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Sony’s XDCAM HD System Is Tool Of Choice For Award-Winning “Speargun Hunter” Documentary


Optical Camcorders Team with HDV Tape-based Camcorders to Capture Dramatic Footage above and below the Water’s Surface

TEMECULA, Calif., Jan. 24, 2007 – Documenting the life of an ocean speargun hunter is challenging enough for a moviemaker; doing it while fighting ocean swells and gusting wind makes a shoot even more complex.

That’s why Filmmaker and Director of Photography Robin D. Berg chose Sony’s new optical disc-based XDCAM HD™ Professional Disc™ System to produce “Speargun Hunter,” a new documentary airing on the Outdoor Channel this month.

Berg shot all the above-water footage for “Speargun Hunter” with the XDCAM HD PDW-F350 camcorder, which easily withstood saltwater spray, tight quarters, and wave-tossed seas.

“The XDCAM® format is solid and I experienced no digital dropout or other media problems associated with tape,” Berg said. “The disc-based camera is very user friendly; Sony definitely got it right.”

Berg’s favorite XDCAM HD features are the flip-out LCD monitor and the random access capabilities of Sony’s blue laser-based Professional Disc optical media, which allow instant thumbnail views of footage on-site. Berg added that the media’s cost-effectiveness – up to 65 minutes of HD storage on a disc that costs less than $30 (MSRP) – also helped his budget.

According to Berg, the intense three-month production schedule took him, his production crew and expert speargun hunters Sheri Daye and Chad Palan to the waters of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, along with Key West and the Treasure Coast in Florida.

World-record spear fisherman and underwater photographer Terry Maas shot the production’s underwater footage with Sony’s HVR-Z1U compact HDV camcorder, encased in an underwater housing. Using this tape-based model, Maas captured Palan and Daye’s underwater adventures, including Daye’s close encounter with a shark and her successful struggle to capture a world record-sized Yellow fin tuna.

Berg noted that he condensed highlights of 13 hours of footage into an hour-long documentary that will air on the Outdoor Channel. The production also took “Best Documentary” honors at the Temecula Valley (Calif.) International Film and Music Festival in September.

Berg, president of Berg Entertainment International Inc. and director of more than 400 episodes of broadcast television, plans to make the XDCAM HD system his primary camera for other upcoming ocean adventure programming.

“The footage shot by the XDCAM HD system affirms our belief that the future for HD is very bright,” Dale said at the documentary’s screening in Temecula. “The clarity and vividness of the footage holds up extremely well, even when viewed on movie-theater-sized projection screens.”


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