PPG Fires Up Commercials With AJA CION

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA— Pacific Producers Group is a multimedia production company that works with industrial, government, legal and commercial clients. As our client base expands, we’re adding new gear to improve the quality of our productions. Our team recently brought AJA’s CION camera in-house, and after putting it to work on a couple of client promotional videos, we’ve been impressed.

AJA CION on set of PPG’s commercial shoot Our crew just wrapped production on a series of promotional videos for Regency Fireplace Products, a North American fireplace manufacturer and distributor. We handled everything from capture to post and delivery for the project. Even though we delivered in 1080p for the Web, we opted to shoot on CION in ProRes 422 HQ at UHD for more flexibility in post. Our team also tapped an assortment of accessories for the shoot, including a Kaiser dolly, Red Pro Zoom 18-85mm lens, OConnor matte box, Miller tripod system and Alphatron EVF.

We set out to visually recreate the coziness of an in-home fireplace for consumers. However, lighting and filming on a shoot like this can be very challenging. In particular, a fireplace’s reflective materials make shots difficult to pull off. Our crew also had to ensure that the ceramic logs were visible, but not too bright, while keeping product interiors evenly lit, the fireplace faceplates visible, and the film gear out of any reflection. CION was very capable in overcoming these hurdles, among others.

Shooting in 4K provided a number of advantages, especially when we didn’t have enough space for anything but a straight-on shot of the fireplace. Though we couldn’t change the axis of motion to be slightly off-center and circumvent the reflection of the camera, we were able to shoot the product wide at 4K and gradually scale the size of the video in post. While not a traditional dolly maneuver, this technique enabled us to achieve the same effect, while saving a ton of time and energy.

Our crew also used one of AJA’s latest firmware updates while working on the project. By enabling the “SDI/HDMI Monitoring LUT” while shooting flat, we were able to preview how the basic graded videos would look, which showed us how much work we’d need to do in post without jeopardizing the flat source material. Since the LUT only applied to the monitor out, we were able to reap the benefits of a wide dynamic range shooting flat, while our client on-set was also able to see the visuals on CION’s integrated confidence monitor and ensure they were up to par.

Having maximum dynamic range in our footage turned out to be particularly important, especially for shooting fireplace products containing a dark brown enamel, which would appear black in almost any camera. It gave us great range in post to adjust, tweak and grade the videos as necessary. In the end, Regency was ecstatic with the color and quality of the videos.

The more we use CION in different commercial shooting environments, the more we uncover what a truly versatile camera it is.

Shawn Serdar is an award-winning producer and director, and owner of multimedia production company Pacific Producers Group. He’s also a partner at local video and photography Gak Studio. Shawn can be contacted atinfo@pacificproducersgroup.com.

For more information, visitwww.aja.com, or call 530-274-2048.