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September 2018

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Page 15 of 43 14 POST SEPTEMBER 2018 INDIE FILM edication to the craft of creativity is a requirement for indie filmmak- ers and this was fully demonstrated by brothers Steffen Hacker (director, editor, producer) and Peter Hacker (VFX com- positor/producer and color grading art- ist) in the production of their new thriller feature, Ingenium. The film is an amal- gamation of the typical indie challenges: multiple cameras with differing formats, resolutions and codecs; limited time and varying work schedules; and those ever-nagging tight budget constraints. It's a story of a labor of love, using your talent, ingenuity and tools to bring your creative vision to the big screen. Steffen and Peter discuss how they did it. According to Steffen Hacker, "Ingenium started out as a short film and over two years evolved into a full-feature. We began filming the project in Bangkok at the end of 2013 with a Sony FS700 with custom S-Log settings to internal media, and a bit-rate hacked Panasonic GH2 as the second camera body. "Even with the Sony camera's pow- erful slow-motion abilities (large-sensor camera landscape from five years ago!) we wanted to upgrade the material to 10-bit with less compression for the rest of the film, which we planned to shoot in Germany. "Due to the low-budget nature of the project, we could not afford to rent several bodies of the same camera and basically combined whatever we could get hold of. We experimented with the other cameras until the famous "Magic Lantern Raw Hack" suddenly turned our Canon 5D MKIII into a "mini-Alexa" (at the expense of enormous bit-rates)." By the end of filming, the brothers had used 11 different camera models in all fla- vors of codecs, resolutions and wrappers. Models ranged from the Sony FS700 and FS100, Sony F5 and Panasonic GH2 and LX-100 to the Canon 5D MKII & III and C300 MK I, Blackmagic 2.5K and 4K, and eventually an Arri Alexa Mini. The only common component for all of the cam- eras was the same white balance settings most of the time. "This complex juggling of cameras is often the nature of a low-budget production, but it gave us amazing first- hand insights into what camera look we liked best out-of-the-box," adds Steffen. "It also created a hell of a job for color grading and finishing in post produc- tion. If I had not known my brother Peter was on board with his expertise in Assimilate's Scratch software, I would have been more hesitant, but having seen the color magic he is able to pull off from sub-par material, I was not wor- ried. I knew he would balance out all the footage during grading." Steffan says that look-wise, Peter had "all the freedom in the world, I just gave basic input on the moods of some key scenes. However, there was no doubt that one consistent look for the entire film would not be easy given our guerilla style of shooting." For example, he points to some scenes where DPs Benjamin Nolde and Till Beckert, who each shot half of the film's footage, were able to light and detail carefully; others were more "run'n'gun" using only available light due to budget and time restrictions. "When I started seriously working on the film in early 2017, Steffen had done all the editing and it was 99 percent completed at the beginning of 2017," says INDIE MYSTERY THRILLER INGENIUM HEADS TO THE BIG SCREEN ASSIMILATE'S SCRATCH PLAYS KEY ROLE IN FILM'S CONSISTENT LOOK D Eleven different cameras were used during production. Initially a short, the film evolved into a feature.

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