(Secaucus, New Jersey--September 14, 2012) Independent filmmaker Scott Carver is currently shooting a PBS-style documentary about the historic hops harvests in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with the Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 HD handheld with 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent-frame, full 1920 x 1080 resolution AVC-Intra recording.
Image Credit: Jov Luke
It was the lure of documentary filmmaking, along with a rich but untold history of hop growing in his hometown, that enticed Carver to leave a secure job at an ad agency and assign his life savings to a professional camera purchase and a four-month location shoot. He is shooting interviews this month, and will document the hops harvest in August and September.
The inspiration for Carver’s subject—hops, one of the essential ingredients in beer—is his grandparents, who both worked in the “hop yards” growing up in Salem and Independence. His documentary is an investigation and celebration of the peak years of Oregon hops production, 1900-1950, when the state’s harvest was shipped internationally in massive quantities. Some of those Willamette Valley hops took the place of German and English output displaced by crop failures, two World Wars and the Great Depression.
Once Carver had committed to making the documentary, he decided that he would purchase a new camera outright. ”I considered buying two DSLR cameras, but I knew that the problems I would run into with motion, continuous shooting and audio would be huge drawbacks,” he said.
“Given my previous experience with Panasonic cameras (the AG-DVX100 and AG-HPX170 P2 HD handheld), I was comfortable with the manual controls and the professional audio inputs,” Carver added. “The HPX250 has all the familiar features, but along with 1080p recording. With the new camcorder, I could start working right away: shooting, manual focusing and zooming, changing settings, all with very little learning curve.”
Carver is shooting the documentary in AVC-Intra 100 at 24fps. “That will cover all my bases for theater, digital television broadcast and Blu-ray Disc reproduction,” he said. “I'm excited to use the various film speeds for additional projects and freelance work. Not everyone needs 1080p footage; as an example, for client work I typically offer 720p unless there is a special need. The HPX250 has a mindboggling number of options at 720p, which really opens up a lot of possibilities for time-lapse and slow-motion footage.”
His prior work with Panasonic camcorders includes "The Penny Jam" (http://thepennyjam.com), a music video series that documents Portland bands playing in unusual places around the city. The series ran for 30 episodes and enjoyed considerable local success. He is also the producer of a feature-length film called "Childhood Machine" (http://childhoodmachine.com) that is due out this fall. Both projects were shot on AG-DVX100 cameras.
Carver will edit the hops documentary in Adobe Premiere and After Effects, with plans to start entering the project in festivals next March. “It will later be released on Blu-ray Disc and hopefully air on a PBS affiliate near you,” Carver said.
About the Panasonic AG-HPX250
The AG-HPX250 is Panasonic's first P2 HD handheld camcorder with master-quality 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent-frame, 1920 x 1080 resolution AVC-Intra 100 recording. This lightweight, ergonomic-designed camcorder incorporates high-sensitivity 1/3", full-HD 2.2 megapixel 3-MOS imagers and a 20-bit Digital Signal Processor to capture stunning high resolution images. The HPX250 includes professional features, like genlock, timecode, HD-SDI and HDMI input/outputs for multi-camera operation and monitoring, as well as a color viewfinder. The powerful hand-held is equipped with a 22x wide zoom (28mm to 616mm) HD lens with 3 independent adjustable rings (Zoom/Focus/Iris). The 22x lens also features an Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) function that ensures stable images during hand-held shooting. The HPX250 offers international HD/SD formats and frame rates. In addition to AVC-Intra 100 recording, the HPX250 also records in AVC-Intra 50, industry-standard DVCPRO HD, as well as standard definition in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV. In addition the HPX250 offers variable frame rate capability in 1080p up to 30fps (17 steps) as well as 720p up to 60fps (25 steps) for undercranking/overcranking to create fast or slow-motion effects. For more information, visit http://www.panasonic.com/broadcast
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