home : news : 5/15/08
Kaufman Exposes Auschwitz Stories
with Innovision HD Probe Lens

“I looked at a number of scope lenses for HD cameras, but it was the Innovision lightweight HD Probe lens with its great optical quality that we needed,” says Emmy-Award winning cinematographer Thomas Kaufman. “The modular aspect and the ability to change quickly from 90-degrees to 45-degrees and to go straight was also a critical factor.
“We had a scant four hours to shoot the 16-foot by four-foot model of Auschwitz prison camp at The Holocaust Museum in Washington,” he explains. “Not only did we need to get the scope of the camp but focus on the 100s of three-inch tall plaster figures of prisoners and guards. The HD Probe gave us angles impossible to get any other way.”
The sequence was a key element in the Eric Nelson-directed special for National Geographic. The project focused on the people who ran the prison camp. Produced by Phil Fairclough of Creative Differences, it is based on a recently-discovered photo album that once belonged to one of the Nazi officers at Auschwitz.
“The lab sequences and green-screen interviews were shot with Panasonic Varicam 27H,” explains Kaufman. “Adding the Probe lens to the Auschwitz model provided a lot of additional intensity. I’d used probe lenses in film, but this was my first HD shoot for the lens. I was a little nervous. But, thanks to the technical folks at Innovision, everything went smoothly. In prep they were there to answer any questions and make sure that the lens was what I needed and that it performed up to my expectations.
“When you decide to rent a piece of gear, it’s not just the gear that decides on a source -- it’s the people behind the gear, and Innovision has great people. That convinced me I had made the right choice. And, I came away from the job hoping that I could do business with Innovision again soon.”

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