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Amma Asante's 'Belle' Is 1st British Feature To Be Shot In True-4K, Using Sony's F65 camera

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by Tambay A. Obenson
December 14, 2012 12:23 PM
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Belle Pics

This will probably appeal most to all you cinematographers and filmmakers, and those who just love to talk filmmaking technicals. 

We've covered the film at the center of the story quite a bit; we should be getting our first look at footage from the film soon enough.

All the good stuff via press release below...

Pinewood, UK: FRIDAY 14th DECEMBER 2012 – Sony Professional Solutions Specialist Top-Teks has today announced that the upcoming Pinewood Films release ‘BELLE’ is the first major British motion picture to be shot in true-4K using Sony’s groundbreaking F65 CineAlta™ digital production camera. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson and Emily Watson, and directed by BAFTA Award winning director Amma Asante, the period drama inspired by the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle is scheduled for UK release next year through Pinewood Films. Belle is a DJ Films production, presented by Isle of Man Film, Pinewood Films and the BFI, in association with Head Gear Films and Metrol Technology. International sales are handled by Bankside Films.

“The F65 represents the future of digital filmmaking,” said director of photography, Ben Smithard. “The amount of detail and colour it captures is breathtaking. I wanted the audience to feel the beauty of the 4K images and be involved in the story, and the F65 made that a reality. It really is a camera for the future and I plan to use it again on future film projects.”

Commenting on his experiences shooting with the F65, Smithard continued: "We shot Belle in a range of different environments – on location and at Pinewood – and having a camera that was easy to use and delivered stunning detailed images in bright and low light was essential for such a visually-rich period feature. With the F65, Sony has developed a camera that not only produces beautiful skin tones but also retains tremendous amounts of highlight and colour detail. Having such detailed and colour-rich true 4K DPX files for the DIT and post production team to composite from means the final cut will be as close to actually being on set as possible. In my opinion the F65 leads the field for image quality at this time."

“In my mind, it has always been a given that the F65 was the ultimate Digital Cinematographers Camera; with its superior resolution, colour gamut and Dynamic Range there is no other choice. Ben has put the camera and it’s workflow through its paces on the first UK feature project “Belle” and the results have been outstanding,” commented Mike Thomas, Sales Director at Sony Professional Solutions Specialist Top-Teks. “Now we should see the F65 become the camera of choice when people are looking to achieve the ultimate pictures,” he continued.

Shot in the Isle of Man, London, Oxford and Pinewood, and boasting an impressive ensemble cast of Britain’s finest actors, BELLE is a true ‘Best of British’ production. It is the third project to receive investment from Pinewood Studios as part of its Pinewood Films initiative which was established to help fund and support British, independent films. Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive, Pinewood Shepperton plc said: “Through Pinewood’s investment in British, independent films we are helping to support up and coming talent who are pushing the boundaries and exploring new and creative ways of storytelling. This is especially true when it comes to technology and it’s great that Belle is the first feature to be shot with Sony’s F65 camera. The result is set to be phenomenal.”

The F65 camera’s unprecedented 8K image sensor, with approximately 20 megapixels, offers higher image fidelity than any other digital cinema production camera. With 16-bit Linear RAW file output capability, the F65 creates the gateway to an end-to-end 4K file-based mastering workflow.

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