Tag Archives: xdcam


The project is an independent feature length film from Little Engine Moving Pictures, called "THE LIMITS."

The format is Sony XDCAM HD.

Writer/Director Ben Mazzotta and Producer/Co-Writer Maria Kennedy-Mazzotta set the scene:

Making it Happen

The script, a very ambitious ensemble piece drama, had been in the works for over a year before our Ryerson Film School buddies got hold of it and The Limits started to develop a life of it’s own. It wasn’t long before we had several talented industry professionals willing to give freely of their time to make the film a reality. People like Drazen Baric (Producer) and Andy Jakebsons (DOP) not only came to bat, but used their experience and industry connections to garner all the favours a micro-budget film of this nature desperately needed. Also, a very special thanks to Videoscope for cutting us an amazing deal on the equipment. Our budget would never have permitted us to shoot a feature film of this caliber if it weren’t for shooting on the Sony XDCAM HD. This, above all, brought the production value we needed to elevate the status of the film to compete with anything on the market today. For any low-budget feature with big aspirations, this is the camera for you.

Which brings us to:

The Camera

The PDW-F530 is the perfect camera for a project of this nature. Its image is stunning and the option for 23.98P makes everything look just like film. We’ve put the slo-mo 1080i60 into effect several times now, and it looks much better than relying on post slo-mo where you simply double the frames, making the image stutter.

One of the best features has to be the thumbnail review capability. Under our circumstances, this does away with having to hire someone specifically for playback, as well as the pricey equipment necessary to do that particular job.

Allowing the DOP to check his framing on a previous set-up, while he’s setting up the reverse, makes for accurate framing at a glance.

It’s easy to wrap your head around the ENG-style make-up of the body. Having the capability to interchange lenses is crucial.

When you compare the price of the discs against standard HD tapes, there is a considerable price advantage as well. Overall, the camera has exceeded our expectations and propelled the production value of the film forward.

The Story

"Prostitute. Outcast. Adulterer. Killer. Look deeper."

Told over the span of two days, THE LIMITS is about four seemingly disparate stories that come together in a seedy motel at the edge of Toronto. A social outcast fulfills his every fantasy a week before ending his life; a black youth on the run from an inner city gang finds work with the motel’s East Indian proprietors; a suburban man begins an affair after uncovering his wife’s terrible secret; and an ex-prostitute who’s found God is haunted by her past when her pimp is released from prison. Their intimate stories expose us to lives less ordinary, and reveal in all of us the pressures of coping with fear when pushed to the limits. Unaware of their inter-connected roles in the grand scheme of things, a volatile event at the film’s end sets forth a life or death chain reaction that affects them all. 

It invites the viewer to take a closer look – beyond conventional assumptions about class and racial identity to the vital truths within each character. It asks – what would you do in their place, under those circumstances?