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Sony High-Definition Cameras Deliver a New Look for Melrose Place

Sony Electronics - 09/08/2009

Sony high-definition cameras are creating a new "look" for the updated version of a popular TV series.

The new "Melrose Place," which premieres Sept. 8 on The CW television network, is shot using two Sony F35s as main cameras, while the PMW-EX3 camcorder handles shots that require a more compact, mobile tool.

Like the original series, the new "Melrose Place" focuses on exciting visuals and scenery, but director of photography Chris Faloona noted that "this is not your parent's Melrose Place."

"It's definitely a different-looking show, and people are going to be pleasantly surprised at the stylistic direction we've taken," he said. "It's very colorful, yet very dramatically lit. The look is moody with a lot of contrast. It's not a flat, brightly lit show at all. But we still try to show off iconic Los Angeles with all the colors and beautiful people. Both cameras help us do this really well."

As the principal camera, the F35 not only captures beautiful images, but also delivers high-impact effects such as slow-motion and 45-degree shudder. In addition, Faloona found other features useful such as its dynamic range, ramping, color rendition and depth of field, as well as the ability to render realistic flesh tones.

The EX3 also gets significant airtime as the main camera of one of the show's lead characters, aspiring filmmaker Jonah Miller (played by Michael Rady).

"There's even dialogue in the pilot where Jonah is talking to a producer about using the new EX3," said executive producer/director Greg Beeman.

The camera is more than a prop, as the footage that Jonah shoots is also used for the show's production, inter-cut with the main footage shot with the F35.

"In one early episode, Jonah is directing a music video and using the EX3," said Beeman. "It worked out that he was in the best position to get the close-ups since he was already in the shot, capturing the singer. So we started inter-cutting with the F35 and after we saw how well it mixed and how crisp it looked, we started using the EX3 for regular production. It's become another character within the show."

The F35 was the right choice for use as the main camera, but for certain shots, the compact EX3 was the perfect fit. Faloona noted two examples - one shot inside a car looking up at a person as they're talking on the phone, but still keeping palm trees in the shot; and an underwater shot with the camcorder in a special housing and a character swimming right towards it.

"We've been able to put it into situations where we otherwise wouldn't have gotten the shot," he said.

"Melrose Place" is the latest prime-time series to use Sony high-definition cameras in its production, joining a long list of new and returning sit-coms, dramas and reality programs.

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SOURCE: Sony Electronics Inc.

CONTACT: Tom Di Nome of Sony Electronics Inc., +1-914-413-3288