Why VFX Superstars Choose SmallHD’s FOCUS Bolt RX Feat. Corridor Digital

Wed, Jul 10, 2019

“The lines between traditional film sets and YouTube videos are becoming more blurred. We’re spending time and money on set locations, so we have to get the shots we need fast. The system we have enables efficiency and simplifies what often becomes an overcomplicated technical setup, and we get to capture the beautiful images that our fans love to see.” - Nikolas Pueringer, Founder and Creative Director at Corridor Digital.

Corridor Digital is the production company behind the wildly popular YouTube channels Corridor and Corridor Crew. If you haven’t seen their channels yet, the guys behind Corridor Digital are VFX artists who came together to create fun videos focused on digital effects and action-based shorts, like this one below:

But behind all the magical VFX is a production team just like any other capturing the photography, and they rely on Teradek & SmallHD to get the job done. Nikols Pueringer, Founder of Corridor Digital and Creative Director of the channel, shares the story behind the company and why handheld monitors are so critical to his team.

A Focus on Popular Culture

“Before we started our YouTube channel in 2009, Sam Gorski and I were doing freelance VFX. While we really enjoyed doing it, we realized that we’d work on a project, ship it off, and pretty much never see it again. It’s on display on the other side of the world or sitting on a shelf somewhere. We rarely got to see the fruits of our work and audiences reacting to them.”

“Many artists create to have an impact on people in some way or another, and when you don’t the job can be disheartening. So in 2009 we decided to start our own YouTube channel called Corridor. It eliminated that barrier immediately and we were able to get immediate reactions from our fans. We get to work around topics we really enjoy like video games and pop culture, and we get to play with visual effects and explain how we do it. It’s a really gratifying thing for us.”

“Back in the early days of our channel, very few people were making things look cinematic on an EV-level budget. Cinema cameras weren’t really a thing yet (the RED One just came out) and we were learning how to make digital cameras look cinematic. Basically, we were at the forefront of a software revolution where things started to become very affordable. DaVinci Resolve was imported to Windows for the first time ever. We suddenly had all of these professional tools without having to spend $30K. Mix in high-level VFX and pop culture and that’s where our content comes from.”

Our Setup

“The main camera package for the Corridor channel is built around the RED GEMINI. We have a Teradek MDR.ACI mounted to it, which acts as our electronic lens control and wireless follow focus and an AC pulling focus wirelessly using the MK3.1 controller. We use the electronic motors built into the Sigma lenses so we don’t have to put any rails or special mounting on the camera.”

Being Handheld and Wireless

“If you notice from our videos, we’re often outdoors and constantly moving around. Before having the handheld monitor, we used to just have our camera operator pulling focus. We decided to bring this to the next level by going wireless with the FOCUS Bolt TX and RX. The TX sits on top of the GEMINI while our focus puller uses the RX to do wireless lens control.”

“Having the FOCUS Bolt RX makes us so much more efficient. 3 years ago, we made a series with YouTube Premium called Lifeline which we had a decent budget for. I wanted a directors monitor so I could look down at my hands at any moment and still see the shot.”

“What I ended up having was this giant metal rig with 2 large AB batteries on the back, a Bolt strapped to the side, and a forest of wires hanging around. The whole thing weighed like 20 lbs. I couldn’t just easily put that in my pocket or have it hanging around my neck. It defeated the whole purpose of having a wireless system you can pull out at any moment.”

“The new FOCUS Bolt takes all of that and gives it a consumer-style packaging. There’s no mess of wires or weird rigging, it’s small and lightweight, and bright enough where we can be shooting in the sun and still see the image perfectly. But the biggest part is having a wireless system that lets you see the image from wherever you are. We’re almost in 2020 - we have little computers in our pockets. It’s time we started doing the same thing for monitoring solutions in the film world. The FOCUS Bolt is exactly that.”

Check out Corridor’s YouTube channels and give these VFX geniuses a subscribe!

Corridor: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsn6cjffsvyOZCZxvGoJxGg
Corridor Crew: https://www.youtube.com/user/samandniko
Corridor Cast: https://www.youtube.com/corridorcast
Guillotine Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb8ewylk7d2M_1dLGEiFmuQ

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