Articles tagged #SONY
Articles tagged
#SONY

Sony announces NEX-FS700R NXCAM camcorder with 4K/2K RAW recording at IBC2013

                Sony today announced two new professional NXCAM camcorders, the NEX-FS700RH and the NEX-FS700R. Both models feature Sony’s E-mount lens system and a 4K Exmor Super35 CMOS sensor and now come with Version 3.0 firmware pre-installed, enabling 4K/2K RAW recording on an external compatible recorder. The firmware update also includes the popular S-log2 gamma mode which gives a wider dynamic range, even for HD productions. The NEX-FS700RH comes with a new motorised SELP18200 (f = 18-200mm, F3.5-6.3) zoom lens. The inbuilt zoom control on the camera grip enables users to combine smooth zooming effects with the stunning shallow depth of field control offered by the large format sensor. The NEX-FS700R/RH also offers 4K/2K RAW super slow motion when the NEX-FS700R/RH is used together with the optional HXR-IFR5 interface unit and AXS-R5 RAW recorder. This combination allows up to 120fps 4K RAW recording (four seconds) and unlimited continuous 240fps 2K RAW recording on the AXS-R5 recorder. “These new camcorders build on the phenomenal success of the NEX-FS700E across a huge range of applications – from corporate production to broadcast television, commercials and movies,” said Bill Drummond, Strategic Marketing Manager, Entry Level Production. “The phenomenal possibilities offered by the Version 3.0 firmware and the NEX-FS700RH’s powered zoom lens further cement the position of the camera as the most highly featured, cost effective creative tool on the market.” Key features of the NEX-FS700R and NEX-FS700RH 1. Up to 10x super slow motion in Full HD (120/240fps) Thanks to the high-speed readout of the Exmor Super35 CMOS sensor, recording at Full HD (1920x1080) at 120fps or 240fps is possible. Using playback at 24fps (24p), up to 10x super slow motion images can be obtained. * Applies to recording for approx. eight seconds with the 240fps setting. The camcorder’s high-sensitivity and low-noise performance ensures images are bright – ideal for super slow motion shooting that once required large scale equipment. Recording at the faster speeds of 480fps and 960fps is also possible with reduced resolution. 2. High-resolution Exmor Super35 CMOS sensor and 4K RAW recording With approximately 11.6 million pixels, the Exmor sensor is capable of capturing 4K resolution images. 4K/2K RAW recording is possible using the optional HXR-IFR5 interface unit and AXS-R5 RAW recorder. The 3G-SDI connector in the NEX-FS700R/RH gives 4K/2K signals to the HXR-IFR5 and is recorded as RAW data on the AXS-R5. In the 4K (4096x2160) RAW recording mode, it’s possible to do four second burst recording at 120fps. In the 2K (2048x1080) RAW recording mode, it’s possible to do continuous recording at 240fps. The workflow for recorded RAW data is the same as when using Sony’s PMW-F55/5 CineAlta 4K camera and an AXS-R5. 3. Sony’s E-mount system for flexible lens choice The E-mount interchangeable lens system accommodates the large Super35mm sensor and is ideal for motion picture shooting. Auto Focus, Auto Exposure and Shake Reduction can also be used during shooting. Another advantage of the E-mount-system is its short flange back distance (the distance between the lens mount surface and the image sensor). This enables the mounting of not only Sony’s E-mount lenses but also Sony’s A-mount lenses by using an LA-EA2 mount adapter. In addition, a wide range of third party companies' lens adapters lets professionals use most of their existing lenses such as DSLR lenses for more creative results. The NEX-FS700RH comes with the SELP1800 E-mount powered motor zoom lens which offers approx. 11x (f = 18-200mm, F3.5-6.3) and smooth zooming control. 4. Inbuilt ND filter for shallow depth of field shooting even under bright conditions The inbuilt ND filter enables shallow depth of field shooting even in bright conditions without reducing the aperture. It’s possible to select four positions from Clear including 1/4(2eV), 1/16(4eV) and 1/64(6eV). 5. 1080p progressive output from 3G HD-SDI and HDMI connector Native 1080p progressive video signals can be sent from the 3G-SDI and HDMI without a pull-down process, which allows users to capture the uncompressed 4:2:2 1080p onto a compatible external recorder. Simultaneous HD-SDI and HDMI outputs are also possible and both embed Time Code and REC control signals. With the latest firmware Version 3.0 there is now a function which enables a recording to start and stop on a compatible external third-party SDI recorder when the REC button is pressed on NEX-FS700R/RH. In addition, and uniquely to Sony, this function is also possible when using compatible third-party HDMI recorders. 6. Picture Profile function Picture Profile can change the parameters that determine image characteristics such as gamma curve, black level and colour tone. It allows users to easily try more creative expressions in the field and gives them flexibility over colour grading work. There's also S-log2, a popular gamma mode in digital cinema production, which achieves a dynamic range of 1,300%. S-log2 can not only be applied for monitoring during RAW recording but also for AVCHD recording, taking advantage of the camcorder’s wide dynamic range. Picture Profile parameters and other camera settings can be stored on a memory card as camera profile data. The stored camera profile can then be recalled instantly or can be copied to another NEX-FS700R to assure image tones are matched when using a multi-camera setup. 7. Modular design enabling a wide range of shooting styles The camera's modular design allows users to choose different shooting styles easily. The handle, grip and viewfinder (all supplied) can be removed in order to use the camera in compact form or with a variety of shooting accessories. 8. Hybrid recording capability Attaching an HXR-FMU128 Flash Memory Unit (sold separately) enables HD recording on both the HXR-FMU128 and a memory card at the same time. The HXR-FMU128 can be attached directly to the camera for over 10 hours of continuous recording, making it a powerful tool for backing up important footage onto memory card.

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Sony’s 4K Live Production Solution Delivers Sports the Way It Was Meant to Be Seen

PMW-F55 4K Live Camera System

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Sony Develops “Real-time IP Production Technology” Capable of Synchronous Transferring and Switching of HD and 4K Video, Audio and Control Signals Over A Network

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Sony launches professional PXW-Z100 4K handheld XDCAM camcorder

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PXWZ100[/caption] Sony today announced the PXW-Z100, a professional 4K handheld XDCAM camcorder featuring a 1/2.3" Exmor R CMOS sensor. The sensor has a total of 16 million pixels, allowing the camcorder to capture stunning 4K content (4096x2160) at 50p or 60p. This camcorder marks Sony’s latest step in expanding the 4K world to everyone, from high-end cinema to corporate and event productions.The PXW-Z100, together with its fixed 4K-compatible high-performance G Lens, weighs less than 3kg and uses the XAVC recording format first used in the PMW-F55 CineAlta camera. As with the F55, 4K (4096 x 2160, 50p or 60p, 4:2:2, Intra-frame, 10-bit recording in MXF file format) is possible at a high-bit rate of 500Mbps or 600Mbps. QFHD (3840x2160) and HD (1920x1080) resolutions can also be selected, both of which are compatible with most 4K TVs. Since the PXW-Z100 is based on the same shooting ergonomics as a conventional handheld professional camcorder, it is possible to capture 4K content without extra equipment and with a minimal crew. In addition, during post production, downscaling from 4K to HD provides new possibilities for HD content production. Sony Australia and New Zealand Senior Product Manager for Content Creation Nick Buchner said, “This innovative new camcorder is capable of capturing very impressive 4K content, making 4K acquisition accessible to a wider range of professional users than ever before. Corporate and event videographers will now be able to easily deliver 4K content across a wide range of platforms including video wall and large projection applications, as well as take advantage of the greater flexibility in post production that 4K acquisition offers when delivering in HD.” Sony has also announced the new FDR-AX1 Handycam at this month’s IFA 2013 in Berlin. The FDR-AX1 has similar specifications to the PXW-Z100 but is only capable of QFHD (3840 x 2160) recording in the XAVC S format. The FDR-AX1 uses 4:2:0, Long GOP and MP4 file format. The PXW-Z100 also offers a range of additional features of importance to professional users, such as off-speed shooting, 3G HD-SDI output, timecode, and remote control via WiFi.Key features4K (4096x2160) 50p or 60p shootingThe camcorder provides extremely high sensitivity due to the back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor. With 8.8 million effective pixels, the 1/2.3" sensor captures 4K images at 50p or 60p. The in-built high-performance G Lens offers maximum flexibility, including a wide angle of 29.5mm (equivalent to 35mm) and powerful 20x optical zoom.XAVC recording format at 4K 50p/60p, 4:2:2 10-bit at 500/600Mbps, HD at up to 223Mbps The PXW-Z100 uses Sony’s XAVC recording format first employed in the PMW-F55 CineAlta 4K camera. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression is used for HD (1920x1080), QFHD (3840x2016) and 4K (4096×2160) content. Image sampling is 4:2:2 10-bit, with an intra-frame system that compresses each frame individually at a maximum bit rate of 500Mbps or 600Mbps during 4K 50p or 60p recording respectively and 223Mbps during HD 50p or 60p recording. The XAVC format is ideal for those looking to implement a high-quality, secure and reliable workflow. A free firmware update is planned for the middle of 2014 to support the Long GOP mode for extended 4K recording time and to add support for AVCHD recording.XQD Memory Card recordingThe XQD Memory Card is a new standard of solid-state memory, which was recently defined by several industry leading companies. XQD uses the ultra-fast PCI Express interface and Sony’s unique camera processor to enable stable video recording at 500Mbps or 600Mbps. The PXW-Z100 features two XQD Memory Card slots. Multiple cards can be used in various ways, such as for relay recording. When the first card becomes full, recording continues on the second card without a break. * The use of new S Series cards (180MB/s transfer speed supported QD-S32E, QD-S64E) is recommended. HDMI interface for 4K output and 3G HD-SDI interface for HD outputThe HDMI interface on the PXW-Z100 can output 4K as a 50p/60p signal. When the PXW-Z100 is connected to a Sony 4K-compatible BRAVIA TV, the recorded 4K image can be displayed in 4K 50p/60p quality. A future firmware upgrade is planned to provide compatibility with the latest HDMI 2.0 standard and enable 4K 50p/60p output to a wider range of devices. Other features include a 3G HD-SDI interface that supports output up to HD 60p. It also supports HD output during 4K recording.Paint function for more creative freedomThe PXW-Z100’s paint function enables multiple image parameters to be adjusted including gamma curve, black level, skin detail and colour. Together with other setting options, parameter settings can be recorded as a camera profile onto a memory card. The recorded camera profile can then be used to set the same parameters in another PXW-Z100 to enable the matching of quality and image tones when using a multi-camera setup.Remote control with WiFi Focus, zoom, aperture settings and ‘record start/stop’ can be remote controlled using the browser function of a smartphone or tablet. The PXW-Z100 will be available in Australia and New Zealand from November 2013 and comes with a two-year warranty please contact your local Videocraft sales team for more information or to pre-order

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Videocraft Shoots Ironman and Ironwoman

It takes a particular type of individual to take part in an ironman or ironwoman race and the same can be said for the production company and OB providers responsible for broadcasting the intensely competitive events. Recently Videocraft provided a full production setup for Castle Media, the event specialists responsible for broadcasting the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Surf Ironman and Ironwoman Series. Videocraft NSW State Manager Andy Liell explained, “We have a long relationship with Castle Media so we know the level of professionalism and reliability they expect. The Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Surf Ironman Series was no exception. John Palmer, Castle Media’s MD approached us with their requirements and a very tight timeframe so we immediately sat down to work out the best production solution for their requirements.” Palmer felt that the Ironman series was better suited to Videocraft’s unique FlyPack mobile production solution than a traditional OB truck set up. The system chosen for the series was Videocraft’s mid-range FlyPack that included six Sony HDC1500 cameras, a Sony MVS6000 switcher, two EVS servers, two CCU positions, a Yamaha M7 console providing full audio facilities and all outboard equipment, radio mics and links. Palmer said, “We’ve worked with Videocraft on OBs before so we were confident they would come up with the best solution. They researched previous Ironman events and presented us with a range of options. Their mid-range FlyPack was clearly the way to go. To be honest they didn’t have a lot of time to pull the system together and prep it in Sydney before shipping it over to the first race in Perth so it was all systems go at that point.” The Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Surf Ironman Series features the country’s elite athletes competing in the most gruelling ocean-based competition on the planet. The 2012/13 series was fought out over six rounds at iconic Australian beaches including Perth, Newcastle, Portsea, Surfers Paradise, Coolum and Noosa Heads with all six races broadcast nationally on Network Ten. Palmer continued, “There was no room for error as getting spare equipment in Perth wasn’t an option. The Videocraft team really went the extra mile and all the kit turned up for the first race working perfectly. Each race broadcast also had the added challenge of keeping all the sand and salt water at bay so the logistics were quite tricky too.” The Ironman series ran from December 2012 to February 2013, a very busy period for Videocraft as Liell explained, “In addition to Ironman we were also working on the Australian Tennis Open and The Tour Down Under at the same time. The only way to manage three huge events like these simultaneously is to have an experienced team, proven systems and good, reliable equipment.” Videocraft’s additional challenges for the Ironman series included ensuring all of the equipment worked to its maximum capacity with significant redundancy as each race was shot as a live event, irrespective of any delayed broadcast times. Slow motion capture also proved a potential sticking point. John Palmer concluded, “We asked Videocraft for a more cost effective slow-mo solution, something that would be a good alternative to using traditional super slow-mo cameras. In typical Videocraft fashion they came up with a new Sony NEXFS700 camera using a Canon 30-300mm cine lens. This enabled our camera operators to capture slow-mo action content for play on/off packages at more than 200 frames per second. Very clever, very cost effective. All in all it was a great series and all credit to Andy Liell and the entire Videocraft team including Rentals Manager Nick Gleeson and Systems Technician Glen Beaumont without who we simply wouldn’t have achieved such an excellent result.” For more information on Castle Media Group go to: www.castlemedia.com.au  

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Videocraft Produces Mobile Highlights Show for 2012 Tour Down Under

Furthering its expansion into full editing and production solutions Videocraft recently produced a one-hour daily highlights show for Beyond Productions, Channel 9 and the Tour Down Under cycle race. Videocraft sales director James Taylor explained, “In order to achieve 48 minutes of daily content on the move we had to use Videocraft’s mobile edit facility. This production was not like the Tour de France which is one continuous live broadcast. The Tour Down Under footage is created from scratch while the race is on. This is no mean feat and relies completely on the equipment you use and editors and producers who really know their jobs.” Videocraft’s mobile edit truck moved with the race as the cyclists powered their way across South Australia. Moving with them were multiple Sony PDW-700 XDCAM 4:2:2 cameras acquiring and storing footage on optical discs. Taylor continued, “We used Canon’s new image stabiliser lens for the main motorbike camera material which helped us get far more stable shots. It’s a great lens and perfect for this type of shoot.” Videocraft also provided all the technical management for the production and put together the workflow that included multiple XDCAM cameras feeding material into their edit truck. Inside the truck was an EVS XS server and IP Director which were used for all live stages, ingest from OB trucks and all playout of finished shows. Taylor explained, “We got material into the system and logged it to make the editors job easier. Then the producer could find all the shots they wanted from the OB and put together the highlights for news.” Videocraft also brought a level of functionality and flexibility normally associated with a fixed production house setup to a constantly changing mobile environment – all within 15 minutes of parking their editing truck. A cycle race involves long hours for all involved and the Tour Down Under was no exception. The production was based around 18 hour days every one of which saw producers and editors sitting alongside James Taylor in Videocraft’s edit truck so there would be no interruptions to the workflow. “It was a no frills set up, that’s for sure,” added Taylor. “The camera guys on motorbikes would drop their discs at agreed points and we would ingest the material into our edit system. The editors would then pick content from logs that the producer had created and we would add in graphics from within our system. The story was then put together and cleaned up with the final voice over added using Avid Media Composer’s audio punching tool. Once complete the finished edit was stored in the EVS server for playout later via satellite.” Videocraft also created and encoded news highlight packages for the Internet within their mobile editing facility for the entire duration of the Tour Down Under. All in all a complete production and editing solution. James Taylor concluded, “A production like the Tour Down Under is fast, furious and often hectic but at Videocraft it’s what we do best. In this case we used an Avid Media Composer, Nitris DX and Isis 5000 shared storage solution as this setup is perfect for the fast turnaround, high-pressure environment and critically, it delivers time and time again. Our discussions with our clients as we prepare for this type of production is always the same – what’s required is a reliable and trustworthy workflow with a systems integrator who can make it happen in far from perfect environments. After 40 years in the business, it’s something we pride ourselves on achieving.”

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Videocraft Builds New File-Based Studio for AFL

Videocraft recently completed one of its biggest systems integration projects to date – a new studio for the Australian Football League (AFL) integrating advanced file-based workflows, virtual sets and editing suites. Videocraft sales director James Taylor explained, “This studio build involved total integration from acquisition and ingest through to editing and playout.” The tender which was successfully won by Videocraft at the end of 2011 came as part of the AFL’s new rights deal negotiations were taking place giving scope for a forward thinking solution. Taylor continued, “Essentially we walked into a green field site, something that’s pretty rare at the moment. The AFL wanted the best possible systems solution that included fitting out the studios from scratch.” AFL Media produces content for the AFL’s website, AFL clubs, corporate partners and a variety of internal departments. According to Taylor, the new studio had to be able to accommodate this high level of demand for content creation and maintain the AFL’s high quality standards. Taylor added, “We built the TV studio with a full XDCAM HD acquisition workflow (any content that comes in as SD is upconverted) that included XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD 4:2:2 and a new XDSPD1000 professional media station which enables seamless card-based and optical material to be fed into the EVS network. The EVS network itself is the key part of the entire system design as the EVS servers manage all the studio recording and playout making this is a very clever and efficient system.” Executive Producer of AFL Media, Greg Miles said, “It was critical that we built a facility than could handle not only a high volume of content but be flexible enough to cope with the future demands of the business.” Despite being one of the largest systems integration projects Videocraft has undertaken it came with one of the tightest timeframes the company has ever had to work with. This was combined with the systems integrator’s trickiest request – a move mid-installation. Taylor explained, “The AFL needed to move earlier than expected so we managed moving the entire facility that was in operation into the area created for the new studio whilst simultaneously building the new facility. Complex logistically but ultimately successful.” Videocraft has built its reputation for excellence on this kind of systems integration project and the AFL’s new studio was no exception with the company responsible for everything from over 5km of cabling to building the signal routing at the heart of the system. Taylor said, “We installed a 128x128 Ross NK3G128 router and used a combination of Ross and Blackmagic open gear distribution and glue which all went into open gear frames for maximum efficiency. Once this was live we had our heartbeat.” Videocraft integrated the signal distribution throughout the existing facility migrating incoming feeds through the new router, whilst managing the move and integrating the AFL’s existing FCP editing suites into the new facility. Taylor added, “It was a carefully planned installation done in precise stages. Building the studio and EVS network came first. Once these went online we moved to the next stage. Using 6-channel EVS XS and 8-channel EVS XT3 servers for ingest and logging was the biggest change to the AFL’s existing workflow. We also installed an ECS IP Director to control all the ingest, logging and playout which meant that the AFL had completely migrated from a bespoke logging system to EVS. This represented a significant, forward thinking and future proof move of their data feeds and metadata that now meant they were all scalable and integrated. The final piece in the EVS puzzle was the use of the EVS Clean Edit System which allows the sharing of media by users across the EVS network using EVS XStore NAS, enabling fast turnaround highlights editing.” The new studio facility designed and built by Videocraft also integrated a Ross Carbonite 2ME vision switcher with in-built multi-viewers, new Sony HXCD70 studio cameras, Sony PVM1741 OLED monitors, RTS comms with Chromus matrix and KP32 and MKP12 keypanels and Ross XPression for on-air graphics and the virtual studio. James Taylor concluded, “We are particularly proud of this studio build. It was a lot of hard work but the result has been excellent and the client is delighted. We were lucky to be able to work with such a great, forward thinking client as the AFL to build a world-class facility that will truly stand the test of time due to its level of scalability. That said Videocraft, with our key partners, is continuing to further develop the system and workflows for the AFL to make them even more efficient as requests for their media content continue to grow.”

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Videocraft sells first Sony F65 camera to DOP Peter Beeh

Videocraft recently sold their first F65 camera to Peter Beeh, the Sydney-based cinematographer who specialises in commercial, aerial, documentary and factual programming. Beeh said, “I have had a long time interest in the development of high end tools for digital cinematography. Traditionally the price point for such tools has meant there was near zero likelihood that buying the highest end cameras would be a viable business proposition for independent owners. Developments in the market and rapid advances in technology have completely changed this landscape in the past few years.” Beeh, a long-standing Videocraft client, approached NSW State Manager Andy Liell to discuss the F65 after having debated the camera with several industry colleagues. Beeh continued, “When Sony announced the F65's price point I realised that it could be viable for an independent owner. After much research and analysis of original footage I weighed up all its strengths and weaknesses and that’s when I called Andy (Liell) at Videocraft for his professional opinion.” Liell and Beeh discussed the many creative possibilities that an F65 would bring the cinematographer. Liell also liaised closely with Sony to ensure all of Beeh’s technical requirements would be met. Beeh added, “I've had a long relationship with Videocraft and have relied on them heavily in the past for supply and support. In the case of the F65 I asked Andy 15 million annoying little questions - as all overly particular cinematographers such as myself would. Andy was very patient, essentially assisting me in determining detailed specifics about the product, in order that I could assess whether it would suit my needs. Beyond that, as a professional operator, I rely on ongoing support after an initial sale. This is an absolute prerequisite to professional sales in my opinion and Videocraft provide this kind of support better than most.” According to Beeh Videocraft’s close relationship with Sony and their high levels of service and support were a big part in his decision to buy the F65. The supplier client relationship is something he also feels underpins a successful industry. Beeh added, “It goes beyond service and support. It's also about relationship. Sure I'm a good customer and that helps buy more goodwill. But sometimes, if there is a situation where I can return a favour, I'm happy to. I think this sort of two-way relationship is really valuable in our industry. For example, sometimes something goes wrong where it's no one's fault but my own, or I might need some one off something to get out of a bind. While Videocraft has no obligation to help me out, I know that if they can help, they will. That's also reassuring.” Since taking delivery of his F65 Beeh has used the camera with excellent results. He added, “So far I have used the camera on several TVCs. It's performed admirably and hasn't skipped a beat. I've also used it to shoot background plates for an overseas production and we've shot some fashion. Lots of need for good skin tones and in particular the need to accurately reproduce colour in garments. We've done a whole series of lifestyle type shots for another project. Everything you can imagine. Indoor moody, to outdoor sunny, to dusk lantern light. To make shots like this sing it's essential to have tools with wonderful dynamic range and an ability to perform brilliantly in very, very low light. The F65 does all of the above and more.” Beeh also took time to reflect on aspects of the F65’s workflow that were particularly appealing and why commenting, “What Sony does really well is to make robust systems that go from camera to post to finished master. The F65 is the only blue chip digital camera which at the flick of a switch offers 4K RAW recording, or high quality 10-bit HD recording. All this with a frame rates ranging from 1 to 60 fps and the ability to go to 120 fps soon. To Sony's credit they have also been very active in supporting the development of post production software and systems in order to make the system as user friendly as possible.” Beeh, like many of Australia’s cinematographers, has a busy and varied workload. In amongst the many shoots he has now completed with his new Sony F65 he pointed out exactly why it was such a special camera and why he was so happy with his choice to purchase it. Beeh concluded, “What I feel when I look at the pictures I'm making is that I see images that are taking another step away from looking 'electronic'. This camera has an amazing ability to resolve subtlety in colour. I see nuances in colour that I've never seen before. Reds and all its related shades are wonderful, and those all important skin tones are beautiful. The mechanical shutter is a corker. It completely resolves any issues with rolling shutter artifacts. The resolution is a major selling point for the camera. Put images of the F65 on a test chart and you'll find no other camera can come anywhere close to resolving the same number of lines. The F65’s sensor also generates very little noise for a device that carries something like 18 million pixels - the noise that is there is very, very fine. So, I confess, I'm now a 4K convert. As part of the mechanical shutter assembly Sony has been able to throw in a bunch of ND filters as well. I love this. Most modern cameras are very sensitive to light and heavy amounts of ND in front of the lens has presented its challenges with digital sensors. Now, when I'm shooting outdoors we can roll in three, four, five or six stops of ND at the push of a button. Such a time saver and it's all IR corrected. It’s safe to say that I’m delighted with the Sony F65 and Videocraft’s sales, service and support.”

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Videocraft Provides Camera Equipment For Shoot In Philippines Mines

According to Brian Shirley, one of the founding partners of The Shirley Spectra, one of Australia’s more unique communications companies, the camera equipment he rented from Videocraft for a recent shoot in the Philippines performed extremely well under the severest conditions. Shirley said, “We got a gig shooting footage of some mines in the Philippines to be used in a series of corporate videos. This involved capturing footage on the island of Mindanao and an incredibly hectic schedule. So we went to Videocraft and discussed our best options with Rentals Manager Nick Gleeson. We all agreed the Sony PDW700 XDCAM HD would be the best camera for the job as it captures stunning HD images and is very reliable.” Sony PDW700 and PDWF800 XDCAM HD cameras have become the defacto replacement for the Digital BETACAM and HDCAM formats in Australia with over 400 units sold to broadcasters and freelancers nationwide. The format is widely used and accepted for a diverse range of SD and HD TV productions. Shirley continued, “The Sony PDW700 proved to be very reliable, easy to use, good at low light, easily configured to shoot NTSC 1920 x 1080 and came with a good selection of lenses. We were a 2-man crew - cameraman and director – and had to get as many images as we could whilst we had available light which on mine sites, drilling sites, in forests, plantations, schools and rivers was quite a challenge but the PDW700 coped very well indeed and performed wonderfully.” Since its establishment in 1974, The Shirley Spectra has created a unique range of communications products for a variety of Australian companies and institutions. It is a full-service communications company, providing concepts, research, scripting, production, event design, staging, technical facilities and automation, creative direction and client service over a diverse range of products. Videocraft NSW Rentals Manager Nick Gleeson said, “Videocraft rental cameras also have proven themselves in many varied shooting situations, including extreme heat, humidity and cold environments. Our policy is to help our clients with exactly what they need in the most comprehensive way possible – especially if they are taking the kit overseas. In this instance, with some advance planning, everything went very smoothly and I’m delighted Brian and his team were so pleased with the results.” Brian Shirley concluded, “When you’re a 2-man team bouncing around from place to place in a 4WD you need all the help you can get and thanks to Nick (Gleeson) and the team at Videocraft we were as well prepared as we could have been for this shoot. Videocraft really were excellent. The camera was pre-configured exactly as required, support material was supplied and their technical support, when required, was terrific.”

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Videocraft Provides Oprah In Australia with Editing, Post Production And IT For Sydney Opera House

When Harpo, Oprah Winfrey’s production company, first decided they were going to put on the Opera House Spectaculars, according to Videocraft Project Manager Dan Miall, they had one specific requirement, “To recreate the editing, post production and IT facilities they use in Chicago in Sydney.” Harpo initially approached Avid USA who in turn put them in touch with Avid Australia and Videocraft. Miall explained, “Harpo are an incredibly professional production company. To that end they were very specific in their technical requirements all of which were based around renting a series of Avid Unity Isis and Interplay systems.” As Harpo did their due diligence they discovered that Videocraft were the company in Australia who could provide exactly what equipment and infrastructure they needed to produce the Sydney Opera House shows for Oprah'sUltimate Australian Adventure. Miall continued, “We met with Radi Akel, Harpo’s General Manager, during the Commonwealth Games and showed him the OB edit system we had installed at Foxtel which took care of all the games’ highlights for Fox Sports. Radi was impressed and so we sat down to plan exactly what would be required for Oprah’s Sydney shows.” In all Videocraft provided eleven high-end edit suites with 64Tb of storage and Interplay digital asset management. Miall explained, “This was a major installation. The kit list included multiple Avid Media Composer Nitris DXs, Sony LMD-2450W 20-inch LCD professional video production monitors, Dynaudio Acoustics BM5A two-way Active Nearfield Monitors, Interplay Assist stations, Tektronix WFM5000 Multi-Format Waveform Monitors and Yamaha A/V. They really were eleven top of the line edit and post production suites.” In addition to the editing and post production facilities Videocraft also provided Harpo with all of their IT requirements which included 60 laptops, 18Tb of storage, printers, active directory sharepoint and integration. Dan Miall added, “This was one of the biggest and most unique temporary installations Videocraft has ever done. We knew we had to provide all of Harpo’s editing, post and IT requirements for two live shows and two tape-based shows at the Sydney Opera House, but then came the really tricky part - everything had to be installed on the 12th floor of the Intercontinental Hotel in just two days. In other words we had to build and convert the entire floor of a hotel into a fully functioning post facility in 48 hours.” With the project given the green light Miall and the Videocraft team began the unique installation and hotel floor conversion. In the meantime Harpo gave further details of the shows’ format. To celebrate 25 years of the Oprah Winfrey show 302 audience members from the USA came to Australia with the talk show Queen armed with mini DV cameras with which they were to record their adventures. Miall explained, “The audience members’ footage was recorded and ingested as low res .wmv files. The files were then logged in Chicago where the producers chose the shots they wanted and then these files were ingested for a second time into the Avid suites we built at the Intercontinental Hotel. The Sydney suites were then used to cut packages ready for broadcast within 24 hours. As often there were many versions of different packages, the suites had to run very smoothly and very efficiently, which I’m delighted to say they all did.” Commenting on the production of the Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure shows Harpo General Manager Radi Akel said, “Everyone at Harpo was amazed and delighted with what Videocraft did for us. The central equipment room they built was awesome and the level of equipment they provided along with their service was second to none. We discovered early in the project that they were the best company in Australia who could put this kind of system together and it became very clear why over the course of our time in Sydney. The installation was 100% on time and the entire Videocraft team were incredibly professional, flexible and nothing was ever too much trouble. They gave us everything we needed with a smile and a kind word – even when we switched from XDCAM to HDCAM one week before the shows were to be recorded. I really cannot thank Dan Miall and the entire Videocraft team enough for what was a seamless and perfectly executed project.”

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Videocraft Supplies Australian Navy With XDCAM Workflow

The Australian Navy Video Unit, part of the RAN Training Force, has been using Sony broadcast kit for over fifteen years. According to the unit’s Senior Producer Peter Ryan, when they recently looked for a Digi Beta alternative, they turned to Videocraft for the solution. Ryan explained, “The Navy Video Unit is responsible for all video-based training. Digi Beta has served us well but it’s widely appreciated that the industry is evolving towards disc based acquisition and storage, thus we started talking with Andy Liell and Videocraft about what equipment and which workflow we should be looking at as our logical progression.” With the Navy Video Unit already using four Sony Vegas workstations plus an SDI online suite for its professional audio and video production, ease of integration with existing hardware and software was a key factor. Ryan continued, “The Sony XDCAMHD workflow makes it extremely easy to simply transfer MXF files directly into Vegas. For cameras, we already had a Sony DVW709WSP that has been great, so our next choice of camera had to be as good. After discussions with Andy we decided on a combination of the Sony PDW700 XDCAM HD camcorder and PDWHD1500 deck.” The Sony PDW700 and PDWF800 XDCAM HD camcorders have been very successful in the Australian market by producing some of the highest quality HD images and also offering a variety of SD and HD recording formats to satisfy diverse requirements. The PDWHD1500 XDCAM HD Deck records and plays back in full HD 1920x1080i and 720p, MPEG HD 4:2:2 at 50Mbps as well as SD (MPEG IMX and DVCAM) with up to 8 channels of audio recording. It has all the features of a traditional VTR with the added ability to work as a file transfer device via Gigabit Ethernet, allowing XDCAM files to be transferred much faster than real time into edit suites. Videocraft State Manager Andy Liell said, “The professional optical disc recording media can work and cost the same as BETACAM tape, or can allow a file based workflow which saves users time and money. The XDCAM media is also more reliable than BETACAM tape as both an acquisition and archival media and more versatile because it accepts several different video formats on the one media, as well as additional user data. These features appeal to broadcast and non broadcast customers alike.” Ryan continued, “The functionality of working with discs as opposed to tapes is great. The PDWHD1500 is a very useful hybrid deck that is just so flexible. It’s part computer, part VCR, connecting by traditional video interfaces, or by Firewire or Gigabit Ethernet for extremely fast file transfers. You can even use it to up and down convert too.” In addition to producing training material the Navy Video Unit is also responsible for major Navy documentaries, one of which Peter Ryan and his team decided to use their new XDCAM kit and workflow on. Ryan added, “We are in the middle of producing a major documentary on the history of the Navy. As you can imagine our source material is coming from all parts of the world and in many different formats. In particular we have hundreds of hours of Digi Beta and DVD footage that needs to be edited and this is where the PDWHD1500 really comes into its own. For example, we take the component out from a DVD player to the component in on our Digi Beta DVW500 deck, then connect the SDI output from the 500 into the SDI in of the PDWHD1500. The HDSDI out of the 1500 then gets fed into a DeckLink HD Extreme capture card from Blackmagic. The material is then transferred in realtime into Sony Vegas as an HD .MXF file. It’s not the conventional way to use a PDWHD1500 but it certainly works for us on this kind of job.” The Navy Video Unit is constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and make budgets go as far as possible. According to Ryan, this is where Videocraft excel. “Videocraft is a very professional organization with Andy Liell as their formidable hub. They are always give competitive prices and are very well versed in terms of equipment whether it’s for sale, rental or support and I can honestly say it’s a pleasure to deal with them.”

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Videocraft Helps Surfside Productions Shoot International Cricket Hall Of Fame

The International Cricket Hall of Fame (ICHOF), the world’s first fully interactive, permanent exhibition of cricket is being built at Bradman Oval in Bowral, NSW, creating a living centre of cricket, not only dedicated to the history of cricket, but also showcasing all forms of the international modern game through the latest interactive technology. Recently The Bradman Museum in Bowral received $6.5 million of funding from the Federal Government to develop and build the site which will house the ICHOF. Sydney-based Surfside Productions were brought in to shoot a large number of interviews of former and current cricket greats to be shown on the site. The design of the new building includes an interactive experience on touch-screen monitors and a number of high definition displays. According to Surfside Productions’ Sean Mulcahy there was a comprehensive decision process on which format to use, which equipment to buy and which supplier to go to to help with the entire workflow. Mulcahy explained, “From our point of view we had been working with tape based solutions from day one and therefore a data solution that could be utilised in Avid couldn’t come soon enough. XDCAM was the obvious choice, as handing over a low cost disc at the end of the day was the ideal scenario for us. The ICHOF project had to be shot in HD, data based and the workflow needed to be very reliable – all of which XDCAM covers off beautifully.” Mulcahy says Surfside Productions have been working with XDCAM for some time, “Sony had researched XDCAM for a number of years in two previous generations of the format, so the recording system had already been put through its paces. If the networks had taken another format we would have had to look at going down that route too, however the fact that TEN, NINE and SEVEN bought it and so many productions houses were looking at it was enough for us to jump in and we have been extremely happy with the purchase. It has worked very well for us from day one.” When undertaking the ICHOF project Mulcahy had very specific reasons for choosing XDCAM, “The first one was obvious - it was HD. It is also affordable and the practicalities of using a data based HD system for this project worked well. Second was the archiving process, XDCAM discs have over 50 years of storage life and that was enough to get through in terms of museum archiving and security in relation to the interviews and material that would be transferred onto it. HD, the price, the cost compared to an HDCAM and the fact that quality would be better than the HDV really did make it quite a simple decision. In terms of practical ability for jobs like the ICHOF that require shooting and editing with quick a turnaround, XDCAM is hard to beat.” For the ICHOF project Mulcahy shot documentary-style interviews for more than an hour in an electronic field production-style set up in a studio or on location and also a number of situations involving cricket matches, crowds, vox-pops, vision and the overlay of various cricketing grounds and sporting venues. When searching for the best equipment supplier Mulcahy and his team had a wide range of options. “To be honest the main reason we went with Videocraft is the service that Andy Liell and his team offer. They promised, when we bought the camera, that they would be available 24 hours a day to help with any issues that might arise. I’m delighted to say it was true and they were there to help us learn and work with the camera from the very beginning. Videocraft are very competitive anyway, however the camera and the after sales support were superb - I can’t say enough positive things about Andy and the team. It also really helped having Rob Floro there with his Avid system support expertise and as a result, the XDCAM’s integration into Avid went very well too.” With such a high profile set of interviewees the quality and efficiency of the workflow was one that Mulcahy had to be very conscious of. He said, “The proxy video workflow is excellent, in terms of ease. I was able to e-mail or FTP the proxys to the client and they could integrate them easily into their edit, get the disc and reconform it with the HD material. Another useful method was to bring the disc home, simply copy the file structure onto a portable hard drive and courier it up to the client. Then they sent me back the hard drive and we repeated the process. So from our point of view the opportunities and possibilities are endless with the format, Avid loves it, the pictures are brilliant and the whole system works very well.” Mulcahy has utilised much of the XDCAM’s functionality and sees a bright future for the format and the ICHOF, “The feature on the camera that has worked extraordinarily well is the switchable formats – going from standard definition to HD is very handy. The continuous clip function makes a big difference to the ingest process in terms of bringing the data in and not having so many clips. The other thing that was very good is the optional external video input. This allows SD video to be upconverted and recorded as XDCAM HD in the camera. I’m delighted to say that the International Cricket Hall of Fame are very happy with the quality of the image and as a result, the interactive exhibit will be one of the most popular attractions within this incredibly worthwhile exhibition.” The International Cricket Hall of Fame will open in late 2010.

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Videocraft Helps Build New And Improved Post Box

Boutique Sydney based post house Post Box has been growing, upgrading and adding new editing capabilities with the help of Videocraft. Post Box Managing Director Aaron Petersen said, “We started with fairly humble beginnings but that didn’t stop Videocraft helping us get set up with our first Mac based edit suite running Avid’s Media Composer. Videocraft’s MD James Taylor really set the benchmark in terms of service and support. He was super helpful right from day one.” Post Box traditionally handle long form projects but also have a string of successful TVCs and corporate videos on their ever growing reel. Petersen continued, “We are currently working on two big Australian series, The Great Australian Doorstep and On the Edge. We’ve also just completed an Astra Award winning Max Masters special on Coldplay, The Telstra Road to Tamworth special and the latest TVC for Aussie Home Loans. In order to properly manage all these projects and ones we have lined up we again turned to Videocraft to supply us with the right solutions to keep up with our growth Petersen consulted on his every growing requirements with Videocraft’s NSW Sales Manager for Post Production Rob Floro who said, “Post Box have experienced year on year growth for quite a while now. We initially supplied them an Avid Adrenaline system with Media Composer which was a major piece of kit at the time. Aaron and his team quickly needed an upgrade so we installed the first Avid Symphony system in Australia. Most recently we supplied and installed the latest Avid Unity shared storage system. Post Box now have a very efficient set up that easily handles all formats.” Designed specifically for storing, accessing, and sharing media in collaborative workgroup environments, Videocraft have integrated the Avid Unity solution seamlessly into Post Box’s production processes delivering them real-time, high-resolution media to their creative workstations. Aaron Petersen added, “We now have 3 full-time editing suites and a graphics suite all linked via the Avid Unity. Media Composer is the backbone of our editing solution and the Unity was needed to allow all our suites to talk to each other. Quite frankly we are flogging it, cutting the On the Edge series in all 3 suites and tripling our productivity. In addition the Avid Unity is giving us very stable performance in a demanding environment. It’s easy to administer and is flexible and scalable. Our Avids are great ‘core cutters’, they edit really well and playout with very little rendering and fuss.” Petersen has recently expanded the company opening a second studio in Central NSW, Post Box Central. Again he turned to Videocraft for the initial studio set up. He explained, “We’ve adopted the same approach as we have at Post Box in Sydney, small, boutique and well equipped. Thus we spoke to Rob and the Videocraft team and bought a Mac Tower with Media Composer, Sony EX3 camera, Dedo lighting system and a range of mics and production equipment. In typical Videocraft fashion they helped us choose the right solution, were particularly helpful and dealt with any technical issues almost immediately. In challenging financial times I can’t speak highly enough of the Videocraft team and their approach. We are fortunate enough to be expanding our company and it has been made very much easier by our ongoing relationship with Videocraft.”

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Videocraft backs Sunco Herald Sun Cycle Race

Founded in 1952, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour is Australia's and indeed one of the world’s oldest cycling stage races. TL Sports, who organise and promote the event on behalf of the Herald Sun, have significantly grown the event in recent years to be one of the most prestigious cycling events in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting many of the world’s best professional cycling teams. As part of this growth, there was a need to bring the television production component of the event to a new level. For the most recent Jayco Herald Sun Tour Videocraft provided a full production solution for the daily programming that included Sony PDW 530P XD Cam cameras, three Avid Media Composer edit suites and Avid Unity shared storage system built into a customised OB van. Executive Producer on the event was Ian Gates of Editrix who said, “We have a long successful relationship with Videocraft. MD James Taylor and his team really come into their own in this type of mobile race environment. For the Jayco Herald Sun Tour they built an Avid Unity system with three edit suites into a converted OB van and drove it around for each stage. We produced a half hour daily highlights programme which included features, vignettes and results graphics and also compiled a comprehensive news highlights package each day.” Due to the nature of the shooting schedule time was very much of the essence. Gates continued, “Videocraft built the entire system in record time. This included Sony PDW 1500 ingest decks which allowed us to ingest much faster than real time – an excellent plus on a race shoot. Traditionally people shoot on Digi Beta Cam where only one editor can look at and edit footage. Due to the flexibility of XDCAM and Avid Unity ingest system Videocraft designed and installed we were able to have 3 cameramen shooting each day and 3 editors all sharing the same media. This was an incredibly efficient setup with the editors working simultaneously on news, highlights and feature stories.” Over the six days of the race the pace of production was almost as fast as that of the riders. Gates added, “The production and editing system meant that once ingested and edited we could assemble a completed finished programme from one console. The segment was played out directly from the truck (live to air if required) through the SNG facility to Network TEN as a finished product. Another big plus for the broadcaster as they didn’t have to do anything.” For the next race the Editrix and Videocraft teams will be producing half hour packages and 2 hours of live footage that will go out on Network TEN’s recently launched 24-hour sports channel, One HD, each day. Gates concluded, “The production on the last race was the best yet. Videocraft’s expertise, service and support were excellent. It’s a real labour of love for them and we even had James Taylor there to personally oversee the installation and act as onsite technical manager. The shared media capability is the real jewel in the crown saving us time, money and producing better quality packages. We are very much looking forward to working with Videocraft on the next Jayco Herald Sun Tour.”

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Hi-5 for Videocraft

According to Nick Gleeson, Videocraft’s Rentals Manager, the equipment and workflow they provided to Southern Star Entertainment for Hi-5 Series 11 was some of the most seamless yet for the highly successful and popular children’s television programme. Southern Star Entertainment produce Hi-5 on behalf of the Hi-5 joint venture between the Nine Network and Southern Star Entertainment. Gleeson explained, “Videocraft have had a successful relationship with Southern Star and Jim Walpole (senior cameraman on the shoot) dating back from when we supplied equipment for the RAGGS children’s show, series 2 and 3. Thus when Southern Star began pre-production on Hi-5 series 11, the first under Southern Star, they asked us, along with several other rental companies, to quote on all the production equipment.” Southern Star went through a vigorous and comprehensive assessment process of Australia’s top rental equipment companies, one that required Gleeson and his team to be at the top of their game. He continued, “Southern Star chose to shoot on Digital Betacam, a format we have had a great deal of experience with over the years. When they had completed their evaluation, our experience and knowledge of the format were big factors in their decision to use Videocraft for Hi-5 series 11.” The equipment used on the show was broken down into components and segments with ‘Song of the Week' shot at Silk Studios in Willoughby and the rest of the production in the ABC’s Artarmon studios. For the 'Song of the week' live recording, Videocraft supplied a 4-camera OB setup with four DVW970P camcorders ISO recording, a Technical Director’s station with technical monitoring and routing, alongside distribution and video monitoring for the director and production staff. Gleeson continued, “To keep within the show’s budget, the Artarmon studio shoot consisted of two cameras along with a Technical Director’s station, technical monitoring and a Panasonic MX70 Vision switcher to allow checking of the chroma keying levels to avoid ‘road blocks’ later in special effects. This setup was the most cost effective and efficient solution for this major, fast moving production.” Hi-5 Facilities Manager Bruce Dufty, said, “We were impressed with Videocraft’s level of service and support and their knowledge of efficient workflows. We particularly liked the ease of matching two Sony DVW970 cameras together through the Technical Director’s station they supplied. I found Videocraft carefully considered all the best options with a view to making the whole digital process as seamless as possible. A job well done.” Due to strict time constraints Hi-5 series 11 is shot on Digital Betacam with cameras on pedestals and a dolly fitted with a mini jib to allow lots of different setups throughout the day. Tapes are passed to on-set editors and off-line begins almost immediately on site. The show involves many green screen shots and pieces to camera with the cast often singing and dancing. Nick Gleeson said, “Hi-5 series 11 is a very typical and successful rental project for Videocraft. After careful consultation with the client we provided the best equipment and workflow to suit their requirements. In terms of support we installed, set up and configured the cameras with the TD station at each location and were responsible for moving our facilities from the Song of the Week location to the second studio location. We also supplied and installed cabling for monitoring throughout the facility. I’m pleased to say all of this has gone very smoothly and we are already looking forward to the next project with Southern Star.” Bruce Dufty concluded, “Our shooting schedule was hectic to say the least, so we needed a rental company we could rely on. I’m delighted to say that Videocraft delivered. They’re very much a company with all of the necessary equipment and provided us with kit that our staff are highly familiar with and support equipment available immediately as required. "Thankfully we had only one minor issue on series 11, that was quickly resolved with no downtime. However, it was great to have the added confidence and to be safe in the knowledge that Videocraft support was only minutes away when we needed it. Needless to say, we’re very pleased with Videocraft’s excellent service.” Hi-5’s Casey Burgess, Tim Maddren, Lauren Brant, Stevie Nicholson and Fely Irvine will hit screens August 31, 2009 on the Nine Network.

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Ambience Entertainment embraces new HD workflow with Videocraft

Videocraft, the leading broadcast equipment sales and rental company, supplied a Sony XDCAM HD solution to Ambience Entertainment for its new children’s TV series Larry the Lawnmower, opening the door to a groundbreaking new workflow. Glenn Fraser, one of the three directors on the Larry the Lawnmower series explained Ambience’s decision to use the new equipment and workflow. “We knew there was going to be a developing requirement for HD content for children's series like LARRY, and the existing HD acquisition strategies were either too expensive or weren't fully developing the rounded look we thought could be achieved. This XDCAM HD solution came along at just the right time. It might feel like there's a new flavour of HD turning out every six months, but when it comes to practicalities, there are really only a few things to consider. Number one being, ‘is your acquired picture considered real HD by the partners to whom you’re looking to deliver your deliverables?’ The pinnacle of HD delivery is still pretty much the BBC standard - most of the other broadcasters take their lead from them, so if you can tick the acceptable acquisition criteria that they demand, you're pretty much safe. Secondly, you've got to ensure that the uplift to HD isn't going to outweigh the programme's delivery opportunities. It's not much good feeling sexy about having HD at the front end if you don't have the processing power or storage to run the extent of your series without burning drive space. It's a false economy. The PDW-700's clever compression algorithm means that it's possible to get your pictures travelling back and forth in a good stream at 50Mbs. And all that in full raster 1920x1080.” Videocraft’s involvement began even before the project had been green lit with NSW State Manager Andy Liell consulting to the Ambience team and suggesting a package that included the PDWHD1500 Sony Professional Disc Recorder, PDW700 Sony Professional XDCAM® HD Camcorders and PDWU1 Professional Disc Drive Units. Once the package was agreed Liell and colleague Rob Floro conducted extensive testing on the kit with Fraser, cameramen Brad Smith and Richard Rowley, Series Producer Monica O’Brien and Senior Production Manager Kate Cooper. Smith added, “The progressive pictures the PDW700 delivers are without doubt, the knockout clincher. These cameras and this workflow bring HD back to levels that, although slightly more than Digibeta, are very affordable and give all the advantages of tape and non-linear. It’s the top of the line in XD evolution.” With Ambience’s budget having to cover 65 half-hour programmes for Channel Seven, editing and storage also became key deciding factors. “We investigated a variety of platforms for editing.” Explained O’Brien. “Omnilab Media’s CornerPost facility provided the ultimate post production workflow by embracing the Final Cut Pro-ProRes offline path utilising the elegant file-based workflow directly off the XDCAM Professional Disc media. This allowed us to work in ProRes reducing our storage requirements but without compromising the image quality. As the schedule is tight the only way for us to get through 65 half hours was for us to further utilise the XDCAM workflow in a way that we haven’t been able to do previously due to cost and time constraints. We did this by using a media manager on set who, with a running knowledge of the scripts and the series' goals, would be the first pair of eyes across the footage being delivered by two camera units every day. Her job, to collate the good, the bad and the very useful, into a bank of reusable locations, and character expressions. Then employing Sony's XDCAM transfer application, transfer the files 1.5 times faster than real time into Final Cut Pro to deliver a fast-turnaround offline cut. Instead of re-ingesting all tapes at conform, we do a picture lock-off in FCP and playout to the AVID DS HD Nitris suite for grading and titles.” Adam Spendlove, CornerPost’s technical engineer said, “After extensive testing this was by far the most efficient workflow taking into account the time issues we were challenged with”. Larry the Lawnmower is shot in a visualised studio space created by veteran designer Michael Bridges and imaginatively light-sculpted by Peter Borosh, ACS, and gaffer Graham Dickson. The Directors and the LARRY crew deal with a child's eye view of LARRY THE LAWNMOWER that is a hyper-realised world and exists within the backyard of a large suburban garden. Similar to Doctor Who’s Tardis, it is a place of seemingly infinite size and opportunity for the characters. Due to the fast turnaround schedule for episodes, the team were having to workably effect choice on a textural scale, and decided most efficiency was gained by doing 95% of their work in camera. Everything is bright, and richly detailed - grand, green lawns and azure skies - it is something like leafy, suburban Australia in miniature with puppets. “With such a huge amount of work to be undertaken, the Videocraft team, led by Andy Liell, have truly been pivotal to the success of the project thus far.” Fraser continued, “Videocraft's services and assistance have been nothing short of exceptional. In testing workflows via their Final Cut Pro setups they were always quick to initiate solutions, not sales. As a reasonably confident technician at this level myself, it would have been easy to see through a sales patter, but the experiential wealth they were able to honestly share meant that they were genuinely interested in the truth of the tests. The level of Rob and Andy’s technical and hands-on expertise meant that I never felt compromised and always felt supported.” Monica O’Brien concluded, “We are absolutely delighted with the XDCAM HD solution and the service and support from Videocraft. This is a real benchmark. As a result, HD productions are now truly affordable due to the efficiency of the XDCAM workflow. The argument that HD is too expensive just doesn’t hold up any more. We just couldn’t do this amount of episodes in the time we have without this workflow - it’s that simple. Andy, Rob and the whole team at Videocraft have been phenomenal. I have never experienced such amazing service and you can quote me on that!”

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