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Director Mills shoots Marines project with AJ-HPX3000

Director/cameraman Bill Mills recently added Panasonic’s new AJ-HPX3000 native 1080p one-piece camcorder to his equipment and is using it to shoot a production for the U.S. Marine Corps.

In September, Mills, who is president of Florida Film & Video and BMA Production Services in St. Petersburg, FL, decided to shoot the dramatic training program using the HPX3000 as the A camera and his VariCam as the B camera. Mills added the AJ-HPM100 P2 mobile 10-bit, 4:2:2 recorder/player to support a tapeless HD workflow.

The goal of the production was to create a network-style episodic television look with a “35mm film style and quality,” he said.

Mills shot the main segment of the program in 1080/24p DVCPRO HD, which produced a look that he describes “as a notch up from the VariCam’s 720p.” Relying on the HPX3000’s numerous gamma settings, Mills was able to emulate the look of the VariCam’s Film Rec, he said.

During the first week of the Marines project, Mills shot more than nine hours of A camera footage, which traditionally would have taken two to three days of digitizing for ingestion. Relying on solid state P2 storage, however, allowed Mills to transfer the media into his Apple Final Cut Pro HD suite in less than seven hours.

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