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The MAVO Edge 8K has been a camera in the making for over a year now, and after some delays, including the fact it will no longer support internal ProRes RAW recording, footage from the camera has made its way online from director Hanbei Zhang and cinematographer Bochen Wan in a short film, Wake Up.

The 10-minute short does an excellent job showing the capabilities of the MAVO Edge 8K. We’re enjoying the look of the low-saturation skin tones and natural colors of the grade.

Obviously, it’s a style that some people may not enjoy, especially in today’s overly-saturated filter-popped marketplace. But it will be interesting to see how much you can push the image in the grade now that it’s only capable of capturing ProRes 4444/XQ on its 8K sensor. A Log or RAW format down the line would be ideal, but ProRes is a solid codec as many films are shot on ProRes all the time. 

Kinefinity also released a behind-the-scenes video and a story from cinematographer Bochen Wan that can be read in full below. 

The production time for the short film Wake Up was very tight; I received the final version of the script only few days prior to the first day of shooting. I had merely 48 hours to decide the overall visual style of the film and the design of cinematography, so I sieved the key element out of the story hastily, and convert it into a visual language that can be interpreted by the images.

Wake Up is a story about a young girl whose dream and reality has overlapped with each other, so I decided to use a shallow depth of field to convey the feeling of obscurity and ambiguity. Similar to Alexa Mini LF and MAVO LF, shooting with shallow depth of field is the strength of MAVO Edge as a large frame camera. With large or full-frame CMOS imaging sensor, MAVO Edge is able to produce stunning images with a shallower depth of field while maintaining the same aperture compared to that of Super35 format.

The story of Wake Up also has a soft and relaxing vibe, so I chose ARRI Signature Prime lens for its ability of resolving high-resolution images with smooth out-of-focus transition. With its T1.8 Lens, I was able to achieve the shallowest depth of field without compromising the quality of the image. So I left the lens wide open during the entire shooting.

In addition, 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, in order to give the image a sense of gracefulness even in dark and high contrasting scenes.

Script dictated me to differentiate the dream and reality scenes to avoid the confusion between different scenes. Since the tone of image is easy for people to notice, I used different tones for the reality and dream scenes. Scenes implying lonesome present had a cool tone, and scenes about the dreams had a warm tone. I used reddish tone when trying to convey vigorous feelings of the girl, and a neutral tone to imply her woeful past.

Wake Up’s timeline follows the emotion of the girl, and I wanted viewers to be able to relate to the girl as her emotions escalating toward the end of the story. Therefore, I chose 25mm/29mm/40mm/58mm as main lenses, a wide to normal focal length allows the camera to be as close to the girl as possible.

Speaking of emotions, Edge’s 8K resolution combined with ARRI Signature Prime’s resolving lens astonished me. When I first saw the images produced by Edge on iMac 5k during the shooting, the camera captured the truest emotions of the actor, especially during the close-ups. I was able to perceive actor’s emotion in a way that had never occurred in my previous projects. In my opinion, even viewers that aren’t working in the film industry will certainly be able to connect with the emotion from the stunning images of the 4K version of Wake Up on the big screen.

Since the girl’s emotion constantly changes throughout the entire film, I wanted to convey her escalating emotion through different camera movements. For the somber scene, I used GFM Primo and GFM Slider, and I used Movcam Helm while shooting the euphoric scene. For the most intense emotion moment in the film, I dealt it with hand-held shooting. Varies of camera movement are able to not only express girl’s emotions, but also inject vitality into the images, conveying a sense of awakening.

Shooting hand-held camera was effortless with Edge’s highly integrated body. Edge integrates its V-mount battery plate into the body, provides it with a higher versatility and agility when comparing to the similar products. Most importantly, the whole-new integrated carbon fiber body has incorporated the full-spectrum e-ND system, which allows the camera to adjust the exposure no matter how the camera position and lighting level changes, capturing actors’ evanescent emotion meticulously.

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 types of challenges in different shooting scenarios. I can’t wait to use MAVO Edge again for my next project!

What do you think of the MAVO 8K footage? Let us know in the comments below.      

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