‘The Knowing’ Short Film Was Shot on Sony’s New Burano Cinema Camera

World-renowned conservation photographers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen have teamed up with Academy Award-winning cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki to create a new short film, The Knowing.

Shot in Western Australia on the Sony Burano, the first PL-mount cinema camera to include in-body image stabilization, The Knowing highlights the importance of ocean conservation.

“Our planet is in real trouble, but we still have time. We must work together to prevent the loss of amazing species, like the Southern Right Whale,” explains Mittermeier, a marine biologist and National Geographic explorer. “The Southern Right Whale is an endangered species, hunted to near extinction in the 19th century. Now, barely beginning to recover, this species faces a new threat: the changing ocean. From seismic blasting, entanglement, ocean pollution and ship strikes, these whales are navigating an uncertain future.”

Sony Burano shoots "The Knowing" short film
Paul Nicklen (blue jacket) and Emmanuel ‘Chivo’ Lubezki (black jacket) working on the new short film, ‘The Knowing’ with a Sony Burano cinema camera.

The Sony Burano proved instrumental in creating the short film, as it combines the image quality of the large, flagship Sony Venice camera system but has a smaller, compact form factor. The Burano delivered the low-light image quality the filmmakers needed without necessitating a large, heavy setup.

“These gentle giants hold the key to mending our wounded planet,” adds Nicklen, also a marine biologist and National Geographic explorer. “They are nature’s solution to the environmental crisis threatening ecosystems worldwide. Whales offer a critical resource for reducing harmful levels of carbon in the atmosphere.”

Sony Burano shoots "The Knowing" short film
Cristina Mittermeier (center, facing the camera) and ‘Chivo’ Ludezki (back to the camera).

Whales contribute to significant carbon capture, and each great whale removes an average of 33 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during their lifetime, according to the International Monetary Fund. Whales are a primary driver of phytoplankton populations, which also remove a significant amount of CO2.

“I love and admire Cristina and Paul’s work and it was a great privilege to witness two wonderful storytellers joining forces with the shared commitment of saving our planet,” says Lubezki. The cinematographer is well-known for his work on Children of Men, Gravity, The Revenant, and Birdman. Lubezki won his three Oscars for the latter three films.

“Working on this project with Sony was incredibly meaningful,” says Mittermeier. “Conservation requires that we all participate, that we all do what we can to ensure that our planet and all of its creatures thrive. Sony is an important ally in this work.”

“As part of Sony’s Road to Zero global environmental plan, we partner with content creators, non-profit organizations, and communities to raise awareness about the importance of conservation” adds Neal Manowitz, President and COO of Sony Electronics. “We are very thankful to be able to support incredible creative talents like Paul, Cristina and Chivo to tell vital stories about our planet and raise awareness for these critical issues.”