“I looked at a number of scope lenses for HD cameras, but it was the Innovision
lightweight HD Probe lens with its great optical quality that we needed,” says
Emmy-Award winning cinematographer Thomas Kaufman. “The modular aspect and the
ability to change quickly from 90-degrees to 45-degrees and to go straight was
also a critical factor.
“We had a scant four hours to shoot the 16-foot by four-foot model of Auschwitz
prison camp at The Holocaust Museum in Washington,” he explains. “Not only did
we need to get the scope of the camp but focus on the 100s of three-inch tall
plaster figures of prisoners and guards. The HD Probe gave us angles impossible
to get any other way.”
The sequence was a key element in the Eric Nelson-directed special for National
Geographic. The project focused on the people who ran the prison camp. Produced
by Phil Fairclough of Creative Differences, it is based on a recently-discovered
photo album that once belonged to one of the Nazi officers at Auschwitz.
“The lab sequences and green-screen interviews were shot with Panasonic Varicam
27H,” explains Kaufman. “Adding the Probe lens to the Auschwitz model provided a
lot of additional intensity. I’d used probe lenses in film, but this was my
first HD shoot for the lens. I was a little nervous. But, thanks to the
technical folks at Innovision, everything went smoothly. In prep they were there
to answer any questions and make sure that the lens was what I needed and that
it performed up to my expectations.
“When you decide to rent a piece of gear, it’s not just the gear that decides on
a source -- it’s the people behind the gear, and Innovision has great people.
That convinced me I had made the right choice. And, I came away from the job
hoping that I could do business with Innovision again soon.”