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First HD production in Jordan begins

A two-hour movie and a 33-hour serial, both titled Shehrzad, have been filmed on High Definition by the Jordan-based Arab Telemedia Services (ATS). This is Jordan's first attempt at producing a film on HD.

Jordan’s first couple of HD productions has just been completed. A two-hour movie and a 33-hour serial, both titled Shehrzad, have been filmed on HD by the Jordan-based Arab Telemedia Services (ATS), one of the biggest production firms in the region and the first to purchase HD equipment in the Middle East.

“We have completed the shoot,” says Talal Awamleh, CEO of Arab Telemedia Services. “We have three months for post and then the serials will be ready to air for Ramadan,” he confirms.

ATS began with one Sony HD camera but was so impressed with it that it purchased two more this month. “As a production firm, we are always on the lookout for good equipment and this is the best we have worked on so far,” says Awamleh.

The company, which has six edit suites, three studios and 10 production crews, has also invested in a HD studio. The US$500,000 studio includes the Avid Nitris, HD recorders and players and Sony systems. The firm also invested US$2 million in other digital equipment this year. “We produce about 300 episodes in a year so we require this,” explains Amwaleh.

Shehrzad itself will require a lot of work in the post phase because it is a historical costume drama. Awamleh is also particularly pleased with Shehrzad for another reason. “With this HD camera, we could use prime lenses. These lenses have lent a whole new dimension to this serial and you will see it this Ramadan,” he says.

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