Panasonic’s HDX900/HVX200 teamed on “So Right, So Smart “”Green” Documentary
of Photography Justin Maine of Schenectady, NY-based MagicWig Productions, Inc.
couples Panasonic’s multi-format AJ-HDX900 DVCPRO HD camcorder and the
AG-HVX200 P2 HD handheld camcorder for the production of So Right, So Smart
(working title), an independent documentary on the growing momentum of the
corporate world’s focus on environmental sustainability.
five years ago by production veterans
Guy Noerr and Don Fisher, MagicWig’s assignments include industrial videos and
events for numerous large corporations and notable business leaders. The
production company has worked exclusively with Panasonic cameras since the
purchase of a 24p/30p/60i 3-CCD DVCPRO50 camcorder and two AG-DVX100A mini-DV
3-CCD 24p camcorders in 2004. Earlier this year, MagicWig decided to upgrade to
the HDX900 and HVX200 as part of its progression to become a “full-fledged HD
production and post house.”
environmentalist, Guy has always been inspired by one of MagicWig’s clients,
Interface Inc., whose founder, Ray Anderson, is determined to make his
international modular flooring manufacturer the first environmentally
sustainable corporation with zero waste and emissions.
documentary illustrates how companies such as Interface are incorporating
“green” strategies into their business models and features interviews with
senior executives of such high-profile brands as Stonyfield Farm, Ben &
Jerry’s, Herman Miller, Patagonia and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
Environmental stars David Suzuki, Paul Hawken, Janine Benyus and Steven Page of
Barenaked Ladies are also interview subjects. Actress Darryl Hannah, likewise
an advocate of sustainable living and renewable energy, narrates the piece.
of production for So Right, So Smart was “broad, but on a small scale,”
“We traveled all around the country over several months, gathering footage from
the best minds in the business and environmental world, with a crew that varied
in size from three to five people,” he said. “Our goal was to use no stock
footage and shoot entirely in HD–on a budget.”
where the HDX900 and HVX200 came in handy,” said
Maine. “We were able to buy two HD cameras
for less money than one HD camera would have cost not long ago. It proved to be
a highly cost-effective way to have the two HD cameras on a shoot, especially
since most of the interview locations were less than production-ready.”
the shoots would be logistical nightmares,” he continued. “We were a small
documentary crew interviewing prominent figures. We didn’t have time to do
complex rigs. I would set up both cameras near each other and operate them
both, reframing one then the other, giving us greater flexibility for the edit.
The cameras matched beautifully.”
HDX900 had amazing picture clarity and color reproduction, affording us
instant, high-end production value without breaking the budget,”
the best things about the HDX900 is its dynamic range,”
Maine noted. “It has great built-in
settings, but you also have the ability to customize the settings to address
varying lighting situations. The HDX900 reproduces life-like colors that pop
off the screen without bleeding and delivers a coveted, film-like look.”
change from shooting 1080/24p to 720p within seconds, which achieved the same
overall look but with increased ability to reframe and manipulate in post,”
of the production, the crew used the HDX900 as the main camera for interviews
and overall B-roll, with the HVX200 positioned as the secondary camera.
able to put the HVX200 in places where you just can’t fit a full-size camera,”
“We did a few shots interviewing people in cars while they were driving, for
example, and put the HVX200 right in the passenger’s seat for terrific dynamic
the fact that with the HVX200 we had off-speed shooting capabilities as well as
the option to use high gain settings to give us a grainy 16mm look,” he added.
“Also, unlike HDV, the HVX200 records images at a full 100Mbps and uses
uncompressed 16-bit sound.”
shot most of the interviews in DVCPRO HD 720p/24p with B-roll content captured
in 1080/24p. “All of the HDX900 footage was transferred via IEEE 1394 with
Panasonic’s AJ-HD1400 DVCPRO HD VTR and then stored on a 10-terabyte RAID
HVX200, we shot both 720p and 1080/24p, recording directly to a FireStore
said. “Each day of the shoot, we captured close to 100GB of material.
Every night, we transferred the footage to a LaCie FireWire external hard drive
and re-formatted the FireStore for shooting the next day.”
So Right, So Smart, directed by Maine, with Guy
Noerr serving as Executive Producer, and Leanne Robinson as co-producer/writer,
is being edited by Michael Swantek in 720p/24p in Final Cut Pro Studio 2, on
site at MagicWig Productions. Post production is expected to be completed by
December 2007. So Right, So Smart is aimed for theatrical release.
Maine said they plan to
pursue 2008 film festival opportunities, and possibly broadcast