LA Adjusts to Severe Shortage of Sony HD Tapes

Before the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the price in LA for a Sony high-end HDCAM-SR tape was about $280. Now, according to a report by LA Weekly‘s Michael Stabile, the price has jumped to more than $1,000 because of the closure of a damaged factory in Miyagi.

Everyone in the LA production community is fully aware that this problem pales in comparison to what the victims of the disaster are dealing with in Japan. Still, the sudden near impossible task of finding the merchandise – new, or used – is putting a crimp on filmmakers like the Tribeca-bound duo of John and Gretchen Morning:

“We couldn’t find any tapes in Los Angeles,” says Dan Chalfen, who is helping the Mornings produce Gone, “except for a place in the [San Fernando] Valley that was asking far too much money…”

“Eventually, we were able to cobble together the tapes from various sources, including from a friend in Boulder where we were doing some post work.”

On Tuesday, Sony posted a statement that the Miyagi facility will remain closed “indefinitely.” So hard times and likely even higher prices lie ahead for users of this industry staple.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.