Published on Thursday, 11 June 2015


‘Hibi Rock’ Captures a Japanese Manga Story with Blackmagic Cameras

‘Hibi Rock’ is a new Japanese feature film based on the popular manga comic by Katsumasa Enokiya. Shot on Blackmagic Cinema Cameras, Production Camera 4K and Pocket Cinema Cameras, and graded with DaVinci Resolve, the film was recently released in Japan and is due to for release on DVD in June.


The movie follows the life of a young boy, Takuro Hibinuma, harassed by bullies, who starts his own band and pursues his dream. Two well-known young actors, Shuhei Nomura and Fumi Nikaido, starred in the film, with a number of Japanese rock musicians performing the music.

"Because the story is complex and covers a lot of action, we needed several cameras and had to find a camera that was not only affordable but also capable of shooting in RAW or Log. It’s important now to make sure a movie has the right look for a feature film," said Sohei Tanikawa, the film’s DP. "Modern filmmakers need to aim for the kind of tone that Blackmagic cameras capture."

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Right: DP Sohei Tanikawa

A Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT was used as the film’s primary camera and a Blackmagic Production Camera 4K EF became the secondary camera, with Pocket Cinema Cameras added for a number of scenes captured with multiple cameras. "We used about five or six Blackmagic cameras for a teen idol's concert scene. Also, we had a scene in a live music club where we installed Pocket Cinema Cameras on a wall and ceiling. Because the stage in the club is so narrow, the compactness of the Pocket Cinema Camera was a big advantage,” Sohei said.

"I have shot several films digitally now and have often had trouble with digital cameras during the shoot. However, the Blackmagic cameras remained very stable through the whole the production. They are compact and affordable, but also capture a great image."


Grading for this film was done by colourist Jun Takada at production company IMAGICA in Tokyo.  Sohei said, "We used DaVinci Resolve to grade the film. I prefer a filmic tone, so I aimed to capture decent blacks in the images without crushing the blacks too much, so that you can see the details. I took the project out to a post production studio for grading but I sometimes use Resolve myself.

"As a DP, I like being able to use unlimited Power Windows because lately it’s often hard to take as much time as we want to create the best lighting conditions. Taking too much time can interfere with the actors' concentration, for example. So if I think on set that fixing the lighting will take too much time, I’ll plan to bring it to a studio colourist to handle the correction."