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Sony's NXCAM Camcorder Used For Journey To Le Mans

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Sony's Super 35mm NEX-FS700 camera was used to shoot racing documentary Journey to Le Mans.

Two of Sony's 4K-capable NXCAM camcorders were supplied by broadcast and professional solutions provider CVP to capture the excitement of the race, as well as interviews with the Jota Sport team. Shooting in 4K, for HD playout, the NEX-FS700 was chosen for its versatility and the cinematic image quality produced by the Exmor CMOS sensor.

Narrated by actor Patrick Stewart and helmed by debut director Charlotte Fantelli, Journey to Le Mans follows British private racing team Jota Sport in the build-up to the famous race, depicting a feat of human endurance and a marvel of engineering. Filming began in September 2013 at the Paul Ricard circuit and finished at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in June 2014.

"Working on an independent production with a small crew, we needed a versatile camera that could still deliver high quality images suitable for cinema screens," commented Stuart Keasley, director at Black Flag TV Ltd, and co-director of photography for the film. "The shallow depth of field of the NEX-FS700’s Super 35mm sensor allowed us to achieve exactly the cinematic look that we wanted. Taking the 4K raw acquisition and then super-sampling down to HD at source ensured a wonderfully crisp image, whilst also maintaining a reasonable volume of data. However, we did sometimes elect to shoot 4K raw to give us greater creative flexibility in post-production."

The versatility of the NEX-FS700 meant that only a small camera crew was needed for the production. Keasley and his co-director of photography, Adam Parkes, each worked with an Assistant Camera when shooting, and sometimes even shot entirely on their own. During the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, a third two-man crew joined the team, with Keasley and Parkes shooting during the day and the third team of two shooting throughout the night. Each of the camera crews used the NEX-FS700’s on-board sound recording capabilities, further helping to simplify the production workflow and ensure the teams could be as agile as possible when shooting.

Journey to Le Mans premiered at Leicester Square in late October 2014, before being broadcast on ITV4. It's now available on DVD in the UK and can also be downloaded from iTunes.

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