Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Easy as shooting fish in a barrel

Cinemarr, Randall Dark Shoot HD Commercial for Ripley’s Aquarium

Cinemarr Entertainment tapped the services of HD pioneer Randall Dark for Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies first high definition commercial.The 30 second spot, a mixture of live action and animation, was shot in 1080i with the Sony HDCam and Canon HD zoom lens and will be onlined and offlined at Cinemarr Entertainment in Sevierville, Tennessee. TripAdvisor.com recently named Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies the number one aquarium in the United States.

“Because of that,” says Cinemarr founder S. Shane Marr, who also directed, “there is nationwide focus on this aquarium. We are very pleased that Cinemarr was chosen to shoot the new commercial for Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and to do so in HD.”

The clarity produced by HD technology was ideal for shooting both the live action sequences and background plates, which will later have digital cartoon fish added. Dark says, “Capturing the incredible images presented no problems for my HD camera. It was as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.”
Shooting at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offered ample opportunities for beautiful images, but also posed some challenges.

“In order to keep the fish comfortable and safe, only minimal lighting is permitted in the aquarium during a shoot. The resulting lower light situations could have meant a potential problem getting the best images if we had shot film.” says Marr. “Also, the project had an overall abbreviated time frame to be on air in time for spring vacation planning. Shooting in HD helped us on both these fronts by producing beautiful lower light images and turning the project around quickly.”

After meeting and becoming friends in 2004, this was the second opportunity Marr and Dark have had to work with one another.

The overnight production, with a cast of 40, featured extensive shooting inside the aquarium’s 345-foot long underwater tunnel and the new Lethal Weapons exhibit, which showcases deadly sea creatures.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, one of three resort towns in the Great Smoky Mountains which receive approximately 13,000,000 visitors annually.

from Digital Cinema Report