“Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict” has become the first TV series to use the high-end, 24 frame-per-second CineAlta video camera, originally developed by Sony and Panavision for George Lucas’ “Star Wars: Episode II,” currently in production.
The sci-fi series, produced by Alliance Atlantis with Tribune Entertainment and Roddenberry Kirschner Prods., began lensing the first of 22 episodes of the show’s fourth season in Toronto last month.
Karen Corbin, senior veep for Tribune, U.S. syndicator of the strip, proposed using the Sony HDW-F900 cameras — which provide 35mm film-like images but on digital 24-frame progressive high definition video — to cut production costs and speed up the editing process.
Testing of the cameras for the show took place in April, supervised by Jim Toten, Tribune’s director of engineering and technology; Alliance post-production supervisor Steve D’Onofrio; Sony staffers; and series cinematographers David Moxness and Thomas Durnon.
“We’re thrilled to be the first episodic television production in the world to film in this cutting-edge technology,” said Peter Sussman, prexy of Alliance Atlantis Entertainment. “With Lucasfilm announcing they’ll shoot most of the live action sequences for ‘Star Wars’ with the same camera we’re using, Alliance Atlantis has proven once again to be on the forefront of emerging technology.”
Lucas is using six of the $100,000 cameras for “Star Wars: Episode II,” currently shooting in Australia. “Earth Final Conflict” is using three prototype cameras provided by Sony.
Sony delivered its first prototype of the 24P camera complete with new Panavision lenses to Lucasfilm last November.
Tribune also produces and distribs new sci-fi hour “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda,” starring Kevin Sorbo, and “BeastMaster.”