TriStar Products in Fairfield, NJ, the billion-dollar purveyor of iconic brands like Ab Slide, Ab Roller, Lateral Thigh Trainer, Power Cooker and Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer, recently completed construction of a 66,000sq ft production studio equipped with four Panasonic AJ-HDX900 multiformat DVCPRO HD camcorders.
TriStar is using the cameras to shoot 30-minute infomercials and two-minute spots promoting its current line of fitness, cooking, sports and general interest products. It also uses the HDX900s in the field to shoot testimonials and B-roll.
The studio encompasses 12 pre-built, pre-lit sets simulating kitchens, bathrooms, fitness rooms, bedrooms and a children's playroom, in addition to a complete green screen setup.
Previously, TriStar Products shot exclusively with Panasonic's AJ-SDX900 DVCPRO50 Cinema. An advanced HD version of the SDX900, the new HDX900 includes the DVCPRO HD codec and multiformat recording that captures 100Mb/s HD images in any of 11 video formats.
Each of TriStar's HDX900 cameras is equipped with a Fujinon XA17x7.6 BERM HD lens and a Panasonic BT-LH900A 8.4in multiformat HD production monitor. Three of the HDX900s are placed on Sachtler pedestals in the studio, and the fourth is hung on a jimmy jib.
TriStar also purchased a Panasonic 50in professional plasma that is hooked to a Miranda Technologies board in the control room for split-screen monitoring, as well as two AJ-HD1400 DVCPRO HD VTRs used for editing.
Typically, each 30-minute infomercial entails approximately 50 hours of shooting. The shoot is switched live and recorded onto the compact AJ-HD1400 deck, and then downconverted and digitized into the Avid for editing. Once the Avids are upgraded later this year, TriStar will edit in HD.