InCinematographer - Issue 1 - June 2017 - 47
www.incinematographer.com | Issue 1 | June 2017
Micro Cinema Cameras
Cover all the Angles
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Cameras have helped to deliver acclaimed ITV Drama The Durrells...
irector of Photography Sam Renton has used
Blackmagic Design Micro Cinema Cameras to
help capture detail and action shots on the second
drama series of The Durrells, written by acclaimed
screenwriter Simon Nye and produced by Sid Gentle
Directed by Steve Barron, The Durrells is an
ITV drama series based on Gerald Durrell's
autobiographical trilogy about the time he and his
family lived in Corfu between 1935 and 1939.
With a desire to capture as many interesting angles
and detailed shots as possible Barron and Renton
sought out a small production orientated camera
that they could use as a third and fourth angle.
"The quality of the acting, writing and production
design on a drama like this demands that we try and
cover each scene as thoroughly as possible," reflects
Renton. "With a tight production schedule, the Micro
Cinema Camera allowed us to quickly grab another
angle that we otherwise may not have had the time
"The interchangeable lens mount, alongside the
fact we could control our focal length, allowed us to
shoot in a very similar style to our other camera,"
he continues. "We could rig one up and leave it
running, maybe even in time lapse and what we got
was useful cutaway material that was a level above
anything we'd been able to achieve in the previous
series. It matched up seamlessly."
For Barron and Renton, it was all about obtaining
moments that they wouldn't have otherwise
captured, and putting cameras in places, they would
never have done so before because of its size. "One
example of that is an olive press operated, as they
were in the 1930s, by a donkey," explains Renton.
"We wanted a close up shot of the grinding wheel
crushing olives and the only way to get that was to
rig a Micro Cinema Camera off the rotating arm and
get a shot down. It was more of a detail thing,
but it's those moments that help to engage
He also remembers a crucial
moment when the Blackmagic
delivered: "I was handheld
in the back of our action
car shooting a close up
with our main camera
but with no time left to
rig a second, I grabbed a
Micro Cinema Camera and
clamped it to the vehicle
and snatched a profile two
shot of the guys in front, which
would have taken too long to rig
with our main camera. As it was, we
The Durrells second series is airing on ITV
did it in five minutes with the Micro Cinema Camera,
and we got two shots for the price of one."
Renton was a particular fan of the camera's natural
image quality, and the fact that he didn't have to
worry where any of the material originated from
during post production.
"The sensor offers plenty of latitude, and we
captured all that dynamic range by recording in
CinemaDNG RAW. We were even able to ND down to
a similar level as our other cameras so that depth
of field was continuous, and in the DI, we found the
raw was incredibly easy to work with when matching
everything,' he concludes. "The Micro Cinema
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera
Camera is so intuitive, and it allowed us to get into
a position as part of the story where we might not
otherwise have been able to get to."
eeley Hawes (Line of Duty, Ashes to Ashes) plays
Louisa Durrell in ITV's brand new six-part series
The Durrells, written by acclaimed screenwriter
Simon Nye and produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd.
International film star Leslie Caron (An American in
Paris, Gigi) also stars in the series.
The Durrells is based upon Gerald Durrell's classic
trilogy of Corfu memoirs including the much loved
My Family and Other Animals. Set in 1935, this
timeless drama is full of warmth, humour and fun.
The story focuses upon Louisa Durrell (Hawes)
whose life is in meltdown. Her husband died years
ago and his money has all but run out. Her four
unruly 'children' Larry, 21, played by Josh O'Connor
(Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders), Leslie, 18, a role
taken by newcomer Callum Woodhouse, Margo,
17, played by Daisy Waterstone (Silent Witness,
Testament of Youth) and Gerry, 11, with Milo Parker
(Mr Holmes, Ghosthunters) cast in the role, are going
off the rails. Gerry is obsessed with animals and
about to be thrown out of school; Larry is a would-be
novelist but the worst estate agent in Bournemouth,
and the middle two are hitting adulthood like a carcrash. It is the 1930s, and a woman's options are