A talk about Wake UP from DP Wan Bocheng

Wake Up is the first short video shot by MAVO Edge 8K since its reveal, and its excellent performance has left a great impression on everyone. Edge has brought a new meaning to the cinematographer who has a vision for their images with the newly designed body and improved technology. To help you better understand it, we interviewed the DP of Wake Up, Bochen Wan, who has been a loyal user of Kinefinity, to talk about his experiences with Edge.

 Kine Team  What was your initial impression of the MAVO Edge?

 Wan Bocheng  My first impression of Edge was that it looked very modern to me. It has a curvier shape comparing with that of MAVO LF. I like the size and the weight of Edge because it maintained a balanced weight ratio as I added the battery and cine lens to it. The assignments of buttons are more user-friendly, specs and their respective buttons are easy to use. They also added more shortcut buttons which made my life much easier. Moreover, they increased the number of mounting holes, especially on the side, allowing me to put more accessories on it without adding another side support. I liked it a lot because I think less weight is always better for DPs.

Edge with its 8K resolution and ARRI Signature Prime lens with its high resolvability astonished me when I first saw the footage on iMac 5k during the shooting. Edge captured the most genuine emotions of the actor by shooting the cleanest images possible. It allowed me to feel the emotions of the actor in a way that had never occurred in my previous projects. In my opinion, even viewers who don’t work in the film industry would be able to connect with the emotions of the film by watching the stunning images of the 4K version of Wake Up on the big screen.

 Kine Team  What equipment did you use for this film?

 Wan Bocheng  Wake Up is a story about a young girl whose dream and reality have overlapped with each other, so I decided to use a shallow depth of field to convey the feeling of obscurity. With a full-frame CMOS imaging sensor, MAVO Edge 8K is perfect for the project, because it can produce stunning images with a shallower depth of field while maintaining the same aperture comparing to that of Super35 format.

When it comes to lens selection, I chose the ARRI Signature Prime lens for its ability to resolve high-resolution images with a smooth out-of-focus transition. With its T1.8 Lens, I achieved the shallowest depth of field without compromising the image quality.

Since the girl’s emotion constantly changes throughout the entire film, I wanted to convey her escalating emotion through different camera movements. I used GFM Primo and GFM Slider for the scene of concealed feelings, and I used Movcam Helm for the moment of happiness. For the most intensely emotional moment in the film, I dealt it with hand-held shooting. Through various camera movements, I wanted to express the girl’s emotions by injecting vitality into the images and conveying a sense of awakening.

Moreover, I chose to use Black Pro-Mist 1/8 and Hollywood Black Magic 1/8 filter during the shooting. I mainly used them for reducing highlights, softening high-frequency details, and lowering contrast. It gave the image a sense of gracefulness even in dark and high contrasting scenes.

 Kine Team  What improvements have you seen with the new MAVO Edge compared to earlier products from Kinefinity?

 Wan Bocheng  I have used MAVO LF for most of my works during graduate school. Edge is a huge step-up in many ways compared to MAVO LF. It has many improvements such as an internal e-ND filter, carbon fiber body, better button arrangement, more standardized ports, convenient battery mount plate, and better resolution. With all of these improvements, they still made the camera compact and light.

 Kine Team  How easy did you find the camera to use?

 Wan Bocheng  First, Hand-held shots were effortless with Edge’s highly integrated body. Edge integrates its V-mount battery plate into the body, as it provides higher versatility and agility when comparing to similar products.

Second, I really liked the built-in e-ND filter, because it helped me tremendously. I work with the director, who prefers to capture the actor’s every emotion in a documentary style. It would be frustrating for everyone if we couldn’t capture the actor’s evanescent emotions because of the need to change ND filters. Edge’s internal motorized full-spectrum e-ND solved this problem. Edge’s lightweight also makes it very convenient to shoot with Steadicam, Gimbal, or hand-held.

Last, Edge’s 8K resolution and full-frame imaging sensor gave me more options when I played with the resolution, frame rate, and image format of the film in the post-production. It helped me to achieve the maximum quality of images as close to my vision as possible.

 Kine Team  You shot this short film in some very contrasty conditions. How did you find the dynamic range?

 Wan Bocheng  Edge did a great job under low light conditions, and its highlight dynamic range has improved a lot comparing with MAVO LF. When you shoot with ISO 800, you can set highlight stops to 6 stops. Although its dynamic range settings are slightly different compared to some cine cameras, once you get used to it with a routine exposure test, it will handle most high contrast conditions.

 Kine Team  What do you think are the key strengths of Edge?

 Wan Bocheng  I think the strengths of Edge are its color science and video encoding technology. If the camera is not what it claimed to be; companies usually gave excellent specs and versatile functions, people would not buy it. I have always liked the MAVO series because its color science allows the camera to shoot images that are perfect for the feature film, and Edge has inherited it.

Lastly, MAVO Edge also has the most competitive price in the 8K cine camera market, and that is why I think It is the best choice for any DP who wants to shoot an 8K Project. Edge also produces much better images than the regular 2K and 4K cameras when shooting films in 4K resolution. Edge can oversample its CMOS senor for 8K to 4K while remaining the same optical format and excellent color science. With a similar price to MAVO Edge, no camera can shoot with all of Apple ProRes 422HQ and ProRes4444/XQ. And everyone knows these codecs are the top if not the best in the industry.

 Kine Team  What is your overall impression of the MAVO Edge?

 Wan Bocheng  Overall, Edge is a handy and charming cine camera that produces flawless skin stone, sharp but organic images with natural highlight transition. Edge’s highly integrated and robust body is suitable for any type of challenge in different shooting scenarios. I cannot wait to use MAVO Edge again for my next project!