Still from The Way I See It.
Documentary The Way I See It used a BMPCC Pocket Cinema Camera 6K digital film camera to remotely capture interviews with the film’s main subject, former Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza.
Directed by Dawn Porter, the doc follows Souza, who served as a photographer for both the Reagan and Obama administrations. Premiering at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, the hit documentary began its theatrical run in September 2020 and made its television debut in October 2020 on MSNBC.
Production was forced to close when the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, but according to Porter, halting production was not an option. Due to the film’s subject matter and relevance to the 2020 US presidential election, it was important that the film stay on track for its fall 2020 release. The only option was to finish filming remotely, so Porter and DP Clair Popkin decided to send Souza a BMD PCC 6K to use for his remaining interviews.
“Since Pete’s photographs are at the center of this story, it was very important that we maintained a certain level of cinematic quality. We were about 75 percent done filming, and we needed our remaining interviews to seamlessly match the rest of the footage, even though we were going to have to film them very differently,” said Porter.
With that in mind, Porter and Popkin quickly dismissed using a webcam or phone to finish out the interviews. Already familiar with Blackmagic Design cameras from previous projects, Popkin came up with the idea to use a PCC 6K because of its usability and dynamic range.
“Since Pete would be in charge of lighting himself, it was essential that we had a decent dynamic range and LOG gamma,” added Popkin. “Usability was also key, as we needed it to be a simple enough camera system that he’d be comfortable setting it up himself, while also being sophisticated enough to deliver the cinematic image we were looking for.”
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