Circle of Eight on the strip

While driving home last night, Jeremy saw this billboard on the corner of Hollywood and Highland. RAWworks was heavily involved in bringing this movie to the public. Neil W. Smith D.I. Supervisor, Jeremy Ian Thomas lead colorist.

Big thanks to our friends at Paramount.

Exciting new's here at RAWworks. Jeremy Ian Thomas our creative wiz kid and lead colorist just completed color timing a commercial spot for (TCM) Turner Classic Moves. He worked closely with director Richard Taylor (VFX sup on Tron and Tron Legacy)

The spot is called 31 day's of Oscar http://www.tcm.com/2009/31Days/index.jsp

Here are some of the spot's from past years.

It airs in January.

More news coming soon.

Philip Skywalker

A Friend of RAWworks and amazing filmmaker, Philip Bloom, lives out a child hood dream from a "Long time ago in a galaxy far, far away"!!!


FROM Philip's Blog

The problem with email, especially getting several hundred a day, is you miss some. Some more important than others. One email I completely missed was from Rick McCallum. Producer of the Star Wars prequels and many other films and TV shows at Lucasfilm. He said he loved my work and wanted to talk to me about working together on a movie they were making. I missed this email. Not good.

Fortunately they didn’t give up on me. Head of post production Mike Blanchard phoned me up 3 weeks later to see if I could come over and consult about the potential of using video DSLRs for their productions. He called whilst I was shooting so it went to voicemail. I picked it up the next day and thought holy shit! They must have thought I was playing hardball by not replying to Rick. I wasn’t. I am just a bit useless with all the emails!

“Star Wars” has been a part of my life for over 30 years. I saw it as a child when I was 7 and the second film, “The Empire Strikes Back” affected me enormously. I was in tears when I came out of the cinema. My hero…Han Solo, frozen in carbonite taken by Boba Fett! Anyway, I digress…

Of course I phoned Mike back said yes please! 5 days staying at Skywalker Ranch as their guest and showing them how to get the best out of the Canon 5DmkII and the Canon 7D. They also wanted to be shown how to use the EX3, Letus Ultimate and Nanoflash.

So I flew to San Francisco on Saturday last week and drove to the ranch (via Best Buy of course!). What a stunning place. In the middle of nowhere with enormous beautiful natural grounds and complimentary buildings. I was put in the Federico Fellini apartment. Each apartment is named after a famous person. From architects to actors, composers, writers, photographers, filmmakers. The one I was in is the one where Clint Eastwood always stays. Yes, I slept in Clint’s bed!

The first night, knowing the weather was not supposed to be great over the next few days I did some night timelapses using my 7D and 5DmkII. I left them running until 3am when they froze over!

All photos are taken with the Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm F1.7 Pancake lens.

The next day I spent the afternoon filming around the ranch, the morning was a washout but it was dry enough to start. Using my 5DmkII, Miller DS20 Solo tripod, 16-35mm F2.8, 24mm f1.4, 35 f1.4, 50mm f1.2, Shift Tilt f3.5 24mm and my 70-200mm IS f2.8. I also brought with me the new Glidetrack Shooter. Rick asked me to bring it and Alastair from Glidetrack kindly shipped one over to me straight away to take with me. The shooter gives you the ability to do really lovely simple dolly shots without the drag of a full dolly and track set up. I also used both the Fader ND 72mm variable ND filter and 77mm thin Singh-Ray vari-nd on every shot to keep my shutter to double the shooting frame rate for optimum film motion. That means when shooting on the 5d I was at 1/60th and on the 7d I was at 1/50th.

But still the weather was crappy. Very grey overcast day. Everything looked very flat and lifeless which makes it that much harder to make things look beautiful.

The ranch is beautiful and reminds me a little of Scotland mixed with Italy. Rolling hills, horses, cows, a stunning lake and beautiful buildings. It was even cold, very much like Scotland. I left the rushes converting to Pro Res overnight and at 7 in the morning i put together a rough edit to show Rick and Mike at 9am.

I had, at this point, never seen my work projected on a really good projector before so this was going to be a real test of the cameras. Rick and Mike wanted to see how well the footage held up on the big screen. They had shot some stuff and weren’t happy with what they were getting. So they converted my edit into an MXF to play through Avid and I sat down to watch the edit. I was nervous. Never having seen my work on a big screen as good as this, but also George Lucas came in to watch and also the legendary sound designer Ben Burtt. My heart was racing. I watched as the edit played and they loved it. My favourite moment was when the star timelapse came on and Ben Burtt said “Hey, now, hang on!!” This was a very quick ungraded draft edit knocked together from a crappy grey day as a test, not supposed to be shown as an example of my work! Then Quentin Tarantino came in as he was due to talk at a screening of “Inglorious Basterds” and George said to Quentin, come see this. Quentin waxed lyrical, calling it Epic and William Wylersesque and was shocked it was shot on a DSLR. He had no idea you could shoot HD video on them or they were so good. I love George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino, so to have my work screened to them was pretty special to me. Rick, Mike and I also watched some of my other work on the big screen. “Venice’s People”, “San Francisco’s People”, “Cherry Blossom Girl” and “Sofia’s People”. They all looked incredibly good on the big screen. Better than I could ever have imagined. We watched everything in the Stag theatre at the ranch too. Probably one of the best screens in the world. 40 foot screen and it looked incredible.

Mike and Rick were over the moon. They didn’t know how well these cameras would hold up on the big screen and it passed with flying colours. Lots of swear words of incredulity were used!

80% of the footage was shot on the 5DmkII at 30p, then conformed to 23.98p in Cinema tools, effectively causing a slight slowdown but as no sync was used this was fine. All the timelapses were done on the 7D apart from the first star one. Some shots of the mist on the lake were done on the 7D too in 23.98p mode. I found them indistinguishable in the edit. Picture profile was Neutral, sharpness all the way down, contrast all the way down and saturation down one notch on both cameras.

During the day I also went through the cameras with Mike and Rick on how to get the best out of them. Rick has my 7D training dvd so already knew a lot. I went through all the Zacuto gear with him. He particularly was impressed with the Tactical Shooter with Z-Finder. We also used the Marshall monitor and Miller DS20 Solo (and of course the Glidetrack)

The next day we shot with the Sony EX3, Letus Ultimate, relay and Nanoflash recording at 280mbs. Testing out this combination for the big screen too and it also looked pretty good! Although we did a lot less filming with this combo as it was the DSLRs that we really wanted to see how well they stood up.

So why were we shooting with these cameras and why is Lucasfilm’s producer Rick McCallum interested in them?

First off Lucasfilm has been at the forefront of digital technology. They were instrumental in getting a 24p Sony HD camera to use for some shots in Episode 1 of Star Wars and shot episode 2 & 3 entirely digitally. So being ahead of the pack has always been something they do. Pushing the reluctant industry forward kicking and screaming!

Rick and Mike had seen what these cameras were capable of and wanted to really know just how much you could push them. They had seen mine and others work online but really wanted to see how well they performed projected. The joy of these guys is they have a great attitude. If it looks great on the big screen then that is the most important thing. Not codecs, limitations, bit rates etc…all those are very important but the most important thing by far for them is how it actually looks and it passed with flying colours. That is what they really care about.

Talking of flying, that is a big reason why I was there. Lucasfilm had just finished principle photography on “Red Tails”, a WWII film about an African American fighter squadron. They filmed this in Prague and needed to film pick ups early next year. Much of this was going to be intimate in cockpit stuff and flying shots. They shot the movie on the Sony F35 but this is a beast and utterly impractical for the cockpit stuff. Hence the Canon DSLRs. They were also looking at new ways to shoot the much anticipated “Star Wars” live action TV series. So they wanted to see how well the 7D and 5DmkII stood up with this in mind. Not necessarily shooting on these cameras but perhaps the next evolution of them. If only we could connect that Nanoflash up to the 5dmkII or 7D…

Here is the Stag Theatre at Skywalker sound where we saw the films on the 40 foot screen.

On the day I left, Wednesday, I got up at the crack of dawn as I knew it would be really frosty. It paid off. I got some lovely shots of the frost and the mist which meant I could finish the edit properly as I had more footage to complete it. Which I did on the plane home using my 13 MBP and then graded it using Magic Bullet Looks as well as tidying up the earlier edit and creating the new timelapse from stills.

I will be going back in February to shoot side by side with the F35 and either the 5DmkII (if the firmware is out) or 7D. Do comparison shots and use it for the really small intimate stuff. All very exciting that this little camera will be shooting with the big boys and a great experience for me.

HUGE thanks to Lucasfilm for giving me permission to post this short!

Am hoping to get a red lightsabre in the post for Christmas!

It's Official

The Can-Do Film Fest 2010 is in full effect. We have some really exciting news that will be announced as soon as possible. Amazing Judges and huge sponsors.

A new site is being built as we speak.


RAWworks at HDexpo

CAN-DO Film Festival.

We we're going to wait to annouce this but the word has gotten out.

Welcome to the Can-Do Film Festival and Competition.

January 1st 2010 through to March 20th 2010.

Winners announced in mid April 2010.

Submit a short four minutes or less movie shot ONLY on the Canon HD DSLR EOS 1D Mk IV, EOS 5D Mk II or EOS 7D.

The short film can not be any longer than four minutes from start to finish .... if it is one second over the four minute limit it will be removed from the website.

The short movie can be in one of ten different genres:

Music Video

Spec Commercial

TV Show Teaser

Movie Trailer

Narrative – drama, sci-fi, horror, humor, romantic comedy

Documentary – people and places

Documentary – nature

Sports Event

Wedding Event

Military Services

There will be three separate cross-genre categories:

Technical Innovation – cool use of EOS technology.

Creative Inspiration – most unusual movie.

Overall winner – story plus performance plus camera work plus wow factor!

Canon Inc and RAWworks prizes will be given to the Winners in each of the thirteen categories.

The winning entries will be compiled into a BluRay and projected at major media event in Los Angeles in April.

Strictly NO pornography allowed.

May the best filmmaker win .... let's see you get the most out of the Canon HD DSLR range of cameras.


RAWworks on Vimeo

Founded in 1989 by Sam Nicholson, a distinguished cinematographer and special visual effects supervisor and producer, Stargate Studios was conceived as a high tech production company offering visual effects and production services to the film and television industries. Today, Stargate has studios in Los Angeles and Vancouver with over 150 artists, supervisors, and producers covering all areas of digital production and visual effects. Stargate Studios provides a turnkey solution to high concept film and television production and is the only independent entity which blends all the available production technologies into one fully integrated, high tech production and editorial service. (see Credit List). In addition to film and HD production, matte painting, 3D, compositing, and editorial services, Stargate Studios offers our innovative Virtual Backlot™ utilizing VB Live (our real time compositing system) and our Virtual Backlot Library, which includes hundreds of photo-real, virtual locations covering 28 major cities from around the world (see Virtual Backlot). To achieve the highest quality of work in an efficient and cost effective way, Stargate Studios is uniquely designed to provide online, real time networking to each artist in NTSC, HD, 2K or 4K. This allows shots to be worked on by multiple artists simultaneously and streamlines production, editorial and film output. Stargate Studios also provides its proprietary online ShotTracker™ system to every project and client, enabling producers, directors, supervisors, and artists an easy-to-use visual tool to track and manage each shot - from pre-viz to final delivery - from any desktop, or laptop, anywhere in the world.

A good friend of RAWworks and a maverick in the 3d world Sam Nicholson is doing some amazing things over at his next generation virtual studio STARGATE.

Untitled from RAWworks on Vimeo.

Here is a link to some of their incredible work.

Last month we worked closely with some amazing filmmakers to complete Paramounts first digital release Circle of eight. Jeremy Ian Thomas was lead Colorist and Neil W. Smith was DI supervisor.

It's been a busy few months here at RAWworks, hence the lack of updates to our blog.

With that being said, what an exciting time for filmmaking. We've been on the razors edge of the new technological ground swell in production imaging and post workflows.

As many of you may know Canon's new DSLR camera's have been changing the landscape of image acquisition. Their EOS 5D mark II and EOS 7D digital cameras are making deep impacts in the world of independent and even studio level productions.

Myself and my partner Neil W. Smith have been working closely with Canon and numerous filmmakers to maximize these technologies to enhance the art of visual storytelling.

We've done demo's at the D.G.A and HD expo on how to integrate these and all other imaging formats into a seamless post production pipeline.

More exciting news right around the corner.

Jeremy Ian Thomas

Creative Director



Here's a different variation of out RED/Canon intercut.

On Saturday October 3rd, Rodney Charter, ASC and Cristian Luna shot a short movie using the RED ONE, Canon 7D and 5D MkII side by side.

The short film DREAM IN POSSIBLE was shot in one day using all three cameras simultaneously. The short was Written and Directed by Jeremy Ian Thomas.

RAWworks RED/7D/5D intercut demo 1920x1080 from RAWworks on Vimeo.

This is a short piece shot by Christopher Gallo, an extremely talented DP here in Los Angeles. He's shooting a feature in Belgium this month and next on the Canon EOS 7D. This clip is some test shot's he handed us here at RAWworks to edit and color time.

The point of this test was to film it out to a 35MM print. David Hays at Efilm oversaw the print. What your watching is the digital version not the print.

We viewed the print today December 3rd 2009 at Efilm.