22 January 2024

Filming a commercial with David Wells

Find out how Director of Photography David Wells integrated the Sumo 19SE and Shogun with Sony Venice cameras to film a commercial for a groundbreaking 3D printer.

By Atomos

David, who specialises in shooting short films, supervised two different camera set-ups to capture a variety of shots on a unique mixed virtual production and custom-build set at Stray Vista Studios in Texas.

First, he used the Sony Venice camera mounted on to a robotic arm, with the Sumo SE19 situated alongside to obtain a larger view from the camera’s sensor. In David’s line of work, he relies upon using a large monitor to observe lighting conditions and adjust where needed; this is where having the Sumo on-set was advantageous. “Using the Sumo’s 19-inch, high-definition display helped me build the master lighting plan,” he explains.

“If I wasn’t operating the camera, I positioned myself by the Sumo SE19. It was our go-to piece of equipment within the video village as it helped provide a sense of scale to the action compared to using the smaller display of an operator’s monitor.”

By utilising the Sumo’s Monitor Assist function, David was easily able to access a range of tools such as Focus Peaking, False Colour and Zebra Pattern. The Sumo’s bright, highly responsive touchscreen allowed him to swiftly alternate between settings and focus his attention on the task at hand.

Working in a fast-paced environment with an imminent deadline, David’s main priority was to ensure that all angles were captured, and that no opportunities were missed. This was the key reason behind operating a Fisher Dolly with the Sony Venice II camera and Shogun Connect attached. “We had a lot of shots to capture in a ten-hour day, so having the two different set-ups saved us so much time,” he added.

With its portable size and flexible mounting options, Shogun Connect was the ideal monitoring companion for his Sony Venice II camera. David was easily able to lock the monitor to the camera and with plenty of movement on-set, he was at ease knowing the two devices were firmly in position. “I really love the Shogun’s build quality; it feels really robust to handle,” he said.

Throughout the day, the Shogun’s 2000 nit screen was bright enough to withstand different lighting environments during set changes, enabling David to view his footage clearly from a distance. Sharing his final thoughts about the Sumo 19SE and Shogun Connect, David said: “Monitors are great tools to have while filming, and Atomos’ range is no exception. They elevated our workflow, and their ultra bright, large displays helped us capture the action.”

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