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URSA Mini 4.6K Used for Shooting Japanese Feature Film “KUHANA!”

Fremont, CA – November 2, 2016 - Blackmagic Design today announced that “KUHANA!,” a new feature film directed by Takehiko Hata, was shot with URSA Mini 4.6K and 4K and graded with DaVinci Resolve.

“KUHANA!” is the directing debut of Takehiko Hata, who is also a writer, script writer, and theatre director. Hata has written a number of scripts for TV dramas, and is the author of a novel that been turned into a hugely popular television show in Japan. Following this success, Hata wrote the original script for a drama series “Soshite Daremo Inakunatta (And then there were none),” which was one of the summer of 2016 most talked about dramas in Japan.

”KUHANA” is located in Kuwana city in Japan. It is the story of children, living in small town with a depopulation problem, playing in a jazz band after an ex-professional jazz musician came to their school as a new teacher. The film depicts how the whole town becomes invigorated by seeing these children making such a strenuous effort.

Hata picked Kei Takahashi of KID Inc., as his DoP, who has been director and DoP for many music videos, TV commercials and concert videos. Takahashi used the URSA Mini 4.6K to shoot most of the film, while for some scenes which needed multiple cameras he used Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K and Production Camera 4K.

The film had many outside location shoots, where they could not use much lighting due to the budget and scheduling issues. The URSA Mini 4.6K showed its best in those low light situations.

Hata said, “One of my favorite scenes is the night scene at the bus stop. I could not put lighting there but the shot is well lit by just the light from the bus. I don’t like night shots that are bright as night. I like the shots from URSA Mini 4.6K which show natural darkness, yet everything I want the audience to see is visible.“

Takahashi added; “There is also a scene in a warehouse which only has a bare light bulb and very slight external light from the window. It amazed me that the camera captured a lot of the details in the shots. There are many shades of black, and URSA Mini 4.6K gives me the ability to capture them.“

“I mainly set my ISO as 800 and in extreme low light conditions, I raised it to ISO 1600. Also with 15 stops of dynamic range, the shots still keep colors even though it was shot in low light conditions.

“I mostly handheld the camera and shot moving around on set. The URSA Mini itself is very light weight, and the only accessory I had was the Shoulder Mount Kit and the Viewfinder from Blackmagic. I didn’t need any extra rigs, so mobility was excellent. The Viewfinder makes it easy to find the focus point. I cannot find other view finders that are compact and support HD. The false color feature is great, too. I tried to make my shot not get too hi key nor low key as I wanted to keep the range of colors for grading, so I used that feature a lot during shooting,” said Takahashi.

They shot mostly in ProRes HD but sometimes used RAW depending on the situation.

“With limited shooting schedule and budget, I had the pressure to keep the shooting as quick and effective as possible. During post production there were moments I felt I should have changed framing of some shots. But Mr. Takahashi recorded those difficult shots in 4.6K resolution which saved a lot of the shots,” said Hata.

“It is a nostalgic story, so I made the look less saturated. As a writer, I see TV dramas. I often feel that TV dramas are too well lit. It does not apply to this film. I am happy that I get natural brightness and tones. The atmosphere and feeling that I intended to bring in the shots are surely there,” Hata concluded.
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New Magic Australia Pty Ltd is a recognised leader in the distribution and marketing of multimedia hardware and software, representing a carefully selected range of innovative, leading manufacturers and catering for both the professional and consumer markets. New Magic Australia established in 1993 is the Australian distributor of Blackmagic Design, Convergent Design, Hauppauge Computer Works Inc, Cubix, Matrox Video and Telestream Wirecast Software products.