Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


If Indiana Jones were a cameraman his name would be Scott Duncan. An eight time Emmy award winner, Scott is known for his artistry as well as his sense of adventure. Scott has filmed inside war zones, on top of mountains and under raging rivers. Last month he used the new Aaton Penelope camera to shoot one of Manhattan’s most menacing marauders – Donald Trump.

The project was the opening of a brand new season of Celebrity Apprentice with The Donald and a gaggle of…celebrities (who we can’t name right now – you’ll know them when you see them). It proved an excellent opportunity for Scott to become acquainted with Penelope.

The production took place over the course of 5 days and was shot in a studio and at various well-known New York locations. A long time owner of Aaton 16mm equipment, Scott felt comfortable immediately.

“I put her in as many real situations as possible while gathering imagery,” he said. “There are so many great details to the camera, I felt at home almost instantly.”

The Aaton design philosophy has always emphasized hand-held use, and Penelope brings the iconic ‘cat on the shoulder’ analogy to 35mm. Scott’s comments on the subject – “Handheld is very easy, the mag is very soft on the shoulder…that is what those little things on the bottom of the mag are for and they actually really work … I shot a lot of handheld.”

Scott chose to shoot 2-perf, because he is considering Penelope for an upcoming feature, and this was an opportunity to test the format. (The camera can be set to shoot either 2-perf or 3-perf 35mm film). Operationally, he was pleased with changing magazines and control of the camera.

“The Magazines on and off is butter…the operator side buttons for frame rate and other controls is super nice and easy.”

To sum it up, Scott Duncan said, “…amazing this Penelope!” A nice first impression from an adventurous and discerning cameraman.



Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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