SECAUCUS, NJ (July 21, 2008) – Heads up and out of that popcorn tub to savor the arresting visuals of a digital pre-show with movie-related news and features that runs in thousands of theater locations and screens nationwide. For the past several months, production company Digital Kitchen has utilized Panasonic’s AJ-HPX2000 P2 HD camcorders to shoot this plum assignment for one of the world’s largest cinema advertising companies.
With studios in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles, design-driven production company Digital Kitchen (DK) has created experiential campaigns for Target and Microsoft as well as broadcast spots for hundreds of leading brands. Their work includes interactive work for AT&T, Budweiser, and Mercedes, the Emmy Award-winning main titles for “Dexter” and “Six Feet Under,” the live show content for the 2008 Webby Awards and countless other high-profile assignments.
On a monthly basis, DK uses one and at times two HPX2000s to shoot all hosted segments for the 20-minute pre-show. Each show features up to 12 minutes of material comprising five to 10 segments with a host and occasional guests. DK shoots the shows on a practical set in a Chicago studio, and rents the cameras from Fletcher Camera (Chicago, IL).
“The HPX2000 fits a nice balance between high-end and affordable,” said DK producer Colin Davis. “The ability to change lenses and the sensor is top-notch; and being able to work in a high-quality, tapeless workflow was the major deciding factor for us. We deliver digitally, so we can operate with a tape-free workflow the entire process.”
“Prior to using the camera on this assignment, we worked with the HPX2000 on a music video shoot, where we got great looking footage out of the camera, with minimal post processing required,” Davis said. “The dynamic range made it look remarkably film-like, even in low light situations, typically the area where HD runs into trouble.”
DK is shooting AVC-Intra 100 in 720p. On location, they are loading P2 cards directly onto a computer. “We are able to make selects on set, cutting down on post-production time,” Davis noted.
“The HPX2000 is a good mix of rugged and portable,” he continued. “It is fairly lightweight, making it easy to manipulate quickly. Most important, though, is image quality – we are able to go tapeless without sacrificing picture quality. Having gamma profiles to mimic film is really useful for quick settings. Most of our clients hate the stock video look, so getting to a nice color curve without a lot of work really helps.”
Davis said that the cameras are generally packaged with prime lenses. “Using zooms or lenses with deep depth-of-feel subconsciously tells people that they are looking at video cameras, so getting great optics helps us keep the quality high,” he said.
“We edit in Final Cut Pro, and typically do not require additional color correction,” Davis said. “The final uncompressed QuickTimes are sent on drives to Technicolor and Kodak facilities where they are uploaded and beamed out to theaters, where the show is digitally projected.”
“The HPX2000 is a great camera if you want to work tapeless, with detachable lenses, cost-effectively,” he added. “If you light it like a film camera, you can get filmic quality, at the same time keeping a lean and quick post production workflow.”
For more information about Digital Kitchen, visit www.d-kitchen.com.