Acclaimed Filmmaker Robert Stone Shoots Upcoming Documentary, ‘Pandora’s Promise,’ with Panasonic’s New AG-AF100 Large Imager HD Cinema Camera
News : Acclaimed Filmmaker Robert Stone Shoots Upcoming Documentary, ‘Pandora’s Promise,’ with Panasonic’s New AG-AF100 Large Imager HD Cinema Camera|
Last Updated: March 28, 2011 7:23 pm GMT
(Secaucus, New Jersey--March 28, 2011) Robert Stone, a multi-award-winning, Oscar-nominated and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, is mid-way through production of his next project, Pandora’s Promise, which he is shooting with the new Panasonic AG-AF100 large imager HD cinema camcorder.|
Best known for Radio Bikini, Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst, Oswald’s Ghost and Earth Days, in his latest feature-length project Stone is taking on nuclear power and how mankind’s most controversial technological discovery may ultimately hold the key to its survival.
Pandora’s Promise is built around a number of in-depth interviews with several of the world’s leading environmentalists, scientists and energy experts, many of whom (like Stone) have undergone a metamorphosis in their thinking about nuclear power. Operating as history, cultural meditation and contemporary exploration, the documentary aims to inspire a realistic debate over one of the most important issues of our time: how we continue to power modern civilization without destroying it.
Stone is the Producer/Director of Pandora’s Promise, with his longtime collaborator—and top National Geographic cinematographer--Howard Shack as Director of Photography. The filmmakers are planning on a 2012 theatrical release following festival submissions to the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals.
Targeted at the film and video production communities, the AF100 delivers film-like shallow depth of field and the wider field of view of a large imager, with the flexibility and cost advantages of a growing line of professional quality, industry-standard micro 4/3-inch lenses, filters, and adapters. The full HD 1080/720 production camera offers superior video handling, native 1080/24p recording, variable frame rates, professional audio capabilities, and compatibility with SDHC and SDXC media.
Stone has been a longtime user of Panasonic HD and digital tape-based camcorders, and was an early adopter of the AF100, taking delivery of it from Abel Cine Tech (New York, NY) at the beginning of January.
“The AF100 has taken me back to my roots as a still photographer and made me excited about cinematography again,” Stone said.”The camcorder’s image production is pretty remarkable and, I believe, Pandora’s Promise looks better than anything I’ve ever shot.”
“I began my documentary career shooting on 16mm film,” Stone continued. “With the advent of digital video came streamlined acquisition, but the images were flat. I experimented with HDSLRs, which delivered the shallow depth of field, but had practical production liabilities, notably with audio.
“Certainly, content and narrative are paramount in documentary storytelling, but it’s great to direct an audience’s eye with depth of field. And to be able to do that on a low budget is fabulous.”
Stone recently wrapped one his main shoots, covering thousands of miles traveling from England to Las Vegas to San Francisco in just over two weeks. The location work ranged from interviews to live action to verite. DP Shack shot 1080/24p utilizing the camcorder’s highest-quality PH (24mbps) mode; he worked handheld and with the AF100 on sticks and tracks, employing a wide variety of Lumix, Olympus and Canon lenses.
“We chose to record internally vs. outputting to a nanoFlash recorder,” Stone said. “The AVCHD codec is working so well I didn’t see the advantage of transporting extra batteries and chargers. I fully anticipate the material will look stunning on a big screen.”’
“We’ve also done a lot of slo-mo work,” he added. “It’s a huge step-up to shoot variable frame rates at 1080p vs. 720p.”
Stone’s company, Robert Stone Productions (Rhinebeck, NY) is handling the edit, which is being done in Final Cut Pro.
For more information about Robert Stone and Pandora’s Promise, visit http://www.robertstoneproductions.com.
DP Howard Shack
About the Panasonic AG-AF100
The AF100 incorporates a large 4/3-inch, 16:9 MOS imager (with an imaging area just slightly smaller than 35mm cinema film) that minimizes skew with fast imager scanning, and incorporates an optical low pass filter for elimination of aliasing and moiré. The camcorder records 1080 at 60i, 50i, 30P, 25P (Native) and 24P (Native), and 720 at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p native in AVCHD’s highest-quality PH mode (maximum 24Mbps). The AF100 also records in AVCCAM’s HA (17Mbps) and HE (6Mbps) modes, 1080i only. Ready for global production standards, the camcorder is 60Hz and 50Hz switchable. Equipped with an interchangeable micro 4/3-inch lens mount, the AF100 can utilize an array of low-cost, widely-available still camera lenses as well as film-style lenses with fixed focal lengths and primes. Variable frame rates (VFR) are available in 1080p, selectable in 20 steps from 12p to 60p at 60Hz and 20 steps from 12p to 50p at 50Hz. The camcorder has a built-in stereo microphone and features two mic/lines, switchable XLR inputs with +48V Phantom Power capability. For more information, visit http://www.panasonic.com/broadcast.
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