On set with the Sony Venice 2 and Zacuto by Timothy Fare-Matthews
My name is Timothy Fare-Matthews, Middle East and Africa ambassador for Zacuto and Sony Alpha.
If you are into your Sony cameras, then, like me, you've probably been yearning over the new flagship cinema camera, the Sony Venice 2, since it was announced back in February 2022. So you can imagine my excitement when Sony MEA asked me to work on their featured production with it.
"Life is a Foreign Language"
The project, named 'Life Is A Foreign Language', was conceptualized and directed by Adi Van der Walt, with myself and fellow DOP and Sony Ambassador Ian Niewenhuizen shooting and assisted by Ludovic Blot.
The Venice 2 was an absolute dream of a camera to use. The image quality is unlike anything I have ever seen and it's usability was incredibly simple.
Its built-in ND functions, impressive dynamic range, versatile image scan modes and a variety of FPS settings meant we were able to quickly and easily obtain a lot of shots quickly.
Normally cinema cameras like this don't carry the ergonomic functions of a smaller consumer 'Cine/Video camera'. But it was great to see the flagship camera holding a lot of the amazing Sony Cine Line traits.
Rigging the Sony Venice 2
As you can appreciate, any cinema comes pretty bare when fresh out of the box. And despite shooting on light lenses, I needed to rig this beast up so it could be quick and agile to go from Easy Rig to tripod to shoulder.
Naturally, one of the best and most versatile bits of kit Zacuto have supported us with is the Shorty Trigger Grips. Popping these on the rail with the 360 pivot-able movement allows me to position the handles vertically when on the easy rig.
As the Venice comes complete with an electronic viewfinder when on something like an Easy Rig (with the camera away from your face), we relied heavily on the Atomos Shogun Inferno, which was doubling up as a method to record our camera settings and to act as an extra monitor.
Any DP knows the pains of trying to shoot with a flimsy magic arm with a heavy monitor. But knowing the shoot would be quick and fast-paced, I couldn't have done this without the Zamerican Z-Rail Large Arm (also known as their Magic Arm).
We shot everything on Sony G Master lenses. Although the camera also comes in PL (because Anamorphic lenses were scarce around the time of production), this played to our advantage as we use this glass all the time. Hence, it was an excellent experiment to compare it against the quality of the other cameras in the Sony Cine Line.
Shooting animals is always tricky, but I am so happy we chose the Emirates Equestrian Centre as our location. Its diverse environment really allowed us to test the camera in many setups.
A special thank you to Emirates Equestrian Centre and their young jockey, 16-year old Leoni Strommer, who made herself available to us the whole day.
I have lots to say on this camera, but it's best for you to see for yourself in the incredible BTS (behind the scenes) film and commentary shot by the Sony team. It was challenging but a lot of fun. I am thrilled with how it came out, and I hope you all like it!