Blackmagic Design announced today that the 2016 SXSW Grand Jury Prize Winner “The Arbalest” was shot using a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Captured by director Adam Pinney and DP Hugh Braselton, the film was also color graded with DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio by colorist David Torcivia.
The Cinema Camera was great for this because it was small enough to easily rig and move around…
“The Arbalest” is period film that examines the life of Foster Kalt, an eccentric, infamous toy inventor who becomes obsessed with a woman named Sylvia Frank. Spanning from 1968 to1978, the film follows ten years of Kalt’s career and obsession, culminating in a shocking new invention. Debuting in the Narrative Feature competition at 2016 SXSW, the film stars Mike Brune and tells a rare tale of love, hate, obsession, the infamous Kalt Cube toy and what comes next.
“Our goal was to tell a unique story that captures the 1960s-1970s era, but not have it be a story about the era,” said Pinney. “We wanted the film to look as period as possible so we created a specific shooting style for it. To harken back to some of the great films from that era, we shot the film so the camera was always moving, with slow, long zooms and very specific framing.”
“The Cinema Camera was great for this because it was small enough to easily rig and move around, while still having the dynamic range needed to capture a cinematic quality image,” continued Braselton.“ It was also flexible enough that we were able to do handheld shooting for a specific scene that we wanted to change gears and have a more loose and offbeat image for. The scene has a psychedelic feel to it and the Cinema Camera let me really play into that by getting close to the actors while they were rolling around.”
When approaching the color for this project, it wasn’t enough to suggest a period look but instead we needed to recreate a lot of the quirks and tones of the various stocks of the era.
Shot in RAW, the Cinema Camera’s footage also helped in the post process. Graded with DaVinci Resolve Studio, “The Arbalest” added to its period film feel by creating a specific look in post.
“When approaching the color for this project, it wasn’t enough to suggest a period look but instead we needed to recreate a lot of the quirks and tones of the various stocks of the era,” said Torcivia. “DaVinci Resolve Studio gave us ample tools to achieve what we were aiming for. HSL qualifiers allowed us to easily select skintones and saturate them to the intense orange that is reminiscent of the period. Luma qualifiers gave us a simple way to create the bloom in highlights found in old lenses and older stocks. The grain was also applied as a mixture of OFX generated created and grain scans overlayed within DaVinci Resolve Studio via track layer mattes. Finally, the workflow was accelerated by using the group tools in DaVinci Resolve Studio which makes it fast and easy to grade similar angles within a scene or apply grain to entire scenes with just a few clicks.”
DaVinci Resolve Studio gave us ample tools to achieve what we were aiming for.
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.