AJA KONA Card Enables Real Time Editing for 'Blackout'

September 7, 2007

Video Capture Card Allows Topiary Productions to Complete Post Production in Time for Tribeca Film Festival Premiere.  

AJA's KONA video capture cards were used to facilitate real time editing for the indie feature "Blackout," which premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. KONA is AJA's top-of-the-line uncompressed capture card for SD, HD, Dual Link HD and 2K for PCI Express (PCIe) Apple G5 Power Macs and Mac Pro systems, and was an integral part of the film's Final Cut Studio editing and finishing pipeline.

"Blackout," with a cast that includes Zoe Saldana, Melvin Van Peebles and Jeffrey Wright, was written and directed by Jerry Lamothe, and produced by Caswell Communications, Inc. The indie feature follows a chain of events that take place in a forgotten Brooklyn neighborhood during the blackout of 2003. Ben Wolf of Topiary Productions was the DP for the project, and when the film was accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival on the basis of a rough cut edited by Tina Pacheco, the "Blackout" production team tapped Wolf's wife and business partner, Nara Garber, to give the edit a final polish in time for the screening.

Wolf shot "Blackout" with a Panasonic HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2 camera using Red Rock's M2 35mm cinema lens adapter. The Red Rock adapter allowed Wolf to gain more control over depth of field and achieve a cinematic look and feel, but it also inverted and flipped all of the imagery, making it difficult to process on Topiary's dual 2Ghz G5 system. Wolf and Garber credit AJA with providing a solution. Employing the AJA KONA card's hardware acceleration of the DVCPRO HD codec, Garber was able to edit the footage in real time without rendering.

"AJA's KONA card was immensely helpful-it flipped the image in real time and let us view the footage on our SD monitor, also in real time. We wouldn't have been able to do the project on our system without it," commented Ben Wolf, co-founder of Topiary Productions. "We do a lot of HD work, and the computer monitor is fine for certain editing tasks, but when it comes to color correction it's just not enough, and that's where the KONA card is very helpful. It allows our small, family-owned company to take over projects from a big post facility with no compromises."

KONA 3 is the ultimate uncompressed capture card for seamless operation with PCI Express (PCIe) Apple G5 Power Mac or Mac Pro systems and Apple Final Cut Pro. Supporting any uncompressed SD or HD format, including Dual Link HD and 2K, KONA 3 captures and plays back uncompressed 10-bit and 8-bit digital video and 24-bit digital audio, providing unparalleled power and workflow efficiency. KONA 3 also includes a variety of 10-bit broadcast-quality features, such as hardware-based up-, down-, and cross-conversion to and from HD, and adds a live hardware HD/SD keyer for compositing bugs, live clips, and other elements over video.

About Topiary Productions, Inc.
Topiary Productions, Inc., based in Brooklyn, New York, is a boutique film and video production company specializing in digital video production and post production. Founded by two award-winning directors, Topiary is committed to keeping the "independence" in independent film while taking full advantage of the latest technology. For more information, visit www.topiaryproductions.com.

Products Used