Filmmaker Uses Panasonic Cameras to Shoot Documentary

February 16, 2006
Filmmaker James Longley used Panasonic AG-DVX100 series mini-DV 3-CCD 24p camcorders to shoot more than 300 hours of film over the course of two years to make his award-winning documentary, "Iraq in Fragments".

The film, which takes viewers inside Iraq, won several awards at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, including Excellence in Cinematography, Excellence in Documentary film editing and the Documentary Directing award.

Longley, director, cinematographer, editor and executive producer of the film said he felt "uninhibited" in his use of the camera and did things he normally doesn’t try with a more expensive piece of equipment. Longley said the cameras were affordable and held up in the extreme weather through dust and heat. He also said the self-cleaning heads were a "lifesaver" and he didn’t need to service the camera while filming on-site.

"I put the camera inside the openings of brick ovens, ran full-speed with the camera down Baghdad alleys and shot during dust storms at 110 degrees. At one point, the camera got so hot during the filming of a brick factory in northern Iraq that the Rycote wind cover on my microphone caught on fire. But the camera never stopped recording," he said.

Longley said he plans to use the new Panasonic new AG-HVX200 handheld, HD solid-state P2 camcorder in his next project.

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