(PARK RIDGE, New Jersey--July 10, 2008) The second season of the series “Ice Road Truckers,” currently airing on History™, once again has Sony’s XDCAM® HD system proving it’s up to the challenge of handling extreme cold.
In Season One, the show documented two months in the lives of truckers hauling supplies over frozen lakes in the Northwest Territories and explored the history of the region. In Season Two, the challenge is getting equipment and supplies to natural gas exploration sites and remote villages in and around the Arctic Circle.
But one thing hasn’t changed, according to Gavin Brennan, the series’ director of photography – the ability of the Sony optical system to consistently perform well in extreme environments.
Brennan said the XDCAM system is the perfect choice for shooting in the diverse conditions the production crew encounters.
“Tape-based systems would not be practical for us at all,” he said. “Tape can get too brittle in the extreme cold and clog up the heads. The more moving parts you have, the more problems you can run into. The XDCAM system gives us no problems related to the weather or the conditions.”
During the production, the XDCAM HD camcorders are encased in protective rubberized tape and still continue to perform flawlessly, shot to shot, he said.
He is also impressed with the ability to review footage on-the-fly as thumbnails on the camcorder’s LCD screen, enabling the crew to make decisions about the footage immediately without having to carry around a separate playback monitor, and then be ready to record instantly as soon as live action was ready to be captured.
The entire production crew from “Ice Road Truckers” also regularly makes full use of many of the system’s in-camera features, such as time lapse to produce effective mood-setting scenes. That, combined with the camcorders’ HD resolution and overall image quality, convinced him that for production environments as demanding as the Arctic wilderness, the XDCAM HD system is one cool customer.