Filmmakers shoot ‘The Confessional’ with HVX200, Redrock adapter, prime lenses

“The Confessional,” a new thriller with a Hitchcock sense of claustrophobic menace, chronicles the fate of an unsuspecting town in the thrall of a disturbed sculptor who assumes the identity of a local priest.

The full-length feature, written and directed by James Anthony Cotton, was shot with Panasonic AG-HVX200 P2 HD camcorders, with DP Morgan Schmidt. The movie, which Cotton calls the first in a projected trilogy, has completed production and post and is being submitted to festivals.

Having experience working with the Redrock Microsystems adapter on a short film the year before, Schmidt was convinced its shallow depth-of-field could produce a unique look for the psychological thriller, he said. Both Schmidt and Cotton each purchased an HVX200, adapter and a set of lenses and shot the entire movie with the cameras.

Redrock’s M2 cinema lens adapter allows 35mm lenses to be used with HD video cameras, such as the HVX200, to create incredible depth-of-field, angle of view and focus characteristic of high-end film productions.

“The Confessional” was shot in 1080i DVCPRO HD on four P2 cards in continuous rotation. Footage was offloaded to a laptop computer running two mirrored FireWire drives.

The movie was shot in CineGamma-D mode to maximize dynamic range, with a slight color desaturation, Cotton said. The production also used a full set of Nikon prime lenses with the Redrock adapters. The DP took advantage of the HVX200’s off-speed capabilities shooting 60fps at 720p for a sequence at the movie’s climax in which a running horse kicks up dust with its hooves.

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