EFP Video Productions, Inc., a full-service video production company serving international broadcast and cable networks, is utilizing
AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera for assignments ranging from ESPN sports specials to national commercials. EFP is headed by Gene Samuels, an Emmy Award-winning Director of Photography whose clients include ESPN, CBS, FOX, SHOWTIME, MTV, and numerous television production companies. EFP recently completed the second season of ESPN’s The Season, and last season handled acquisition for the network’s Focus Group.
Panasonic’s AJ-HDC27 VariCam replicates many of the key features of film-based image acquisition, including 24-frame progressive scan images, time lapse recording, and a wide range of variable frame rates (4-fps to 60-fps in single-frame increments) for “overcranked” and “undercranked” off-speed in-camera effects. The AJ-HDC27 VariCam also features CineGamma software that permits Panasonic’s HD Cinema camera systems to more closely match the latitude of film stocks.
Since purchasing his VariCam last spring, DP Samuels, who has also served as DP for various travel shows for PBS, the Food Network and numerous music and entertainment specials, has used the camera on three major commercial shoots (Continental Airlines, Honda Automobile and Sharpie Pens), as well as for “Training Camp,” a 10-episode series featuring major collegiate programs that is currently airing on College Sports Television (CSTV). (These VariCam projects were all produced by Paragon Marketing Group of Skokie, IL.)
For Major League Baseball Productions, Samuels shot a feature on Roger Clemens’ 300th victory, which aired on ESPN. EFP also rents out the VariCam; rental assignments have included the WNBA All-Star Game promotions (ESPN) and NBA semi-finals/finals (ESPN/ABC).
Samuels had been reviewing his HD options for the past two years.
CSTV’s “Training Camp” has proved to be Samuels’ training ground with the VariCam. Shooting began last fall and is ongoing. Each 30-minute episode entails a two-day shoot on campuses, where the nitty-gritty of coaches’ work with their players is explored in a cinema verite mode. Programs profiled to date have included University of North Carolina women’s soccer, Stanford University women’s volleyball, University of Miami football and University of Cincinnati men’s basketball.
In general, the commercial footage was downconverted, then edited on an Avid and mastered to component digital and analog video. Samuels noted that he is beginning to shoot off-speed more frequently, and has shot some 60-fps material for the “Training Camp” series, as well as 40-fps game footage for the Clemens special.