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SXSW Feature Film I'm Fine (Thank You For Asking) Shoots and Finishes with Blackmagic Design

21/04/2021

SXSW Feature Film I'm Fine (Thank You For Asking) Shoots and Finishes with Blackmagic Design

data-src=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c562aaf4-bpthumb.jpg data-srcset=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c561c0e7-bpfull.jpg 2x class=lazyload avatar avatar-80 photo height=80 width=80 />

Brie Clayton April 20, 2021

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Blackmagic Design announced today that the independent feature film I'm Fine (Thank You For Asking), which had its premiere at this year's South By Southwest Film Festival, was shot on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K in Blackmagic RAW, and graded in DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Written by Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina and Roma Kong, and codirected by Kali and Molina, the film follows a recently widowed mother who, after becoming homeless, convinces her 8 year old daughter that they are only camping for fun while she works to get them off of the streets. A micro budget feature not only about the trials of a mother during the pandemic, the film was actually shot in 2020, providing unique challenges for production while ensuring a safe set. We had to shoot a lot in a little time, said producer Capella Fahoome. Our crew had to be nimble, which was what led us to our choice in cameras.

data-src=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202242/2-im-fine.jpg alt= class=lazyload wp-image-2408437 data-srcset=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202242/2-im-fine.jpg 1000w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202242/2-im-fine-300x164.jpg 300w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202242/2-im-fine-768x420.jpg 768w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202242/2-im-fine-624x341.jpg 624w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202242/2-im-fine-50x27.jpg 50w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202242/2-im-fine-100x55.jpg 100w data-sizes=(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px />The filmmakers chose the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K not only for the quality of the image, but also because of its design. One reason I picked the Pocket 6K was the physical size, said cinematographer Becky Baihi Chen. Since we were shooting exteriors a lot, we didn't want to draw too much attention. My first AC (Junyi James Song) and I put the Pocket 6K on a Ronin S and added another handle to the rig for an easier grip. With the lead character Danny, also played by Kali, roller skating throughout the film, Chen had to find creative ways to keep the imagery organic, yet simple and easily managed, considering the small crew.

Early on there was a scene where Danny skates to the nearby kids' playground, added Chen. I realized it could be impactful to follow her as she skates. Because I had a small camera on a small gimbal, I was able to move easily with Kelley, even ducking down under the slides to get some fluid shots as she skated. That moment I realized the Pocket 6K was the perfect camera for this film. It gave me the freedom to move as much as I wanted.

Production remained organic and creative, and Chen enjoyed going with the flow as she worked with Kali and Molina. We had some improv in the film, so we usually decided the shooting angles on the day of the shoot. Kelley and Angelique gave me a lot of freedom to be responsive and spontaneous with my camera during the takes. With the Pocket 6K I could move freely, but not be intrusive as the scene flowed. You can't do that with a bigger rig.

data-src=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202302/3-im-fine.jpg alt= class=lazyload wp-image-2408438 data-srcset=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202302/3-im-fine.jpg 1000w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202302/3-im-fine-300x164.jpg 300w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202302/3-im-fine-768x420.jpg 768w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202302/3-im-fine-624x341.jpg 624w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202302/3-im-fine-50x27.jpg 50w, https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20202302/3-im-fine-100x55.jpg 100w data-sizes=(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px />Chen also chose to shoot Blackmagic RAW, Constant Bitrate 5:1, which gave her confidence to manage the challenging lighting conditions of a small production. We had a lot of day exterior scenes, so during the shoot I checked false color in camera regularly to make sure the highlights were not clipped. There were challenging times where the characters were standing in the shade, but the light colored walls behind them were hit by the bright morning sun. We didn't have much crew or budget to bring in the big lights for the scene, so we had to shoot with what we had. Exposing to the false color in the camera and knowing that I'm shooting Blackmagic RAW gave me confidence that I would be able to balance the exposure and bring back the highlight details in post.

Once the film was edited by Katie McLellan and Angelica Lopez, the film was conformed in DaVinci Resolve by Lopez. I loved utilizing the program for conform because it also opened up the opportunity for our colorist to manipulate any of the camera metadata, as opposed to receiving a VAM ProRes 444 file that bakes in the color bit depth and removes the ability to manipulate the exposure, camera shutter and any additional camera information to allow the flexibility in our color sessions.

Working in DaVinci Resolve, Lopez appreciated the wide set of tools available. I relied heavily on the edit page for my split and completed stabilizations, said Lopez. The recent addition of the timecode overlays makes it much more flexible to confirm embedded source timecodes of any media that didn't conform upon the im
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