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Baton Rouge Magazine Show Shot With Panasonic CamcordersAround Town Weekend TV Show uses AG-DVX100A 24P camcorders (March 15, 2005)
Over the past year, The Scott Rogers Around Town Weekend TV Show, an upstart television magazine show shot on a shoestring budget, has charmed Baton Rouge, LA residents and become the markets number one-rated cable offering. The one-hour show, airing a Saturday and Sunday edition on COX4, the regional COX cable network, presents British workplace expert/author Scott Rogers meeting up with the best and most colorful local attractions, interesting people and reviews of community events and news. A production of 1stCo Inc., Around Town is shot with AG-DVX100A Mini-DV 3-CCD camcorders used in both studio and EFP configurations.
1stCo Inc., a business development firm, has been working on projects around the world for over 10 years and permanently in the United States for the last four years. Scott Rogers, the host and creator of the Around Town TV Show, is by trade a renowned facilitator and speaker on business workplace skills and self-motivation.
After successful appearances on several network shows, 1stCo and Rogers decided in October 2004 to produce their own weekend show, to be aired each Saturday from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. (quickly extended to include a Sunday edition as well as repeat airings on the city governments cable channel). According to Mathew Hodgkins, Around Towns Executive Director/Producer (and 1stCos President), ?Never having produced any video or TV show before, 1stCo assembled a complete TV studio, learned about the equipment necessary, ordered and installed it all in under four weeks. The fifth weekend from the decision to produce our own show, we went on air for the first time.
He continued, ?Cost was a large factor and we were very leery especially as our only frame of reference was the local network affiliates with their $100,000 cameras. We budgeted an incredibly low $30,000 for the entire project (including lighting, sets and scenery).
?We started with only two DVX100As as our studio cameras. We spent some time considering different cameras but decided on Panasonic because we were impressed with the features, the user feedback on-line and the option of 24p something that we didnt intend to use in studio but wanted for ad production and packages. We obviously needed cameras that would give us a good quality live feed in the studio and great quality in the field being a community show, hosted by a popular public speaker and columnist, we film a lot of packages through the week. The 3-CCD, on-camera features, and ease of use all that we hoped for was there. Another original factor was our intention to stay digital and use the Firewire (IEEE 1394) outs.
Hodkgins added, ?In the third month, we obtained more funds, mainly due from the great advertiser interest (who in turn were responding to a great public response). We had the choice to buy more equipment with more fiscal freedom, but we still came back to the DVX100As. To this day, we use our three DVX100As as our studio cameras and field cameras using all three for both filming purposes each week --giving us consistently good footage.
The AG-DVX100A is a unique Mini-DV 3-CCD camcorder with exclusive CineSwitch technology that supports 480i/60 (NTSC), cinema-style 480p/24fps and 480p/30fps image capture. Panasonic's AG-DVX100A is the standard for affordable 24p acquisition and a proven performer with hundreds of independent movies, TV programs, commercials, and documentaries to its credit. The AG-DVX100A offers unmatched audio performance, extensive auto and manual controls, and a CineGamma curve that truly emulates the rich look of film.
Describing the studio production work, Hodgkins said, ?During our taping all three cameras are used on simple fluid head tripods on basic dollies. We appreciate the ability to set a lot of phase and color and preset our white balances as we move between sets. The cameras also do great with professional-looking, smooth pushes and pulls in and out of our segments. With a combination of some great choices on sound equipment and our choice of Macs with Final Cut Pro, we produce a very high quality show that is equal to any show shot in a network studio.
As for work in the field, the director noted, ?We shoot in 30fps in nearly all instances. Performance is excellent. The cameras go through a lot, for instance hanging off 18 wheelers as Scott learned how to drive during our ?Do My Job Scott segment, or being knocked around in a professional race car. With a few simple precautions, we film in full sun, dead of night, wind and rain. The DVX100As have never let us down I wouldnt buy another camera if we had $10,000 to spend.
The minimal editing work is Mac-based, Hodgkins explained. ?Through our very simple setup we film the show as though it is live to air this means that we keep our set changes inside the prescribed two-minute ad blocks. We run feeds straight to a G4 and Mini-DV deck (as a raw backup in case of computer crashes) and capture each segment on the Mac in turn. We use a G5 for the Sunday show (this means that all the digitized footage is right there ready for the two editors on two Macs). Total post time is under 2.5 hours.
?During the show we use a $100 DVD player to play full screen JPEG graphics to the switcher. A Panasonic DVCPRO AJ-D250 VTR is our master tape deck that dubs our final show through its optional FireWire bus card (AJ-YAD250) straight from the Mac. During the show the DVCPRO deck runs all our B-roll and packages and is another source to our switcher. Editing is simple. We drop over our ad blocks, bump music and animations for credits and dub back to the DVCPRO deck along with a separate feed to a DVX100A camera for a Mini-DV dub that goes to the government station for their repeat.
Around Towns fans include COX executives such as Marketing Manager Jeff Routier, who said, ?Scott Rogers and company deliver a quality broadcast layered with insight, local information and off-the-cuff humor backed by crystal-clear, quality pictures that rival major media outlets in Baton Rouge.
Hodgkins concluded, ?The DVX100A cameras are well-built, versatile, broadcast quality, reliable, sturdy and worthy of a far higher price tag. The combination of the lens quality, build, features, film modes, digital and analog outputs and a great price point really has helped Around Town become the talk of the region, and the most popular community show of its kind in the area.
For more information on Panasonics complete DV Cinema product line-up, visit www.panasonic.com/dvcinema.
About Panasonic Broadcast
Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast, professional video and presentation 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 companys web site at www.panasonic.com/broadcast.
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