Just when we were getting to the heart of the global HDCAM SR shortage,

Sony releases the news we have all been waiting for… This quote was lifted from Hollywood Reporter and can help put even the most desperate film makers mind at ease.

BETAMAX“HDCAM SR production begins in July and will be at a normal run rate in August. Anyone who is still looking to shoot a series with SR tape should feel confident that that we will be able to supply the tape to the series,” Sony senior vp sales and marketing Alec Shapiro told The Hollywood Reporter. “If there are any particular initial needs that they have concern about getting an allocation, we will work with them. As long as they don’t need all of the tape before the show starts, we can handle it. We are confident and we want our customers to be confident that we are back and will have a good supply of tape.”

HDCAM SR, which is made exclusively by Sony and is used in feature and episodic television production for varying uses including as camera masters and for dailies, had been a format of particular concern. Following the earthquake and tsunami, many customers had scrambled to secure existing stock — one described it as a “run on the bank” — which in stock piling and inflated prices (see Part 2 – XDcam Anyone?. Not Yet… Right).

According to Sony officials, two plants in the Sendai region of Japan — one that manufactures tape and the other that does the assembly — can be returned to full operation. They are only waiting for raw materials. Evidently getting these materials to site is in process as we speak.
Rumor has it that Sony also sat on a hoard of their own stock and only released it as needed to keep production moving….
Crisis over… Right?

I would like to point out three things before we all forget about this chapter in tape format extinction.

  1. Nothing has gotten “better” for Japan. There are still widespread infrastructure and radiation challenges created by the earthquake that the average person will have to deal with. Send some positive vibes their way.
  2. Sony probably won’t allow (some) tape to reach extinction any time soon. Smoke ’em if you got ’em. HDCAM SR tape stock decreasing in price as I write this.
  3. Film is still seriously challenged for major production. Tape has short comings. So if you go digital, you need to really think about how you archive your media at the source (and as you go). Make a back up on set. What ever you give post… you had better have a copy.

Then record out to SR!
I have 64m loads for sale $200.00 each!

Tech Floss –

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