In Tony Goss’ creative vision, you can go home again—on horseback. In his latest feature, Welcome to Happy Valley, two estranged sisters are forced to reconcile after they inherit their father’s struggling horse farm in upstate New York. Tony, writer/director/director of photography on the project, shot the movie with the AG-AF100 large imager HD cinema camcorder on location in Middleburgh, NY last summer. Welcome to Happy Valley, currently in post-production, will debut in nearby Cobleskill this spring.
Prior to purchasing the AF100, Tony shot with Panasonic’s AG-HMC150 AVCCAM handheld, outfitting the camcorder with a depth-of-field adapter. He purchased several Canon FD lenses, which factored in his decision to upgrade to the AF100, which is equipped with an interchangeable micro 4/3-inch lens mount.
“I was achieving a film-like look with the HMC150, but the set-up with the adapter was becoming cumbersome,” Tony said. “The appeal of the AF100 is that it inherently delivers a shallow depth of field and wider field of view of a large imager, and has sophisticated video controls. What’s more, it’s very easy to use, a real consideration for me as my background isn’t in cinematography.”
This full-length feature was shot in 12 days in August heat and humidity. “Shooting 96 pages in less than two weeks meant I didn’t have a lot of time for set-ups. I relied on the AF100 to make us quick and efficient,” Tony said.
The filmmaker shot in 1080/24p, and made liberal use of slow motion. “I shot off-speed of the horses coming out of the pasture, and also of the Cobleskill midway at night. The images are beautiful,” he said.
Tony is editing Welcome to Happy Valley in Final Cut Pro X. He is planning on festival submissions, and his distribution goal is to place the movie on a family-oriented cable network.
Tony has also used his AF100 on feature shorts, training videos and web series. “I tell my colleagues the camcorder delivers excellent quality affordably,” he said.
For more about Welcome to Happy Valley, visit http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2209744/.