For us filmmakers and directors, the defining story of our time is that we are seeing companies come up with new and better ways to give us professional, cinematic tools that were formerly reserved for the most expensive, high-end cameras. In other words, it’s easier than ever to shoot cinematic films for a fraction of what it cost even just a few years ago.
The latest and most exciting development in this realm is the collaboration between Nikon and Atomos to allow the Nikon Z6 to shoot a full-frame sensor in a ProRes RAW format by recording to the Atomos Ninja V monitor.
This is a big deal, and very exciting for anyone who wants to experience richer, more natural tones and greater flexibility in post-production color grading.
I was honored to get a call from Nikon to direct a segment for a film that would launch this new upgrade. This project was unique in that I was not only going to direct my own segment, but also act as a group director to coordinate with two other filmmakers around the world to direct their own segments.
I called Bruno Senna, a wonderfully talented filmmaker in Brazil, and Andrew Mageto, an extremely artistic filmmaker in Kenya, to shoot a segment with the Z 6 in ProRes Raw. It was really cool to lay out the expectations of what we were looking for, while essentially providing these gentlemen with a blank canvas for their own ideas. Bruno captured a Brazilian capoeira master practicing and teaching his martial art in a variety of locations in Brazil. And Andrew shot a wardrobe stylist making very cool costumes out of junk he found in Nairobi.
Meanwhile, my concept was to capture a group of talented athletes riding bikes in the Black Rock desert of Nevada under fireworks and LEDs by their Airstream. After a false start, we ultimately got to bring this concept to life in a memorable and really fun evening in the desert. Thanks to our DP Rex Lint, as well as the talents of Bligh Gillies, Sean Haverstock, Dane Henry, and Bryan Liscinsky. (Also, thanks to drone pilot Nick Kolias for making the trip on round one.)
Above all, this film aimed to deliver a big “WOW” factor, and I think we achieved it in no small part thanks to the production team and post-production team at Novus Select. Josh Marianelli, Thea Hardy, Amelia Richmond, and Dara Bates, producers at Novus, were indispensable at every stage of this production. Also thanks to Rex Lint, who pulled double duty as editor, and whose creativity was matched only by his patience through the many moving parts of this production!
Thanks to Omar Inguanzo at Therapy Studios for the wonderful color grade on this piece. Thanks to our friends at K&L for this opportunity. And of course, thanks to Nikon for continuing to raise the bar and giving us filmmakers the tools we need to create the best visuals possible. I’m truly excited to shoot ProRes Raw with my Z 6 this year.