Whilst browsing YouTube recently I came across a short film which grabbed my attention. The film, released by Panasonic, demonstrates the amazing capabilities of the new Lumix GH3, the successor to the popular DMC-GH2. The short film features the well known actor Toby Kebbell (Black Mirror, Rock N Rolla). Apart from one instance of inaudible speech, the film is shot without dialogue. The feature focuses closely on the struggle, and escape, of the unnamed imprisoned ‘hero’.
The reason this film caught my eye is due to previous ‘experience’ with Lumix camera’s. Even though I don’t own a Lumix compact, I pretty much always advise these compacts as the camera to buy. I have several friends that own a Lumix and they are all very happy with them, and judging by the photos they take (even in tricky conditions, I can see why!
So, when I saw a short film captured entirely using the higher end Lumix, I was immediately interested.
Called ‘Hertz’ the film centres around a man in a mysterious situation. Situated entirely within a room, which I can only describe as an interrogation room within a police station or other authoritative institution, the man is presented with a table and 4 buttons. Without giving to much away (you should really watch it for yourself) the main character has to complete an ever increasingly difficult set of challenges using the buttons.
As well as the clever use of situation, emotions and the general ‘feel’ of the short film, it is incredible that such a professional film could be shot using only a Lumix GH3.
As the film is shot in low light conditions it is very impressive that the camera is able to capture excellent contrast, clarity and close up shots of the actors emotions. As with high budget films shot with the latest in camera technology, there are changes in focus, smooth panning (albeit with additional ‘rigging’ and equipment) and clear sound capture.
The compact size of the camera also allowed the use of some particularly tricky camera angles and movements that flowed around the characters, rotating back on itself and allowing you to view the scene from various angles seamlessly. There are also shots which appear to flow through the glass in between the main character’s room and the room from which the mysterious men are viewing his efforts.
A digital camera featuring 1080/50p video shooting, enabling full 50 frames per second shooting in HD, can only have been a bonus to the crew when filming in such a small space. This is evident from the many different angles that are used to shoot the ‘action’ during the five and a half minute film. It really is a testament to how far camera technology has progressed.
Directed by Vicky Lawton (who also directed a film short ‘Ablution’ in 2012 starring Augustus Prew and Chantal Brown), ‘Hertz’ is the first in a series of 3 GH3-Minute Movies, a campaign designed to show off the GH3′s full capabilities as a professional film camera.
Tony Miller was also involved in the film as the Director Of Photography, he mentions in the interview during the ‘making of’ video that they were able to utilise the latest techniques and the cameras capabilities, even in such a confined area and in the low light conditions.
The ‘making of’ video is also on YouTube and provides a wonderful insight into the care and attention, as well as the camera’s in action, that went into this great film short. Not only does it provide an insight into the makings of a short film, it also features interviews with the crew members and their thoughts on the film itself, and the GH3.
It just goes to show that with cameras such as the GH3, film making is becoming ever increasingly something that budding Directors, actors or camera men/women can get involved in to share their talents with the world.