Fremont, CA – Blackmagic Design today announced that New York based visual effects (VFX) company Phosphene used a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K digital film camera to capture VFX elements and plates for the new feature film “False Positive.”
“False Positive” follows Lucy (Ilana Glazer), after months of trying and failing to get pregnant, she and her husband Adrian finally find their dream fertility doctor in Dr. Hindle. But after becoming pregnant with a healthy baby girl, Lucy begins to notice something sinister about Dr. Hindle. Starring Ilana Glazer, who cowrote the film with Director John Lee, “False Positive” also stars Justin Theroux, Pierce Brosnan, Sophia Bush and more. The Hulu Original film premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021 and is now available to stream only on Hulu.
Led by Cofounder and VFX Supervisor John Bair, the Phosphene team used a Pocket Cinema Camera 6K as part of their work on the film’s VFX, capturing elements and background plates, as well as DaVinci Resolve Studio for dailies and clip selection.
“The Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is a powerful tool as it allows us to stay nimble and creative when working on VFX sequences,” said Bair. “We know its 6K resolution and Blackmagic RAW footage will hold up against whatever we do in post, so we can focus on the task at hand instead of the technology.”
For example, “False Positive” includes a long tracking sequence of Glazer’s pregnant character in the bathtub, which was originally captured with a different concept in mind. However, during post the filmmakers decided to change directions and have the bathtub overflow with blood when Glazer submerges herself. The Phosphene team recreated the scene in post using the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and shot two different setups, with one capturing how bubbles rippled in the water and the other capturing the tub as it fills with blood.
“We were able to completely repurpose the shot and add to it without having to bring back the production team for reshoots,” explained Bair. “The Pocket Cinema Camera 6K gives us the freedom of creativity since we can be flexible and capture things in post without worrying about the footage matching. Once we had the new elements captured, we were able to replace the surface of the water and create the blood effect with our VFX tools, with everything matching seamlessly.”
Bair added, “While our focus is more on digital work, we like to include real elements whenever possible. We think having the ability to shoot something real always improves the quality of the work, and it adds some fun to the process. We also do a lot of still photography as part of our VFX work, so it’s great that we’re able to use those lenses with the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K’s EF mount.”
The camera’s dual native ISO allowed Phosphene to easily capture nighttime background plates for the film. “We needed an establishing shot of New York City out of a window, so I took the camera up on a rooftop and shot the city below using an ISO of 3200. Low light wasn’t a concern since we were shooting 6K in Blackmagic RAW, so everything held up incredibly well in post,” explained Bair. “I can stay very lean and mean while shooting with the camera due to its well thought out design, so it’s easy to go out on shoots like this by myself and capture lots of options.”
“Both the camera and DaVinci Resolve Studio are powerful tools with a lot under the hood, but with intuitive interfaces, so we can easily use them when we need them,” Bair concluded. “Due to the nature of being a VFX house, we tend to use the camera in bursts around a project and then put it away for a bit. We never feel a learning curve when we come back for the next film though; its ease of use allows us to just jump back in and tackle whatever new project lies ahead.”