NEW YORK – Filmmaker Mark Smith (www.o7films.com) recently traveled with
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) team to
document the group’s research in relation to the Amelia Earhart Expedition,
marking the 70th anniversary of her disappearance. Smith has plans to edit a
documentary on the subject using Apple’s Final Cut Pro.
A 14-member team traveled to the remote South Pacific island
of Nikumaroro (formerly Gardner Island) last summer to research the possibility
that the famous aviator landed and
ultimately died there. Smith documented the exploration using Panasonic
AG-HVX200 P2 HD camcorders. The team spent 16 days exploring the island,
seeking clues to Earhart’s disappearance.
Smith had made the trip in 2001, shooting Betacam and DV footage on tape, and
was glad to work with the solid state media on this excursion, as extreme
moisture and heat took its toll during the first trip.
This time, he traveled with two P2 HD cameras, an AJ-PCS060G P2 Store, a
laptop, three hard drives for storage, two wireless microphones, and a
grip/lighting package for outdoor use. He shot on 16GB P2 cards, off-loaded to
the P2 Store as needed, and backed up everything after each day of shooting.
His choice of format was 720 30pN, which he considered “the best quality/drive
space/shooting time trade off.”
“I off-loaded all footage from each day to one 750GB hard drive as MXF files,
and to a second 750GB drive as QuickTime movies exported from Imagine Product’s
HD Log Gold,” Smith recalls. “The MXF files would be my copy for future
editorial purposes, and the QuickTimes were made so TIGHAR staff would have
access to all footage simply by connecting the drive to a computer, one of the
huge advantages of file-based acquisition.”
The cinematographer noted that he made extensive use of the HVX200’s off-speed
shooting and pre-record capabilities for capturing footage of the wildlife
found on the island.
Ultimately, the 70th Anniversary Earhart Expedition cleared and examined more
area than ever before, and collected both data and imagery. TIGHAR (www.tighar.org) is currently soliciting
funding to underwrite the completion of the documentary.