The story is based on real-life events, with a murder investigation soon uncovering links to an environmental disaster in Corrientes. The ecological message continues to resonate today while Cromo’s stunning visuals set a benchmark for 4K production with Sony’s FS7 camcorder.
Nicolás Puenzo, who directed the series with his sister Lucia and Pablo Fendrik, reveals his insights into the challenging shoot below.
Yes, definitely. We had not seen any series filmed with this camcorder at the time of our first shoot. Everything was a new discovery. And really it was a joy to work with this camcorder, it responded very well to a hard shoot achieving some startlingly beautiful images!
There was a lot of handheld work. The FS7 camcorder is ideal for handheld operation since for me it has the perfect weight. I would say that if it had one more gram or one less gram less it would not be so great.
I think the key is getting the right lens combinations. The FS7 can capture very sharp imagery and also looks great with lenses that are not extremely sharp. Also the ‘vintage’ lenses fit very well with this camera.
I can also reveal one very specific tip we adopted for Cromo. When I started colour grading the footage we’d shot, I tried adding a little sharpness to the eyes of actors if it was a close-up. In the case of landscapes, I’d add some sharpness to an object near the camera. Since we were shooting with vintage lenses that produced a soft image, adding some finely judged sharpness in post-production helped create a distinct look and prevented the imagery being too soft or dull. I’d never worked with sharpness in post before, but I now believe if used in a very subtle way it is possible to boost the overall quality in the final image. It’s almost like boosting the original imagery’s depth-of-field.
In terms of colour, while testing the FS7 I felt that 4:2:2 Slog-3 delivered very soft and slightly unsaturated colour. So I pushed the colour I would normally use in the lighting to create a more vivid image. I would normally mix colour temperatures and even ‘tint’ the black areas of the frame by adding some colour to the lights that were adding fill light in the dark areas. Then I would grade to darken these areas, getting the desired blacks but retaining a colour tint in these blacks.
During the shoot I used Catalyst Browse every night to check the footage. It’s a great tool as it allowed me to quickly add a curve and play with the colour and set up a look to check the footage. It really helped me think about the final look in a very efficient and creative way. It was the perfect set-up to think about what we were doing, share the imagery with other crew members and maintain the desired look.
Yes, I film a lot with this camera. We’ve shot documentaries, we’ve filmed in the desert in Bolivia, we’ve filmed commercials. I also use it a lot as a B camera when I shoot with another brand of high-end digital cinema camera because I think it’s so easy to tie its imagery with the FS7’s S-log 3. I like to have the FS7 as a light camera always ready to go.