AJA KONA 3 Enables End-to-End Post Services for "The Bodybuilder and I"

June 12, 2007

AJA's KONA 3 video capture card was used to complete a range of post production services for "The Bodybuilder and I," the winner of the Best Canadian Feature award at this year's Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. KONA 3 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 post-production pipeline.

"The Bodybuilder and I," produced by Julia Rosenberg and her January Films in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada, features 59-year-old bodybuilder Bill Friedman, formerly an out-of-shape workaholic lawyer and absent father. Director Bryan Friedman, Bill's son, made the film as a way of coming to terms with the man he had hardly seen since he was a baby. Through the quest for sculpted perfection, the choreographed routines and the tanning sessions, emerges a funny and poignant musing on coping with failure, dealing with family and reluctant forgiveness.

Edited on a PowerMac G5 with Final Cut Pro 5.1.2, "The Bodybuilder and I" was shot on multiple Panasonic HVX200 cameras. Toronto-based FrameBlender, a full-service production and post-production facility, performed end-to-end post services for the documentary, including online editing and color correction. Tim Martin, one of FrameBlender's founding partners, credits AJA's KONA 3 card with the success of the project.

"AJA's KONA 3 card allowed us to adapt on the fly, which was invaluable," Martin explained. "When you're physically in an online and color correct session, you're wanting to see what the footage will look like on different monitors. We would have a variety of monitors in these sessions, and tap the KONA 3 to down-convert or cross-convert to different formats for real time review of the color representation in SD or HD. The fact that we were able to have multiple outputs going simultaneously allowed us to work very quickly and was a huge benefit for us."

FrameBlender employed three Apple Xserve RAIDs, striped together on a PowerMac G5, as a storage pool for the documentary's DVCPRO HD footage, which was edited in Final Cut Pro and color graded using Final Touch HD (recently acquired by Apple and rereleased as Color as a component of Final Cut Pro Studio 2). Both the online edit and color correction were performed on a Quad system running AJA's KONA 3 card and connected to a 24D 12 TB Facilis Tech Terrablock SAN unit. FrameBlender also utilized AJA's KONA LH card inside the offline edit suite to allow the editor to view and edit footage in DVCPRO HD with play-out onto a 20" HD broadcast monitor and a 42" plasma screen.

"We used the KONA 3 for the down-converts as well—going out to DigiBeta in real time," Martin continued. "All of AJA's products, both in online and offline scenarios, are flawless in the fact that they offer as close to 100 percent up-time and reliability as you can get. When dealing with complicated workflows it's great not to have worry about problems with technology."

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.

FrameBlender, based in Toronto, is a full-service production and post-production company. For more information, visit www.frameblender.com
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