It’s been a hot summer which we almost completely spent working on a new film. It would be premature to disclose the subject, but as always there’s a bit of geopolitics involved. Gear wise we are now happily expanding our arsenal with such killer-machines as A7S and GH4. One is a low-light monster enabling you to shoot in super dark environments, another is the first 4K mirrorless interchangeable mount camera on the market. And here’s me shooting in India with Aviator Jib.
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A brief compilation from my December shoot in Dagestan for “Biochemistry Of Treason”. Locals told me this craft of pottery is 2000 years old (or even more), is practiced by women — young and old — and passed down from generation to generation. I spent in Balkhar roughly 3 hours as I had to get back to Makhachkala before dawn. Gear wise it was a combination of Sony FS700 and Nikon D800 which I adore for their dynamic range. Sadly, the once flourishing production is in decline now due to the lack of support from the state.

ГОНЧАРНОЕ ПРОИЗВОДСТВО В СЕЛЕ БАЛХАР (Р.ДАГЕСТАН) from GOOD EMPIRE on Vimeo.

This was the most time consuming doc I’ve had a chance to work on so far. In the duration of past 3 weeks we’ve done quite a lot. Roughly 2 TB of footage logged, transcribed and imported into Premiere CC. 1.05 hrs on the timeline. 54 pages of script. More on that soon.
Some technical advancements need to be mentioned now. We’ve upgraded our tiny Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera to be able to shoot 10 bits RAW. First impressions are terrific. The image is mind blowing when you load it into Davinci. The following frame should give you an impression of what it’s like:
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And here’s another innovative discovery.
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My assistant Oleg Sergeev is holding a self made Movi replica (cervo controlled stabilization rig) comprised of the Chinese rig and Russian built operating board. It provides a pretty “hollywood look”for your pans and zoom ins when used with a camera like GH3 and a wide lens (12 mm SLRMagic). Once we are done with editing we’re going to get more experience in both directions and share it here.
The world of filmmaking is changing so rapidly the small teams like ours sometimes are getting unexpected advantages over TV and video giants.
Stay tuned!

Very exciting. All I can say at this point.
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Shooting for the new documentary brought us here today. One of the most horrific places I’ve ever been to. The camp now is so… empty, but one doesn’t need to have outstanding imagination to get a freezing feeling of what had been happening here. Mauthausen was used by the Nazis solely for extermination. What strikes you the most is that the territory of the camp is relatively small meaning the inflow of inmates and the pace of executions were absolutely staggering.
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The most exciting news of course is that we miraculously grabbed the BMPCC from Adorama. Many people are still on the wait list and the camera (along with batteries and even SD cards) is nowhere to be found. We just walked in and were lucky to sneak out with it.
There are definitely many ways this camera may be improved, and the battery’s life is indeed very short, but the overall impression so far is absolutely positive. Below I’m attaching a few screenshots from the 1st shoot. One very inspiring addition is that the RAW update to BMCC is said to be released by Blackmagic very soon. Another interesting acquisition for us is the new Sony FS700 super35mm video camera. We’ve been shooting with it for the last two weeks, and I can’t describe how happy I am with the results. Actually at this point I think we reached the perfect production condition gear wise: GH3/GH2/BMPCC (which share the same line of M4/3 lenses) and Nikon D800/FS700 (which also share the same Nikon lenses via the Metabones adaptor). On the final note I need to mention that we are in the 2nd month of work on the new documentary project for TV RUSSIA. It’s topic is too sensitive to be exposed until we’re in the editing stage.
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So we weren’t lucky enough to grab the Emmy, but honestly there weren’t really much hope either. I used the moment to reunite&chat with my Chinese-Dutch-Canadian-US friends. It was also lots of fun to witness the inner mechanics of the prestigious ceremony. Particularly when it came to the nominations for field reporting, which in current obstacles inevitably meant 5-6 poorly executed, extremely biased pieces of tv-propaganda competing for the favor of the ideologically motivated jury. The ultimate vanity fair of media imperialism. This is how I will remember it.
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