Amazing Aerials Shot on SONY VENICE with Behind the Scenes

Not much longer after announcing that their 6K full-frame VENICE camera will be getting some sweet high-res slow motion with the upcoming VENICE firmware v4.0, Sony have released a couple of new visuals to demonstrate what their top-tier cine camera and latest VENICE Extension Unit can do, which you can check out below as well as the accompanying behind-the-scenes.

“Illuminating London” is a breathtaking aerial that was shot back in January in the evening rush hour in temperatures close to freezing on the ground. Shot in near perfect atmospheric condition for aerials, thanks to the low temperature and the fact it had rained the night before, which helped clear the air, “Illuminating London with the VENICE” was shot by Aerial Director of Photography Jeremy Braben, Associate BSC and Aerial Cameraman Jim Swanson in full-frame 6K 3:2 mode (6048 x 4032) utilizing the Sony X-OCN ST raw codec.

The Zeiss 70-200mm T2.9 cine zoom was the lens of choice for this shoot due to its relatively fast aperture for its class, full frame coverage and zoom range, which at the 70mm end gave an equivalent of about 55mm FF FOV when paired with the 6K mode on the VENICE.

Aerial cinematography by Jeremy Braben, Associate BSC and Jim Swanson from Helicopter Film Services
Pilot: Giles Dumper
Colourist: Asa Shoul (Warner Bros De Lane Lea)

Recording X-OCN ST in a total of about 1TB gave the crew approximately 70minutes recording time, which is a testament to how efficient it is, while still giving the colourist a huge palette to work with. The editor was Simon Smyth, who edited on Avid Media Composer using 2K avid proxy files. The footage was graded in Baselight by Asa Shoul, who has worked on big feature production such as Baby Driver, Ex-Machina, and The Crown.

According to the director James Bennet, the grade was light and comprised of a few tweaks adjusting the tungsten lighting more than anything else and subtly reducing the red channel to reduce the glare of the lights on the cranes. Interestingly enough, they did not do any noise reduction, which is impressive given they shot at ISO 2500. This ISO being one of the two native ISO options in the VENICE helps a lot in low-light situations to give you close to noise-free images.

Director of Photography: Balazs Bolygo, BSC, HSC
Shot on Sony VENICE Extension Unit
6K Full Frame 2.4:1, using the full width of the sensor
Codec: X-OCN ST
Graded by Leading colourist Asa Shoul at Warner Bros De Lane Lea

Shot only with available light (except for one interior shot, can you spot which one? an of course the aerial stuff) in a single day working in the City of London with a small crew and the Motion Impossible Agito which is a high-end robotic dolly system that’s more like a giant monster truck car with a huge gimbal on top and can go anywhere. This way the crew could move very fast, while still achieving smooth shots.

This time around, DP Balazs Bolygo, BSC, HSC chose to pair the Sony VENICE Extension Unit with the Zeiss Supreme primes; handheld the VENICE Extension unit weights under 2 kilos, so it’s kind of like using a compact S35 camera or dare I say it – a DSLR…

This production was the first to use the new 6K 2.4:1 sensor mode in VENICE Firmware 3.0. To learn more about the shoot check out the BTS below.

I’ve only just begun to explore the possibilities that the Venice Extension System offers but I find that quite exciting to have a full production camera that you can hold in the palm of your hand. It gives you the mobility and the ability to move with the camera in a very new way. – said Balazs Bolygo BSC, HSC

The images pretty much speak for themselves, I’ve said it before, but I really do think Sony have created a very impressive cinema camera, that is much more ergonomic and easier to use (unlike the F65), has insane dynamic range, exceptional clarity, beautiful colour rendition that paired with the efficiency of X-OCN can go a long way and save you some serious money in your post-production budget.

For those of you that are after some sweet aerials for your production, you can can head over to where you can licence aerial RAW assets for use in feature films and commercials as well as graded and ungraded 4K and HDR content for other commercial uses.

What do you guys think of the VENICE? Have you used it yet on a commercial, music video or a feature? Are rental houses in your are stocking them? Do share in the comments, I’d be interested to know.

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