(SECAUCUS, NJ - August 15, 2005) Predator Island, an independent action/horror feature from Connecticut-based independent studio Synthetic Cinema and Tripeg Studios is being brought to market this fall by the Universal Music Video Division in a distribution deal encompassing home video/DVD, pay-per-view and broadcast.
The 80-minute drama was shot with a Panasonic AG-DVX100A mini-DV 3-CCD 24p camcorder. (Universal estimates that they will be distributing 80,000 + copies to Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, Wal-Mart and other large, traditional film distribution centers starting in October.)
The story revolves around a group of teenagers who set out on a normal summer day of boating, but when they run into bad weather, their boat runs aground on the island of Hell's Beacon. There, with the help of the lighthouse keeper and his wife, they battle murderous alien invaders who take over their human bodies. Predator Island, with a story by Andrew Gernhard, who also served as Director of Photography and co-editor, was directed by Steve Castle. The feature was shot at the Connecticut shore last August.
Gernhard co-founded Synthetic Cinema last year, with a mandate to produce quality film products that are highly marketable. The company’s first purchase was the AG-DVX100A, and Synthetic recently purchased a second camera. Both DVX100As are now being used to shoot Synthetic’s latest feature, Blood Descendants.
“When I first saw the DVX100A, I was blown away by the image quality, and felt that with proper lighting and shot design, the results could be unbelievable,” recounted Gernhard. “Predator Island was a tough shoot, as we shot entirely at night, 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. The environment was challenging—beach, woods, and really humid temperatures.”
“The DVX100A was very sensitive for the nighttime shooting. I shot either with the iris wide open or at 1.7. I used three lighting kits—I was looking for a scary effect where we didn’t reveal everything, so we went for plenty of contrast, with side lighting and back lighting. We shot standard 24p throughout.
He continued, “I was accustomed to working with a heavy Betacam SP, so I had to get used to the DVX100A’s light weight. Overall, the camera delivers the best audio I’ve ever worked with in a video camera, and the image is phenomenal. Personally, I now choose this camera even over 16mm. It’s far more affordable, and to my eye looks just as good, and certainly delivers the film look I’ve always wanted from a video camera.”
Predator Island was both edited and finished in-house on a Media 100 system.
Gernhard’s responsibilities on Blood Descendants are limited to those of producer, but he remains very involved with day-to-day shooting. “It’s great to see what the DVX100A is capable of during the day,” he said. “The footage so far is beautiful, and it’s fun to see the shimmering grass, and highlights instead of shadows!”
The AG-DVX100A is a unique Mini-DV 3-CCD camcorder with exclusive CineSwitch™ technology that supports 480i/60 (NTSC), cinema-style 480p/24fps and 480p/30fps image capture. Panasonic's AG-DVX100A is the standard for affordable 24p acquisition and a proven performer with hundreds of independent movies, TV programs, commercials, and documentaries to its credit. It offers unmatched audio performance, extensive auto and manual controls, and a CineGamma curve that truly emulates the rich look of film.
About Panasonic Broadcast
Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast, professional video and presentation products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a unit company of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the North American headquarters of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) of Japan, and the hub of its U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, access the company’s web site at www.panasonic.com/broadcast.