Over 40% of Sony Tropfest entries filmed in HD

High definition is gaining preference as the format of choice for Sony Tropfest entrants, with 235 out of the close to 600 entries for the 2008 competition filmed using an HD format. This demonstrates that high quality filmmaking is becoming easier and more accessible to aspiring filmmakers of all levels.

Compared to last year’s competition, 72% more Sony Tropfest entrants were filmed in HD this year. HD was also a popular format for the majority of finalists for the 2008 competition, with eight out of 16 creating their entries using HD. HD adoption is growing at a rapid rate throughout Australia, making it easy to film, edit and share stories in the highest quality possible.

‘As the world’s largest short film festival, Sony Tropfest commands an incredibly high standard of entrants,’ said Di Shepherd, Senior Product Manager for Handycam at Sony Australia. ‘HD is increasingly being recognised as the best quality filmmaking technology possible, rivalling film in output quality but easier to shoot and edit with. So not only can filmmakers take advantage of this technology, camcorder users of all skill levels can use HD to tell their stories in outstanding quality.’

John Polson, Creative Director and Founder of Sony Tropfest said, ‘This year, the field of entries was extremely diverse, with some entrants being experienced filmmakers but many giving filmmaking a shot for the very first time. In fact, entries were produced on budgets ranging from $50 to over $10,000. However, at the heart of Sony Tropfest are the stories of these filmmakers. High Definition means that turning an idea into a story – and then a film – is possible no matter what your skill level.’

Colin Cairnes, a finalist in this year’s competition with Beggar’s Belief, found HD to be the obvious choice for filming his entry.

‘Having used high definition on a number of other projects, we were well aware of the format’s ability to help give a low budget production the pictorial polish of a more expensive production.  Down convert options give you the ability to future proof your project to some degree while still being able to work in the DV domain when editing,’ said Cairnes. ‘The size and weight of the cameras, along with the simplicity and intuitiveness of design, make HD cameras a smart choice when shooting material where there’s no time for a second take. In Beggar’s Belief we were extremely pushed for time (we shot on the two wettest days Melbourne has experienced all year!) and so had to use some fairly basic lighting set-ups. In fact, sometimes we worked solely with the available light, but our HD camera gave us the detail and resolution to ensure we had plenty to play with when it came to the edit.’

The 16 finalists have been selected and will compete for the winner’s title at Sony Tropfest on 17 February. All films incorporate the 2008 Tropfest Signature Item, ‘8’. This year’s Sony Tropfest also incorporates the inaugural TropJr, which showcases the films of entrants 15 years and younger.

The 16 finalists for Sony Tropfest 2008 are:

Director: David Easteal State: ACT    

Director: Sarah Crowest  State: SA  
Beggar’s Belief

Director: Colin Cairnes State: VIC  

Made in Australia
Director: Monte Macpherson Country: Scotland    
Blues for the Soul
Director: Dean Preston State: TAS  

Marry Me
Director: Michelle Lehman State: NSW    
The Code
Murray Fahey State: NSW  

Director: Koichi Iguchi Country: Japan    
Director: William Allert State: SA Finalist in 2007 with Yellow
Mouse Race!
Director: Paul Williams State: VIC  
Director: Daniel Miller State: ACT  

Director: Grey Rogers State: QLD    
Director: Jayne Montague State: NSW *Finalist in 2007 with Still 

Uncle Johnny
Director: Mark Constable State: VIC  
Great White Hunters
 Director: Gary Doust State: NSW * Finalist in 2002 with Murbah Swamp Beer

White Lines
Director: Craig Mclean State: VIC 

Sony Australia will be offering the winner of Sony Tropfest 2008 a prize pack, including a high definition Handycam camcorder and other accessories valued at more than $6,000.

The eight finalists for Trop Jr 2008 are:

Poor Joshua Verde Director: Guy Verge Wallace State: NSW
Ode to Collector Director: Marisa Lai State: VIC  
Remote Director: Nera Skirpic-Vuckovic State: QLD
The Life of Perfarto Directors: Students Years 5/6 Main Arm Upper Public School State: NSW    
Imaginature Directors: Chester Greaves, Callen Hardie and Matt Cochran State: VIC
The Ducks of General Green Director: Tim Brown State: TAS  
Free Free at Last Director: Japonica Mauala State: NSW
Besties Director: Jasmin-Johanna Mobbs State: NSW 

Sony Australia will be offering the winner of Trop Jr a Sony Hybrid Handycam camcorder.

[release from hausmann communications]

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