Narrative Debut by Director Tao Ruspoli Competes for Festival Berths This Fall
(SECAUCUS, NJ -- October 3, 2007) Director Tao Ruspoli and wife, actress Olivia Wilde (who stars this season on Fox's House), are featured in "FIX", a new scripted documentary inspired by true events.
Shot with Panasonic's AG-HVX200 P2 HD camcorder only last month, FIX
, which takes the audience on a one-day voyage through the myriad worlds of Los Angeles, has already been submitted to the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
is the second feature produced by The Los Angeles Filmmakers' Cooperative (LAFCO), a mobile production company founded by Ruspoli (Just Say Know
, Flamenco: A Personal Journey, This Film Needs No Title
). LAFCO is based out of a fully-equipped school bus outfitted with HVX200s and Panasonic DVX100 digital video camcorders, three editing stations, a portable library, a screening room, and room to sleep five.
FIX, shot in the first person by the actors in the film, journeys from Beverly Hills to Watts over the course of 24 hours, as documentary filmmakers Bella (Wilde, who has also starred in the OC, The Black Donnellys
and Alpha Dog
,) and Milo (Ruspoli) race to get Milo's brother Leo (Shawn Andrews) from jail to rehab before 8 p.m. -- or Leo goes to prison for three years. The trio encounters dozens of colorful characters, each with his own excuse for why they can't help Leo help out. In the end, it may take a drug deal to get the necessary funds for rehab.
Director Ruspoli, who also holds writing and co-Director of Photography (along with Christopher Gallo) credits for FIX, shot all through the month of August, working around Wilde's television production schedule and ultimately covering 36 locations in 16 days
was an unconventional, ambitious shoot, with the objective of taking the viewer on a real-life journey through extraordinary circumstances while meeting people who make events so real the effect is surreal," Ruspoli said. "I had complete confidence in the HVX200 as our camera choice, given its portability, intuitive shooting and cinematic image quality. It's a fabulous tool that gives young, independent filmmakers the means to pursue a personal vision."
Ruspoli purchased an HVX200 several months before the start of the FIX shoot, and spent considerable time with his LAFCO "cooperative" colleagues (several of them also HVX200 owners) shooting dozens of music videos and trial documentary-style footage, acclimating himself to the P2 tapeless workflow along the way.
"With FIX, we shot 720pN, always with a minimum of four 8GB P2 cards, sometimes with 16GB cards borrowed from my colleagues," Ruspoli said. "Even with our abbreviated, hectic schedule, I was really able to focus on the actors, and routinely took 10-12 takes per shot."
"On set, we offloaded our footage into a PowerBook G4 laptop, and backed up to two LaCie Rugged Hard Drives," he continued. "Back on the bus, we imported into Final Cut Pro 6 on a Power Mac G5 equipped with an Xserve RAID."
While much of the camerawork was hand-held, the production also made use of a Fig-Rig (a circular camera mount designed by filmmaker Mike Figgis), and a self-standing monopod.
"We shot in a wide variety of lighting situations, with only a bare minimum of reflectors and gels to maximize the available light," Ruspoli noted. "In one scene set in a crack house, we shot only by candlelight. The HVX200 performed well throughout, presenting us with a palette of rich colors. We're doing heavy color correction and stylization in post and the material is holding up beautifully."
The director said that he shot some off-speed scenes, both fast (12fps) and slow motion (48fps), for B roll footage without characters.
An on-line edit with preliminary color correction will be presented to HD Pictures & Post (Santa Monica, CA), a co-producer of the project, for the final color correction and mastering. Ruspoli said he will pursue 2008 film festival opportunities in addition to Sundance, and once FIX is completed later this year, a distribution deal as well.
For more information about the Fix
, visit www.fixthemovie.com
About the AG-HVX200
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 HVX200, visit 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 http://www.panasonic.com/broadcast