Downton Abbey Movie Shot On Venice

Director of Photography Ben Smithard chose the Sony full frame camera system to scale ‘Downton Abbey’ to the big screen for director Michael Engler.

“Venice was the only camera system that could deliver a larger and more detailed image to match the movie’s enthralling storyline on the big screen,” explained Ben Smithard. “When shooting, I discovered and started to appreciate its full potential. It’s a beautifully designed camera from top to bottom - it looks great and is easy to use for me, my team, the DIT, the colorist, and everyone in post-production. Thanks to its full frame sensor, we were able to elevate Downton Abbey’s action and emotion from the set onto the big screen.”

Smithard further commended the Sony camera’s range of internal NDs for saving him a lot of time over the course of this film “as I didn’t have to change ND filters in a matte box. I also didn’t have to worry about any colour shifts,” he says. “When shooting scenes at the extended range of 2500 ISO, it cut in perfectly with the normal ISO of 500. No one will be able to notice the difference.

When it came to shoot challenging frames for the film, the VENICE never let me down. It performed well without any issues, wherever it was put – from being rigged on camera dollies, tower cams, cranes and even helicopters.”

The film had an ACES color workflow. Explains, Pablo Garcia Soriano, Head of Color at Mission, “The use of ACES was proposed from the very early stages of the workflow discussions. Venice and the X-OCN 16bit linear recording format made it very easy to implement the color system and provided results which preserved the creative intend through the whole workflow process.”

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