Here's the latest news about what we are up to and also articles from around the web that we find interesting and share worthy.

DJI Spark - The Capable baby brother to Mavic

By: Mick Jones

When I saw the announcement for the DJI Spark I knew I had to have one.  Even though I have a Phantom 2, Phantom 3 and Mavic Pro, I wanted this for the fun factor.  It certainly gets talked about as a "toy" and to be fair it does have very limited video options.  But the more I use it the more I think the camera on it is pretty good value.  The above video was edited and graded in Davinci Resolve and I always find that you can push things a little further in resolve than you can if you just stay in your NLE like Adobe Premiere.  I don't know what it is but there is definitely some secret sauce in the processing of your footage within Resolve.

The video on the Spark is 1080P 30fps only.  So technically to me that's 2 frame rates.  You could conform to 24 or 25p and have a slight slo mo effect or just run it at native 30.  There is no D-Log or different picture styles, just one baked in look.  But I think that's totally fine at this price point. It is so easy to fly and rock solid stable.  Not to mention FUN!  It is my favorite drone to fly hands down.  I have tried the object tracking in it which is an awesome feature.  Just draw a box around your subject on the smartphone screen, hit GO and it will track with that object wherever it goes. You can even put a gentle orbit on it so it will move along with your subject and circle it, creating a very dynamic shot.

The fact that you can launch and land this thing from the palm of your hand is quite amazing.  So launching from a boat, rock platform or sandy beach is really simple and safe.  I will keep this in the kit as a backup for the Mavic Pro.  But this will definitely be my "A" Cam for aerials on all our BTS shoots on our own productions.  What a great way to add some cool shots to your BTS videos!



Filthy Look Apparel

2015 brings the launch of a new streetwear brand, FIlthy Look Apparel.  

With a small, dedicated team we have built all media elements to launch the brand and online store.  Casting was key in putting together the right people to get in front of the camera and set the tone.  Annette Melton was cast as the face of the brand and brought a wealth of experience to the project.  Caitlin Amiko, Lukas Whiting and Ellie Rose Giddings were also cast as main players to launch the brand.

A Huge thanks right of the bat goes to the legendary Ben Harris and Pix On Location for supporting this production with equipment and unit vehicles. Pix Studios are the premium studio facilities in Sydney and they take any production to the highest level it can be. 

You may also recognise some familiar faces in Jess Franklin and Giovanna Suppa.  We worked with them for the Gate417 campaign and invited them back for a shoot in the Filthy Look Apparel.  They have such an effortless natural talent and reality that they bring to the shoots and it was great to work with them once again.

The amazingly talented Sarah Lim was kind enough to come on board as Stylist. She put together all the outfits and accessories in record time and it really lifted the whole shoot to a new level of style.  She has a great blog called Denim & Dumplings you should check it out!  Lisa Mangion did hair and makeup for the location shoots as well as the studio look book and nailed it everytime.

Photography was done by Mick Jones and Joe Florian of Mad Media, who has been instrumental in the branding of Filthy Look Apparel. Joe brings a laid back, smart and irreverent vibe to the whole production and everyone loves working with him.  A man of many talents.

Video content produced & directed by Linda Ung and Simon Koloadin really captured a great mood to set the tone for the brand.  A huge thank you goes out to all the crew including Greg Refeld, Sarah Estela, Tanami Nayler and Evan Pickering for bringing your talents to this production.

On Tour With Robbie Williams

Mick is joining the Robbie Williams tour in Australia to document the experience of being on the road, behind the scenes of the concerts, interaction with fans and an intimate look at what Robbie is up to on tour.

Robbie on Stage on the first night of the Australian Tour in Perth. Photo: Mick Jones

Using the new Sony A7s on this job is proving to be a real asset. It's low light capability backstage and around the show is just stunning.  Some scenarios involve being underneath the stage in near complete darkness as Robbie is about to go on at the start of the show.  I've been absolutely amazed at what this sensor is capable of in such situations.

Huge stage setup with inner pit and circular stage in front of the main stage. Photo: Mick Jones

Huge stage setup with inner pit and circular stage in front of the main stage. Photo: Mick Jones

Some shots are pushing the iso to 25600 and beyond with fantastic results.  Also on this setup is the Sony F55, Canon C100 and the new Rode Stereo Video Mic X.  This mic has been fantastic for capturing live music and also back stage banter, rehearsals and even off the cuff pieces to camera.

Volkswagon Road Trip with Foxtel

The Filthy crew hit the road with Foxtel for an epic shoot down the South East Coast of Australia for Volkswagon and "Coast Australia".

The magnificent Great Ocean Road, Victoria.

The magnificent Great Ocean Road, Victoria.

The goal was to showcase three new Volkswagon vehicles on scenic coast road trips in south eastern Australia.  This meant a really diverse bunch of shooting environments and styles would be required.  Hosted by Brendan Moar, there were pieces to camera, in vehicle shooting, car mounts, car-to-car, drive bys and aerial shots.  This meant quite a lot of equipment needed and also having to work fast, which can be quite a challenge. 

The main camera for the shoot was the Sony F55 shooting in Slog 3, but we also had 2 Sony A7s cameras. One mounted permanently to the Movi, which we used as a remote head for vehicle tracking shots.  We used the "Toad in the Hole" mounting system on a Spyder suction mount kit on the rear of the car.  Mounted the Movi inverted and ran a monitor from inside the car controlling the Movi as a remote head.  This was a really quick and effective way to get dynamic tracking shots whenever we saw a great piece of scenery to take advantage of.


A new addition to the kit was the Sigma 24-105 Art series lens which was an absolute work horse on this shoot.  The F55 with the 24-105 is very versatile when shooting in HD.  You can choose centre crop and effectively doubl your focal length without changing the lens which gives you a range of 24-210mm.

The world famous Bells Beach

The world famous Bells Beach

When doing some run n gun doco style shooting it's a real time saver.  This shoot had so many wonderful locations to shoot in like gorgeous beaches, a lighthouse and the twists and turns of the Great Ocean Road. My favourite being the Great Ocean Road at the 12 Apostles. Stunning scenery and light.

BTS of the Sony FS7 Launch FIlms

Our good friends Den Lennie and James Tonkin were lucky enough to be the first in the world to get their hand on the latest Super 35 camera from Sony - The PXW-FS7. Here's a look behind the scenes of them making the launch films.