Shooting “Zoe Ever After” in Efficient, Single-Camera Style with FUJINON Lenses and Sony F55 Cameras

Shooting “Zoe Ever After” in Efficient, Single-Camera Style with FUJINON Lenses and Sony F55 Cameras

Production of the new sitcom “Zoe Ever After”, set to air in early January on BET, used a style of shooting that harkens back to the studio style of the 1980s and 90s sitcoms before a more cinematic approach became the norm. With three FUJINON 4K Cabrio PL-mount lenses – the 25-300mm Cabrio, 19-90mm Cabrio, and 14-35mm Cabrio - on Sony F55 large-format cameras, show DP Bill Sheehy (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) operated in a multi-camera, “live-cut” environment with all three cameras covering the scene at once. However, with the Sony F55 and Cabrio lenses, the show looks more like a single-camera production, in the style of “Sex in the City.”

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Sheehy said the single operator/multiple camera method saved considerable cost and production time: “We didn’t have to worry about changing different zooms for different looks. Camera assistants didn’t spend time paring down the camera to switch from primes to zooms. We were able to use that extra time to focus on other things like lighting, while keeping a really fast pace on the set.”

The 25-300mm has a detachable servo drive for remote control of zoom, focus and iris adjustment. With that, there’s no need for rod-mounted motors. The other two Cabrios are used with SS-13 servo rear lens controller kits.

Shooting “Zoe Ever After” in Efficient, Single-Camera Style with FUJINON Lenses and Sony F55 Cameras

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Even though production of “Zoe Ever After” was a multi-camera, studio-style series shot with large format, PL-mount cameras, the crew was minimal.  “We were the first sitcom to use three different Cabrios in this way and with single operators using the servo rear lens controller kits,” he explained. “The combination of lens/camera/remote lens controls was ideal for our live-cut studio production scenario.”

CINEVERSE-Atlanta, a division of VER, supplied Sheehy and crew with their camera/lens package. Sheehy said that Mindy Bee (Marketing Executive), Mike Sippel (Technical Operations Manager) as well as FUJIFILM Southeastern Sales Engineer Susan Teuscher went far above and beyond for him throughout the entire shoot: “We couldn’t have been happier with our equipment and our service from Cineverse and Fujifilm.”

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Bee of CINEVERSE said she respects Sheehy’s desire for a clean, minimal workflow: “Bill likes to work simply, and this set up provides everything he needs. Three cameras, three zooms. That’s all he needs, and it streamlines the production process. It makes him look good, which in turn, makes us look good.”

Sippel added, “The Cabrios check a lot of boxes. They cover a broad enough range of focal lengths so a production can ‘live on the zoom’ and avoid spending time changing lenses without sacrificing image quality. Paired with the high sensitivity of modern cameras, they’re also fast enough to accommodate a wide range of lighting conditions. The integrated, removable servos allow the lens to function both in single-operator and cine-style configurations as well for added flexibility.”

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FUJINON’s popular Cabrio PL lens series includes: the PL 25-300mm, PL 19-90, PL 85-300, and PL 14-28mm. The PL 19-90, PL 85-300, and PL 14-35 Cabrio feature exclusive detachable servo drive units. The PL 25-300 servo is optional, making all four Cabrios suitable as a standard PL or ENG-style lens. And all Cabrios can be controlled using cinema industry standard wireless controllers as well as existing FUJINON wired and wireless units.

Designed using the latest proprietary optical simulation software, the entire range of Cabrio lenses offer exceptional optical performance in the center of the image and in the corners of the frame. The digital servo’s 16-bit encoding assures operators that all lens data output—including the position of the zoom, iris, and focus—is extremely accurate. The zooms support Lens Data System (LDS) and /i Technology metadata formats.

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About Fujifilm
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation consists of four operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division provides consumer and commercial photographic products and services, including: photographic paper; digital printing equipment, along with service and support; personalized photo products; film; and one-time-use cameras; and also markets motion picture archival film and on-set color management solutions to the motion picture, broadcast and production industries. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the graphic printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides optical lenses for the broadcast, cinematography, closed circuit television, videography and industrial markets, and also markets binoculars. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. sells and markets a range of Fujifilm products and services in Canada.

About CINEVERSE-Atlanta
CINEVERSE, a Division of VER, is a film & digital camera house with an unmatched inventory, broad and deep resources, and stellar customer service. CINEVERSE is Committed to the Craft of Cinematography through innovative support and expertise. Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Miami and Atlanta

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