Miller-Bell Media Productions Counts on JVC Cameras
When Miller-Bell Media Productions, LLC (formally GIG 2 Me Music & Video) was established in 1998, co-owner Gary Bell purchased two JVC GY-DV500 professional DV camcorders, which were eventually replaced by a JVC GY-DV5000. In February, when the company decided to make the transition to HD production and adopt a tapeless workflow, Bell chose to stick with JVC and purchased a GY-HM710 ProHD camera.
“I’m a JVC loyalist,” Bell declared. “I just love the look JVC cameras give me. The image quality is excellent. Plus, I have a new client that needed special effects for an HD commercial, and the GY-HM710 produces nice, clean keys.”
Based in Lancaster, CA, Miller-Bell produces a variety of television commercials and infomercials, plus corporate and government video projects. For a small shop like Miller-Bell, perception is everything – and a small camcorder simply does not provide the professional appearance required. While the GY-HM710 is smaller and lighter than earlier shoulder-mount models, Bell said its large lens and flip-out LCD screen makes a serious impression on his clients.
“Everyone claims they can do video production. There’s no way that I could walk in with a handheld camera,” Bell said. “For me, a shoulder-mount camera is a professional camera.”
When the company was a tape-based operation, Bell had a strict policy to never rewind footage in the field to avoid erasing content by mistake. The GY-HM710, however, records to inexpensive, non-proprietary SDHC media cards, so he can shoot footage and provide instant playback for his clients. “The LCD on the camcorder is so clear, they are just blown away,” he added.
Miller-Bell is also seeing operating cost savings with the use of SDHC cards. Bell estimated he has saved close to $500 on tape this year – and with JVC’s native file recording, he does not need to spend time transcoding footage for editing. “Being able to drag and drop to Final Cut Pro is amazing,” he said.
While Miller-Bell was ready to make the jump to HD, not all of its clients needed the upgrade. In fact, one of Bell’s first projects after purchasing the GY-HM710 was a branding video for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, which serves Lancaster, Palmdale, and unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County.
The AVTA had previously hired Miller-Bell to produce a video documenting the construction of their new Lancaster facility, which opened in 2004. The new video was to provide a look back at the ATVA’s 20-year history and include archived footage from the earlier project. Rather than shoot the new footage in HD, the client specifically requested SD footage so it would match the archival footage.
“There’s still a huge market for SD out there. Some of my clients are still in that SD niche,” Bell explained. “I needed a camera that could shoot SD and HD to satisfy the different types of clients I have.”