Beginning in the late 1980s, Sony began marketing the concept of "electronic cinematography," utilizing its analog Sony HDVS professional video cameras. The effort met with very little success. In 1998, with the introduction of HDCAM recorders and 1920 × 1080 pixel digital professional video cameras based on CCD technology, the idea, now re-branded as "digital cinematography," began to gain traction in the market.
In 1994 Sony executives approached Party of Five (FOX) producer Ken Topolsky and director of photography Roy H. Wagner, ASC, in an effort to photograph side by side tests with Sony's prototype High Def camera and 35mm film. This resulted in one of the first network broadcast television series, FOX Pilot PASADENA (2001), directed by Diane Keaton, photographed by Wagner. The results were so successful, shown to directors and Industry decision makers at the Directors Guild of America and Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) meetings, that many were encouraged by the film like images.
Soon many series were considering HD originated image capture.
In May 2001 Once Upon a Time in Mexico became the first well known movie to be shot in 24 frame-per-second high-definition digital video, using a Sony HDW-F900 camera, following Robert Rodriguez's introduction to the camera at George Lucas's ranch whilst editing the sound for Spy Kids. In May 2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was released having also been shot using a Sony HDW-F900 camera. Two lesser-known movies, Vidocq (2001) and Russian Ark (2002), had also previously been shot with the same camera, the latter notably consisting of a single long take (no cuts).
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