Filmmakers use VariCam for PBS “design:e2” series

“design:e2(the economics of being environmentally conscious)” is a six-part PBS series that explores the vitality of the environment through eco-friendly architecture. Narrated by Brad Pitt, the series was shot with Panasonic’s AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera.

design:e2 was produced by Manhattan-based production company kontentreal, which also created the related website, featuring VariCam-shot podcasts. The design:e2 assignment also encompassed two 30-second commercial spots for series underwriter Autodesk, which was also shot with the VariCam.

kontentreal’s Tad Fettig served as director and as co-executive producer with Karena Albers. Rob Humphreys was the Director of Photography. design:e2 continues to debut throughout the PBS network this summer. A European launch is scheduled for September. Season two production begins in the fall.

Panasonic’s AJ-HDC27 VariCam replicates many of the key features of film-based image acquisition, including 24-frame progressive scan images, time lapse recording and a wide range of variable frame rates (4fps to 60fps in single-frame increments) for “overcranked” and “undercranked” off-speed in-camera effects. The AJ-HDC27 VariCam also features CineGamma software that permits Panasonic’s HD Cinema camera systems to more closely match the latitude of film stocks.

design:e2 was shot over eight weeks from September through November 2005, starting in Chicago, then in Stuttgart, Germany; Boston; New York City; Austin, TX; Mexico; China; and Singapore. The VariCam and lenses for the single-camera shoot were rented from Handheld Films in New York City.

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