(SECAUCUS, NJ - March 30, 2006) @radical.media, an international media and entertainment company with a network of full-service offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin and Sydney, has recently invested in Panasonic's hand-held, production-quality AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD camcorders.
Having initially purchased two cameras, with the intention of buying up to an additional four throughout 2006, @radical.media's Chief Technology Officer Evan Schechtman said the HVX200s will be "the mainstay of all our original HD content creation."
Some of the company's highly-acclaimed, award-winning projects include Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (Best Documentary, 2005 Independent Spirit Award); The Fog of War (Best Documentary Feature, 2004 Academy Award), Iconoclasts, a six-part series that debuted on the Sundance Channel; three seasons of Nike Battlegrounds, airing on MTV and MTV2; and 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America, broadcast on The History Channel.
@radical.media has already used the HVX200s extensively on its production of Driver TV, a VOD channel on most cable networks that provides an unbiased view of 100+ automobiles. These VSEs (Virtual Showroom Experiences) are separated into brands and categories. Footage will ultimately be turned into HD downloads when the Driver TV website launches.
CTO Schechtman noted, "On our original entertainment or branded entertainment projects, @radical.media demands HD acquisition to future proof our projects' potential. The world of distribution is changing and we want to be ready for film exhibition, HD broadcast/projection at any time, even if the initial release is in SD."
The HVX200 uniquely combines multiple high definition and standard definition formats, multiple recording modes and variable frames rates, and the vast benefits of P2 solid state memory recording in a rugged, compact design. The DVCPRO HD P2 camcorder offers contribution-quality HD with independent intra-frame encoding, 4:2:2 color sampling, and less compression, making HD content easier and faster to edit and more able to stand up to image compositing versus long GOP MPEG-2 systems.
Schechtman continued, "We're well-acquainted with Panasonic 24p cameras, having made use of the DVX100 series in feature film and television broadcast work. Notably in the Jay-Z film Fade to Black, we used the DVX100 in all backstage interviews and studio settings. And we also used the VariCam® HD Cinema camera for History Channel projects, projects for the Mayor's office in New York City, and various television shows.
"Very often our television productions need to be highly mobile, a motivating factor in our purchase of the HVX200s. When applicable, the camera will be used in remote locations where we can't or shouldn't use the VariCam, for instance, on an upcoming project that requires HD run-and-gun acquisition. We'd feel pretty terrible if we dropped a VariCam, but we're certainly willing to put the HVX200 in precarious places to get a great shot. And the hand-held camera is so much lighter to travel with. Also, we envision assignments where we will shoot documentary segments on DV with the HVX200, but then instantaneously switch to shooting HD for beauty shots. It's like going out with two cameras."
Schechtman said, "We've been outfitting the HVX200 with zoom/focus controllers and wide angle adapters. As for Driver TV, when doing an interior 360 of an automobile, there is no other camera that will fit inside with room to spare. And the HVX200 matches the texture of the VariCam used for the exterior work."
In terms of the overall P2 workflow, the executive commented, "We travel with spare P2 media, as well as with a G4 PowerBook and several G-RAIDS for storage and redundancy. As soon as we can get our hands on the Firestore product we will purchase that. In post, our typical approach is to transfer footage to Firewire 800 hard drives via a PowerBook or other Mac. Material will then be moved to our internal SAN. We cut in FCP HD in native space, and output to D-5 HD or other requisite formats."
Schechtman added, "Our cinematographers and field production staff routinely cite the awesome color, variable frame rate capability, silent operation, great card reader and Final Cut Pro integration as top features of the HVX200. My view is that everyone who owns a DVX100 should now own the HVX200. It's only going to become more essential as productions get increasingly comfortable with tape-less operation. And @radical.media, the HVX200 is already the ‘Swiss Army Knife' for productions where both SD and HD need to be captured."
For more information about @radical.media, visit www.radicalmedia.com.
The ultra-versatile HVX200 records in 1080i and 720p in production-proven 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD quality, with the ability to capture images in 21 record modes. The DVCPRO HD format offers users cost-effective, intra-frame compression, where each frame stands on its own for editing, and its full 4:2:2 color sampling allows the image to hold up under color correction. The camera records video on a P2 card as IT-friendly MXF files in 1080/60i, 30p and 24p; in 720/60p, 30p and 24p; in 50Mbps DVCPRO50 and in 25Mbps DVCPRO or DV. The HVX200 can capture fast or slow action in 720p at various frame rates--the first time this function is available in a hand-held camera. The shooting frame rate in 720p native mode can be set for any of 11 steps between 12fps and 60fps including 24fps and 30fps.
For more information on the AG-HVX200, visit http://www.panasonic.com/hvx200
About Panasonic Broadcast
Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video 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.