This incredible music video was shot on an infrared RED Epic (VIDEO)
posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 2:29 PM EDT
Infrared modifications to cameras are nothing new, but combining them with the cinematic might of an RED Epic camera is still mighty impressive. This music video for To Be Frank's song "Half the Man" was shot entirely with an IR customized RED Epic, which created an astonishing and otherworldly appearance for the footage.
Filmmaker Joshua Lipworth handily took to Reddit for a Q&A when the video first came out and explained a lot of what went in to making this video look as impressive as it does. According to him, the camera was a total modification from a rental house that specializes in such things. It had an entirely removed optical low pass filter (OLPF), and special firmware installed. In order to get the color grading for the footage, they used an orange filter to get the best combination of both visible and IR light onto the sensor.
The camera essentially had the OLPF removed, which allowed all light to hit the sensor (including visible) and a special firmware installed. We then had the option to cut a visible light filter to go in front of the sensor/behind the lens or put a filter in front of the lens - as we were using stills lenses on this shoot it was quite easy to buy screw in filters which is the way we went. Cutting filters for behind the lens would be better though because it reduces lens issues (which I'll touch on in a sec).
We tested filters which cut light from around 550nm and above. For a quick idea of where that lies on the wavelength scale here is a reference pic http://imgur.com/9EuTWHi.
I tested a bunch of filters and after doing some test grades settled on the orange filter (I forget where this cuts off in the spectrum). It allowed in some visible light as well as IR which meant we could get a more dynamic IR grade.
The interesting thing with the camera settings was that the footage would look wildly different if balanced for 5600 or 3200 kelvin, or even above and below. Also adjusting tint had a major impact (but this does normally anyway). Some test stills that were graded are here:
Lipworth also talked about how the lens selection had to be modified to work with the peculiarities of an IR system, how if the filter had been between the lens and the sensor it would have worked better than in front of the lens, and the problems of dust specks.
This isn't the first time we've seen someone playing with infrared on a Red Epic. Vincent Laforet did something similar while showing off the MoVI stabilization system — but the use of color and filters in the Half the Man video is much more impressive. And, as the Phoblographer pointed out, more than a little reminiscent of Kodak Aerochrome.
(via the Phoblographer)