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April 2016
Issue: October 1, 2006


By: Marc Loftus

BETHESDA, MD - Brainbox Productions (, here, recently purchased four Sony XDCAM HD cameras, which the studio is using to shoot an upcoming unscripted reality series for TLC.

"The Untitled Richard Davis Series," as it's being referred to in-house, started as Flip This House, detailing the pressure of assembling a crew and renovating a property for quick resale. The next iteration will more closely follow Davis and the inner workings of his real estate company.

Brian Mandle is the A camera operator on the show and says he uses his XDCAM HD unit to capture, on average, five hours of footage each day, shooting six days a week. Mandle is one of four DPs working on the show and shoots in 1080i at 35mb/sec. He likes the unit's buffer recording feature, which keeps him from missing a beat, as well as its reliability in incredibly humid conditions.

Before each week's footage is sent to Maryland from the production team's base in Charleston, SC, the crew downloads all of the proxy videos so that they can have them for reference when working with the show's story editors. One XDCAM HD disc's proxies, says Mandle, can be transferred in just four minutes.

The XDCAM HD optical discs are then sent to Broanbox's headquarters in Bethesda, where the show is edited on Avid systems. According to Brainbox COO Bill Davidson, the studio has already cut three episodes for the upcoming season.

Brainbox is home to Avid's DS, Symphony Nitris and Adrenaline HD, as well as to 20 offline suites running Avid Xpress Pro HD. All run on PCs and all are tied together via EditShare servers. Graphics and animation are provided through applications such as Adobe After Effects, NewTek LightWave and Autodesk 3DS Max.