MTV VMAs To Use Ikegami HD Cameras, FUJINON Cabrio Zoom Lenses for Live, Multi-Camera HD Broadcast

FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Optical Devices Division has announced that the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards will be the first live, multicamera HDTV broadcast to use Ikegami HDK-97ARRI large-format CMOS cameras paired with digital cinema style FUJINON PL19-90 Cabrio Premier PL Mount zoom lenses. On August 25th, 2013, MTV will air the VMAs live from Barclays Center, a new state-of-the-art entertainment arena in Brooklyn, NY, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.

“By enabling a multicamera broadcast workflow with a visually stunning film look, this perfect synergy between the Ikegami/ARRI Super 35mm CMOS sensor camera and the compact Cabrio lens offers HDTV broadcasts the look we’ve long sought,” says Danny Walters, project engineer for Viacom Media Networks, Music Group and Logo, Technical Operations and Remote division in Nashville, TN.

New Remote Productions, Inc, a business unit within Viacom, operates a fleet of remote production vehicles for use by Viacom Networks as well as third-party customers. Four production trucks will be parked in and around the Barclays Center for live coverage of the Red Carpet, the VMA All Access live stream, and the primetime event being produced by Viacom’s Moonman Productions, to be directed by Hamish Hamilton.

Prior to the NAB convention this year, MTV placed a large equipment order directly with Ikegami, including eight HDK-97ARRI cameras and eight FUJINON PL 19-90 Cabrio lenses, which arrived in May 2013. Walters explained that, as “big believers in the large-format imager philosophy for TV entertainment,” they began searching for the large-format sensor camera first, including models by Sony and Red, and even took a hard look at the ARRI Alexa, But when Walters learned about the partnership between Ikegami and ARRI, the maker of the Super 35mm CMOS sensor, he chose the Ikegami HDK-97ARRI because of its ability to fuse the large-format imager with a traditional broadcast workflow.

“When it came time to select the lenses, it was an easy choice,” Walters says. “We’ve been very satisfied FUJINON users for a long time, and the fact that they had produced a lens that merges a broadcast- and ENG-friendly workflow with cine-style features and characteristics made it a natural choice for this application.”

The PL 19-90 Cabrio (Model ZK4.7×19) features an exclusive detachable servo drive unit, making it suitable for use as a standard PL Mount lens or as an ENG-style lens. With the longest focal range of any lightweight zoom lens, the PL 19-90 covers a 31.5mm size sensor on a digital cinema style camera, with a T2.9 aperture range. Within Barclays Center, the cameras will be situated on pedestals, jibs, and Steadicams as well as in traditional handheld applications.  Technicians from Fujifilm’s Optical Devices Division and Ikegami will be on-hand at Barclays Center during the live broadcast.

“While we’re early adopters of this innovative technology, we’re very excited about its potential to revolutionize the look of live entertainment and special events shows,” Walters says. Calling the VMAs one of the most demanding live shows Viacom produces each year, Walters added, “If the new camera gear survives this, it can survive anything.”

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