Secrets of the West: A 4K Documentary Created with pictureline Gear

When we set out to make this documentary, our team's goal was to capture the true beauty of the Southwest in a way never seen before—not just in 4K Ultra HD—but to get into places other crews have not been and interview the people who live in these areas and know their history. I strongly feel that this film will represent the American West in an educational and inspirational way for years to come.

Secrets of the West: A Documentary of the "Real" Old West

Secrets of the West takes you on a journey of the "real" Old West—its beauty, history, and people. This 30-minute 4K documentary shares secret places, treasure stories, and native legends through interviews with leading researchers in Southwest Preservation and history. Secrets of the West offers insight into filmmaking history and Western places made iconic by cinema.

4K Resolution

In addition, this film was shot in 4K, which is a huge step in the film industry. Along with the rest of the Secrets of the West crew, we are some of the first people in Utah to use 4K resolution in a narrative documentary. If you’re not familiar with the term 4K, it’s basically a generic term for display devices or content having horizontal resolution in the order of 4,000 pixels. However, due to lack of available content, 4K television has yet to achieve mass market appeal. Using horizontal resolution to characterize the technology marks a switch from the previous generation, high definition television, which categorized media according to vertical resolution (1080i, 720p, 480p, etc.).

pictureline Photography Equipment and Other Cinema Equipment

The use of 4K cameras was made possible thanks to RED EPIC cameras graciously provided by Stock Footage. Everything else we used was from pictureline. From Canon L Series lenses and Manfrotto tripods to RØDE microphones and Pelican cases for all the gear, here’s a rough list of equipment that made "Secrets of the West" possible.

  • RED Epic with Cinema Primes
  • Canon 5D Mark III Cameras
  • 16-35mm L Series Canon Lenses
  • 35mm L Series Canon Lens
  • 14mm L Series Canon Lens
  • 100-400mm L Series Canon Lens
  • Rokinon 35mm Lens
  • Multiple Manfrotto Tripods and Heads
  • RØDE VideoMic GO
  • RØDE smartLav
  • Zoom H6 Handy Recorder
  • Redrock Micro Cinema Rig
  • Pelican Cases for all gear
  • RØDE NTG-2 Microphone

Supporting 4K Film: Our Kickstarter Campaign

We’re hoping to raise a small amount of additional funds to get the post production costs covered and speed up the completion of the film, which you can help fund on Kickstarter. The Kickstarter campaign ends April 20th, yet I will ensure that the film is finished, but it would be great to get some help as I am self-funding this project. In the meantime, enjoy some of the stills from Secrets of the West and stay tuned for the completed film!

Secrets of the West, James Cawley, False Kiva, Canyonlands, Utah False Kiva, Canyonlands, Utah - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L

Secrets of the West, James Cawley, Moab, Utah Cowboy Church Scene, Moab, Utah - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L.

Secrets of the West, James Cawley, American Heritage Center, Logan, Utah Milk Maid, American Heritage Center, Logan, Utah - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L.

James Cawley directing a military film. James Cawley directing a military film.

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L. Mesa Arch, Canyonlands - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L.

Mark Twain Slept Here, Camp Floyd State Park - Secrets of the West Mark Twain Slept Here, Camp Floyd State Park - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L.

Stars over Zion, Zion National Park - Secrets of the West, James Cawley Stars over Zion, Zion National Park - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L.

Mohave Underground Team, Fillmore Lava Tubes - Secrets of the West.  Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L. Mohave Underground Team, Fillmore Lava Tubes - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L.

Secrets of the West - Photo by James Cawley Secrets of the West - Photo by James Cawley

Grand Tetons, Grand Tetons National Park - Secrets of the West.  Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 100-400L. Grand Tetons, Grand Tetons National Park - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 100-400L.

Ophir Mine, Utah - Secrets of the West.  Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L. Ophir Mine, Utah - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L.

Kiva, Edge if the Cedars State Park, Blanding, Utah - Secrets of the West.  Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L. Kiva, Edge if the Cedars State Park, Blanding, Utah - Secrets of the West. Photo by James Cawley, shot with a 5DMKIII and 16-35L.

Behind the scenes of a time lapse at Horseshoe Bend near Page, Arizona - Secrets of the West.  Behind the scenes of a time lapse at Horseshoe Bend near Page, Arizona - Secrets of the West.

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