How Canon’s 4K cameras played a role in the filming of TBS’ “The World Heritage.”
To leave ultra-high resolution footage of World Heritage sites for future generations—this is the goal of the television documentary series “The World Heritage,” produced by TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc.), which continuously seeks to produce footage of the highest quality. Supporting this effort is Canon’s 4K imaging technology, which emphasizes realism and immersion, helping to create videos that are more beautiful and impressive than ever.
According to Director Ryo Taguchi, “When shooting with an ordinary format, if you try to bring out the detail of clouds in a bright sky, the fields below that are in shadow will be ‘blacked out.’ In contrast, if you try to bring out the detail in a dark area, the bright area will get ‘whited out.’ But with this format, color grading can be performed on the recorded data afterwards, and you can bring out both lights and darks well. Effectively, this means you can take each scene and bring out the full reality of it, and create a sense of being right there, with more beautiful, impressive visuals.”
TBS’s “The World Heritage” has been broadcasting sights of the precious World Heritage sites, which it feels should be shared by all humanity, through television. In its 4K Special Series, aired four times a year, it takes 4K cameras to film entire episodes featuring carefully selected World Heritage sites. (For terrestrial digital broadcasts, the footage is converted into Full HD.) One of those specials was “The Hills that Produce the World’s Best Champagne—Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars,” which aired in December 2017.
Videographer Yuki Muroya says, “Shooting within a dark curve, we were able to raise the ISO sensitivity higher than usual. This would normally increase the possibility of noise, but the EOS C700 is good with dark areas, so I was able to clearly show the texture of a stone wall, for example, or the gradations of other dark areas.”
The region of Champagne is where production of the fizzy drink was first established—from grape cultivation and fermentation to distribution. UNESCO recognized the cultural and historical value of champagne as a celebratory drink worldwide with the designation of the region as a World Heritage site in 2015. “I wanted to film the beautiful hills of the Champagne region and the delicate bubbles of champagne. That is how this project got started,” reflected Director Ryo Taguchi.
The team visited France in September, the grape harvesting season, bringing with them four 4K Canon cameras equipped with the latest technology, including the EOS C700 and the EOS C300 Mark II. They went to the village of Hautvillers, the birthplace of champagne, and to the town of Epernay, with its many champagne houses. They filmed historic vineyards, production methods that haven’t changed in 300 years and other facets of the champagne production process in 4K to tell the story of how this drink spread around the world as the drink of choice for a celebratory toast.
This project started from a deceptively simple request to shoot delicate champagne bubbles in 4K, and was eventually achieved by using a macro prime lens, the EF180mm F3.5L Macro USM.
Muroya says, “That allowed me to capture the motion of the bubbles in a striking way as they rose up from the bottom of the glass. With the availability of so many interchangeable lenses, I could choose the best lens for each scene and, using them in combination with the EOS C700, really raise the quality of the images.”
The EOS C700, used as the main camera
“The World Heritage” is a popular television program produced by TBS that has documented hundreds of sites around the world considered precious to all of humanity. “Our approach has been to use the highest standard of video technology available to record these World Heritage sites for posterity,” says 4K Special Series Producer Naohiko Ogawa. “Our efforts are aimed at preserving a visual legacy for future generations.”
Videographer Coverage Technology Department TBS-TEX
Yuki Muroya (left)
Director Media Business Division, TBS Vision
Ryo Taguchi (center)
Deputy Director-General, Media Business Division (4K Special Series Producer) TBS Vision
Naohiko Ogawa (right)
※The name of the company, the position, and the program structure are current as of 2018.