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Young Filmmaker’s Fascination With Hops Inspires First Feature-Length Film

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Independent filmmaker Scott Carver is currently shooting a PBS-style documentary, Hop Capital, about the historic hops harvests in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with Panasonic’s AG-HPX250 P2 HD handheld— the company’s first with 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent-frame, full 1920 x 1080 resolution AVC-Intra recording.

It was the lure of documentary filmmaking, along with a rich but untold history of hops growing in his hometown that enticed Scott to leave a secure job at an ad agency and assign his life savings to a professional camera purchase and a four-month location shoot. He is shooting interviews this month, and will document the hops harvest in August and September.

The inspiration for Scott’s subject—hops, one of the essential ingredients in beer—is his grandparents, who both worked in the “hop yards” growing up in Salem and Independence. Hop Capital is an investigation and celebration of the peak years of Oregon hops production, 1900-1950, when the state’s harvest was shipped internationally in massive quantities. Some of those Willamette Valley hops took the place of German and English output displaced by crop failures, two World Wars and the Great Depression.

Once Scott had committed to making the documentary, he decided that he would purchase a new camera outright. “I considered buying two DSLR cameras, but I knew that the problems I would run into with motion, continuous shooting and audio would be huge drawbacks,” he said.

“Given my previous experience with Panasonic cameras (the AG-DVX100 and AG-HPX170 P2 HD handheld), I was comfortable with the manual controls and the professional audio inputs,” he added. “The HPX250 has all the familiar features, but along with 1080p recording. With the new camcorder, I could start working right away: shooting, manual focusing and zooming, changing settings, all with very little learning curve.”

Scott will edit Hop Capital in Adobe Premiere and After Effects, with plans to start entering the project in festivals next March. “It will be released later on Blu-ray Disc and hopefully air on a PBS affiliate near you,” he said.Scott’s prior work with Panasonic camcorders includes The Penny Jam, a music video series that documents Portland bands playing in unusual places around the city. The series ran for 30 episodes and enjoyed considerable local success. He is also the producer of a feature-length film called Childhood Machine that is due out this fall. Both projects were shot on AG-DVX100 cameras.

For more information on Scott’s work-in-progress, visit http://hopcapitalmovie.com/.

For more information on the HPX250 visit: http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/ag-hpx250pj.asp.

Read the rest of our AG-HPX250 Behind the Camera Series here.

Images courtesy of Jov Luke.

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