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John Brawley has a reputation as one of Australia’s most talented and sought-after cinematographers, relocating to the US in 2017 and continuing to work on both US and international productions. Recent credits include two seasons of The Resident with Matt Czuchery and Emily Van Camp for FOX and two seasons of Queen of the South with Alice Braga for USA.
While in Australia John shot six seasons of the beloved Australian series Offspring (Netflix), two seasons of the AACTA award winning series Puberty Blues (Hulu) and was nominated for best cinematography for The Beautiful Lie (Hulu)
Currently in London shooting The Great, staring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult for Hulu / Channel 4, John is an MA graduate of the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School and has been an Olympus Visionary since 2013.
The Watchers is a short film about a young woman terraforming a planet working in an ice cold, hostile environment. When I was first approached about making the short film, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to use the Olympus micro four thirds system and OM-D E-M1 Mark III to help create a visually unique vision of another planet.
Shot at a visually stunning location Fortress Mountain in Alberta, Canada. We had a very small crew. Just myself, Warren, the director, who sometimes also operated a second camera, Chris Sachs the Writer/Producer and a local camera assistant.
The weatherproofing of the E-M1 Mark III is so good we didn’t have to really worry at all about operating the camera in heavy snow, subzero temperatures and high winds. The brilliant design of the ergonomics and high customization of the function buttons made it easy to operate the camera even wearing heavy duty gloves.
We had a couple of sequences shooting on the back of snowmobiles where the articulated screen and world class image stabilization on the camera meant we could easily get handheld shots that would be nearly impossible to achieve with other camera systems.
We chose not to have tripods or gimbals, every single shot is handheld. The ability to tune the Image stabilizer speed and sensitivity also helped us with getting very natural feeling hand shots.
Shooting in such a stark and white environment is a challenge for any camera, and I wanted to preserve as much highlight information as I could. Much of the film was recorded though the HDMI output to an external recorder using the OM-LOG400 profile, to preserve the maximum dynamic range for later grading.
I was very grateful for the unique combination of its small size, weatherproofing, face tracking autofocus, image stabilizing and glove friendly ergonomics. It made capturing great, compelling images in such difficult conditions effortless.
OM-D E-M1 Mark III
The E-M1 Mark III. Expertly crafted to capture the world’s greatest images. Like yours.