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Society of Camera Operators uses AJA for “Endeavour's Final Journey” doc

GRASS VALLEY, CALIF. – The Society of Camera Operators will document the journey of the Space Shuttle Endeavour to the California Science Center as part of a project being managed by Terbine Entertainment and other vendors and volunteers.

“Endeavour’s final journey is one that will go down in the history books, and this documentary will give generations to come an accurate account of the complexities involved in the shuttle’s final mission,” AJA President Nick Rashby said.

Cinematographer Haskell Wexler, ASC/SOC, served as a camera operator who employed Ki Pro Mini portable digital video recorders from AJA Video Systems to capture the landing of the Endeavour Space Shuttle at LAX Airport in Los Angeles, and Oct. 12, Endeavour will be placed onto a 79-foot transporter with 92 independently operated wheels in preparation for its trip to the CSC.

The footage will be incorporated into “Endeavour’s Final Journey,” a project spearheaded by producer David Knight, to accompany the forthcoming Endeavour exhibit at the California Science Center.

“With no budget and a tight timeline, a tapeless workflow seemed like the best fit for this project, and we knew that Ki Pro Mini would give us an ideal recording setup. They’re easy to deploy and use – plus all of our camera assistants had good experiences working with them,” shared Mark August, SOC and the documentary’s second unit director of photography. “Once we took delivery of the Ki Pro Minis, we were able to get them up and running straight out of the box within five minutes.”

Ki Pro Minis were mounted to three Panavision Genesis Cameras using Noga Arms. Wexler served as one of the camera operators and was positioned near the flight line in preparation for the arrival of the Endeavour atop a Boeing 747.

Apple ProRes 422 footage of the landing was recorded and sent to Deluxe, which is compiling, editing and archiving all of the documentary material.

“Having a portable, reliable solution like Ki Pro Mini was instrumental to completing this phase of the project. All of the footage was instantly edit-ready, straight off the drives,” August said. “We’re looking forward to using the recorders again for the next phase of the project, which will cover Endeavour’s complex journey through LA to its new home.”