Leveraging Atomos' Ninja Monitor for Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Projects at Universal Costume Department

Atomos’ Ninja monitor was recently used to produce an exclusive behind the scenes project at the Universal Costume Department. The “Designing Hollywood” podcast reached new heights with the integration of Atomos’ cutting-edge monitor, The Ninja- provided by Videoguys.com

Designing Hollywood is a podcast about the craftsmanship that makes the movies you love happen- including costume and set design, writing, directing and more. It is produced by Martika Ibarra, Marilyn Vance, and Robert Meyer Burnett. The podcast was founded in 2020, and up until recently has been produced in a studio setting, however shooting on the Universal lot meant taking the show on the road and into the field for the first time. A new workflow would be needed- and one that met the same quality as previous episodes!

The podcast's host, Robert Meyer Burnett, director of Tango Shalom and producer of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Agent Cody Banks, sat down with Ellen Mirojnick. Mirojnick, celebrated for her work as head costume designer on Wall Street, Bridgerton, and Cloverfield, shared her experience working on her most recent film: Oppenheimer. All details were captured through the lens of innovation provided by the Atomos Ninja monitor. Behind them were three screen-used suits, each worn by Cillian Murphy in the film. In addition, Robert Meyer Burnett also sat down with Jurassic World costume designer Daniel Orlandi infront of costumes designed for Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard to wear in the 2015 Universal film- which the two discussed at length.

The podcast's visual allure owes much to the Atomos Ninja monitor. Utilizing two Lumix GH5 cameras each feeding into a separate Ninja monitor, the production achieved unparalleled clarity through the ProRes RAW file format. This larger file delivered pristine imagery and also provided the flexibility that is essential for precise color correction. This ensured that the iconic Oppenheimer suits looked just as good on screen as they did off. The 4K high-resolution image preserved every intricate detail, displaying Mirojnick’s team’s work to the fullest extent.

During the podcast, the Atomos Ninja monitor took versatility to the next level. Not only was the Ninja monitor perfect for the controlled seated interview setting, but it was also optimal for a walking tour with Mirojnick of the entire Universal Costume Department. For the immersive walking tour a GH5 and the Ninja were mounted to a body rig. This dynamic setup embraced the challenges of varying lighting conditions and on-the-go filming. The Ninja’s extensive settings empowered the filmmakers, offering fine control over exposure settings and color profiles. It’s grid settings ensured the perfect framing, strategically placing the speaker's face in the middle top quadrant. This deliberate composition provided viewers with an intimate, first hand experience, as if they were strolling through the costume house alongside the speaker.

The Ninja’s zebra pattern setting proved invaluable, identifying precise points in the frame and facilitating accurate peaking control. The Ninja's lightweight design was also perfect for the run-and-gun nature of the tour segment. At five inches, this monitor is at home both in a controlled studio environment, as well as an on-the-go, run-and-gun setting.

Best of all, this monitor truly removes the limitation on recording time. Using Angelbirds AtomX memory cards, hours of 4K high resolution footage can be recorded at a time. This feature allows for maximum coverage with fewer cards.

The “Designing Hollywood” podcast is a prestigious podcast with major guests and a high production quality standard. Thanks to Atomos’ Ninja monitor, these standards were met on the field the same way they would be in a studio environment. The Ninja's remarkable features, from its impeccable image quality to its intuitive controls, made it the perfect tool for this workflow.

Make sure to check out “Designing Hollywood” on YouTube, or your podcasting app of choice and keep an eye out for their upcoming content covering Oppenheimer, Ellen Mirojnick and the Universal Costume Department.

Check out the Designing Hollywood Podcast Linktree to Listen to the Show on YouTube or your podcasting app of choice HERE

Article written by Oliver Ricketts
Oliver Ricketts is a videographer, editor and filmmaker involved in multiple ongoing projects. Oliver has worked in commercials, narrative films, podcasting and more. In addition to his contributions to the Designing Hollywood Podcast, his work can also be seen in his documentary series "American Genius".
Follow Oliver Rickett's work HERE 

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