Fremont, CA – Blackmagic Design today announced that Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver Chris Conley recently shot “Quarantime,” a new short film created during isolation, using a Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2 digital film camera shooting in Blackmagic RAW. Conley also edited and graded the film himself using DaVinci Resolve Studio, which he learned at home during football’s hiatus.
While Conley is known for his work on the field, he has a passion for filmmaking and made several short films prior to his NFL career, including his viral Star Wars fan film “Retribution.” “Quarantime” is his latest project and it's the first time Conley has stepped beyond the roles of writer and director to also serve as DP, editor and colorist. Shot at home with Conley and his wife Brianna Conley playing themselves, “Quarantime” follows a newlywed couple that spends part of their first year of marriage in isolation. The film premiered in July 2020 and is currently available via Conley’s YouTube channel, FlightConley.
According to Conley, he was inspired by the ups and downs of being stuck in the house together during quarantine. “I figured that this experience was common for a lot of people and wanted to share my view of it. Shooting at home was a unique situation since the space was rather small. It made us get creative about creating angles and the illusion of space,” he said.
Using the URSA Mini Pro G2’s Blackmagic Camera Control app allowed Conley to be both behind and in front of the camera as he juggled multiple roles during production. “Shooting during quarantine limited the number of people I could use to help,” said Conley. “Setting up lights, moving equipment and running the camera is a lot to do by yourself. Luckily with the camera’s wireless capabilities, I was able to start and stop recording remotely.”
While Conley credits the URSA Mini Pro G2’s built in ND filters and touch screen monitor’s easy readability with helping him stay nimble and quick during shoots, the biggest benefit was being able to shoot and edit in Blackmagic RAW. “The workflow efficiency of Blackmagic RAW and the ease of having access to similar information from the camera to DaVinci Resolve Studio helped make the whole process flow smoothly. Editing in DaVinci Resolve Studio’s cut and edit pages felt natural after shooting on the URSA Mini Pro G2.”
In post, Conley started by using DaVinci Resolve Studio’s cut page to quickly put together his first timeline. “With the hotkeys mapped, putting together a rough cut was extremely fast and efficient,” explained Conley.
“My favorite thing about DaVinci Resolve Studio is the flexibility and control you have over the color. As someone who is not a colorist, I had the ability to tweak the image and get it to a place that I liked with minimal amounts of practice. There is so much more you can do in the program as an experienced colorist, which is what’s exciting as I think about continuing to explore with future filmmaking projects,” explained Conley.
As a newcomer to editing and grading, Conley learned to not let that limit the film. “I started by reading and watching tutorials, and then practicing and emulating looks. After about three weeks, I felt confident enough to do it with my own footage in DaVinci Resolve Studio,” said Conley. “Taking on all the roles to shoot a short film can be daunting, and I came to realize that I knew more than I gave myself credit for. I just needed to take a moment to put these skills to the test on my own. For better or worse, I needed to just create so that I could learn from my mistakes and build confidence. Should my lack of experience stop my creativity? Definitely not. My biggest obstacle was me limiting myself as a creator.”
Conley concluded, “My advice for other people is to stop waiting and start writing. For those who have written, stop waiting and start shooting. Take the leap and just be prepared if what you make isn't great. Each attempt grants you room to grow. Trust yourself enough to let yourself create and share.”