The Durrells” is an ITV drama series based on Gerald Durrell’s autobiographical trilogy about the time he and his family lived in Corfu between 1935 and 1939.
With a desire to capture as many interesting angles and detailed shots as possible Barron and Renton sought out a small production orientated camera that they could use as a third and fourth angle.
“The quality of the acting, writing and production design on a drama like this demands that we try and cover each scene as thoroughly as possible,” reflects Renton. “With a tight production schedule, the Micro Cinema Camera allowed us to quickly grab another angle that we otherwise may not have had the time to get.”
“The interchangeable lens mount, alongside the fact we could control our focal length, allowed us to shoot in a very similar style to our other camera,” he continues. “We could rig one up and leave it running, maybe even in time lapse and what we got was useful cutaway material that was a level above anything we’d been able to achieve in the previous series. It matched up seamlessly.”
For Barron and Renton, it was all about obtaining moments that they wouldn’t have otherwise captured, and putting cameras in places, they would never have done so before because of its size. “One example of that is an olive press operated, as they were in the 1930s, by a donkey,” explains Renton. “We wanted a close up shot of the grinding wheel crushing olives and the only way to get that was to rig a Micro Cinema Camera off the rotating arm and get a shot down. It was more of a detail thing, but it’s those moments that help to engage audiences.”
He also remembers a crucial moment when the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera delivered; “I was handheld in the back of our action car shooting a close up with our main camera but with no time left to rig a second, I grabbed a Micro Cinema Camera and clamped it to the vehicle and snatched a profile two shot of the guys in front, which would have taken too long to rig with our main camera. As it was, we did it in five minutes with the Micro Cinema Camera, and we got two shots for the price of one.”
Renton was a particular fan of the camera’s natural image quality, and the fact that he didn’t have to worry where any of the material originated from during post production.
“The sensor offers plenty of latitude, and we captured all that dynamic range by recording in CinemaDNG RAW. We were even able to ND down to a similar level as our other cameras so that depth of field was continuous, and in the DI, we found the raw was incredibly easy to work with when matching everything,’ he concludes. “The Micro Cinema Camera is so intuitive, and it allowed us to get into a position as part of the story where we might not otherwise have been able to get to.”
Product photos of the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera and all other Blackmagic Design products are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/images.
About The Durrells
Keeley Hawes (Line of Duty, Ashes to Ashes) plays Louisa Durrell in ITV’s brand new six part series The Durrells, written by acclaimed screenwriter Simon Nye and produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd. International film star Leslie Caron (An American in Paris, Gigi) also stars in the series.
The Durrells is based upon Gerald Durrell’s classic trilogy of Corfu memoirs including the much loved ‘My Family and Other Animals’. Set in 1935, this timeless drama is full of warmth, humour and fun.
The story focuses upon Louisa Durrell (Hawes) whose life is in meltdown. Her husband died years ago and his money has all but run out. Her four unruly ‘children’ Larry, 21, played by Josh O’Connor (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders), Leslie, 18, a role taken by newcomer Callum Woodhouse, Margo, 17, played by Daisy Waterstone (Silent Witness, Testament of Youth) and Gerry, 11, with Milo Parker (Mr Holmes, Ghosthunters) cast in the role, are going off the rails. Gerry is obsessed with animals and about to be thrown out of school; Larry is a would-be novelist but the worst estate agent in Bournemouth, and the middle two are hitting adulthood like a car-crash. It is the 1930s, and a woman’s options are limited.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.