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MTV's Laguna Beach Gets the "Real" Look

When MTV reality show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County returns for its second season on July 25, it will have a distinct film-like look. The reason? Panasonic's AJ-SDX900 DVCPRO50 camcorder.

The camcorder is switchable between 60-frame interlace (the frame rate for regular TV), 30-frame progressive (a frame rate somewhere between video and film) and 24-frame progressive (which matches the 24 frame-per-second rate used in the movies.

Hisham Abed, Laguna Beach's director of photography, says his background in feature film work was integral to the look of the program. “We found the SDX900, with its 24p mode and film-like gamma settings, to be the one camera that most closely approximated the look we were after,” he says. Shooting in the widescreen, 16:9 aspect ratio and the use of HD lenses increased the cinematic look even further.