DP combines Varicam, P2 Mobile recorder to shoot music video

The interesting matchup allowed director of photography Suny Behar to quickly, easily review sequences with off-speed ramping.
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Director of photography Suny Behar chose a new recording technique to shoot a music video for alternative rock band People in Planes using a Panasonic AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera recording directly to the portable AJ-HPM110 P2 Mobile solid-state recorder.

The video, which promotes the first offering, “Pretty Buildings,” from the band’s forthcoming CD release, “Beyond the Horizon,” (Wind-up Records) recently premiered on purevolume.com.

Behar specifically chose the combination of technology because the music video called for a lot of back-and-forth variable speed ramping from 24fps to 60fps, he said. Recording straight to the P2 recorder made immediate playback of off-speed clips possible, he added.

The “Pretty Buildings” video, directed by Walter Robot, was a one-day shoot that took place last month on three separate sets at The Escarpment, a multipurpose soundstage south of downtown Los Angeles. Equipment was rented from Birns & Sawyer in Hollywood, CA.

Behar outfitted the VariCam with P+S Technik’s Pro35 film lens adapter and a complete set of Zeiss Super Speed lenses to achieve the same depth of field control available when shooting on 35mm film.

The music video was recorded full-raster, 10-bit AVC-Intra 100 onto the HPM110, Behar said. One 32GB card and four 8GB P2 cards were used for the shoot.

All takes were reviewed on set via the P2 Mobile recorder’s screen to ensure there were no dropouts. For offload, Behar’s crews used a PowerBook G4 on the set with P2 Genie software. The cards went straight into the G4’s PCMCIA II slot; P2 Genie automatically detected the card and started the transfer to two simultaneous backup hard drives, a FireWire 800 drive and a USB 2.0 drive.

For more information, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.