GUAGUA PRODUCTIONS AND PELOTERO
Jon Paley, co-owner of Guagua Productions (New York, NY), chose Panasonic P2 HD handheld camcorders to shoot the much anticipated documentary, Ballplayer: Pelotero, a stark glimpse into the world of big league recruiting in the Dominican Republic. Narrated by actor/writer John Leguizamo and Executive Produced by Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine, the documentary will debut in theatres, On-Demand and online via iTunes and Amazon July 13 after screening at many national and international film festivals throughout the spring and early summer.
Guagua Productions was set to shoot a gritty baseball documentary and needed a mobile and reliable camera to get the job done right.
Guagua chose the Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 HD handheld with AVC-Intra 4:2:2 10-bit recording and a great color palette to handle the contrasts of the beautiful subject matter.
The production company estimates it has used the P2 HD handhelds on close to 100 projects overall, offering a great return on investment.
Ballplayer: Pelotero chronicles teenagers Miguel Angel Sano and Jean Carlos Batista, two of the top prospects in the Dominican Republic. Paley, along with Guagua Productions co-owners Ross Finkel and Trevor Martin, follows these "peloteros" as they approach age 16, when they become eligible to sign professional baseball contracts.
The documentary provides an intimate portrait of the boys as they navigate the calculating, mercenary and often corrupt elements that surround big league recruitment of the island's top talent.
"The documentary explores raw talent, passion, poverty and the hope of a chance to make it, as well as a look behind the scenes of the sports we love," said Paley, who directed Ballplayer: Pelotero along with Finkel and Martin.
As Ballplayer: Pelotero nears its premiere, the team has already begun shooting the sequel, an in-depth portrait of current Minnesota Twins organization player Miguel Sano with Panasonic's AG-HPX250, the company first P2 HD handheld with AVC-Intra 4:2:2 10-bit recording. Ballplayer: Pelotero was shot with a predecessor to the HPX250, Panasonic's AG-HVX200 P2 HD handheld. The team needed an additional camera for the sequel, and decided to amplify their handheld shooting with the HPX250.
"It's a beefed up version of the HVX200 and we love it," Paley said. "We already knew the ergonomics inside and out, and we love the HPX250's crisper, longer lens, the better depth of field and the outstanding color quality."
Ballplayer: Pelotero entailed several different shooting locations including the neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic and the baseball diamonds of the camp fields. The filmmakers needed a reliable camera that would deliver top-quality imagery.
"Visually, it was a beautiful project to shoot, especially with the contrast of the blue sky and the green fields. Fundamentally, we chose P2 HD camcorders because of the great color palette," Paley said.
The user-friendly design and the camcorders' light weight allowed the crew to shoot for hours on end and easily transport their equipment throughout the region.
"We needed real workhorse cameras," Paley said. "We could put 100 hours on them and not have a problem." The P2 card recording capability also proved essential on location.
While Paley had struggled in the past with external recorders, the P2 solid-state format allowed his team to record and safely store massive amounts of footage effortlessly. "I once lost a full day's worth of footage because my external recorder overheated," Paley said. "P2 makes us much more mobile, it's more reliable, and now with the HPX250's 10-bit recording, I don't even need to consider outboard recording."
The HVX200 was the first camera Paley had ever purchased and he has since seen a tremendous return on investment, to the extent that he purchased a second HVX200 and, once it became available, the HPX250. He estimates that Guagua Productions, specializing in shooting short films and commercials, has used the P2 HD handhelds on close to 100 projects overall. "The Panasonic P2 camcorders are ultra-reliable," Paley said. "We know when we walk out the door that they will excel on challenging shoots and produce amazing footage."
For more information about Ballplayer: Pelotero, visit www.Ballplayerpelotero.com
For more information about Guagua Productions, visit www.guaguaproductions.com