The Creator and the FX3

Filmmakers and film aficionados worldwide are talking non stop about Gareth Edwards’ latest

sci-fi release, ‘The Creator’, but the buzz is not centered around the usual cinematic aspects we

all love to discuss, such as actors or a surprise plot twist. Edwards, renowned for helming major

productions like Godzilla (2014) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), opted for a unique

approach in the making of ‘The Creator.’ This film was funded at only $80 million, which may

not seem like a low number but is comparatively to his two previously listed films which were

budgeted between $160-265 million to complete. So how did Gareth create a movie that looks as

good as a big budget film but costs a fraction of the price? Simple – by choosing to shoot on the

Sony FX3.

While the FX3, retailing at only $4,000 per body, may be regarded as one of Sony’s more

modest entries in their cinema camera lineup, it nevertheless boasts impressive capabilities.

These capabilities were compelling enough to persuade a highly regarded film team to opt for it

over Hollywood’s conventional camera choices, such as a Venice or an Alexa. To gain a more

in-depth understanding of Gareth’s specific camera choice, ‘The Creator’ cinematographer Oren

Soffer interviewed with Youtube film buff Matti Happoja for a detailed discussion.

“Gareth shot a test film to basically pitch the movie to the studio before it was greenlit

and this was pre pandemic, so 2019,” Soffer explains. “They traveled around, just him and Jim

Spencer – our producer – to seven countries in Southeast Asia to scout locations, but also to shoot

footage for what would eventually become a test film that Gareth used to get the movie greenlit.”

Soffer goes on to describe that the test footage the duo shot on a Nikon DSLR with a gimbal was

“absolutely stunning.” “When it came time to then decide like, okay, what are we going to shoot

the actual movie on? Gareth’s first and foremost instinct was like -I want to shoot the movie like

I just shot this little test reel.” And so the wheels began to turn, and eventually after it’s release in

2021, the Sony FX3 was chosen.

Why Sony?

According to Soffer, the primary prerequisites for filming ‘The Creator’ included the need for a

compact and lightweight camera capable of delivering high-quality cinematic imagery with

features like ProRes RAW, 15 stops of dynamic range, and 4K resolution. The FX3 easily met

these criteria.

So, why not other brands? Again- why Sony?

Different camera manufacturers have the capacity to offer quality imagery within a lightweight

body, as demonstrated by brands such as Black Magic, for example. But the science behind

Sony’s color is what ultimately won them over. “Sony was taking their color science from the

bigger cameras like the Venice and shrinking it down into the FX3, so there’s a color science

continuum with the other Sony cameras that just elevated the FX3 above the other options that

were in the same size and weight range.” Soffer also went on to explain the importance of using a camera as a data capturing tool and not to lean heavily on the body to create your movie’s



“Raw is raw. Footage is footage. Data is data. What you end up doing with it, like color

grading is what gives a project a look. They really dug into Slog and ProRes RAW to get that

richness and color separation and then added in a film emulation underneath it.” Aside from

Sony’s impressive color technology, the size and flexibility of the camera was important to

Edwards to emulate the feel of his original test footage.

“I hope it becomes an industry standard for cameras to get lighter,” says Gareth Edwards. “I don’t think there’s any cameraman in the world that enjoys holding this really heavy brick hours on end.”


Not only does a smaller body alleviate potential stress for a camera operator, in an intriguing chain reaction it also benefited how Edwards was able to give direction to actors on set. The FX3 has a dual native ISO, one at 800 and 12,800, making it ideal for virtually any type of lighting situation.

According to Edwards, the increased ISO level would reduce the necessity for additional lighting on set, as the camera’s sensitivity would already be elevated.

“As the actors are given freedom to sort of go any direction they want, I can quickly move with them and the lighting can quickly change in an

instant. So, instead of waiting 10 to 20 minutes to change the lighting all the time, we were waiting three seconds,” says Edwards.


We live in a unique time in cinema where the accessibility of technology and over-the-top

showmanship can occasionally detract from the essence of why we even watch a movie.

The choice to shoot slim and adapt to the “less is more” principle for ‘The Creator’ is in perfect taste

with the movie’s plot. Edwards and his team said that the philosophy of their shoot was always

working around limitations and the confines they set up for themselves. Choosing to shoot on the

FX3 was a bold move that paid off beautifully, and a good reminder that a great film is

determined before shooting even starts.

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Sony FR7s – Blending Live Production and Cinema

As the world’s first full-frame 4k PTZ camera with interchangeable lenses, Sony has introduced innovative viewpoints for both filmmakers and live productions alike.

The FR7 stands out as one of Sony’s more distinctive camera releases in the way it intertwines the realms of Live Production and Cinema.

With the advantages of a cinema camera and the full functionality of a PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) camera, Sony has raised the bar again with the FR7.

What is a PTZ Camera?

To understand why Sony has changed the PTZ market forever, let’s take a look at the basic building blocks of a typical Pan-Tilt-Zoom.

The main benefit of a PTZ is so the operator can remotely control the camera between three different axes – a pan from left to right, a tilt up or down, and a zoom in or out.

These cameras are ideal for live events, houses of worship, sporting events, and other affairs of that nature.

Original PTZ cameras excelled in areas where a traditional, smaller one inch sensor was needed for shooting.

To put in perspective how small this actually is, these little sensors have only about one-quarter the area of a typical crop-frame DSLR (16x24mm), and only about one-eighth the area of a full-frame (24x36mm) sensor.

That’s a lot of potential data lost that could be used to capture events to their full capacity. That is, until Sony released the FR7.

Key Features of the FR7

The FR7 is based on the core parts of Sony’s full-frame FX6 making it far more versatile than any PTZ camera that’s come before it. Not only is this camera full-frame, it can also support up to Ultra High Definition 4k120 video shooting and DCI 4k at up to 60fps.

Alongside its full-sized cinema sensor, the FR7 boasts remote control functionalities, accessible through the company’s web app or on Sony’s dedicated remote control device, the RM-IP500.


The RM-IP500 even further simplifies your shoot by allowing for smooth camera control with a joystick as opposed to a traditional remote that PTZs typically come equipped with.

It has compatibility with up to 70 Sony E-Mount lenses ranging from 12-1200mm which alone sets this camera apart from any other PTZ camera.

The FR7 also offers internal XAVC recording (to dual CFExpress Type A and SDXC card slots) while simultaneously sending the feed to your live production software.

It has 15+ stops of dynamic range and a base ISO of 800 that is expandable from 12,800 to 409,600 guaranteeing to capture optimal video in virtually any lighting scenario. Presets are included and users have the option to bake in a look or shoot in Slog.

And lastly, if the above features haven’t sold you yet, the FR7 comes equipped with integrated fast hybrid autofocus and adjustable ND filters, delivering enhanced cinematic capabilities.

Regardless of the shoot, whether it be capturing Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Big Steppers: Live

from Paris’ Tour or the newest season of Ninja Warriors (2023), the FR7 is a camera any crew can trust to get the job done and is available for rent today.


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