Blackmagic Design has come out with the news that its URSA Mini 4.6K digital film camera was amongst the several camera packages that was used in the filming of Martin McDonagh’s latest film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Starring Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Peter Dinklage, the film has been photographed by British cinematographer Ben Davis known for his work in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers Age of Ultron and Doctor Strange.
Since McDonagh’s work is particularly dialogue heavy, the film features a lot of close up shots throughout, says Davis. “In those moments you need the ability to step away and provide the audience with context, whether that is to establish a location or to set the mood and tone,” he explains.
“Unfortunately, it is those establishing shots, particularly when working on smaller budgets, that just aren’t factored into the shooting day,” said Ben. “As a rule, I always tend to arrive on set early so that I have time to process the day before the cast and crew arrive, and that is where I filmed a lot of the general views (GV) and beauty shots for Three Billboards,” he adds.
Davis had the URSA Mini 4.6K rigged up with a short zoom which he rented from Panavision and a Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder.
“The accessibility of the URSA Mini is what makes it a great camera. When I didn’t have a crew, I was able to grab it from the bag and film on my own. It meant I was always in a position to capture the beauty of the early morning light,” he goes on.
Davis also reflects on a scene that he shot during Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri involving actress Frances McDormand. “Not only did the URSA Mini need to be in the shot during filming, but we also wanted it to be standing footage on its own to intercut with the material we shot on our main unit cameras.”
Graded and finished in DaVinci Resolve Studio, the DI on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was delivered by Goldcrest Post colorist Adam Glasman.