Atomos Shogun 7 and Apple ProRes® RAW gives a low budget feature film a cinematic edge

New action comedy, School Fight, uses the Shogun 7 HDR monitor/recorder to give the Sony FS7 a new lease of life

How do you make a full-length feature film, with flawless, cinematic values when your camera budget only stretches to the Sony FS7 cinema cameras already owned by the crew? It’s a conundrum the production team behind new action comedy, School Fight, solved by adding cutting edge recording technology from Atomos and Apple to their arsenal.

School Fight is a low budget, independent feature film, but you’d be forgiven for assuming the investment in the on-screen image was far more high-end. This comes from the crew’s unwavering commitment to achieving the highest possible production values by squeezing everything they could out of the camera equipment they had available and a minimal budget.

The concept for the film was the brainchild of seasoned stunt professional Damien Walters, so it’s no surprise that action sequences, fight scenes and all manner of carefully choreographed carnage is all featured heavily. He joined forces with producer Joby Stephens to bring this vision to life in full cinematic glory.

“We wanted to see as much of the microbudget spent on what you see on the screen as possible,” says Stephens. “Part of this was about making careful location choices. But even with the savings we made by filming in Derbyshire on a tight schedule, we still didn’t have the luxury of splurging on hiring high-end equipment. We had to use what was available.”

As a result, the camera package for the film was Sony FS7 cameras already owned by the crew. Director of photography, Nathan Claridge, paired the FS7s with Canon prime lenses and Tiffen Pro-Mist filtration to give the images the desired look. The final piece of the puzzle was to record in the highest quality possible, which is where the Atomos Shogun 7 became the critical addition to the setup. The ProRes RAW files offered the ultimate combination of RAW flexibility and manageable file sizes, enabling the team’s creative vision to come to life. 

“The aim was for Director Damien Walters to get to the edit and think, ‘wow, I can do whatever I want with this’,” says Stephens. “The Shogun gave us the scope to deliver not only a beautifully filmic image, but also the full flexibility of the ProRes RAW format. This gave post production the latitude to really push what we were capturing on the FS7s to new limits.”

But the benefits were equally felt on set. The Shogun 7 HDR display quality, which can reach up to 3000 nits peak brightness, gave the entire crew complete insight of what was being captured. From pulling focus, to stuntmen checking on timings, to checking the flames in an explosive take weren’t clipping to white, the Shogun 7 gave the crew the complete confidence with the ability to instantly review full quality footage on set. This was particularly crucial given the ambitious filming schedule for the film.

“The timeframes on set were tight – over just 23 days we captured more than 80TB of rushes,” Stephens explained. “By using the Shogun to send a wireless video feed out to on set Atomos Sumo units, the director could record takes and get immediate playback. He then used this to give quick notes to performers and to work with the DOP to adjust the camera settings so we captured as much of the detail as possible. The result was less waiting time between setups, allowing the crew to make the best use of the limited time they had on location.”

With UK filming now complete, School Fight moves production to Dubai in early 2020.

You can watch behind the scenes footage from School Fight here:

Find out more about Shogun 7 here:

Learn more about Apple ProRes RAW and Atomos recorders here:


A Few Kind Words...

Gavin Bunker, AE Live

Bubble were fantastic throughout the whole process and helped us deliver a successful event to celebrate our 30th corporate anniversary with industry peers.

Robert Cloudt, Synchronized

Bubble has been tremendously helpful to bring our marketing communication to the next level, very responsive and thinking with us together on the rightful messaging and timing across different media’s. Definitely a recommendation in case you need a well balanced media agency to help you out.

Carla Molina Whyte, Farmerswife

Working with Bubble Agency for a tradeshow has been truly amazing. The bubble team is incredibly helpful and talented. We are very happy with the results and with all the coverage we got prior and during the tradeshow!

Silvia Candido, Ateme

As usual, we were super busy before and during a tradeshow this year. What a luxury to have Bubble take care of our media relations and our social media accounts! We saw a surge of followers on LinkedIn and got good coverage in a number of publications.

Meg Travis, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services, Director, Global Head of Marketing & Communications, Entertainment Services

The Bubble team made everything easy at MPTS! From advising before the show, to facilitating client and press conversations during the show, to making recommendations on how to make the most of the connections we made there - we rely on Bubble as a key strategic partner for our sales and marketing teams.

Dan Pike- Covatic

Bubble brought their significant experience of NAB to support Covatic in kicking off a big US push at the Show. Their support was holistic, assisting us before, during and after the show and well appreciated. We had a successful show, gaining high profile new sales leads and even winning a Product of the Year Award - thanks in no small part to Bubble’s assistance with the application An experienced, credible team and a joy to work with.

Éva Szász – Lightware Visual Engineering

We’ve been working with Bubble for a couple of months now and luckily we found a common voice right away. They always have an easy, quick understanding of what we need and are delivering not only the materials we want, but more and more PR opportunities, in a proactive way. Bubble have been instrumental in raising awareness of Lightware in the run up to ISE and did a great job faciliting us onsite at ISE too including securing and conducting press appointments and manning our social accounts.

Paul Weiser – ASG

I have been working with Bubble for the past eight months. I run marketing for Advanced Systems Group based in Northern California. ASG is a technology company focused on providing technology solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Our business is broken down into four diverse areas. One of the challenges that Bubble helps me solve is how to market a company with multiple business units, yet still deliver a unified message for our brand. The key benefits that Bubble provides in helping guide our marketing efforts include: Industry knowledge, Expertise in all functional areas of marketing, Client service & Worldwide brand. The first year of working with Bubble has been a great experience. I’m excited to work with the team to see how we build the ASG brand in the future.

Catherine Watling – Visual Data

The Bubble team have been fantastic and the quality of the work is always exceptional – even at short notice. Our work with Bubble has produced some of the best coverage we have ever had!

Mark Forth – CVP

Working with Bubble has been integral to a rapid improvement in the delivery of our PR and communication strategy. The entire Bubble team are always friendly and professional as well as knowledgeable and well-connected. A real joy to work with!