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HomeCraftsCameraAJA Supports Endeavour's Final Journey Documenting Shuttle’'s Arrival

AJA Supports Endeavour’s Final Journey Documenting Shuttle’’s Arrival


Leonard Walsh, SOC, Haskell Wexler, ASC/SOC and Satya Vanii, SOC Associate Member. Image courtesy of SOC.

The Society of Camera Operators (SOC) volunteered to document the journey of the space shuttle Endeavour to its final home at the California Science Center as part of a project being managed by Terbine Entertainment and many other vendors and volunteers. Cinematographer Haskell Wexler, ASC/SOC, served as a camera operator who employed Ki Pro Mini portable digital video recorders from AJA Video Systems to capture the landing of the Endeavour space shuttle at LAX Airport in Los Angeles, Calif. The footage, along with footage captured of the shuttle’s journey through the streets of Los Angeles on Oct. 12-13, will be incorporated into Endeavour’s Final Journey, a documentary project spearheaded by producer David Knight, to accompany the forthcoming Endeavour exhibit at the California Science Center (CSC).

“With no budget and a tight timeline, a tapeless workflow seemed like the best fit for this project, and we knew that Ki Pro Mini would give us an ideal recording setup,” said Mark August, SOC, second unit DP on Endeavour’s Final Journey. “They’re easy to deploy and use, plus all of our camera assistants had good experiences working with them. Once we took delivery of the Ki Pro Minis, we were able to get them up and running straight out of the box within five minutes.”

Ki Pro Minis were mounted to three Panavision Genesis cameras using Noga Arms. Wexler served as one of the camera operators, and was positioned near the flight line in preparation for the arrival of the Endeavour shuttle riding atop a Boeing 747. Apple ProRes 422 footage of the landing was recorded to the Ki Pro Minis and sent to Deluxe which is donating its services to compile, edit and archive all of the material captured for use in the documentary.

“Having a portable, reliable solution like Ki Pro Mini was instrumental to completing this phase of the project,” August said. “All of the footage was instantly edit-ready, straight off the drives. We’re looking forward to using the recorders again for the next phase of the project, which will cover Endeavour’s complex journey through L.A. to its new home.”

On Oct. 12, Endeavour will be removed from its hangar at LAX and onto a 79-foot transporter with 92 independently operated wheels in preparation for its final trip home. Volunteer camera operators from SOC will again employ AJA Ki Pro Minis to document the shuttle as it hits the streets of L.A. and travels to its ultimate destination – the CSC, where it will remain permanently on exhibit.

Endeavour’s Final Journey is one that will go down in the history books, and this documentary will give generations to come an accurate account of the complexities involved in the shuttle’s final mission,” said AJA president Nick Rashby. “We’re thrilled to support the Society of Camera Operators and the California Science Center on such an admirable production.”

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