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Thomson Expands Grass Valley Viper FilmStream Camera System, Adding Venom FlashPak Dockable Solid-State Recorder (30/1/2005)

Extending its digital cinematography and post-production leadership, Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE:TMS) today announced the Grass Valley(tm) brand Venom(tm) FlashPak solid-state recording system for the popular Grass Valley(tm) Viper FilmStream(tm) Digital Cinematography Camera.

With one of the broadest lines of digital post-production technologies available, Thomson provides turnkey workflows for film makers and commercial production professionals. Today, creative leaders are looking to capitalize on those workflows to drive additional revenue. Only Thomson offers a fully integrated, resolution-independent, end-to-end digital approach that lets them choose the right production path for their projects.

The Venom FlashPak system supports this approach by capturing the uncompressed output of the Viper camera in a lightweight, solid-state system that is compact, dockable, and rugged. The combination of the Viper camera and the Venom system easily comports itself to modern movie-making workflows.

"Whether it's major-release films such as DreamWorks' Collateral, commercials for Nike, HP, Lexus or television series such as The 4400 for USA Networks, the Viper FilmStream camera has been accepted as the best solution for digital cinematography," said Marc Valentin, executive vice president of Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions. "We expect that popularity to grow with the addition of the Venom FlashPak."

Venom FlashPak: lightweight, portable, dockable system

The easy-to-mount Venom FlashPak system creates a complete portable solution for digital cinematography and high-quality HD content origination. When shooting with the Viper camera in FilmStream mode-the highest standard for digital cinematography-each Venom system has a 10-minute capacity; shooting in 4:2:2 HD extends this capacity even further, to 18 minutes. As a solid-state recorder it has no moving parts, making it durable and rugged for production work.

The dockable Venom FlashPak system can also output to a range of devices. Equipped with a Bluetooth interface, it also allows a production assistant to sit on a set and wirelessly create and edit metadata which is recorded and permanently associated with the content. This is an elegant replacement for the conventional paper notes associated with film shoots, which can all too easily become separated from the content to which they refer.

On a typical movie shoot there might be two or three Venom FlashPak systems in use: one in the camera, one ready to replace it, and one writing to the transport medium to be delivered to the post house.

In addition to the Viper camera, the Venom FlashPak system supports the Grass Valley LDK 6000 mk II WorldCam camera. The LDK 6000 is already the market leader in HD production cameras: the addition of the Venom FlashPak system with its 18-minute HD capacity makes it an ideal camcorder for field production for applications, including television episodic and drama series and commercial work.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for the Grass Valley Venom FlashPak system starts at 45,000. It is scheduled to be available in July, in time for the 2005 summer production schedules.

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