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Grass Valley Viper FilmStream Camera Gaining Momentum

First sale in Japan and the use of Viper on Nickelodeon Jr. and CBS (March 14, 2005)

Thomson, today highlighted increased global momentum for its Grass Valley Viper Filmstream camera ? including the first sale in Japan and the use of Viper on a childrens program now airing on the Nickelodeon Jr. and CBS network in the U.S.

Mark Reads production company, Hypercube, based in Boulder, CO., has chosen to use the Viper camera on ?LazyTown, a new series created in Iceland at Magn˙s Schevings LazyTown Studios, which is now airing on the childrens network Nick-Jr. and the CBS network in the U.S. Hypercube has created a unique universal production environment, designed as tape-less and paper-less concept-to-finish pipeline and workflow for ideas to be realized all under one roof. Tomas Írn T is the director of photography who uses the Grass Valley Viper FilmStream Camera to feed the massive pipeline for ?LazyTown.

In addition, the first Viper camera has been sold in Japan to Ray Corporation, a content provider and owner of five facilities throughout Japan. The Viper will be used by one of Ray Corp.s subsidiary production companies, Digital Site Co., Ltd., at its new facility in Tennozu, Tokyo. Raw RGB data from the Viper will be used to create high-resolution, uncompressed digital projects for TV commercials that previously have been shot on Super16mm and 35mm film. Ray Corp. will also use the Viper for a new feature film called "Notebook of Life," which begins shooting in January 2005.

Designed for the production of theatrical release motion pictures, episodic television, and commercials, the Viper FilmStream camera is different from any other electronic and digital image acquisition tools in that it captures every bit of information that a scene has to offer in a non-destructive, transparent, and easily reproducible way. It also avoids the use of video processing, common in most of the professional cameras available, which can degrade image quality.

?When your digital cinematographer project demands the highest quality this compact and versatile camera is the one to use, said Marc Valentin, president, Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions. ?Whether you are making a movie like Dreamworks Collateral or television series like LazyTown, Viper unleashes rapid workflow, improved cost efficiencies and unlimited creativity.

Ray Corporation and Hypercube join a growing list of leading Hollywood directors, and production professionals that are now using Thomsons innovative digital cinematography camera to enhance their projects that would traditionally be shot on film.

?We have seen what the Viper can do, in terms of improving digital workflows during production and in post, and are excited to take advantage of these benefits first-hand, said Masafumi Odawara, executive managing director at Ray Corporation, adding that the camera will actually go into production in December. ?Many productions?both for television and for feature films--have had success with the Viper and we look forward to learning from their experiences and using it ourselves. The Viper opens up a whole range of artistic possibilities that weve never had available to us with film.

The entire process for ?LazyTown is tapeless, capturing images with a Viper and high-quality Zeiss DigiPrime lenses. Shooting on green screen, the Viper images go to an Ultimatte HD system (creating a super sharp key), before being stored on a 60TB SAN for universal mastering. The workflow, supervised by Claudia Meglin, provides a common platform for every aspect of the project, in what LazyTown executive producer & technical director Mark Read describes as ?possibly the fastest and highest quality shoot-to-finish system in the history of real-time composite digital cinematography.

About the Viper FilmStream Camera
The Grass Valley Viper FilmStream Camera System is the only digital cinematography camera designed from the ground up to capture every detail needed for brilliant, uncompromised, uncompressed output. With three 9.2 million pixel Frame Transfer CCDs capturing 1920x1080 resolution, the Viper FilmStream camera system delivers an RGB 4:4:4 10-bit log output?uncompromised by electronic camera signal processing?to a field recorder.

The Vipers electronic image capture system processes the same amount of information as traditional film grain, enabling it to replicate various film stocks while eliminating the filtering and processing typically required boosting the quality of those images for post production. This is important to directors of photography and motion picture producers that want to maintain the esthetics of film yet take advantage of the cost efficiencies of digital production.

About Thomson - Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides technology, systems and services to help its Media & Entertainment clients content creators, content distributors and users of its technology realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group intends to become the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands.

For more information:

Thomson's Systems and Equipment division develops video and film technologies, products and services sold to all major Hollywood studios, all major television, satellite, and cable broadcasters under the Technicolor and Grass Valley brand-names for the delivery of analog and digital entertainment. The division also includes Thomson's Broadband Access Products Business, which develops technologies and products for broadband and telecommunication networks to deliver digital entertainment and data to consumers and businesses.

For information about Grass Valley products from Thomson please visit


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Related Keywords:Grass Valley, Viper FilmStream, Camera, Nickelodeon, CBS, Thomson, Mark Read, Hypercube, LazyTown, Magn˙s Scheving, Tomas Írn, Ray Corporation, Digital Site Co., cinematographer, Marc Valentin, digital cinematography, Masafumi Odawara, Zeiss, DigiPrime, Ultimatte HD, Claudia Meglin, photography,


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