Evil Dead remake becomes first NZ-shot feature to use the Sony F65

10 October, 2012 by Brendan Swift

The remake of Sam Raimi's 1981 cult film Evil Dead has become the first New Zealand-based feature film to shoot with the new Sony F65 camera.

Two major Hollywood feature films have so far used the recently-released high-end digital camera: M Night Shyamalan's upcoming sci-fi film After Earth (starring Will Smith) and, it is understood, Oblivion (starring Tom Cruise), which will both be released next year.


Evil Dead, directed by Fede Alvarez and filmed by cinematographer Aaron Morton, was filmed in Auckland in May. Alvarez said he had seen some of the footage from After Earth, which was filmed in Costa Rica.

"I had seen some demonstration footage from the Sony F65 and the thing that struck me straight away was that it didn't have a sterile digital feeling to it," Morton said in a statement released by Sony. "It had all the resolution and other features that the numbers promised, but it did not have all of those high specs at the expense of a good looking picture."

Morton said the quality of the image produced by the Sony F65 started with its newly-developed CMOS sensor which, unlike a conventional Bayer pattern sensor, uses a unique offset pattern of photosites to pack 8K capture into a Super 35mm size frame.

"There was something about fine detail that felt really natural and more like a film's random grain, rather than a grid of horizontal lines and vertical lines," he says. "Because of the massive over-sampling the level of detail is amazing and it looks sharp and rich, without looking over-sharpened."

Morton also said the Sony F65 rotary shutter was another factor contributing to the quality.

The F65RAW data was captured on the camera with Sony SR-SR4 dockable memory recorders capable of recording up to almost 60 minutes of 16-bit F65RAW to one terabyte (TB) SRMemory cards. The camera crew handled 1.5 to 3 terabytes of data a day from the two cameras during the day.

The Evil Dead remake has been written by Sam Raimi, Diablo Cody and Rodo Sayagues and is being produced by Raimi and Bruce Campbell, who starred in the original Evil Dead films.

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit films recently completed filming in New Zealand using RED EPIC cameras.

Aaron Morton with the Sony F65.