Rick Thompson, co-owner with wife Joyce of Richmarc, brings experience from the ad agency TV commercial arena as well as the national TV documentary industry, working with 60 Minutes, Frontline, History Channel, Discovery and National Geographic. Rick demands a lot from himself and the projects that he works on. Yet, you’d be hard pressed to find a more accommodating DP, whether it’s another line read or an entirely new set up. If the project needs it, he’ll make it so.
And so was the case when his commercial assignment for client Martin's Super Markets presented itself.
The assignment was a take-off on the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Rick decided to shoot each of the 3 elements (the dark planet, the "hero" planet and the sun) as separate green screen elements and build the composite in post. He did not want to be locked in on movement timings on the set but preferred the control offered him in post.
"In order to get that 'look' where everything is in the darkness of space but there is still something to 'see' the Gemini seemed to me the smart solution. The ability to record 444 would deliver us the latitude we'd need in post to get the look we wanted while holding the highlights of the sun' (which was a tweenie aimed directly into the lens)," Rick says.
"This was my first experience with the Gemini and was a bit concerned about using it successfully. That concern melted in minutes after setting it up. The entire workflow of the Gemini is impressively well thought out. I had no trouble discerning the settings, where cables were to be connected, etc. There was actually very little to "set up" other than to connect the cables to the F3, power it up, drop in a card and start shooting. It really was that simple."
Rick did a couple of playbacks for confidence and says "It worked like a charm."
On set, he was using Sony's new OLED monitors and reports that he set exposure 'to taste' based on what they saw on those monitors. What they would find later in the edit room was precisely what the Gemini was capturing.
"There was zero noise, in fact the blacks were deliciously rich," Rick reports, and continues to note, "The keys we extracted from the green screen were "...ridiculously easy" to quote Carl Wurtz, Smoke artist at Scofield Editorial."
When we asked about post workflow, he simply stated "EASY!" Rick decided to shoot both with the Gemini and the SxS cards.
"We used the SxS for the offline because they load so fast into the Avid. To my delight there was no difference in terms of alignment, time code...nothing was different moving from the SxS in the offline to the online in Smoke which used the files from the Gemini."
"We were in and out of post in less time than any of us thought and that saved our client a pile of money."
Rick Thompson and his team at Richmarc were very pleased with the Gemini 4:4:4 and it's pairing with the Sony F3. "The Gemini is a very impressive tool especially paired with the F3. It's ease of use, intuitive keyboard and set up and its seamless delivery of files into post make it a very desirable production solution."
"Five Stars to the Gemini. Thanks to everyone at Convergent Design for an incredible new tool...
and at a very affordable price. Well done!" - Rick Thompson
Rick Thompson | 3710 Washington Blvd | Indianapolis, IN 46205