In May of 2009, we began shooting Megaconda, another giant monster movie aimed squarely at the straight-to-DVD and television market.
My oldest son, Chris, would again direct, this time from a screenplay by SciFi Channel veteran Steve Latshaw (Stan Lee's Lightspeed, Curse of the Komodo). Under the SAG low-budget agreement we added TV’s Greg Evigan (BJ And the Bear, My Two Dads) and Stella Stevens (The Nutty Professor, The Poseidan Adventure) to the cast for star power.
We decided to shoot the entire feature in HD and felt that we needed a better camera that went beyond the limitations of an HDV camcorder like the HVR-V1U, but something a lot less pricey than hiring the Sony F900 Cine Alta we were normally using for our television work.
While the show was to be a very low-budget affair I wanted a better image quality than we had had on Reptisaurus and it still had to be affordable.
We also wanted to buy instead of rent.
From left, director Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray and DoP Matt Freund with their EX1 rig while shooting Megaconda, featuring an onboard Ikan monitor, Cavision matte box and Hoodman viewfinder shade.
Enter the Sony XDCAM PMW-EX1.