Fall '99




If you have a news item for the FILMLOOK Newsletter, please call us at (818) 845-9200 or E-Mail us at lookinfo@filmlook.com and we'll get it in our next issue.


It's the big decision one faces when shooting video--the choice of what format to shoot with can be confusing even for a seasoned video producer. Today there are more choices than ever when it comes to shooting video since manufacturers are quickly providing cameras for every conceivable application and budget. While choices are good, sometimes the tradeoffs of one format or camera over another are not immediately apparent until a decision is made, video is shot and postproduction commences. Unfortunately by this point, a bad choice in format, or even camera, will become painfully obvious.

The current standard for the ultimate in video recording is high definition. While very expensive, hi-def provides breathtakingly sharp images and great color. Yet the tradeoffs are: 1. Acquisition costs are high, since rental houses charge a premium for hi-def equipment. Posting in hi-def carries a premium also, that is assuming you live and work in a major city that has hi-def post houses; 2. Incompatibility with NTSC and among hi-def standards. There is 1080i and 720p hi-def, and the equipment to record and play back these two standards are generally incompatible with each other and with standard definition NTSC recorders and monitors.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are the mini DV formats that offer very good standard definition video at a fraction of the cost of full broadcast equipment. The tradeoffs are: 1. Incompatibility among the various DV-type formats, including DV, DVCPRO, DVCAM DVCPRO-50, etc. Some studio decks will play back most DV formats, others will play only one specific format. Not all post houses have these machines; 2. Unlike broadcast camcorders, there seem to be varying degrees in quality and quantity of CCD arrays built into DV camcorders, from 1/3" single CCD to 1/2" 3 CCD designs. Single chip camcorders are considered consumer quality and not capable of true chroma reproduction. Three-CCD arrays are typically 4:1:1 component capable, yet lack the performance and specifications of true 4:2:2 or even analog component broadcast camcorders. Also, the lenses on DV camcorders are typically of lesser quality than those found on broadcast cameras.

In the middle of it all exist full bandwidth broadcast camcorders such as Betacam SP and Digital Betacam, capable of high quality recordings without compromise or compression artifacts. True, these camcorders are more expensive to purchase or rent, but they are ultimately cost effective compared to other formats. Betacam SP and Digital Betacam tapes can be taken to any professional broadcast post facility for editing, sweetening, EFX, compositing or dubbing for broadcast, cable, or home video distribution.



NEW YORK--Big Bear Films and TNT have produced the critically praised and controversial documentary "Family Values--The Mob & The Movies," a documentary that examines the cultural influences of the Mafia in Hollywood movies. "Family Values" mixes film clips and original documentary footage shot on video then processed in FILMLOOK.

"Family Values" features video shot FILMLOOKed interviews blended with film clips from mob movies such as "Goodfellas," "Donny Brisco" and "A Bronx Tale." The FILMLOOK elements were supervised by producer/director Joseph Consentino and feature actors Ray Serra, Tony Sirico and Paul Sorvino, all of whom grew up with and lived in the same Italian-American neighborhoods as the real life mobsters they portrayed in the movies. "Family Values" aired on TNT in August.


ONTARIO CANADA--CBC and Epitome Pictures are producing the hit series "Riverdale," a weekly nighttime drama shot in video then processed in FILMLOOK. "Riverdale" is a serial drama centering upon the fictional town's conflicts and romances among its rich and working class inhabitants.

The video-produced series is now in its third season and has recently switched over to FILMLOOK's film simulation process to achieve a richer, high-production value look, according to Epitome's producers. This is the fourth Canadian produced television series that has been processed by FILMLOOK, including "Secret Adventures of Jules Verne," "Sixth Grade Alien" and "Diva."


Congratulations go out to Sharon Baker , independent producer and president of Teleduction, on receiving the 1999 Mid-Atlantic EMMY Award for Best Director from the Philadelphia Regional Chapter of The National Academy of the Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). Ms. Baker's documentary "The Dating Bill of Rights" received an EMMY award for Outstanding Children's Program. We at FILMLOOK salute Teleduction's achievements and look forward to working with them on future award-winning productions.

Congratulations to David Urano, senior media producer with Ohio University Media Productions, and Paul Ladwig, executive producer of the award winning documentary --"The Lark Quartet: A Year In A Residency." After airing nationwide this summer the documentary won a 1999 Aurora Award, Telly Award, Communicator Award and was nominated for an EMMY.



LOS ANGELES--PAX TV is producing the inspirational television program "Chicken Soup for the Soul," a weekly series based on the collection of popular books of the same name. The entire series is shot in single camera style video and processed in FILMLOOK.

"Chicken Soup" is a collection of short story vignettes presented by host Michael Tuck (L.A. Law) and features such stars as Terri Garr, Jill Eickenberry and Ray Vincent. Each of the segments are processed by FILMLOOK after editing and before final online assembly of the completed show. "Chicken Soup" premiered in August and is airing weekly on PAX TV nationwide; check local listings.


Some projects and companies that have recently utilized FILMLOOK... "Fist of Freedom--The Story of the 1968 Olympics" for HBO Studio Productions and Black Canyon Productions... "Tarzan Treehouse" TV spots and "Neverland Pool" selects for Disneyland Advertising... "Martin Short Show" prelaunch TV spots for Another Large Production... "Beebe" underwater footage for National Geographic Adventures... "Canadian Living" main title openings for Canadian Living TV... "Come to the Waters" Day of Discovery television program.


SUFFOLK VA--The Learning Channel and New Dominion Pictures have teamed up to produce "Untold Stories of the Navy Seals," an action documentary series shot entirely in single camera style video and processed in FILMLOOK.

The stories are re-creations of international conflicts shot with action-adventure style and storyline. "Navy Seals" is based on recently declassified government files as well as from first hand accounts from Navy Seals team members. Each episode centers upon the Navy Seals' expertise in covert operations in Grenada and Panama. "Navy Seals" is airing on TLC.


COLUMBUS--WOSU-TV has produced "Birthplace of Ohio Stadium," a documentary on the legendary and controversial football stadium that blends archive film footage and contemporary video footage and interviews processed in FILMLOOK.

The documentary centers on the fascinating and risky efforts of the university to build a 100,000 seat stadium earlier this century using new construction technologies on a limited budget in record time. This is the third documentary that has been processed for WOSU including "Echoes from Across the Oval" and "Bromfield." "Birthplace" premiered on WOSU and will be seen on PBS stations nationwide this fall.


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