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Mark Peters : May 3th 2005 - 20:45 CET

"Around Town" is shot with Panasonic AG-DVX100A

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PanasonicAround Town shot with Panasonic AG-DVX100A camcorder : Weekend TV Show, an upstart television magazine show shot on a shoestring budget, has charmed Baton Rouge, LA residents and become the market’s number one-rated cable offering. The one-hour show, on COX4, the regional COX cable network, presents British workplace expert/author Scott Rogers meeting up with the best and most colorful local attractions, interesting people and reviews of community events and news. A production of 1stCo Inc., Around Town is shot with Panasonic AG-DVX100A 3-CCD DV Cinema camcorders used in both studio and EFP configurations. 1stCo Inc. is a business development firm, and has been working on projects around the world for over 10 years.
"Around Town" is shot with Panasonic AG-DVX100AAround Town TV Show - Scott Rogers
Scott Rogers, the host and creator of the Around Town TV Show, is by trade a renowned facilitator and speaker on business workplace skills and self-motivation. After successful appearances on several network shows, 1stCo and Rogers decided in October 2004 to produce their own weekend show, to be aired each Saturday from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. (quickly extended to include a Sunday edition as well as repeat airings on the city government’s cable channel).

Around Town TV Show - Mathew Hodgkins
According to Mathew Hodgkins, Around Town’s Executive Director/Producer (and 1stCo’s President), "Never having produced any video or TV show before, 1stCo assembled a complete TV studio, learned about the equipment necessary, ordered and installed it all in under four weeks. The fifth weekend from the decision to produce our own show, we went on air for the first time." He continued, "Cost was a large factor and we were very leery - especially as our only frame of reference was the local network affiliates with their $100,000 cameras. We budgeted an incredibly low $30,000 for the entire project (including lighting, sets and scenery).

Panasonic AG-DVX100A - Good quality cameras
"We started with only two Panasonic AG-DVX100A camcorders. We spent some time considering different cameras but decided on Panasonic because we were impressed with the features, the user feedback on-line and the option of 24p - something that we didn’t intend to use in studio but wanted for ad production and packages. We obviously needed cameras that would give us a good quality live feed in the studio and great quality in the field - being a community show, hosted by a popular public speaker and columnist, we film a lot of packages through the week. The 3-CCD, on-camera features, and ease of use - all that we hoped for was there. Another original factor was our intention to stay digital and use the Firewire (IEEE 1394) outs."

Panasonic AG-DVX100A camcorder - Consistently good footage
Hodkgins added, "In the third month, we obtained more funds, mainly due from the great advertiser interest (who in turn were responding to a great public response). We had the choice to buy more equipment with more fiscal freedom, but we still came back to the Panasonic DVX100A camcorder. To this day, we use our three DVX100A camcorders as our studio cameras and field cameras - using all three for both filming purposes each week - giving us consistently good footage."

Panasonic AG-DVX100A camcorder - Unique mini-DV 3-CCD camcorder
The AG-DVX100A is a unique Mini-DV 3-CCD camcorder with exclusive CineSwitch™ technology that supports 480i/60 (NTSC), cinema-style 480p/24fps and 480p/30fps image capture. Panasonic's AG-DVX100A is the standard for affordable 24p acquisition and a proven performer with hundreds of independent movies, TV programs, commercials, and documentaries to its credit. The AG-DVX100A camcorder offers unmatched audio performance, extensive auto and manual controls, and a CineGamma curve that truly emulates the rich look of film.

Panasonic AG-DVX100A camcorder - Helps to produce a very high quality show
Describing the studio production work, Hodgkins said, "During our taping all three cameras are used on simple fluid head tripods on basic dollies. We appreciate the ability to set a lot of phase and color and preset our white balances as we move between sets. The AG-DVX100A cameras also do great with professional-looking, smooth pushes and pulls in and out of our segments. With a combination of some great choices on sound equipment and our choice of Macs with Final Cut Pro, we produce a very high quality show that is equal to any show shot in a network studio."

Panasonic AG-DVX100A camcorder - Handles rough circumstances
As for work in the field, the director noted, "We shoot in 30fps in nearly all instances. Performance is excellent. The cameras go through a lot, for instance hanging off 18 wheelers as Scott learned how to drive during our ?Do My Job Scott’ segment, or being knocked around in a professional race car. With a few simple precautions, we film in full sun, dead of night, wind and rain. The DVX100As have never let us down - I wouldn’t buy another camera if we had $10,000 to spend."

Panasonic AG-DVX100A camcorder - Mac-based editing work
The minimal editing work is Mac-based, Hodgkins explained. "Through our very simple setup we film the show as though it is live to air – this means that we keep our set changes inside the prescribed two-minute ad blocks. We run feeds straight to a G4 and Mini-DV deck (as a raw backup in case of computer crashes) and capture each segment on the Mac in turn. We use a G5 for the Sunday show (this means that all the digitized footage is right there ready for the two editors on two Macs). Total post time is under 2.5 hours.

Panasonic DVCPRO AJ-D250 VTR - Master tape deck
"During the show we use a $100 DVD player to play full screen JPEG graphics to the switcher. A Panasonic DVCPRO AJ-D250 VTR is our master tape deck that dubs our final show through its optional FireWire bus card (AJ-YAD250) straight from the Mac. During the show the DVCPRO deck runs all our B-roll and packages and is another source to our switcher. Editing is simple. We drop over our ad blocks, bump music and animations for credits and dub back to the Panasonic DVCPRO deck along with a separate feed to a DVX100A camera for a Mini-DV dub that goes to the government station for their repeat."

Panasonic AG-DVX100A camcorder - Well-built, reliable and sturdy
Around Town’s fans include COX executives such as Marketing Manager Jeff Routier, who said, "Scott Rogers and company deliver a quality broadcast layered with insight, local information and off-the-cuff humor backed by crystal-clear, quality pictures that rival major media outlets in Baton Rouge." Hodgkins concluded, "The Panasonic DVX100A camcorder is well-built, versatile, broadcast quality, reliable, sturdy and worthy of a far higher price tag. The combination of the lens quality, build, features, film modes, digital and analog outputs and a great price point really has helped Around Town become the talk of the region, and the most popular community show of its kind in the area."

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