Watch: The Trailer for the First Short Shot on ProRes RAW

Credit: David J Fernandes/Pollinator Films
The trailer for an EVA1/ProRes RAW production provides the first look at narrative storytelling in the new format.

Whenever a new format is released, it's always a race to see what company can show off its capabilities first. Not only is this a great way for filmmakers to learn about the new format, but it's also a great way to get attention toward your project.

The first shorts and music videos that shot with the RED camera or Prisma (or most famously the 5D Mark II) were highly popular due to the curiosity surrounding its new techniques. Canadian filmmakers David Fernandes and DP Gregory Bennett have smartly hustled to be the first releasing a project shot on ProRes RAW (using the Panasonic EVA1 and an Atomos Shogun Inferno,) with a trailer that should be interesting even to filmmakers who aren't fans of science fiction.

The trailer shows off the possibilities of the capture format in a real-world situation (not a test reel) very well. Working with only a $,7500 budget, the filmmakers created dynamic footage where the format was never a limitation, a testament to both their skill and the increasing viability of packages under $10,000 to create great images. The filmmakers worked with both Zeiss Super Speed lenses and the Wooden Camera PL mount adapter for the camera, giving them a consistent 1.3 T stop throughout.

Combined with the 2500 base ISO, the filmmakers were able to work with low light levels, although working at a 1.3 does make life tricky for the focus puller. The flip side are, of course, the beautiful shots you can get, such as  the key image of the video reflected in the lead actor's eye, which has great texture and color.

Credit: David J Fernandez / Pollinator Films

One thing to remember about ProResRaw is that it isn't just about RAW, but rather RAW in a reasonable file size. “It allowed us to shoot for the entire day and only use two SSDs, so it’s extremely efficient; shockingly efficient," said Fernandes.

While RAW formats like Cinema DNG have been around for awhile, it can burn through hard drives. While hard drives are cheaper than film, they still cost money, and savings in that area can really add up. The filmmakers were able to work natively in the footage on a MacBook Pro and a 2013 iMac, skipping the transcode to work with the source footage for a fast turnaround.

Credit: David J Fernandez / Pollinator Films

It's exciting times for filmmakers on a budget as tools are rolling out rapidly to make the whole workflow more affordable. We've had tools that let us do high resolution RAW for a decade now, but they often came at a cost, especially in post workflow. Doing a three-day 5.7K RAW shoot and only capturing 3.5TB of data (and then not needing a transcode) is huge. 

For reference, we used to estimate 4TB/day for 5K RED RAW jobs, and, of course, then had to transcode those for the edit.

Credit: David J Fernandez / Pollinator Films

Be on the lookout for the full short when it's released, and for more projects hitting the streets.

Tech Specs:

  • Panasonic EVA1
  • Wooden Camera PL Mount Adapter
  • Zeiss Super Speed Primes
  • Atomos Shogun Inferno
  • ProRes Raw
  • Final Cut X

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Your Comment

10 Comments

Thanks for posting! Just a quick note: we shot at T2 and ISO 800 for most of it, except for the darkest shots where we went up to 2500 and T2. :) Also, the name of the actress is Rene J. Harding.

June 29, 2018 at 9:36AM, Edited June 29, 9:46AM

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David Fernandes
Director
173

Can you comment on whether the raw recordings have significantly better quality than the internal ones?

June 29, 2018 at 6:22PM

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avatar
Stu Mannion
writer/dir/dp
1043

I wouldn’t say it’s significantly better in regards to the image. But there’s a few distinct advanatages. 1) the All-I codec is a hog and even with a brand new MBP 15” with 4gb Radeon 650, I cant play it smoothly. PRR plays like butter, even on an older iMac. If you edit On a modern PC with a beefy card, maybe this is a moot point. I hear windows machines like it better. 2) at least with the EVA1, you can access full sensor 5.7K raw output, which is almost twice the resolution of UHD. Internal is limited to UHD/4K DCI. 3) file sizes are the same or even smaller than the All-I, so why not? 4) the internal codec goes through the whole processing chain - the raw data obviously doesn’t. I haven’t looked at it scientifically, but I believe there may be a bit more latitude in the raw. 5) again, on an EVA1, several users have reported internal recording errors to certain SD cards, so for me personally, I feel the SSD and Atomos external recording to be reliable - faster for dumping data too.

June 30, 2018 at 4:03AM

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David Fernandes
Director
173

not a fan of panasonic cameras for films but this looks good.

June 29, 2018 at 8:27PM

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Vincent Gortho
none
1231

We tested it against RED and Sony before buying, and I used to own an Amira. The Panasonic / Varicam Colour science is pretty amazing. In our own tests and to our eyes, it was a clear winner over RED and Sony both for out of camera results and also workflow. It’s not an ARRI obviously, but it actually has MUCH better low light response than our Amira did. And the VLOG is so close to Arri log you can put an Arri LUT on VLOG and get pretty close. So for $7500USD vs $50k (for an Amira with similar features, slomo, 4K etc), it’s hard to knock it. Combined with 5.7k PRR on the Atomos Shogun Inferno, it’s kind of a killer combo I think.

June 30, 2018 at 4:07AM, Edited June 30, 4:07AM

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David Fernandes
Director
173

Very nice trailer, well executed, great choices of angles/shots. I'm curious if there is a way to trim the ProRes RAW files? Like if you want to move all of the footage of a locked, or mostly locked, edit? Can you export the "trims" (with handle) without recompressing/transcoding? Like say you want to send the whole project to someone, for example to do the color, do you have to include the entirety of all clips represented on the timeline?

June 30, 2018 at 5:40AM

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Thanks! In regards to your exporting questions, there's no way within FCPX itself to do this. There are a few options. 1) Primaries Exporter - it's a software plugin that lets you export individual clips. 2) Frame.io allows you to do this as well and saves an xml file of the timeline. 3) Clip Exporter - translates xml into After Effects file. The first two are not able to export handles though. But you'd only need handles for clips that you are overlaying on top of each other for cross-dissolves. I'm hoping Premiere or Davinci support PRR soon. FCPX has a lot of things lacking.

July 4, 2018 at 8:04AM, Edited July 4, 8:19AM

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David Fernandes
Director
173

Will we see a BTS of the shooting enviornment for this short film?

July 2, 2018 at 10:33AM

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James Blanco
Filmmaker
73

We have some stills, no video unfortunately.

July 4, 2018 at 7:49AM

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David Fernandes
Director
173

Would be curious to see how this looks after a proper color pass, the super saturated highlights could be quite nice under the right circumstances. Interesting...

July 4, 2018 at 5:43PM, Edited July 4, 5:43PM

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Sean Loftin
Cinematographer
262