WOUNDED MARINE CAREERS FOUNDATION TRAINS WOUNDED WAR VETERANS FOR NEW CAREERS IN MEDIA - Creative Planet Network

WOUNDED MARINE CAREERS FOUNDATION TRAINS WOUNDED WAR VETERANS FOR NEW CAREERS IN MEDIA

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** Wounded Veterans Train with Panasonic AG-HVX200 P2 HD Camcorders in this First-of-its-Kind Career Training Program ** LAS VEGAS, NV (April 13, 2008) – With wounded Marines returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, many without alternative career options, the Wounded Marine Careers Foundation aims to provide these veterans with new, marketable skills for careers in media following their rehabilitation. When it opened the doors of its career training center for injured Marines and Navy corpsmen earlier this year, the foundation equipped its students with a different kind of learning tool – Panasonic AG-HVX200 P2 HD camcorders. The Wounded Marine Center for Careers in Media program, administered by the foundation, takes its students – many whom are in medical and physical therapy -- through a 10-week training course covering writing, cinematography, video and sound editing, lighting, photojournalism and more. The 5,000 square-foot training center, located on the Stu Segal Productions studio lot in San Diego, CA, is equipped with 11 HVX200 P2 HD camcorders and AJ-PCD20 five-slot P2 card readers. Upon completion, graduates receive professional certification and union membership in the International Alliance of Theatre Stage Employees (IATSE); the program also assists with job placement. Husband-and-wife filmmaking duo Kev Lombard and Judith Paixao, the foundation’s co-founders, developed the center’s pilot program, which recently honored its inaugural class of 19 members at their graduation in March. Paixao explained the foundation’s mission, “Many service members wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan go through difficult challenges during their recovery. Upon leaving the hospital, these young heroes often have no alternative careers or other professional skills to fall back on. They planned to remain in the military or transition to law enforcement professions, but now they cannot due to their wounds. This program helps them establish successful careers for many years to come.� Lombard, a four-time Emmy Award winner who serves as the facility’s director, said his inspiration for the foundation was a personal one. “It’s a tribute to my father, a World War II veteran, who went on to become an award-winning cinematographer for NBC. As my father taught me about cinematography, he always reminded me that I would eventually have to pass on my knowledge to others. I’m overjoyed to be able to help these veterans through this program.� “Through our program, the wounded Marines learn to do their own storytelling and share the full perspective of their war experience,� said Lombard. “Very often, when it comes to the war and the military, the media tends to capture only what they need for their story. Storytelling offers these wounded Marines a way, not only to get their voices heard, but also to heal.� A long-time Panasonic camera user, Lombard said the HVX200 was the perfect fit for the program. “We knew we needed a camera that was easy for the wounded veterans to hold up and maneuver. It had to be small enough, but still have a professional look and generate high-quality pictures - footage that could be used in a feature release.� “We also wanted to ensure that the students were trained with the latest camera technology,� he continued. “We wanted to use a tapeless, solid-state technology because that’s where the industry is going.� Lombard recounted, “The day that the center opened, many of the journalists that visited were amazed that the students were using better cameras than some of them. The students were just thrilled to be working on cameras used by actual news crews.� Each student is provided with his own MacBook Pro complete with Final Cut Pro editing software, a Duel Systems duel adaptor, a one terabyte hard drive and two 16GB P2 cards. The students get in-depth training in not only filmmaking, but also in camera operation. “For the first few weeks, the students learned all of the camera’s technical aspects, going through all the menus. We felt this was important, as some of the students had never used a video camera before. Once they master the basic menus, they’re prepared to handle other cameras in general,� Lombard said “After completing the course’s classroom work, the students take the HVX200s out in the field, shoot for hours (recording in 720p native) and ingest the content right into their computers,� Lombard said. “Once they learned the workflow, they were able to edit flawlessly. If they needed a shot, they just drop the clip into their computer and quickly view it. I was surprised at how quickly they progressed. Throughout the course, they got faster and faster. “I remember the old days of digitizing, when if you shot for an hour, you’d have to sit down for an hour plus to digitize all the material in real time,� said Lombard. “With solid-state P2 technology, you skip that whole process. The students were able to download all their footage quickly, view it and share it with their classmates. The instant feedback was a great way for them to learn from each other.� “The HVX200 was also a perfect fit because of its rugged, solid-state design,� added Lombard. “The Marines are used to handling rugged equipment and artillery. Even when we were shooting in high-impact settings, the camera performed reliably.� “At the end of the program, you could really see their confidence go back up. One time a reporter asked one of the students, a retired gunnery sergeant who lost an eye during the battle of Faluja [in Iraq], how he could expect to be a cameraperson with one eye. He held up the HVX200 and said, ‘Well, the camera has one eyepiece, so that’s all I need to get the job done.’ And he takes stunning video.� “Another student gave one of the instructors his Purple Heart and said ‘if it wasn’t for you teaching me this new skill, I think I would have been dead, because I had given up hope,’� Lombard added. “Overall, we hope to offer an alternative that will provide a way for them to transfer their skills into a fulfilling career. We’re not training them to be Steven Spielberg, but we’re training them for another future.� The Wounded Marine Careers Foundation is a first-of-its-kind career training and job placement program for our nation's wounded Marines and Navy Corpsmen. For more information about the Wounded Marine Careers Foundation, visit

www.woundedmarinecareers.org

. 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

www.panasonic.com/broadcast

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