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Blackmagic captures The Driver for the BBC

5 September 2014
Blackmagic captures The Driver for the BBC

The Driver is a brand-new original British drama written by BAFTA-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst (The Walking Dead) and directed by Jamie Payne (Doctor Who). It tells the story of an ordinary man who ­ because of family mystery, frustration with his job and his life – makes a terrible decision.

Director of photography David Luther (The Mill) shares an insight into the filming with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema on the new three-part drama co-produced by Highfield Pictures and award-winning RED Production Company for BBC One.

“We wanted to find a way to film inside the car that didn’t feel too constricted. Where we had space, we filmed with the ARRI Alexa, but this was too big to access all the locations inside the car. So we looked for a small camera that could fit between the windscreen and dashboard, in front of the driver, and also to film from below the driver.

Cameras like the Alexa and C300 were all too big and we liked the look of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. It’s only a small chip so we needed wider lenses to counterbalance this and used 16mm PL-mounted lenses ­ they were softer lenses so we didn’t need to use a matte box to diffuse them.

We used the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera during production when space inside the car was an issue. I’m very happy with the image quality of the camera. As long as you’re not shooting in high contrast environments – with the sun blazing into a courtyard, for example ­ it’s very good. The colour range of the camera was very good too.

As a comparison, we would have considered using the Canon 5D in the same price range, so for something that cost us less, I was especially amazed with the results that we achieved. The camera also coped very well with the frantic movements of cast members during filming.

What really impressed though was just how easy it is to setup and shoot with. We pre-set the camera which allowed us to pick up and film at a moments notice camera. I would definitely use it again, especially in similar scenarios where you really need multiple cameras to do different things.”

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