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Brace yourself for this graphic video graded by Finish

Finish’s latest work is a graphically violent cartoon and live action collaboration by Colonel Blimp director David Wilson and renowned animator Christy Karacas.

Out of the Black, a half graphically animated, half-live action ‘psychodelic’ promo for multi-Brit Award nominees Royal Blood, is definitely not for the faint hearted.

It centres upon a fantastical world of graphic cartoon violence, as a service-station heist takes a bizarre turn.

An Easter bunny disguised alien leads a posse of holiday costumed creatures consisting of a snowman, a pumpkin, an ice cream cone and a walking heart into a blood-pumping, body slamming, head exploding showdown with the cops.

Royal Blood - Out of The Black 🍦⛄️🐰❤️🎃 from David Wilson on Vimeo.

Finish Flame Artists Judy Roberts and Andy Copping with colourist Julien Biard helped integrate the animated scenes with the live-action in what proved to be a highly complex post job which made heavy use of remote grading workflows.

Biard comments: “David is based in LA and he couldn’t be in the grading suite with me so we used a remote grading system, where I’m grading in London and David is at another facility in LA.”

“It’s great because both suites are linked up by an almost instantaneous feed so he could see every adjustment of the grade in real time, despite the 5,000 miles separating us!”

David Wilson added: “Finish worked tirelessly to elevate the piece. Like with the majority of post production this is done in ways that are often very difficult to spot, but that’s only because they did an incredible job.”

Roberts comments: “A smashed up helicopter, cars and a dead body, were all added to the clean plate using hand textured CGI renders, and various supplied photographic elements.

“The lighting proved to be the most challenging to achieve as the sources of light are coming from very particular angles here.

“So when painting the light had to be perfectly in place to look realistic, which is something that wasn’t easy to get from the stills.

“Another key job for us was to engineer movement in the car crash at the beginning.

“On the shoot the actor was running and jumping onto a stationary car for evident safety reasons.

Our job was to build the car crash out of various plates to make it seem like the car was moving at speed.”

And of course as if it was not gory enough already there were also a few shots, which needed extra blood passes, composited by Andy Copping in Flame.

Says Copping: ‘The big one was of the rabbit slumped at the petrol pump. We enhanced all of the blood around him to match it up with the brilliant last bit of animation.”

“The film is incredibly unique in its style and it’s been a real labour of love for the Director David. It’s really personal to him, as he animates himself.”


Agency Colonel Blimp
Director David Wilson & Christy Karacas
Production CompanyColonel Blimp
 Corin Taylor
Post Producer
 Cheryl Payne
Colour Grading 
Julien Biard
Lead Flame
 Judy Roberts
 Steve Murgatroyd
, Andy Copping
Kayley Fernandes
Michael Berlucchi
 Max @Stitch

Posted 17 February 2015 by David Wood

First impressions of the Panasonic's Varicam 35

Now that Panasonic has announced its new 4K camera the Varicam 35, we decided to take a closer look at the camera and asked wildlife filmmaker John Aitchison for his views.

The first thing that you notice about the Varicam is its modular design.

Tthe separate 4K camera module docks with the recording unit which is interchangeable with the new 2/3 inch camera module Varicam HS – Panasonic’s new high speed camera head allowing frame rates up to 240fps).

The 4K version incorporates a newly-developed super 35mm MOS sensor for 4096 x 2160 capture and uses the AVC-Ultra video codec for fast data compression at 240Mb/s.

The PL mount Varicam 35 will handle multiple formats including 4K, UHD, 2K and HD and variable frame rates up to 120fps and is aimed at high-end filmmaking.

Operators can switch between super 35 and 2/3 inch heads to suit the needs of the shoot.

The super 35 sensor promises 14 stops of latitude, wide dynamic range and much enhanced colour management with a new Log mode and extended colour gamut supporting ACES workflows.

The Varicam 35 will use the new expressP2 card for high frame rate and 4K recording, with four card slots, two for expressP2 cards for up to 130 minutes of 4K/24p content, and two for microP2 cards for HD.

John Aitchison
Wildlife filmmaker

Panasonic have produced a recorder with alternative front modules, one of which is 4k with a large sensor while the other uses a 2/3" three-chip prism for recording 1080 but with a greater range of frame rates than the 4k version.  

So far I have been disappointed that all the manufacturers seem to assume we all want to film with a shallow depth of field, hence the large sensors.  For long-lens filming of animals I need all the depth of field I can get and all the magnification in a reasonably sized and portable package too.

So it's the new 2/3" Varicam module I am interested in.  Being able to use B4 mounted lenses directly without needing a light-hungry adapter (to cover a large sensor) is a great advantage when the light is low or when I'm filming at the higher frame rates.  

The camera's main drawback is that many productions are keen to shoot in 4k.  I would  also be interested to see how bright the OLED viewfinder is - I have recently found others too dark, making a black and white CRT more appealing.

Maybe one day someone will come out with a 4k camera with a good range of frame rates, 2/3" sensors and a B4 mount.

That might be the day I finally decide it's worth owning a camera again.


Posted 06 February 2015 by David Wood
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