Digital Pictures Melbourne has taken delivery of two Sony SRW-5000 HDCAM-SR VTR decks as part of the company's move to use digital technology in the creative processes of feature film production.
The first project to benefit from the investment is the feature film Ghost Rider, the adaptation of the Marvel comic book series.
The move reinforces HDCAM-SR as a high quality mastering format, suitable for digital cinema production, broadcast and distribution.
"The movie is being shot on 35mm film at Central City Studios and some plates are being captured using a Sony HDC-950 camera," said John Fleming, General Manager, Digital Pictures Melbourne.
"We will be processing the film here and using our Sony VIALTA telecine and da Vinci 2K grading system to transfer daily best light rushes to the HD SR format in 4:4:4. Dailies will also be transferred to Sony/Columbia Pictures' Digital Media Technology Centre in Los Angles using a high speed internet link and a Digital Fountain data accelerator.'
The rushes will be used in all forms of publicity, marketing and audience research as the director works very closely with Ghost Rider fans.
"We will also be conforming off the HDCAM-SR tapes for previews. We have installed a Barco DP100 projector so we can play a 4:4:4 signal off the SR decks into our digital screening theatre â€” it's a very progressive way of dealing with the whole process," said Fleming.
"The Sony decks are the only machines delivering 4:4:4 capabilities - they provide a highly cost efficient way of enabling flexibility in the creative process, while still being able to effectively market the project in production and post production. Two decks are required to clone each tape every day and ensure redundancy.
"The HDCAM-SR decks are second generation machines that use less compression than the previous system and offer the advantage of 12 audio tracks which is an important requirement for us. 12 tracks come in handy for feature film mastering as we can include 5.1, stereo and stereo M&E tracks as well.
"HDCAM-SR is becoming the preferred international delivery format for mastering feature films and with this upgrade we can provide world class facilities to service future large scale projects," said Fleming.
In related news, Quiet On Set, a new Australian program, will feature an interview with Ghost Rider actor Matt Norman on March 28th. More details are available at the link above.
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