My First Impressions of the Bolt for Sony Venice feat. DP Khalid Mohtaseb

Khalid Mohtaseb is a DP currently on set in Wilmington, North Carolina, shooting with Director Alan Ball for his latest feature film. An avid user of Sony’s cinema camera VENICE, Khalid was the first adopter of the new Bolt for Sony VENICE, which he has been using for this production since day one. He shares why VENICE is his weapon of choice, and his first impressions of the Bolt that every filmmaker should know about.

What We’re Shooting With

Khalid -

Without revealing too much about the show, I can say that this is Alan Ball’s most personal film he’s ever written. Being a huge fan of Alan’s for a long time, I wasn’t turning down an opportunity to be the Director of Photography for this project. We started principal photography on April 13.

Here’s the camera package:

A Cam

  • Sony VENICE w/ Rialto
  • Sony AXS-R7 4K Recorder
  • Hawke C-Series Anamorphics
  • Scorpio Anamorphics
  • LOMO Anamorphics
  • SmallHD Cine 7 On-Camera Monitor
  • Wooden Camera D-Box
  • DJI Ronin 2
  • ARRI LMB 4x5 Matte Box
  • ARRI VENICE Plates

B Cam

  • Sony VENICE
  • Sony AXS-R7 4K Recorder
  • Hawke C-Series Anamorphics
  • Scorpio Anamorphics
  • LOMO Anamorphics
  • Teradek Bolt for Sony VENICE
  • Wooden Camera D-Box
  • Wooden Camera A-Box
  • ARRI LMB 4x5 Matte Box
  • ARRI VENICE Plates

To me, Sony VENICE is a game-changing camera. I got my hands on one the moment Sony released it. The camera has 8 stops of internal NDs, so having to change external NDs is a thing of the past. When you’re on a month-long shoot, having NDs built-in makes everything so much simpler. What also sold me was the dual ISO. We’re constantly pushing back and forth between 500 and 2500 ISO. It’s extremely sensitive for night shoots under low light and gets us really beautiful shots.

Having the Rialto is huge too. We’re shooting on location for every part of this film, and there are a lot of tight places that traditional cameras - even ALEXA Minis - wouldn’t fit. We can mount the camera on a Hi Hat and pull the Rialto behind a stove or any tight corner without having to move the entire set.

My Impressions of the Bolt 1000 for Sony VENICE

In your typical film environment, wireless video transmitters always have to be rigged to the top of the camera, and that’s just another accessory with cables and antennas taking up space. There’s almost never a good place for them. It makes operating bulky and hard to move around.

The new Bolt changes this completely! Having the transmitter be part of the camera body - even though it makes the camera longer - streamlines our entire camera rig. First, it connects right to the camera body and passes through both power and video. Not a single arm or cable needed for any of this. Behind the Bolt, we have the Sony R7 recorder, Wooden Camera D-Box, and an Anton Bauer battery. It’s a long camera, but everything fits perfectly and we don’t have to worry about accessories getting in the way.

You get top-notch wireless monitoring that can go to your video village while your camera looks clean and professional. My only issue is with the bulky antennas that stick out of the top, which can get in the way sometimes. But all long-range transmitters need antennas, and it’s much cleaner and better than having the transmitter mounted to an arm.

Everyone who owns a VENICE should have the new Bolt in their kit.

A special thanks to my crew on this production:

1st AC: Robert Lau
B Cam: Joey Dwyer
DIT: Ilya Yamasaki
2nd AC: Nick Cocuzza
Producers: Jay Van Hoy & Michael Costigan


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