Project “Overtime” was born out of a challenge and an opportunity to push the limits. When we were approached by Fujifilm to create a piece of work using their brand-new Fujifilm X-H2S, we immediately jumped at it. The latest update of the X-H series boasts impressive features which we fully intend to take advantage of. To sum it up, it has a new sensor and an all-new workflow that promotes efficiency throughout the whole process.
With that in mind, we came up with several concepts that could be executed with a small crew, a single location and minimal actors. Like the camera, we really strived to keep it beautifully simple while delivering maximum impact; and that is how we landed on this concept of a workaholic trapped in his office with no way out.
The size of the X-H2S meant that we could operate on a much smaller scale than we normally do. This gave us flexibility in so many aspects of production, decisions could be made faster, logistics was never an issue. All this meant that we could focus on achieving the right look and feel we needed for the film.
Since the whole film revolves around one central character, we really leaned on the staging and the composition to relay the emotions of each scene. The new Stacked-Sensor of the X-H2S allowed us to create moody low-light compositions without compromising the quality. Creating a sense of loneliness and isolation within the frame.
What I really enjoyed while using the X-H2S is also its compact size. It gave us the versatility to place cameras in tight spaces or build it up to a full rig when needed. Honestly speaking my cinematographer was extremely relieved with its weight because that meant tracking shots were less tiring on the arms, and we go for more takes than we normally would.
Any photographer or cinematographer would tell you a big factor in creating a great image is in the lenses; and with the X-H2S, the choice of lenses are not just huge in number, but also offer impeccable quality. We used a plethora of X-mount lenses on this project depending on the shot. For most still shots, we relied heavily on the FUJINON MKX Series (with follow focus attached) for its razer-like sharpness. But other lenses such as the wide angle XF10-24mm and even the XF100-400mm were called upon to enable us to capture the images that we had imagined. Furthermore, the autofocus on the XF lenses proved to be a game changer when paired with the X-H2S’ new autofocus system especially during tracking shots. This allowed the camera operator to focus on the composition, while trusting the autofocus system to deliver precise focus each take.
Another new piece of kit that was given to us by Fujifilm was the brand new XF18-120mm power-zoom. Normally as filmmakers, we would not dare go near any power-zooms; but one function we did find useful with this lens is the ability to create a steady, constant zoom with just a push of a button. I liked this feature so much that I found myself changing up my shot list to incorporate this slow zoom not once, but twice in the film.
One aspect of the X-H2S that got us excited is its recording formats. The ability to record Prores internally and Prores RAW via an external recorder really expedited our post-production workflow. The Prores format gave us buttery smooth playback and allowed for a more enjoyable editing experience. Paired with the brand-new F-log2 that allows for more dynamic range, it made color-grading equally satisfying.
There are just so many aspects of this camera I enjoy that I could go on forever. From the major improvements like the sensor and autofocus; to the tiny details like the always on display screen (adopted from the GFX Series) and the thoughtful Cooling-Fan accessory that negates overheating issues. This camera is well thought out from each pixel of its sensor down to the last screw. While I am aware that this may sound biased to those of you reading; but it is really the detail and care put into each of their cameras that makes Fujifilm stand out for me.
In conclusion, the X-H2S delivered on all fronts when called upon. Whether you shoot films or photos, it really is a machine that you can rely. It does the job and does it well and I couldn’t ask for more in a camera as compact as this.