Director/Cinematographer TJ Derry Adopts AJA CION for Commercial Production

In a new spot directed by Toronto-based director and cinematographer TJ Derry, an elaborate photosynthesis experiment proves that Scotts EZ Seed fertilizer helps grass grow almost anywhere, including a basement. Shot on CION at 4K in ProRes 444, with time-lapse footage captured on multiple Canon DSLRs, the spot showcases the beautiful cinematic images from the CION camera on a low light set.

Derry and his crew first designed and built the EZ Seed set in a studio, which they dressed as a basement. The set was lit mainly using practical lights, and augmented with skirted china balls to keep a base ambience in the room. Using CION with the older style Zeiss Super Speed MK2 primes, they shot almost wide open with very minimal light, and Derry was impressed with how good the footage looked and the low noise of the image.

“I couldn’t believe how well the CION footage came out and how little noise there was; it was very cool and a great example of the filmic look the camera can produce, even in low light,” explained Derry.

Derry also had a positive experience with how the footage looked in post production, “My colorist was impressed with how good the image looked when we blew it up, and how much latitude we had with the picture coming off the CION when we were color grading,” he continued.


“CION allows me to do everything I would normally do when I shoot commercials and videos; I haven’t found anything I can’t shoot with it yet, it just requires lighting. In the film stock world, there wasn’t ever 1250, 1500 or 2000 ISO, so cinematographers who came from the film era will get it, and be able to shoot with it in almost any circumstance as long as they can light their shots. I’m really sold on CION, and can’t wait to see what other enhancements AJA has in store with its next firmware release,” said Derry.


CION’s ergonomics also simplified run-and gun-style shooting for Derry who has been shooting and directing for almost ten years. “Shooting handheld with some of the Canon and RED square box cameras can be difficult; they’re really hard to rig to balance on your shoulder and I, or my operator, get a sore back after a day of shooting with one. The CION is lightweight, balanced and the form factor is great. I can hold it comfortably on my shoulder and run around town,” concluded Derry.

Derry is currently working on several other commercial projects with CION, including a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese campaign. He is represented for commercials by Studio M in Toronto.

About CION
Ergonomic and lightweight in design with unparalleled connectivity, the CION production camera is capable of shooting at 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD resolutions. In-camera recording directly to the Apple ProRes family of codecs, including 12-bit ProRes 444, enables incredible image quality capture to cost-effective AJA Pak SSD media at up to 4K/60p, and offers compatibility with a wide range of post production applications. CION can also output AJA Raw at up to 4K 120 fps via 4x 3G-SDI or up to 4K 30 fps via Thunderbolt™.