Shooting Plates on the Champs-Élysées

September 21, 2022

DoP Nicolas Eveilleau, working in association with TSF, tested two different VENICE set-ups for shooting plates using a car driving on Paris’s famous Champs-Élysées Avenue. The first set-up used a single VENICE camera and a special fish-eye lens – the Entaniya HAL 220 – which covers 220 degrees with a single sensor. This provided a 180-degree usable configuration and was the simplest and most economical option.

The second set-up used three Sony VENICE cameras with 14mm lenses to shoot footage that was later stitched together to provide very high resolution, 180-degree background plates for use in process shots of a travelling car.

By merging the output of three cameras, the footage offers higher resolution, but it’s also more expensive with three cameras and a much bigger rig. It also increases post-production demands as the footage needs to be stitched together before it can be used. With the single camera / fish-eye option, you only need to apply adjustments to correct for the lens’ geometric distortion.

What is good with the VENICE is how quick it is to use. We had to shoot very quickly, [so] the fact that the VENICE has a dual ISO and every step of ND filter, this is very, very interesting. You just have to push two buttons and then you can change everything.

DoP Nicolas Eveilleau

Three VENICE cameras in a custom rig for shooting plates on back of truck

On the road

The driving scenario is a typical one for rear projection and the dynamism of the background movement plays into a strength of the VENICE camera with its extremely fast sensor refresh rates – even very small amounts of skew can spoil a background plate.

If this shoot were staged today, a single VENICE 2 would be Eveilleua’s preference: shooting 3:2 at 8.6K with a high-quality wide angle full frame lens.

Using a single very high-resolution camera is much easier than working with multiple lower resolution cameras and stitching the images together. The 3:2 frame provides additional headroom for further reframing or for use in LED volumes with floor or ceiling extensions.