Feature Length Picture Accepted into Big Bear Lake International Film Festival;
Awarded "Feature-of-the-Month" by

Wayne, NJ (January 24, 2001) – JVC PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS COMPANY’s Professional DV GY-DV500U 3-CCD camcorder was selected by Tempe Arizona’s Roo Productions to create "Secret Messages," a feature-length picture which hit the ground running with acceptance to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival in California just two days after its release. In addition, the picture was selected as the October 2000 "Feature-of-the-Month" by, an Internet movie screening house.

Benjamin Freedman, owner of Tempe, Arizona’s Roo Productions, credited JVC’s superb GY-DV500 camera in allowing him to make his first dramatic feature a critical success. "Without JVC’s Professional DV technology, ‘Secret Messages’ wouldn’t have gotten made. I wouldn’t have been able to get the quality I wanted without this digital video camera," says Freedman who was the GY-DV500U’s first purchaser in Arizona. He began shooting "Secret Messages," the state’s first full-length DV feature, within days of the camera’s delivery.

"The GY-DV500 is a tremendous opportunity for independent film production companies," Freedman continued. "JVC has filled a market where there was previously too much of a gap: There really wasn’t a camera available between prosumer units and models costing $10,000- $15,000 or more. JVC has enabled us to purchase a camera which has now become one of Roo Productions’ assets. We don’t have to continually rent a camera."

Designed for professional use, the GY-DV500 camcorder from JVC PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS COMPANY, combines the convenience of the MiniDV format with professional performance and features. The compact unit is approximately half the size of a conventional S-VHS camcorder, weighs less than 5 kg (11 lbs) fully loaded and offers 60 minutes of high-quality component digital recording on a MiniDV cassette. Its three half-inch, 380,000-pixel CCDs produce a superior, high-resolution picture in which vertical smear, lag and image burn are virtually eliminated.

"Secret Messages," written and directed by Freedman, is the story of a Phoenix scientist who is working on a new military communications system when strange messages start coming through on his computer. The messages involve him in a love story, corporate espionage and murder.

The feature was shot entirely on location in and around Phoenix. "We couldn’t afford sets," reports Freedman who financed the feature himself. "We shot everywhere from open fields and pastures to elevators. The GY-DV500 is a great camera for squeezing into tight places like elevators."

Principal photography lasted just three weeks "which is unheard of in the feature business," he points out. "Our award-winning DP, David Jon Devoucoux, was amazed when he saw the schedule: With 16mm film you’re lucky to set up and shoot one scene a day. With the GY-DV500 we were getting two, three, four scenes a day."

Devoucoux experienced "virtually no learning curve at all" with the GY-DV500U, Freedman says. "It works the same as other digital video cameras. We were thrilled with

the GY-DV500’s low-light capabilities in its regular mode of operation. Even with high-quality video cameras you often get noise and grain in low-light conditions but we didn’t." In addition, the GY-DV500U’s LOLUX mode enables shooters to capture high-quality video footage with excellent color balance at just 0.75 lux illumination.

The camera also features high-quality PCM digital audio, Full Auto Shooting mode for point-and-shoot operation and Super Scene Finder, a JVC exclusive which permits the shooter to log scenes automatically or manually in the field and mark which scenes are good. This speeds up the transfer process and saves disk space because now shooters can digitize only scenes they need for editing. Up to 134 scenes per cassette can be marked.

"A camera with these features, at this price point has never been available before," Freedman notes. "Our crew was green with envy when they saw it. When the shoot was over, several of them went out and bought their own."

The GY-DV500U has IEEE 1394 input and output for lossless digital video and audio transfers to or from any DV-equipped device such as nonlinear editing systems or DV recorders. The camera also comes with RS-232C interfaces for easy integration of various nonlinear editing systems. Freedman performed a native DV edit with the Matrox RT2000 realtime editing platform which was completed in late July. "This movie is on the cutting-edge of technology," Freedman says.

Award-Winning Images

"Secret Messages" was accepted to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival in California two days after its release. The Internet movie screening house,, named it the October 2000 feature of the month. "Secret Messages" is streaming on the website.

About Roo Productions

"Secret Messages" is currently available for purchase on VHS cassette at Roo Productions’ e-commerce-enabled website,, and from amazon. com. Trailers may be downloaded from the Roo Productions’ website where the digital music score, composed and performed by Freedman, may also be heard. "Secret Messages" is seeking theatrical distribution as well.

In addition to Director of Digital Photography Devoucoux, key crew members on "Secret Messages" included sound engineer Bill Davis and camera operator Jay Allen. Roo Productions is a production company specializing in cost-effective, fast turnaround projects for corporate clients such as Club Med in Mexico and America West Airlines.

JVC PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS COMPANY is based in Wayne, New Jersey and distributes a complete line of broadcasting and professional equipment including

cameras, recorders, monitors, projectors and editing products. For more information about JVC products or service, please call 1-800-JVC-5825 or visit the corporate Web site at