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Leo Ticheli Productions Shoots Commercials, Long-Format Work with Panasonic HD Cinema Camera

(December 21, 2001)
Leo Ticheli Productions, with offices in Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA, has purchased the Panasonic AJ-HDC27V variable-frame HD Cinema camera for projects ranging from television commercials for large advertising agencies to programs for major corporations.
The AJ-HDC27V allows digital cinematographers to capture high speed 60-frame per second or film-like 24-frame per second high-definition progressive scanned images. In addition, the camera provides a wide range of variable frame rates (4 to 33-fps, 36, 40 and 60-fps) for off-speed capture situations for 24-fps-based playback.

Leo Ticheli Productions is a vertically-integrated company that oversees a project from conception through distribution; its range of services includes TV commercials, long-form sponsored videos, web hosting, DVD and CD-ROM production, and the creation of MPEG material for web distribution. Since taking delivery of the AJ-HDC27V, the camera has been used on commercial shoots for Great Southern Wood, Cavalier Manufactured Housing, and Kennesaw State College, recruitment pieces for the University of Alabama, and corporate videos for Bell South, Blue Cross of Alabama, the Odyssey Family Counseling Center, and Employment Learning Innovations. Previously, Ticheli
was shooting predominantly in digital Betacam and 35 mm.

Founder and principal Leo Ticheli said, ?At this point, Im discouraging our clients from shooting any other format. Ive found the AJ-HDC27V exceedingly valuable, as it delivers the highest-quality image--on a par with 35mm--to clients who could never have afforded film. The images are stunning! Ticheli noted that he had weighed the merits of the AJ-HDC27V vs. competitive models prior to purchase. ?The investment required for the competition was daunting, he said, ?and when we looked at the pictures side-by-side, on HD monitors, then downconverted to 601, the Panasonic images were far superior.

The variable-frame-rate capability made it a ?must-have item. In my opinion, the AJ-HDC27V replaces a film camera in virtually every conceivable situation, other than shooting at higher than 60-fps.

?Very important is the progressive scan. The Panasonic camera produces no-compromrise images that dont look like 1080i--which to me looks like nice video, but video nonetheless. On a shoot, were typically requiring 50% fewer foot-candles, and rating the equivalent of 1000 ASA with no grain. Were doing more set-ups in a day, using less air-conditioning, less electricity, and its an easier job for the crew. Then, in post, special effects and mattes are much easier than material originated on film or inferior video formats.

To post the AJ-HDC27V material, Ticheli is currently outputting to 601 from a DVCPRO HD VTR (using both AJ-HD150 studio editing and AJ-HD130DC portable, half-rack size VTRs) and mastering to Digital Betacam. In addition to Avid Media Composer, Discreet Smoke, and a linear suite, LTP has a mobile online suite, equipped with Final Cut Pro, Combustion, After Effects and Digital Voodoo. The soon-to-be-released HD Voodoo will allow him to edit in HD if desired.

Ticheli added, ?Im asked why Im shooting in HD today when my ultimate product is still 525i. Obviously, Im archiving a 16:9, HD master for my clients. But Im also saving between $5000 - $10,000 per shoot day, money that can be re-allocated into things that show up on the screen; longer shooting time, more extras, more elaborate sets and so forth. ?To my mind, the AJ-HDC27V is the final link in a chain that means that, now, everything I shoot can have a beautiful, filmic image.

Providing great economy, long recording times and a refreshing ease of use, the AJ-HDC27V offers 24 frame per second capture for acquisition of exquisite film-like images. And with its unique variable-frame selectivity, cinematographers can choose from a wide range of other frame rates including 4 to 33-fps (in one frame increments) 36-fps, 40-fps and 60-fps providing the capability to ?overcrank or undercrank the camera to achieve fast or slow-motion effects. This is the first time this traditional film technique has been applied to a high-definition digital camera system.

A truly flexible digital camera, the AJ-HDC27Vs progressive images can be directly converted to film avoiding unnecessary frame rate conversions. By utilizing Panasonic's AJ-HD3700 D-5 HD Mastering VTR, images can be format converted to 1080p/24 -- a Universal Master from which 25fps PAL programming can be easily derived. The AJ-HDC27V can also create ?motion-blur and ?warp-speed special effects in real-time by shooting at very low frame rates without shutter. The cameras shutter speeds automatically track frame rate changes, ensuring consistency throughout the shoot. The AJ-HDC27V HD Cinema camera records for 46 minutes in standard 720/60p format on DVCPRO large-size cassettes and provides exceptional sensitivity-- equivalent ASA speed rating of 1000--F13@2000 lux. Capable of shooting in a wide range of light-level conditions, the AJ-HDC27Vs programmable gain preamplifier can be set to optimize signal levels--operators can choose from -6 dB to +36 dB in 12 steps. Its advanced color correction scheme utilizes a 12-pole color matrix that allows very specific colors to be set without affecting the overall picture color imagery.

The camera offers a selection of 12 separate camera set-ups, which can be saved internally or on a removable memory card. Panasonics HD Cinema camera lineup also includes the AJ-HDC20A 1080 interlace camera and the AJ-HDC27A 720 progressive scan camera. For more information on Panasonics HD Cinema lineup, visit

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