Previous news story    Next news story

Backstory of Phantom Flex4K video shot at 1,000 FPS

By dpreview staff on Dec 15, 2013 at 09:00 GMT

Filming fire has come a long way since the 1991 movie Backdraft. Emerging Director Brendan Bellomo and DP Greg Wilson shot a slow motion short using the Phantom Flex4K camera, which shoots 1,000 FPS in full 4K resolution. We posted a story about this back in April, but as they've added a 'making of' video, we thought it worth mentioning again. The results are riveting.

And since recording in Raw at 16GB a second only gave them a few seconds of action at a time, everything from choreography, staging, to camera framing had to be carefully planned for the live-burn shoot.

Take look at the behind the scenes conversation with Bellomo and Wilson to learn more about their experience shooting 4K video using the Phantom Flex4K.  

Want to shoot with the Phantom Flex4K? You can rent one or just buy your own for a whopping $140,000.

Source: No Film School

Comments

Total comments: 91
Serge Yavorski
By Serge Yavorski (4 months ago)

I'm not surprised and the number of folks who come here to moan and bitch about a little video clip that demonstrates the capabilities of 4K. What a bunch of loosers!

0 upvotes
SiriusDoggy
By SiriusDoggy (4 months ago)

Nothing more annoying than a video with no audio controls. Why?

0 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (4 months ago)

The main uses for high-speed cameras are scientific, forensic, and industrial. Ballistics studies are among the most well known uses.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

4K broadcast is scheduled for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. a problem may be larger lenses (2 stops?) will be needed for 1000 fps under the current lighting.

0 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (4 months ago)

Firefighters routinely use abandoned/condemned houses in isolated areas to test equipment and to train personnel. The film-maker probably cut a deal with a fire department somewhere - let us film, and we will buy you a new engine.

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (4 months ago)

I was really looking forward to see the actual backdraft in full 4K, slow motion. But there isn't a "backdraft" in the scene.

0 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (4 months ago)

What psycho sets a house on fire just to test his gear?
What times are we living, I wonder.

(Before anyone lashes at me, yes, it is a joke.)

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

Americans nuked two cities.

the first bombing of Hiroshima was not well filmed (only one handheld 16 mm camera recorded and developed properly) so that they had to retake it again, destroying Nagasaki.

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Ikay
By Ikay (4 months ago)

Touche

0 upvotes
Adam Filipowicz
By Adam Filipowicz (4 months ago)

$140k camera.. 64gb Buffer.. common.. give it 512GB so they can shoot 30 seconds

1 upvote
Thomas Kachadurian
By Thomas Kachadurian (4 months ago)

Yawn. High resolution and detail are only worth something if the video holds your interest. There's a point where this sort of slowed pace makes it dull and hard to watch.

4 upvotes
Pat Trev
By Pat Trev (4 months ago)

1. running on the fireground
2. wearing nomex hoods but not using them
3. not using their fireground accountability tags

Not good practices..... they are asking for trouble...

2 upvotes
purest
By purest (4 months ago)

I'm sure I can remember seeing this footage like a year ago.....

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (4 months ago)

The same thing was posted April 9th this year...

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/04/09/vision-research-posts-high-speed-4k-video-with-phantom-flex4k-at-1000fps

Are they running out of news? It has surprised me that people do not remember, or are we the only faithful Dpreview readers who have been here more than half a year?

3 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (4 months ago)

Well spotted.
I started laughing so hard, I almost fell off my chair.
9 months old, category : news.

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
RJ85
By RJ85 (4 months ago)

It's the backstory from the post from April 9th. Check the headline... E.g. not the same post.

0 upvotes
CZFox
By CZFox (4 months ago)

Outstanding short movie. I'm just wondering how much the movie was digitally altered, because the credits mention VFX supervisor and VFX art director. It sounds to me like the fire was digital.

1 upvote
marcio_napoli
By marcio_napoli (4 months ago)

Hardly. If that was the case, why would they shoot in ultra slow motion at all ?

What would be the purpose of seeing CG flames in slomo?

It seems the VFX are employed in some form we don't notice at all, but I doubt the flames are digital.

0 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (4 months ago)

It says "the live-burn shoot."

0 upvotes
bohemibot
By bohemibot (4 months ago)

I directed and VFX supervised the piece. There was no CGI. All elements were real. We filmed real flames (fuel oil, gasoline, propane), smoke and water with the Flex4K during different controlled burns executed by the fire dept. and our practical F/X team. Those elements were then composited into the interior house inferno shots and burning house exterior using NukeX all in 4K. The water hitting the burning shelf shots are 100% practical. NO particle or fluids simulations were used.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PERCY2
By PERCY2 (4 months ago)

TWIXTOR for $700 with almost the same effect.

0 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (4 months ago)

the clue is in your username.

9 upvotes
Beppone
By Beppone (4 months ago)

twixtor is just a software solution. Some people are pleased with digital zoom or scale pics of 2MP up to 20MP.

Sure You can, Novice

1 upvote
PERCY2
By PERCY2 (4 months ago)

AshMills.. of course you're right i even add 1 on the "like"..lol

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (4 months ago)

It has been mentioned twice already, but no answer from Dpreview staff: This material has been posted here already maybe half a year ago? Are you running low on material?

Fast search: this is old news from April 9th: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/04/09/vision-research-posts-high-speed-4k-video-with-phantom-flex4k-at-1000fps

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
sharkcookie
By sharkcookie (4 months ago)

In a few weeks we will see an article about a hipster filmmaker that did a similar piece (and here is the headline) "SHOT ENTIRELY ON iPHONE" using the new iPhone's slow motion feature. There will be direct links to kickstarter projects about iPhone shoulder mounts and jib arms. LOL

0 upvotes
dgad
By dgad (4 months ago)

That was amazing. We are in for a treat in the near future with technology like this. This makes fire look beautiful instead of dangerous.

0 upvotes
dad_of_four
By dad_of_four (4 months ago)

The only thing missing was a final shot of all the fire-fighters sitting on the curb, smoking a cigarette ;)

4 upvotes
new boyz
By new boyz (4 months ago)

The slow movement of smoking cigarette will makes it look like a still picture, hahahaha... Blowing smokes will looks cool though.

0 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (4 months ago)

Fantastic tech & great video!

0 upvotes
marcio_napoli
By marcio_napoli (4 months ago)

WOW, think about that, it's 8mp, RAW, 1000 frames per second.

What a superb imaging device!

0 upvotes
mikeoregon
By mikeoregon (4 months ago)

I've been making high-speed single frame captures of water in a stream here in the Oregon mountains, and a moment from the flow is beautiful--I would love to make a similar slow-motion film to reveal the form of the water!

0 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (4 months ago)

I thought posting flame bait was against the rules.

2 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (4 months ago)

Please don't start a flame war!

1 upvote
new boyz
By new boyz (4 months ago)

The drama is a bit slow isn't it?

0 upvotes
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (4 months ago)

Thanks for posting this. Amazing.

0 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (4 months ago)

The cool thing about slomo is that it combines the thrill of motion with the beauty of still into one. It gives time to appreciate the beauty of things the eyes could've missed.

I'm watching this in 1080p and impressed and can't imagine what it would be like in 4K.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
AV Janus
By AV Janus (4 months ago)

16GB per second... and here I am watching a web version that stutters.
LOL!

1 upvote
dbo
By dbo (4 months ago)

Didn't we got this video in DP a couple of month ago together with the blackmagic stuff?

0 upvotes
MrTaikitso
By MrTaikitso (4 months ago)

Reading the comments below this outstanding piece of cinematography provides further evidence of how somehow, DPreview's 'readership' has altered from calm intelligent professionals and prosumers to imaginationless unintelligent types who are either too young or otherwise inappropriate for a forum like this.

To call the slow motion 'boring' when in fact it superbly conveys the resolution as well as providing the viewer more time to take in what is going on. No doubt, unboring would be human carnage and exploding cars. For that, suggest you try another site or DPreview needs to up it's game when deciding who should be able to signup and comment. Now I know why membership only clubs exists, to maintain a level of decorum.

Amazing film and a great showcase for what the sort of quality we'll be watching at home by the holidays 2015.

28 upvotes
BobORama
By BobORama (4 months ago)

Thanks for your ad hominem attack on the rest of us slobs. But its squarely a technical achievement, both for the Phantom and for the DP and crew what had to figure out how to make the beast happy, rather than a cinematic one. Its an ad for the Phantom rather than the next Citizen Kane. There are some beautiful bits, for sure. But what you ask is for us to confuse marketing with art, and this seems to have much more to do with creating a vehicle for showcasing the Phantom than telling a story.

6 upvotes
Under The Sun
By Under The Sun (4 months ago)

BobORama, looking at your reaction, looks like Mr Taikiso hit a nerve.

3 upvotes
Rdefen
By Rdefen (4 months ago)

I only made it 44 seconds in. I found it quite boring. Sorry if I don't meet your expectations you pompous a$$. When technology is used as an end in itself, which is what it is here -- for me -- I quickly grow bored. Interesting, that you think this is somehow different in kind from blowing things up because I put them in the same category of boring.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Resom
By Resom (4 months ago)

"Sorry if I don't meet your expectations you pompous a$$"

And now your day is done? :(

0 upvotes
BobORama
By BobORama (4 months ago)

Under The Sun,

I'm not willing to be labeled by the self apointed intellectual / aesthetics elite as one of the "imaginationless unintelligent types." I'll put my cat photos up against his cat photos any day of the week.

0 upvotes
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (4 months ago)

Yes, a lot of water misses the mark... just like in combat. I'd guess less than 1% of bullets fired by our guys hit their guys too... but this is the problem when CPAs, MBAs, and other "experts" analyze reality and make conclusions based on facts without being there. There are always factors that don't show up on film or on analysis reports :o) -- Now every process can be tweeked to improve efficiency but I don't want a handful of CPA and MBA-managed firemen showing up to a fire... or the Army responding to a local disturbance that might become WW III !!! It might lead to the next Cocoanut Grove fire or Little Big Horn!

Amazine images none the less!

2 upvotes
AlanJones
By AlanJones (4 months ago)

Nor do I want movie buffs to believe they are subject matter experts. I like the direction of your points. We should all do what we do and do it well and not criticize what others do well because we "think" we can do it better.

0 upvotes
sonoftroy
By sonoftroy (4 months ago)

This film was shot to showcase the abilities of the Flex4k, and not intended to be documentary. What is groundbreaking about this camera is that you can roll in 24fps for sync sound all day long, and ramp up to 1000 fps for slow motion effects without having to change camera formats; it does it all, ensuring continuity in the image, workflow, etc. But we've seen sync-speed films before; that's why this was all in slow motion... because no one else can do this.

0 upvotes
BobORama
By BobORama (4 months ago)

So its a $140K camera system that makes even the most exciting jobs look boring? OK, the slo-mo flames are nice, beautiful, and the water emerging from the nozzles was interesting.

I guess the REAL advantage is that you can shoot a scene at 1000FPS and then in post production get whatever frame rate you desire to achieve. Smooth adjustments in the time scale give you very cool effects. And if you were shooting Inception 2 - it might be useful.

The scene does underscore how much water is entirely wasted. 80% of it forms huge globules that never actually participate in putting the fire out. One of the profs I had years ago was involved in alternative systems and things like a pressure washer, or even steam put out a fire more effectively, and with so little water its truly amazing.

If you can put out a fire with 80% less water, you downsize every aspect of operation, from the tankers, trucks, ... the need for hydrants. Also less water means less water damage.

-- Bob

3 upvotes
pfzt
By pfzt (4 months ago)

you must be fun at parties!

10 upvotes
BobORama
By BobORama (4 months ago)

Depends on the party.

We should rent the camera and make an epic 120 minute version of us drinking a beer. Just image it, 2 minutes of a single bubble evolving at the bottom of the glass and slowly rising, engorging, and finally bursting forth from the quiet surface of the glass.

-- Bob

1 upvote
thx1138
By thx1138 (4 months ago)

Given how god damn awful American beer tastes (not the microbrewery stuff), filming it at 1000fps @4K might be the only thing that leaves a nice taste in your mouth.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (4 months ago)

No, we shouldn't make that film about beer drinking - because you would chime in how we are doing it incorrectly.

0 upvotes
BobORama
By BobORama (4 months ago)

thx2238,

By your standards I've never had a single glass of "American Beer" But there are a lot of fantastic beers made in the USA. And if not beer, Laprhoaig?

And as to By Gediminas 8 concern... I would only take issue if you drink your beer through a straw. And after a few, I'd probably overlook that as well.

0 upvotes
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (4 months ago)

All I keep thinking about is how fast the rig must be moving. But that's just me.

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (4 months ago)

Did we not see the same thing already a year ago??????

2 upvotes
RDCollins
By RDCollins (4 months ago)

Great video, but not terribly realistic due to the virtual absence of smoke in the interior of the house. Firefighters tell me that the smoke is so thick in such fires that you can't see your hand in front of your face. Of course, that would make for a pretty dull movie -- or maybe a genuinely terrifying one. Those who criticize firefighters as overpaid and under-worked don't understand what these guys endure.

4 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (4 months ago)

I want a Phantom Flex. Anyone have a spare Quarter Mil I could barrow?

2 upvotes
BigEnso
By BigEnso (4 months ago)

As the stripper in Gypsy said "So get yourself a gimmick and you, too,
Can be a star!"

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (4 months ago)

Too cool. Oh wait that should be too hot.

0 upvotes
carguy
By carguy (4 months ago)

Very Interesting!

0 upvotes
The Photo Ninja
By The Photo Ninja (4 months ago)

Technologically impressive, but boring and no conclusion.

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (4 months ago)

Whole movie in slow motion really does look boring. Also "backdraft" means something totally else in firefighting so the title is misleading to say at least.
What backdraft means http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backdraft

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Virvatulet
By Virvatulet (4 months ago)

I respectfully disagree. In this piece of art the time stretch really works, but in order to be able to completely appreciate it, one has to watch the movie in real HD quality. The flick is filled with beautiful detail and rhythm unseeable to the naked eye.

5 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (4 months ago)

I did watch it in full HD, but I just find it little over dramatised :)
I do however respect your point of view.

0 upvotes
Wim1964
By Wim1964 (4 months ago)

Tasty!

0 upvotes
eopix
By eopix (4 months ago)

Thinking along the lines of Moore's Law, this camera should be available for less than $4000 in a decade. If you listen to Kurtzweil, it may be much sooner than that. We can widen Cartier-Bresson's decisive moment into seconds... Imagine revisiting slo-mo classics like a prizefighter's punch to the face, a bursting balloon, a car crash, all in incredible detail.

0 upvotes
C-GREEN
By C-GREEN (4 months ago)

Absolutely Amazing!!!

0 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (4 months ago)

Amazing video

0 upvotes
gwales
By gwales (4 months ago)

The guy pointing in the air the whole time was really useful - I think he was shouting, "Fire!"

3 upvotes
dr.noise
By dr.noise (4 months ago)

They didn't have to shoot the entire movie in slo-mo, that looks boring

6 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (4 months ago)

That video has been on Vimeo for eight months already.
https://vimeo.com/63490371

2 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (4 months ago)

This IS DPR, where many news items are a day late and a dollar short.

Nonetheless, a breathtaking piece of video.

1 upvote
KariIceland
By KariIceland (4 months ago)

And your point is? I NEVER go on Vimeo so them bringing attention to this is a good thing.

2 upvotes
Virvatulet
By Virvatulet (4 months ago)

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/04/09/vision-research-posts-high-speed-4k-video-with-phantom-flex4k-at-1000fps

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (4 months ago)

So this news is a rerun from April...

0 upvotes
racketman
By racketman (4 months ago)

16GB a second, that's a thirsty camera.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

it gets easier to compress the video as frame rate goes up, and if it's an issue of processing power or bandwidth, time will solve it fast and faster according to Moore's law and Gilder's law.

0 upvotes
Virvatulet
By Virvatulet (4 months ago)

Only if high SNR content (inversely proportional to high fps) is fed through inter frame and usually lossy compression. This camera system records RAW and most likely utilizes only light intra frame lossless compression.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

exactly, why huge processing power is needed and that huge processing power is nothing compared with future 3D perception based processing to which a large trunk of our brain is devoted.

it'll be amazing if RAW recording is possible but I doubt the value of it (little profit).

0 upvotes
Laagwater
By Laagwater (4 months ago)

Very impressing video. I want new firmware for my Nikon V1...

4 upvotes
Adrien S
By Adrien S (4 months ago)

I am disappointed, I thought the goal was to rescue the orchid.

6 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (4 months ago)

That's some amazing cinematography there!

I have no interest in cinematography, and I was prepared to hate it, but I didn't.

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

hope we'll have 240p & 300p consumer video within a decade.

1 upvote
mick232
By mick232 (4 months ago)

Do you live in the 90s?

6 upvotes
Keytsa
By Keytsa (4 months ago)

My thought exactly. Where do you live? Nikon 1 AW1 shoots 640 x 240 in 400 fps and 320 x 120 in 1200 fps and that's digital camera, not to mention "real" film cameras in consumer category.

0 upvotes
a13
By a13 (4 months ago)

I'm guessing he meant fps, not vertical resolution...

2 upvotes
edu T
By edu T (4 months ago)

But then, a13, he'd have written "this FPS,that i/p". Anyway, with the current time lag, he'll surely clarify it in less than 20 years from now.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

@ a13 & edu T,

I don't think mick232 is confused so no need to correct, though s/he might mean to confuse others who are stupid enough.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
edu T
By edu T (4 months ago)

Well, dear yabokkie, if as you say mick232 is NOT confused, then you are living in the '90s indeed. But I see this exchange going on almost in real time, which in turn implies... Geez man I knew there must've been a reason today I woke up listening to Nirvana and L7! Help, where's my Sonic Youth laser disc...?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

so maybe mick232 only wanted to confuse you or you are really willing to be confused.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 91