Virtual Production with the Venice 2

By Gerry Blaksley

I recently had the opportunity to take part in a Sony workshop with Alister Chapman and the Sony Venice 2 on the Pixojam XR stage in Dubai. The experience on the XR stage with all the perks of being able to shoot tough locations in a controlled environment was indeed eye opening and exciting. However the real hero of the show was the Venice 2’s 16-bit X-OCN linear codec.

I had heard the rumors of effortless 8K editing with the Venice 2 but didn’t believe it until I finally had the chance to work with the footage myself. After shooting a few scenes on the XR stage we dropped the card into the Sony AXS memory card reader and connected via thunderbolt 3 to a MacBook Pro M1 Max. I opened the files into DaVinci Resolve and to my astonishment was able to cut and scrub in an 8K timeline directly from the card reader! Even when making basic changes in the color page like color space transform, balance shift and a few tweaks on the primary wheels the footage still played back real time. As an editor and colorist this of course is an absolute game changer. Sony has really found the secret sauce with this new codec.

This was the first time the Venice 2 has been used in a virtual production environment in the region. We had two full sessions with filmmakers from all over the MEA region. Much was learned from Alister during the stage demonstration and I really enjoyed walking the participants through the post-production workflow segment. Overall this was a very successful event and I am looking forward to collaborating with the new relationships built during this time.

Between the 16bit depth of information, rich color science and light weight compression, X-OCN has made it to the top of my favorites list. I am thrilled that Sony continues to innovate in ways that enhance the filmmaking communities ability to perform on the highest level as well as providing opportunities to lean together. I am looking forward to working with the Venice 2 on many projects in the future.

About Gerry Blaksley

Gerry Blaksley a Creative Director as well as an experienced Director of Photography, Aerial DOP and Underwater Cinematographer. Gerry directed the feature documentary “Fittest in Dubai” and has worked with numerous large brands across the globe such as Sony, Paramount, Mercedes, Emirates, Red Bull and celebrities such as Will Smith, Tom Cruise and Lionel Messi to create scores of inspiring images and stories