Blackmagic Design announced today that DP Judd Overton is using a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K EF to shoot the hit Australian television show No Activity created by production company Jungle for the Stan network. Overton has served as the shows DP for both seasons and previously used the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K for select rig shots on season one.
No Activity is a comedy that follows a team of police detectives and dispatch officers as they investigate crime. Written and directed by Trent ODonnell (Review with Myles Barlow, New Girl), No Activity is a Stan Original series that recently debuted its second season. Starring Patrick Brammall and Darren Gilshenan as detectives Hendy and Stokes, season two introduces several new characters including affluent businessman Bernie (Damon Herriman) and his wife Elizabeth (Rose Byrne) whose kidnapping sets the course for the shows season.
Going into season two, I was really excited to add an URSA Mini 4.6K to our shooting package. The show is shot at a very quick pace with a lot of improvisational humor. We needed a compact camera that was easy to use and could easily fit into our workflow, said Overton.
With the URSA Mini 4.6K, we were able to take it straight out of the box and get shooting with no lag time or learning curve, which was really important for our fast paced schedule, continued Overton. Its usability was impressive but its already gotten better with the Camera 4.0 update. The new menu system and interface is very user friendly and all at a touch rather than pages of sub menus. Overall, the cameras versatility and usability have really helped save the schedule many times.
Heading into the second season, Overton and his team needed to not only match but also enhance the shows look that they had expertly defined in season one.
While No Activity is a comedy, it very much has a drama look with its darker tones. We use high contrast with dark shadows to amplify the shows feel, which can be much more dark and dry than most comedies. The URSA Mini 4.6Ks dynamic range captured that look perfectly, explained Overton.
A lot of the show is cross shooting, playing off two actors that are conversing with each other. For this season, we had one particular scene that was brilliant with Byrne and Herriman tied up facing each other in a basement. They are both hilarious and once they get riffing you dont want to have to start and stop the scene.
We knew wed want closeups, so we mounted the URSA Mini 4.6K to shoot Byrne for one take and then Herriman for the second. We only ever get two takes but we were able to capture exactly what we needed with the camera. Its reliability is crucial with the shows improvisational nature because we cant miss a shot or we risk missing comedy gold. The URSA Mini 4.6K is the camera I use when I really need to get that shot, concluded Overton.