Director/cinematographer Jerry Simpson, a principal of production company Simpson Films in Long Island City, NY, recently shot a pilot for a documentary profiling drummer Steve Gadd with the VariCam 3700, Panasonic’s solid-state P2 HD VariCam camcorder.
The VariCam 3700 (model AJ-HPX3700) teams the camcorder’s filmic-look, variable frame rates, and subtle tone control with 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC-Intra recording as well as dual-link RGB 4:4:4 output.
Gadd is an American session and studio drummer, notable for his work with popular musicians from a wide range of genres. Simpson is well-known as an advocate of digital production in the advertising industry. He took two of the P2 HD VariCams to the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he shot five days of rehearsals, master classes and concerts featuring Gadd.
Simpson has also used the HPX3700 to shoot sit-down interviews with Gadd, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, and Lou Marini, among others, with the performers discussing their work with Gadd. All the material was shot in 1080p-24pN in AVC-Intra 100. The HPX3700s were equipped with Fujinon XA17x7.6BERM HD zoom lenses.
Digital supervisor Sean Donnelly did rough cuts of the material in Final Cut Studio 3, which he found twice as fast when importing AVC-Intra material. The camera offers 4:2:2, 10-bit depth of color, which was ideal for the project.