January 25, 2007


Production on the series' first 13 episodes is wrapping up this month. The pilot was shot using a Sony F900 CineAlta camera, though director of photography Geary McLeod notes that an Arri 3 film camera was used to handle off-speed work. Production then moved to a pair of Panasonic AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema cameras, rented from Hollywood's Clairmont Camera, which accommodated the variable speed capture requirements and also provided preferable treatment of skin tones, he notes.
"We've shot off-speed for pretty much every episode," notes McLeod. "Customarily, we shoot at 60fps, so post can do whatever it wants in terms of speed. But [digital imaging technician] Ethan Phillips has done some in-camera ramping, allowing the director to ramp up and down on cue for specific Steadicam work."

According to Dirt associate producer Joe DeOliveira, the production provides select print dailies and a data DVD with sound to Modern Video. The dailies are upconverted to 1080/24p and mastered on Panasonic D-5 HD. Tape-to-tape color correction is done on a da Vinci 2K system with Kim Schneider serving as the colorist.


"The VariCam footage looks beautiful," says DeOliveira. "The camera has given us utmost flexibility with speed changes, and the ability to tweak the shutter angles lets us make shots on the spot."