Luxe Locations Range from Monaco to Macao, from South Beach to San Simeon
WealthTV (San Diego, CA), the 24/7 national luxury lifestyle and entertainment cable television network, recently purchased six Panasonic AG-3DA1 Full HD 3D camcorders for broad-scale 3D production in support of its current 3D VOD deployment and its plan to launch proprietary 3D broadcasts in 2011.
Dispatching 3D crews to such opulent international destinations as Cannes, Monaco, Ibiza, South Beach and San Simeon, WealthTV is building an extensive library of 3D series. These include travelogues under the network’s “Takeoff” and “WOW!” series; exotic car programming under its “Wealth on Wheels” brand; haute couture under its “What to Wear” umbrella; and nature programming designed to thrill viewers with stunning, lifelike beauty. WealthTV’s 3D VOD program is already available nationwide to Verizon FiOS TV customers who have a 3D television set, 3D glasses and a high-definition set-top box.
The network’s 3D programming initiatives are so ambitious that it has retained a number of outside production companies, also shooting with Panasonic 3DA1s, to produce additional, compelling 3D content. These include Randall Dark Productions (Austin, TX), whose principal, Director of Photography Randall Dark, shot the documentary Three Cities in 3D throughout the Smoky Mountains entirely with the Panasonic camcorder; and Corkscrew Media (Calgary, Alberta), which added two 3DA1s to its live-performance shoot of award-winning country music band, “Doc Walker.”
“The 3DA1 is our primary camera for all 3D production,” said Robert Herring, WealthTV’s founder and CEO. “We utterly rely on it for all our 3D ‘heavy lifting,’ and often have eight or more 3DA1s in the field simultaneously (our six and additional units we secure from our production partners).”
“We value the Panasonic camcorder for its small size and simplicity of operation,” Herring continued. “The 3DA1 is more reliable than beam splitter rigs, and it carries a very affordable price tag. The camcorders have been perfect in the field, and we can make real magic for the consumer in the edit bay.
“Amazingly, as the camcorder has been available for only three months, there is already a community of users. Moreover, with Panasonic there is a complete 3D solution from one supplier, specifically in terms of monitoring and NLE partners.”
WealthTV has captured stunning 3D content utilizing the 3DA1s, including coverage of the International Yacht Show in the South of France; the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show; a premier fashion show; cigarette boats off the shore of South Beach, FL; the palatial Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA; and luxurious destinations in Rome, Croatia, Ibiza and more.
Herring said that WealthTV has 10 3D-capable edit bays at its 40,000 sq. ft. facility with further expansion plans underway. The network is using the Dashwood Cinema Solutions’ Stereo3D Toolbox and CineForm’s Neo3D editorial tools.
“We needed an economical solution for 3D production if we’re to bring 3D programming to a mass cable audience,” said Charles Herring, WealthTV’s President. “The Panasonic 3DA1 is providing that solution, and gives us a tremendous advantage, allowing us to shoot easily and cost-effectively, with great 3D effects.”