Moving ahead of the curve with S-Cinetone in the FX series

- By Ayananka Bose

The Bottle 360° Project video is a breath-taking cinematic depiction with a social and philosophical message: what goes out comes around. Check out Ayananka Bose's aesthetically pleasing video portraying the voyage of a bottle. Discover how it travels across various terrains, days, and nights, and eventually returns to the place where it all started.

The inception of a perspective: Bottle 360° Project Video.

Exploring the VENICE Cinemaline has always piqued Ayananka Bose's fascination because it feeds his cinematic instincts. So, when it came to testing the FX series, he did not want to go the traditional route; instead, he wanted to introduce a novel concept into the picture that had a social message and could also divulge the full capabilities of the FX series.

Ayananka wanted to drive the point in a subtle, non-preachy, yet insightful manner while keeping the viewer engaged through powerful visuals and a fast-paced edit.

It was at this point that the idea for the Bottle 360° Project film sprouted. With S-Cinetone in the FX series, the video showcases Ayananka's best aesthetic endeavours and stunning cinematic expression.

Who’s the genius behind the scenes?

Ayananka is a veteran cinematographer who has vividly worked on Indian movies, including Dostana, Race 3, Judwaa 2, Lakshay, Student of the Year, and many others. In 2011, he won the best cinematography award for the movie Kites. He is also one of the few cinematographers who work on TV commercials and has earned recognition for his cinematography.

He recognizes the importance of lights and accessories, as well as the kind of support they provide in bringing visual quality, but this time he wanted to shoot without any accessories, lights, or support and still obtain the correct visual quality that an amazing camera should provide.

The most fascinating aspect of his Bottle 360° video production was the opportunity to shoot as raw as possible, which was only possible because of the outstanding Sony cameras he could fully exploit during the shoot.

The hero lenses of the day

They began their day with an intention to shoot as much stuff as they could but did not have much time to change lenses and that is when the two hero zoom lenses, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM and FE 70-200MM F2.8 GM OSS came into play. “I tried my best to complement these lenses with two of the finest cameras, the FX6 & FX9 from the FX series”.

For me, the variable inbuilt ND filter wheel provided the ultimate gratification after earlier struggling to change filters in a rush. Not to mention, the colour science of these cameras is so excellent that I always feel as though I am viewing the finished image and I do not desire any digital manipulation, which has practically become standard in most contemporary visual arts work.

PXW-FX9: Makes one fall in love with the FX series cameras

Anyananka was head over heels working with the Sony FX series cameras. The FX9 comes with a 6K Full Frame Sensor 15+ Stops of dynamic range and a Dual Base ISO that enabled him to get exactly what he wanted to bring to his picture. With a shallow depth of field and excellent bokeh, he was able to capture every detail of the scene for a truly spectacular look.

The Dual Base ISO, allows you to capture every element, from fine shadow detail to specular highlights, in pristine colour. With unparalleled ergonomics and superior technologies for on-the-go shooting, the FX9 reinvents full-frame cinematography.

Cinema Line FX6 Camera: The light wizard

During the Bottle 360° video shoot, Ayananka seemed exploratory and knew how to make the most of the camera's possibilities. The camera supports 4K(QFHD)1 120 fps. in FF XAVC-I 4:2:2 10-bit along with fast readout speeds and a dynamic range of 15+ stops2 and 16-bit RAW output to compatible external recorders via SDI/ HDMI connection. Moreover, after a firmware upgrade, it can also do cache recording for up to 30 seconds.

He arranged a darkly lit setting and added some coloured and blended lights, as well as haze and smoke, to showcase the camera's abilities. He was curious to see how the camera reacted to everything.

Ayananka expresses his marvel at the camera’s ability to capture images in near-total darkness, owing to the FX6's Dual native ISO 800/12800 (Cine EI mode, D55 Light source). He went on to add that during the shoot, the camera could even pull light from the shadows of nearby bulbs and absorb a significant amount of light. What a light wizard he was working with!

FX3 Full-frame Cinema Line camera:The master for run & gun style of shooting

Ayananka was absolutely impressed by the FX3 camera, which he found to be a perfect one that did not require any rigging. This camera is ideal for run & gun style of shooting because it is lightweight and compact, weighing just 715g, and is best suited for rigging and POVShot. Because the camera is so light, he could carry it everywhere he wanted and shoot some pretty intriguing images without getting exhausted.

Interestingly, FX3 also supports uninterrupted recording for the long duration shoot as it has got an ISO Expanded Range of up to 4096003. “You can push the native ISO and it is still behaving like it is a normal ISO. I mean 500 or 12500 doesn’t matter. These cameras are beautifully holding every image that is supposed to be held”.

Ayananka sums it up by telling us that he has been able to use the 3 cameras in the FX series in the most beautiful way with hardly a need for any extra equipment.

Everything about Sony Cinema Line is pure Love. Yes, it is everything that a single filmmaker can have which takes care of the beautiful imagery leaving them to concentrate on their film. That is the beauty I found in the Cinema Line. It is all about capturing that moment technically perfectly without having to think technically perfectly.

These cameras are amazing and no one using it will be disappointed. I am a tough task master when it comes to images, and I had a smile throughout seeing it perform. So, push the camera in any environment is all I would say and be prepared to be amazed just like I was.

“Thank you, Sony for letting me play with your cameras, to push the boundaries once again, and try and understand how much we can push these cameras”.

Featured Cameras and Lenses

About Ayananka Bose

Ayananka Bose is an Indian cinematographer of Bollywood movies. He studied cinematography at the Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. He won the best cinematographer of Zee Cine Awards for the movie Kites in 2011. He received his early training from ace cinematographer & director Rajiv Menon. He has worked as an assistant director to Menon in Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000).

He then started assisting Ravi K. Chandran in movies like Dil Chahta Hai, Kannathil Muthamittal, Koi... Mil Gaya, and Boys. He worked as the first assistant cameraman in Lakshya, camera operator in Black and associate cinematographer in Yuva before becoming independent. His first movie was Paheli starring Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji. He is one of very few cinematographers in India who works on TV commercials and movies regularly.