Filmmakers to Receive Sony F65 Training in Next Six Weeks

Sony is working in partnership with ASC, DGA and ICG to familiarize professionals with its new 4K digital cinematography camera.

As many as 360 professionals will be trained on Sony’s new F65 4K digital cinematography camera in the next six weeks, as part of a new training program that began Monday on the Sony lot.

Sony is working in partnership with the American Society of Cinematographers, Directors Guild, and International Cinematographers Guild to get professionals trained — and to prioritize who urgently needs to participate in the earliest sessions as several F65 projects are set to go into production. Studio execs are also being trained.

The one-day workshops will run Monday through Wednesday and accommodate 15-20 professionals per session, according to Bob Bailey, senior vp sales, at Colorworks, Sony’s on-lot post operation that is participating in aspects of the  training, including near-set color grading, dailies, and postproduction.

Sony began shipping its awaiting F65 4K digital camera in January, with roughly 400 pre-orders worldwide. Nearly 100 have already shipped in the US, including to rental houses Otto Nemenz, Clairmont Camera and Abel Cine.

Sony Pictures’ After Earth has already gone into production with director M. Night Shyamalan using the F65.

Director of photography Curtis Clark — who wrote and directed The Arrival, the first short made with the F65 — is shooting another F65 project, expected to debut at the upcoming NAB Show, April 14-19 in Las Vegas.

Additional productions have not yet been announced.

The F65 — which lists for $65,000 -- is built with an 8K sensor and capable of handling 16-bit 4K and higher-resolution imagery.

“The camera is unprecedented in a lot of ways, and one of the ways that it is, is how much data it creates,” Sony Pictures Technologies president Chris Cookson explained as a key reason for the training. “Managing the data and the metadata is not trivial. We felt it was critical not to just look at the camera by itself, but look at the system that supports the camera. In order to get the most out of this particular camera, you need ways to handle the data.”

“We’re seeing the introduction of almost a new technology with the camera,” added ICG president Steven Poster. “To be able to come in and experience it first hand is essential to a director of photography. With any new technology that makes images, we have to take it in so we can intuitively light the set and make the images.”

The workshops will precede the planned May opening of the Sony Digital Motion Picture Center, which will be run by Sony Professional Solutions of America to support the Sony F65 and other large sensor format camera systems.

The new center might also merge the operations of the unit that has been operating under the name 3D Technology Center, which has been responsible for training an estimated 3,000 industry professional in 3D.

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