The Blackmagic URSA digital film camera, Production Camera 4K and Pocket Cinema Camera were used to shoot the pilot episode for the upcoming television show “Deranged Marriage.” DaVinci Resolve Studio was also used for the end-to-end postproduction workflow, including color grading, editing, compositing and finishing.
Written, directed, DPed and produced by Ari Golan of Atomic Imaging, Inc. and Golan Studios, “Deranged Marriage” follows an aspiring Bollywood starlet whose dreams of furthering her career in America are thwarted when her now ex-agent bungles her US visa application. She enlists the aid of a shady lawyer to orchestrate a fake matrimony with a struggling actor, against her better judgment, and against her overbearing parents’ desire to finalize a previously arranged marriage.
“I’m a big fan of the quality per dollar and bang for your buck of Blackmagic Design products,” said Golan. “I wanted to deliver this project in 4K, so the URSA and Production Camera 4K were natural choices for me. I’m also a big fan of the CinemaDNG format, and the Blackmagic cameras allowed me to affordably shoot 4K RAW footage.”
Golan used the URSA and the Production Camera 4K as the A and B cameras, respectively, and the Pocket Cinema Camera was used to shoot location B roll, such as footage in the Department of Homeland Security. Golan commented, “Having everything built into the URSA was great. I used the camera’s 10-inch monitor as my DP monitor, and the camera assistant used URSA’s 5-inch monitor to pull focus. The sound mixer loved URSA’s audio meters because he could see them from across the room to confirm sound levels.”
Golan also noted the importance of latitude in his camera selection. “Dynamic range is the number one reason, even more important than resolution, we were able to get the shots we were looking for, especially when shooting outdoors. The cameras have such a cinematic look at a fraction of the cost,” he said. “We got really high quality images with a pleasing aesthetic, nice skin tones and a naturalistic look.”
In addition to his work behind the camera, Golan also served as post supervisor and colorist, as well as one of the editors, and he chose DaVinci Resolve Studio for the entire postproduction process. “Resolve handled the 4K RAW files easily, and because I stayed in Resolve from start to finish, there was no time spent transcoding or optimizing the media. Round tripping in Resolve is great if you want to go that route, but when you have a full NLE in Resolve, switching to different programs creates extra steps and wastes time, and time is money,” said Golan.
“I really like Resolve’s compound clips and the ability to expand back into the timeline to make tweaks,” Golan continued. “I also used Resolve’s 3D keyer for all the green screen compositing, and the 3D keyer’s spill suppression cleaned up any residual green spill on the talent. Also, by using a combination of the layer mixer and key mixer, I was able to create a holdout matte, which allowed me to finesse and deliver shots. The cameras did such a good job shooting the green screen in RAW that the footage we pulled in made for easy keying and the extra resolution allowed us to punch in and reframe when needed.”
Golan concluded, “The custom titles feature in Resolve was also very useful for completing the text credits for the show, and it was easy to match and modify text when needed. I even did small adjustments to motion graphics later in Resolve. Resolve is not only powerful and makes it easy to control the final image on the grading side, but also on the editing and finishing side.”