Acclaimed filmmaker Brett Danton deploys Canon 4K acquisition workflow to best capture New Zealand’s ever-changing natural beauty.
Director/DOP Brett Danton deployed a complete Canon glass-to- glass 4K acquisition workflow, including the new EOS C200 Cinema camera, to capture stunning images for Jaguar’s latest high-profile TV advert. The 60-second spot, which was produced for Spark44, celebrates Jaguar’s new F-PACE performance SUV winning the World Car of Year and World Car Design of the Year titles at this year’s prestigious 2017 World Car Awards.
With the creative treatment calling for a backdrop of the most beautiful place in the world to reflect the car’s newly recognised status, Brett decided to shoot the commercial on New Zealand’s spectacular South Island. Because of the location’s notoriously challenging, yet ultimately visually rewarding conditions, Brett and his director of photography, Ashleigh Carter, opted to use Canon’s proven glass-to- glass 4K acquisition workflow. This incorporated the new EOS C200 and EOS C700 professional Cinema cameras, a range of Canon EF and Cine lenses, and the Canon DP-V1710 4K UHD reference display for accurate on-set monitoring.
“Looking at it, you can see why New Zealand was the perfect choice,” Brett explained. “As well as being one of the most beautiful places in the world, it gave us the chance to test out the EOS C200 in extreme weather conditions.” By using the EOS C200’s new Cinema RAW Light functionality, the crew was able to best capture in all lighting conditions whilst working in the wind, fog, rain and snow that they encountered.
The commercial’s rich subjects included the grey Jaguar F-PACE traversing across
picturesque mountains, a contemporary ballerina dancing under rolling clouds and blue skies, crystal clear lakes and more – all shot in temperatures ranging from 14 degrees to as low as -14 degrees Celsius when on the drone.
Brett presented the film – and shared his thoughts on the Canon EOS C200 camera – at a recent event in London’s Soho. During the screening, he said the team “wanted to fly the camera. We wanted it on drones and also on gimbals. The EOS C200’s lightweight body [just 1.4kg] was ideal for this as it gave us the ability to shoot using a range of setups.” The Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF feature and focus assist along with the EVF-V70 OLED viewfinder were used throughout the shoot to help maintain focus on the moving Jaguar and monitor the image in HDR.
The nature of the locations meant the crew were limited in how many hours of clear weather they had each day, but the EOS C200 performed effortlessly through heavy clouds and extreme fog to deliver a cinematic feel and beautiful imagery.
“When we first attempted to film the dancer, there was so much fog that we couldn’t see any further than our own outstretched hands,” explained Brett. “We had almost given up hope of being able to shoot that morning. But as we were packing up our kit, sunlight emerged. The familiarity of the EOS Cinema range meant that our camera operator got quickly accustomed to the EOS C200 and could pull it off of its mount and shoot the perfect handheld shot in the small window of time we had.”
The post production was carried out by Gramercy Park Studios London, where the footage was graded in Baselight and finished in Flame. “During post, the Canon Cinema RAW Light files were pushed to the maximum dynamic range,” said Brett. “When we reviewed the HDR rushes, you could almost feel the cold. Footage from the EOS C200 has so much depth – when we viewed it in the grading suite, I got goose bumps.”
Brett concluded: “The camera is easy to use and has a flexible configuration, as well as 15- stops of dynamic range, which meant that we were able to get the perfect shots – with the bold colours we wanted – without having to do much in post. As the EOS C200 has the same sensor as the EOS C700, it was almost like we were recording what we were seeing and meant the look achieved on both cameras during the shoot was seamless.”