The independent Woodstock Film Festival will host its 13th annual event on Oct. 10-14, but something will be different this year AJA Ki Pros will allow producers to screen portions of the festival digitally for the first time in its history. Previously, the festival relied on HDCAM tape for all screenings, a tedious process that required lots of physical storage space for the myriad tapes.
“We’ve been dreaming of switching to digital for years,” Festival co-founder and director Laurent Rejto explained. “Tape is just so inflexible and it was always nerve-wracking for us. HDCAM machines are much too expensive to rent for long periods so we’d always have to wait until the last minute to check all the tapes. We had heard great things about AJA from both friends and festival sponsors, and at this point it made a lot of sense for us to try the Ki Pro.”
The festival now has two AJA Ki Pros, which Rejto will use for the festival’s shorts program. “Since we have 80 shorts, that program requires the biggest workload by far,” said Laurent. “The Ki Pros have already changed our workflow. Now as the shorts come in, we can put the digital files onto our server and back everything up immediately, rather than just sticking everything on the shelf until the week before the festival. This is making our timeline much more manageable.”
Retjo will also use the Ki Pros to shoot all festival panels digitally, allowing them to have the material immediately. “For the past 13 years we’ve filmed every panel on tape, and it takes months and sometimes years to get the media back in digitized form,” Laurent explained. “Now we’ll just walk right over to the office with the hard drive – it’s amazing!”
The Ki Pro is a highly portable tape-replacement recorder, offering 10-bit, Apple ProRes 422 recording to flexible QuickTime files with easy compatibility with most NLE systems and external controllers.