With the recent acquisition of Phantom HD cameras by Panavision for their rental houses worldwide, I was fortunate enough to teach a Phantom Training class last month at the Panavision office in warm and sunny Sydney, Australia!
After a 22 hour flight from NY across the Pacific to Sydney airport, and then a taxi ride over the Harbour Bridge, which overlooks the Opera House and beautiful Sydney Harbour, I finally arrived at the offices of Sydney Panavision. I was warmly welcomed by John Virtue and Peter Lorz who gave me a tour of their impressive rental facility. They shared Panavision’s long history in Australia, which includes film credits like Star Wars Episode: 2, Wolverine, The Matrix, Crocodile Dundee, Mission Impossible 2, and, of course, the recent movie simply titled Australia.
I conducted the Phantom Training class for five students in one of Panavision’s large feature check out rooms. The usual topics were covered like operations, trouble shooting, tech responsibilities and post workflow, but there were also some new topics, which were discussed and tested regarding differences between shooting in the US and Australia. In 110V/60Hz countries like the US, you can shoot flicker free images at high speeds with the Phantom HD using tungsten lights rated at 2000w or above. But in 220V/50Hz countries like Australia, tungsten lights must be rated at 5000w or above to achieve flicker free images. It was really interesting to be able to see the effects of the different power cycles in person!
Even though the Phantom HD has been in the country only a short time, the camera has been heavily in demand both in Australia and New Zealand, with demand often exceeding expectations. Overall, the class was a success, and it was great to be able to share our knowledge Down Under!
Here is a link to a recent TV commercial with the new Phantom HD from Panavision Sydney. It takes a while to download so be patient.