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Old February 25th, 2003, 04:50 PM   #1
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Interesting newsletter about the DVX100

PANASONIC PRO VIDEO E-NEWSLETTER - February 25, 2003

PANASONIC DVX100 EXCELS IN BRUTAL WINDS AND COLD

In the harrowing winds and minus 45 degree temperature of the sub-Arctic, Panasonic's AG-DVX100 DV Cinema(tm) camcorder delivered an "amazing" performance for a Canadian filmmaker shooting a documentary on the upcoming feature film, "Snow Walker."

Vancouver, B.C.-based Comet Post Production used its newly-purchased AG-DVX100 60i/24p/30p camcorder to shoot in the severe sub-Arctic weather of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada major portions of a documentary on the making of the theatrical feature, "Snow Walker." The documentary, tentatively entitled "The Making of Snow Walker," will be included on the DVD release of the film, and negotiations are underway with a national broadcaster for it to air at the time of film's release in April. The breakthrough AG-DVX100 is a unique Mini-DV 3-CCD camcorder with exclusive CineSwitch(tm) technology that supports 480i/60 (NTSC), cinema-style 480p/24fps and 480p/30fps image capture.

Fredrik Thorsen, Comet Post's owner/filmmaker and the documentary's cinematographer during the winter portion of the shoot, said, "The original 'Snow Walker' assignment was for an electronic press kit-type production on the making of the film. When I came on board to film the winter portion of the production, I hoped that my material would look and feel different from the summer material, which had been shot in 60i. Since I had just obtained the AG-DVX100, it was the perfect opportunity to try to achieve that, by shooting in 24p. When I subsequently showed the footage to the producers, the decision was made to upgrade to a full-fledged production, given that the project started to feel more like a documentary."

The filmmaker commented, "The camera's performance was amazing; I decided to rely on the factory presets for 24p, and was very happy with the results. Any tweaking or color correction can of course be performed in post, but the initial image quality was more than I hoped for, particularly the footage of a period Inuit village complete with igloos."

He continued, "The fact that the camera worked flawlessly in severe cold was the biggest surprise, and I hadn't expected it to provide such a clean, filmic image. It rendered detail on sunny, snowy days beautifully, with a greater range of detail and exposure than I expected from a camera at this price level. In terms of cost-savings, it wouldn't have been possible to achieve the same filmic look with a conventional video camera without using a lot of post-production manipulation, and it certainly would have been cost-prohibitive to bring out any kind of film camera. I was able to achieve a clean 16mm feel for about $7 an hour (tape stock). That same hour on film would have required an assistant, raw stock, processing, lab, etc. and would have been far too expensive."

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Old February 25th, 2003, 07:00 PM   #2
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Interesting Frank, thanks.

Speaking about Churchill, do the polar bears hand-out there all year or only in the Fall. That's a big tourist attraction as I recall.

Thanks again for the newsletter info. Nick
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Old February 25th, 2003, 08:57 PM   #3
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Polar Bears are very dangerous, and hang out year round, pretty much. My friend's wife is from Churchill, and when she was about 8, she saw a Polar Bear knock someone's head off---and it went rolling down the street of downtown Churchill. Churchill is on the south west side of Hudson Bay, roughly 600 miles north north east of Winnipeg. It is a port.
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Old February 25th, 2003, 09:59 PM   #4
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I've been there in the summer and fall (shooting Ross's Gull, Marbled and Hudsonian Godwits among other rarities) and polar bears do occasionally enter town. They have a siren that sounds to alert people to their presence. It's pretty safe these days (heads rolling down the street is bad for tourism) but accidents can happen.
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Old February 26th, 2003, 02:50 AM   #5
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I'm sure these days it's much safer there. Years ago, Polar Bears ruled the streets, it seems. I used to work as a cook on the trains and gangs. I did the Churchill run a couple of times. Nice country: lakes and forests and nothing else. I still prefer North Western Ontario country---but not in the winter!
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