Blackmagic Design has announced that its Pocket Cinema Camera 6K digital film camera was used to shoot Japanese director Mika Ninagawa’s new live action film “xxxHOLiC.”
Based on the popular manga of the same name created by CLAMP, an all female Japanese manga artist group, the film was also graded with DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, colour grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software.
“xxxHOLiC” revolves around Kimihiro Watanuki, a high school student who is disturbed by his ability to see the supernatural, and Yūko Ichihara, a powerful witch who owns a wish granting shop.
Ninagawa, the director of the film, is a big fan of the original comic and had planned to make this film for ten years until finally releasing it in 2022. Ninagawa worked with DoP Daisuke to shoot the film, which included rich, colorful scenes and gorgeous wardrobes and set designs.
Soma had worked with Ninagawa many times before shooting “xxxHOLiC.”
“Filming began just as the quarantine period in 2020 ended. At the beginning of the film, there is a scene in which the main character runs away from an unknown black shadow. We shot this scene in Shibuya and Harajuku, where not many people were walking around at the time, using the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K,” said Soma.
“I wanted to create a sense of dynamism in this scene, so the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K was my first choice. I mounted the camera on a pipe and shot the scene running while holding the pipe with my assistant. I also used the camera mounted on a tyre dolly,” he added.
Soma continued: “The Blackmagic Pocket Camera has great mobility, so it was perfect for shooting quickly in many places in a town. I shot in Blackmagic RAW, and it was easy to match with other camera’s footage.”
The film was graded with DaVinci Resolve Studio. Anyone who knows Ninagawa’s work expects vivid and beautiful cinematography. However, the intro of the film starts with a totally different look, defying expectations.
Soma explained: “I requested to boost colours and contrast for the scenes of another world where the mysterious character, Yuko, appears. It is like an explosion of colours, representing Ninagawa’s world. On the other hand, the intro scene is very desaturated, giving the feel of seeing black and white manga. The original manga has a very contrasty black and white look, so I aimed to create a similar look. With DaVinci Resolve, it worked well to distinguish the look between the real world and another world.”
“By inserting some scenes that do not have many colours, we refresh the audience’s eyes so that they don’t get used to the intensity of the colors. It helps the colors pop when they move onto the new scene,” Soma concluded.