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I took part in the Exeter Phoenix Digital’s 48h film competition on the 22nd Nov, part of the 2 Short Nights film festival. In a temporary lapse of judgement I decided in advance to shoot the entire 5min short in cinema raw, and then grade the finished edit in Davinci Resolve 10. I prefer to use new gear and workflows on unpaid jobs, and I foolishly deemed this to be the perfect test for my new Mac Book  Pro!

48h-JackThankfully my team had my back, and we delivered the winning short of the night titled GSOH.  You can read a brief review of the night at www.devon-cornwall-film.co.uk

I must admit, I’m completely addicted to grading raw footage now. The still image of Jack shown here, was altered significantly in post. It’s really easy to sharpen areas without ugly artefacts, and really bring out colours.

The biggest issue is loosing perspective with the image, with the amount of range you have to play with. With H264 footage you know when to stop because the image has basically fallen apart, and even with flat picture profiles you mostly have the image ‘burned in’ due to the camera compression.

I pulled all the raw files into Resolve, did a quick grade and exported ProRes files for each movie clip. The footage was edited in Premiere CC and once picture locked I exported an xml for Resolve and a Premiere project reduction to an external hard drive for Simon Greenwood to mix the sound. I love how you can import an xml back into Resolve and it reattaches the timeline to the raw original files for grading.

I also used this short to break in my new Mac Book Pro, a spec’d up model with 2gb internal graphics. The only hiccup was using a seriously slow usb2 caddy to transfer the BMCC footage across… Still surprised you can’t mount the camera directly to the laptop using thunderbolt.