New Letus Extreme/ EX1 short film in 60fps

I have wanted to do this short film for about a year now. I finally got round to doing it today.

Ever since I heard the track “My Autumn’s done come” on the CD Late Night Tales by Air I saw it in pictures. I made a storyboard in my head every time I heard it, planning each shot for each line. Finding the time was the tough bit.

I had planned on hiring an extra to do. Someone in their seventies, but I was worried about my demands on them so I kept putting it off. Being home at Christmas I thought why not just get my dad to do it. He’s 62, not as old as I planned but perhaps more appropriate to the lyrics. Oddly he said yes!

The location was my family home, the garden and Maidstone town centre. Originally I had shot some shots of mum with him at the end but I cut her out (sorry mum, please forgive me) as it had a natural end with the remote control.

Everything was shot 60fps slow motion on the Sony Ex1 in 720p 25p mode. I used my Sigma 20mm, Zeiss Macro (a lot) 50mm T2, Zeiss 85mm, Nikon 180mm f2.8 and my Hartblei 65mm Titlt Shift Lens. I was planning on doing it on the Brevis and Flip but due to some spacer issues I used my trusty Letus Extreme that I used on Piccadilly Furs, Kew Gardens in Winter and Lost Times. It performed SO well. No extra light was used. Everything was available.

Thanks so much to dad for his patience (although we knocked it off in just over 2 hours!) and was edited in not much more. It’s so quick when it’s all storyboarded!

Two things to point out. It’s all graded using Magic Bullet Looks. All Vignette’s are done in post and the slight pulsing in background of the first few shots looks like it’s an issue with the frequency of the bathroom’s lighting. I didn’t pick it up in the viewfinder (no external monitor was used for any of the shots.)

Please feel free to comment below

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18 comments

  1. Hi Phil,

    You are very gifted and I have watched many of your clips now. I sent you an email but don’t know if I sent it to the right address. I would like to ask you about using the EX1 and final cut pro as I am shopping for a camera to begin a new educational film project as well as a documentary. I have some experience bit not really a pro. I would love to know how the camera does with it’s own lens, and I would like to get some information about editing in Final Cut Pro. May I email you some questions?

  2. Brilliant piece, Phil. I’ve become a big fan of your “eye style.” Quick question, could you point out a sample shot done with the Hartblei in this piece?

    Thanks for sharing your excellent work!

  3. Please do Larry. Sorry accidently deleted loads of emails.

    Brad not sure what my basic starting one for furs was i can have a look and see, its just I changed so much. I mostly actually use the film stock presets as starting blocks and go from there. This piece was using colour reversal with diffusion removed and exposure compensated.

    The Hartblei was used for a couple of the shots during the instrumental. I used it much more in the short Lost Times just before this one.

  4. Hi Philip, the short is great!
    I’ve just a question about ex1:
    Is EX1 affected by the same digital artifacts of XDV in big areas with uniform color (visible expecially after post production)?

  5. Yes, I mean hdv! I have a lot of problems in post production hdv shotting, expecially with color correction. So I’m thinking to change my z1 and buy a new camera. EX1 seems very good, but like hdv got intraframe compression, and i want to be sure that it hasn’t the same problems.
    Thanks
    (sorry for my english, I’m italian)

  6. BTW, Phil, it ought to read “Lee Hazlewood” in the credits for music. Meaning “ZLE” instead of “ZEL” in the spelling.

    Again, excellent work. Looking forward to the next one. You ought to set up a channel on Vuze or Vimeo.

  7. thanks for spelling correction. Will get that sorted. XDCAM 35mps is SO much better than HDV. I have done intensive effects and grading on some of work without any problems.

  8. Nice work Philip! I was wondering, have you tried the EX1 / Letus Extreme hand held with a shoulder brace? If so, do you feel the handle on the EX1 to be solid enough to support the entire rig? I own a Letus Extreme with PD170 but I just don’t know which camera to move up to: the EX1 or the upcoming Sony Z7. Most of my work I do shoulder mount with a brace and the weight of the entire rig is a big issue.
    Thanks!

  9. the great thing about the new z7 is you will be able to use the letus with their 1/3rd inch relay which will be terrific. It’s just its hdv which is not so great. Not tried any shoulder brace. Almost always on a tripod.

  10. Philip,

    I’d be very interested in what you used for lighting in this piece.

    It looks absolutely magnificant by the way. If anything was going to convince me about this cam and the Letus, this is probably the definitive item.

  11. Thanks very much!

    It was all shot using available light. Not a single camera light or stand mounted light was used for any of the shots. Shows just how sensitive the Extreme is!

  12. Philip,

    Many thanks for the reply.

    OK, that does it. EX it is come the beginning of the financila year in April. Hopefully, by then Letus will have an Olympus OM mount ready. (I have a reasonable collection of OM lenses including a 35mm shift.)

    Please keep up the good work. You stuff really is inspirational, although how on earht you finmd the time is a mystery…

  13. Nice stuff Phil!

    I’ve watched all your EX1 shorts lately and it sure looks good. However I think some of the footage has a bit of a video-look to it (i know it IS video…), especially in the highlights, so it would be nice if you provided some info on what matrix and gamma settings (or whatever Sony call it) you have been using. I love the sensitivity, sharpness and low grain/noise of the EX1, but I hesitate on replacing my HVX because I think it (the HVX) seems to have a more film-like color reproduction (that and the old long GOP & rolling shutter (non?)issues of course).

    Also, I think you mentioned somewhere that you would test the Letus or the Brevis Flip with your Z1 to see if you get better edge to edge sharpness on an 1/3″ chip. Er… done that yet?

    BTW, how does it feel to carry the entire internet’s load worth of questions regarding the EX1/LEX on your back?

    Good luck with all your future productions!

  14. Hi Philip,

    first of all respect for your father! He did a fine job and so did you with this short! Also it´s the answer for a question I asked somewhere else on your blog about the resolution of the EX1/Letus combo. I downloaded the 720p version and it looked excellent to me. Just a bit too much edge enhancemente – maybe due to compression? But again, you captured a dense atmosphere with little (tecnical) effort. That´s what I like of your work (the couple of things I’ve seen): that you know how to get the essence out of the topics you touch.

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