"Little People, Big World" Shoots In HD With JVC Pro HD Cameras


Last Updated: August 5, 2008 4:53 pm GMT
(Wayne, New Jersey--August 5, 2008) TLC's documentary series, "Little People, Big World" is shooting its fourth season in HD with JVC's ProHD GY-HD250 and GY-HD200 cameras. Documenting the lives of the Roloffs everywhere -- from their home on a 34-acre farm in Portland, Oregon to vacations around the globe -- the crew is constantly on the road with their JVC cameras in tow.

Little People, Big World is shot primarily hand-held, approximately 16 hours a day, 5 days a week. According to Director of Photography, Tom Curran, "Having a camera that's significantly lighter than other professional cameras makes a substantial difference at the end of a 12-hour shift. We also needed cameras that are extremely rugged and reliable since we travel a lot with the Roloffs."

Matthew Morgan, Line Producer, Gay Rosenthal Productions (GRP) describes the rigorous testing they conducted to find a camera that met the show's environmentally challenging shooting requirements, "We spent two days testing all the top manufacturers' cameras. We recreated every situation that we imagined would happen in Little People, Big World to really put these cameras to the test," said Morgan. "We shoot in a variety of lighting conditions both day and night and encounter a lot of situations where we're in a very high contrast or low light. A lot of shooting takes places at night, so we really looked for every opportunity to push each camera to see how they handled contrast and low light and to see how mobile each camera was."

After the two days of testing, Curran and his crew brought the footage to Los Angeles and sat in a dark room with executives from GRP to view the footage from all the cameras. "JVC's outstanding image quality and integration into our existing post-production system were the deciding factors. Of all the cameras that we tested, JVC produced the smoothest and sharpest image quality. It's a joy to use a true shoulder-mount camera with an iris ring and interchangeable lens," added Curran.

According to Morgan, the ruggedness and versatility of the GY-HD250 and GY-HD200s has been extremely beneficial with the Roloffs always on the go. "The crew is constantly moving around quickly to stay in front of the family. They spend a lot of time shooting on their knees to capture the Roloffs at eye level. And with the conditions we shoot in, it really helps to have cameras that are physically manageable."

JVC's cameras are always in motion whether the crew is traveling with the Roloffs across the country in RVs or on a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi. "We take between 15 - 40 cases of equipment at a time, so the cameras are constantly getting broken down and set back up. We've even put the cameras in extreme weather for a shoot we did in Iowa in minus 20 degree temperatures. So, we've shot in both hot and cold temperatures and that hasn't caused any problem with the cameras," said Curran.

Shooting both to tape and hard drive, Curran explains that they down convert the taped footage to SD for editing on their Avids and also have the hard drives as a back-up in case of any tape dropouts. "The combination of the Fujinon wide angles lens and the Focus Enhancements Firestore drive counterbalances the camera perfectly. I've shot a variety of shows and documentary films and have used many different cameras. JVC's camera in terms of hand-held shooting is fantastic -- both in balance and operation. But most importantly, is its weight, because at the end of the day when you have a camera that's fully loaded with batteries and drives at 12-13 pounds versus a camera coming in at 24 pounds your physical stamina isn't completely spent, so your creative energy can be called on."

"Through all the conditions and traveling we do, JVC's cameras still produce a beautiful image. The color reproduction is rich and the frame rate has very little strobing with motion, unlike other professional cameras that we've used in the past. It's a pleasure to shoot with a real professional camera that has interchangeable lenses and allows you to have a surprising amount of control over the blacks and gamma settings."

Little People, Big World airs on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET on TLC. For more information about Little People, Big World, visit http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/lpbw/lpbw.html.

To view a video testimonial of Tom Curran discussing his use of JVC for Little People, Big World, visit the JVC home page http://usjvc.com/curran/curran.html

JVC Professional Products Company, located in Wayne, New Jersey, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of a complete line of broadcast and professional equipment. For more information about this, or any other JVC Professional Products Company product, visit JVC's Web site at http://pro.jvc.com/pro.


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