Summer reality series shot in 16:9 SD, converted to HD for high-def audience

“One Ocean View,” which premiered on the ABC Television Network last week and is simulcast on the network’s HD channel was shot with multiple Panasonic AJ-SDX900 DVCPRO Cinema camcorders.

One Ocean View is the address of the summer beach house where 11 New Yorkers take refuge from Manhattan each Friday to escape the soaring city temperatures for a tempestuous weekend.

Director of photography Jack Reichert supervised five camera crews, who shot on location in Manhattan and on Fire Island June 1 through July 17. Three SDX900s were used simultaneously, with the five crews trading off to cover an 18-hour day. Occasionally, additional SDX900s were deployed for special shots, such as the first day of shooting, arrival at Fire Island and aerials. The series comprises six one-hour episodes.

The reality show is shot in 16:9 aspect ratio at 24p SD and is being upconverted to high definition for ABC’s HD audience.

According to Reichert, the beach is one of the most difficult shooting environments imaginable due to high contrast, harsh light and physical conditions. With the SDX900, Reichert’s camera operators could hold a higher dynamic range in their shots so white areas of the frame held on to more detail, “looking natural rather than blown out,” he said.

Post-production was Final Cut Pro-based for everything from offline to final, full resolution output. The SDX900 uses a 29.97 signal with 3:2 pull down already in place, which is used to create three different kinds of masters, including 4:3 center punched, 4:3 anamorphic squeeze and 16:9 letterbox. For “One Ocean View,” the anamorphic SD image is upconverted to HD.

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