“Official Secrets” uncovers Sony next-gen camera’s ability to deliver rich natural colours

Venice, Sony’s next-generation motion picture camera system, has been used for principal photography on a new political thriller "Official Secrets". The film, which made its debut at Sundance Film Festival last month, is directed by Gavin Hood and captured by cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister BSC

Florian Hoffmeister has found the ‘sweet spot’ of Sony’s Venice which makes the image come alive. He enthused: “I think that large-format cinematography has become a great asset of digital filmmaking, and the Sony Venice represents a huge step forward in that field.

“The camera has an incredible ability to deliver a natural richness in colour, which — in my experience — means a huge development in digital.

“With any camera I always try to find the ‘sweet spot’ where the image itself comes alive — through the way it communicates with the lenses and depicts the colour and light.

“The Venice kept its promises every time we lit a scene.”

Designed for cinematography, Venice is equipped with a full-frame sensor that has the ability to capture images with a resolution of up to 6048×4032, and offers flexibility and creative freedom to match filmmakers’ shooting requirements — from aspect ratios to bokeh and lenses.

The camera system is also able to record a wide latitude and gamut, expanding freedom of expression in grading and based on established workflow. 

He explained that the agenda of Official Secrets was to tell the narrative in the “most sensitive and accurate” way, and Venice fits with the “cinematic, yet natural aesthetic” the team wanted to achieve.

“We wanted to bring this vision to reality and with Keira Knightley coming on-set completely natural, with little make-up and styled hair, we needed a camera that produced atmospheric and distinguished images to translate the vulnerability of each take onto the screen,” he continued.

“The richness of colour, naturalness of contrast, and the immediacy of large format with Venice allowed us to translate the story’s agenda perfectly.” 

Filmed in challenging environments down the narrow streets and highways of Britain, Venice’s Dual Base ISO — supporting a High Base ISO of 2500 and ISO of 500 — enabled low light performance with dynamic range.

Combined with on-set lighting, the camera maintained the delivery of “accurate colour reproduction while capturing maximum shadow details”, said Sony. And with Venice’s ability to shoot in 4:3 and 6:5 aspect ratios at a horizontal resolution of 4K/Ultra HD (UHD), Official Secrets was shot in widescreen to achieve immediacy and capture the beautiful natural colours.


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