Production company TwoFour has completed its first major 4K project, shot on Red Epic, for a new exhibition about life in the desert in Abu Dhabi.
The 15-minute short film, Visions of the Arabian Desert, was designed for a purpose-built 22-metre wide cinema and included what is believed to be the first 4K aerial shoot and the first 4K underwater shoot in the country.
“With a 22-metre wide screen the high resolution was essential,” said Jonney Steven, TwoFour’s head of MENA. “We were forced to shoot during the Arabian summer with temperatures approaching 50º C in the desert environments. We had been warned that the Epic didn’t do well in the heat, but in the end it was the crew overheating that forced us to retreat to air-conditioned vehicles every 10 minutes.”
While some of TwoFour’s UAE-based clients have requested them to shoot in 4K to future-proof extensive general view libraries that the producer has been producing for them, Steven believes 4K is still a niche for most clients.
“The extra cost involved and the end use of the project are the main reasons,” he said. “If it’s destined for online distribution there is not really any benefit to in shooting in 4K. Where we are seeing it start to gain traction is where it is for display on a large screen, be it for permanent installations or events.
“At this time, I would suggest that it simply depends on the end usage of the film, or potential end uses of the rushes in the future. If the footage is to be displayed on a large or high-resolution screen, or if a client is looking to continue using the rushes on a medium- to long-term basis, then shooting in 4K will future-proof the footage, ensuring their archive is able to be used across all projects.”
The photograph shows award-winning British aerial cameraman Simon Werry, whose credits range from James Bond and Harry Potter films to BBC Wildlife documentaries and top flight sport, adjusting the Red Epic camera during a quick stop in the desert.
By Adrian Pennington