Shot On Varicam Issue No. 3

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Welcome Letter For this issue of Shot On VariCam, we’re covering exciting new projects that filmmakers are currently creating with VariCam cinema cameras. Like our previous issues, content on streaming platforms is leading the way. In 2018, Netflix is forecast to spend over $8 billion for non-sports content, which is on par with the traditional media giants. Our cover story is on Netflix’s feature film, 6 Balloons, which recently had its debut at the South by Southwest film festival. The indie drama was shot by cinematographer Polly Morgan, BSC with VariCam 35 cinema cameras. We’re also showcasing the new Netflix series, The Letdown, which was a joint production between Netflix and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The bitter-sweet comedy series focuses on the ups and downs of motherhood and was shot by DP Judd Overton, who recorded RAW CinemaDNG files with VariCam LTs. When you think of YouTube, short viral videos with millions of views (e.g., Pizza Rat) are what usually comes to mind. Google launched YouTube Red in late 2015 as a paid subscription streaming service that offers longerform original content such as feature films, documentaries, and TV series with well-known actors, as well as YouTube stars. In this issue, we’re featuring two VariCam-shot YouTube Red streaming series that have attracted a lot of viewers. Step Up: High Water – shot by Joaquin Sedillo, ASC with VariCam 35s – is part of the massively successful Step Up film franchise and as of this writing, the pilot episode has received more than 12 million views. Comedy series, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television*, was captured on VariCam LTs by DP Charles Papert, who created different looks without having to think about different exposure ranges due to the VariCam’s Dual Native ISO technology. Speaking of the VariCam LT, the compact camera is not just for cinema anymore. With the release of firmware upgrade Ver. 6.0 (named CineLive), the


VariCam LT can now be integrated for live and “near live” multi-cam use for concerts, events, television shows, and corporate productions. We think the VariCam LT’s latest firmware upgrade makes it the best and most versatile large sensor camera for live productions. Since the release of the AU-EVA1 at the end of October, we’re already seeing impressive work from the camera. We profile Brisbane-based filmmaker Dane Hansen, who has been shooting stunning short fashion films for clothing label BlackMilk. His ability to shoot in low light environments and capture to inexpensive SD cards has greatly enhanced Hansen’s indie-style shoots. Since its release, the EVA1 has been one of the hottest cameras in the marketplace. Several new announcements make the camera even more powerful for content creators. We recently announced EVA 2.0, a free firmware update that greatly expands the camera’s recording capabilities, including ALL-I recording, RAW output, time-lapse recording, and more. In terms of RAW capture, both the EVA1 and the VariCam LT RAW signal outputs are now supported for recording as ProRes RAW, making RAW capture more attainable for indie filmmakers. Finally, Netflix recently announced that the EVA1 is now an approved camera for original content, joining the VariCam 35, VariCam Pure, and VariCam LT. I can’t wait to see future projects shot with the EVA1.

Carter Hoskins

Director Broadcast/Cinema/Professional Video Systems

FREEDOM TO CREATE “Once you experience the flexibility and freedom the VariCam provides, it’s hard to go back. I no longer have to worry about light levels and I can quickly adapt to the changing environment or the project’s creative requirements.”


The VariCam lineup of professional cinema cameras is the ideal solution for cinema, television, commercial, documentary, and live event production. The lineup, which includes VariCam 35, VariCam LT, and VariCam Pure, features exceptional 4K image quality, accurate colors, 14+ stops of dynamic range, Dual Native 800/5,000 ISOs, and more.

See what Vanja has to say about the VariCam at © 2018 Panasonic Corporation of North America. All rights reserved.


CONTENTS ISSUE 3 SPRING 2018 06 10 14 18 22 4








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DARK DP Polly Morgan, BSC shoots 6 Balloons with VariCam 35s

{photos courtesy of Netflix}

While trying to keep her boyfriend’s surprise birthday party on track, Katie’s day takes a detour after picking her brother, Seth, and his daughter up. Realizing Seth has relapsed in his heroin addiction, Katie drives him around town trying to find a detox center that will admit him. 6 Balloons was written and directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan and shot by cinematographer Polly Morgan, BSC (Spinning Man, The Intervention) with VariCam 35 cameras. The Netflix feature film, which stars Abbi Jacobsen and Dave Franco, had its premiere at this year’s South by Southwest film festival in March and began streaming on Netflix in April. Hailing from West Sussex in the south

of England, Morgan always knew she wanted to work in movies. As a teenager, a film crew descended to the countryside she lived in and used her farmhouse as basecamp. After looking through the camera’s viewfinder for the first time, Morgan was hooked. “It was a really magical experience for me,” she says. “As I grew up, I got into photography and when I left university, I started working as a PA. It all kind of went from there. I was a PA, and then I was a camera trainee, and from there I moved to 2nd AC.” Morgan eventually came to Los Angeles to study cinematography at the American Film Institute. Morgan got involved with 6 Balloons after her

agent sent her the script, as well as a look book that Ryan had created. Morgan was impressed by both. “We met for coffee and after talking, we realized we were on the same page,” explains Morgan. “We agreed that the film had to be really raw and real. It couldn’t be glossy.” For developing the look of 6 Balloons, Morgan was inspired by the work of still photographers like Nan Goldin, Todd Hido and Ryan McGinley, whose styles she describes as naturalistic and textured. “We didn’t want the audience to be aware of the cinematography,” she explains. “We wanted the viewer to feel like they were on the journey with the two protagonists



– a bystander forced to witness the events that unfold. We didn’t want the film to look perfect, but to make it feel immediate so people could emotionally respond to the story and feel the sense of drama and panic unfolding.” Like most indie films, Morgan’s biggest challenge was time, shooting the movie in 4 weeks with a 3-year-old lead and a schedule full of night work, in and around a car in rough LA neighborhoods. The hardest part of the shoot was the final scene of the movie, in which Katie’s car fills up with water. “The end sequence shows our two main characters in a car as it fills up with water, a symbolic representation of Katie’s mental state,” explains Morgan. “We had to figure out how we were going to put these two actors in a car and fill in to the top with water in a safe and shootable way. We ended up with 3 versions of the same car. One to shoot in around LA, one to submerge in a tank and the other to seal and fill up with water at the actual location.”


With Netflix’s 4K mandate, Morgan selected the VariCam 35 and was excited about the camera’s ability to shoot at high ISOs. During prep, she shot day, night, interior and exterior tests at the actual locations they would be


shooting at and created a show LUT with her post house, Local Hero, in Santa Monica. “It was mostly about creating a natural palette with a low contrast gamma curve so the film had a softness to it” reveals Morgan. With a small budget and a limited lighting package, shooting at a higher ISO really helped while driving around at night when Morgan wanted the lighting to be interactive. “We wanted to feel the real world sources from the street – the passing cars, the ambience coming through the windows,” explains Morgan. “When we went down to Skid Row, it was all minimal lighting. We couldn’t light expansively down the street. We didn’t want to disturb everyday life for those people living down there. We did it run-andgun and we had to be very sly about it. Since the VariCam can basically see in the dark, it opens up a whole new world for what can be captured with minimal or no lighting” For lighting in the car, Morgan employed a process trailer and mounted ARRU Skypanels to create the look of stop lights, which were a story point. There were no lights inside the car with actors, because Morgan wanted the lighting to be soft and subtle and to feel the changing colors on the actors faces from the outside. “The 5,000 ISO really helped us capture a great details in completely naturalistic situations,”

continues Morgan. “I really think it helped to make the film feel more authentic. Skid Row is a very intimidating place to go at night and to experience how the people lived there was a really harrowing experience for the entire crew. It’s very sad to see so many people suffering as much as they do.” Although Morgan shot at high ISOs for night scenes, she found the noise pattern when dialing down from 5,000 base to 2,500 closely matched the native 800 ISO. “You couldn’t really tell the difference between that and 800 and I was really impressed at how 2,500 saw more than what the eye sees at low light levels,” explains Morgan. “Our aim was to infuse the image with as much texture as possible. There are plenty of flares and a lot of foreground, we were always shooting through or over things. As the movie gets more intense, there’s really no frame that you would call clean and I think shooting at a higher ISO fit the textural mandate perfectly.” Morgan shot the film in 4K (4096x2160), capturing 12-bit 4:4:4 AVC Intra files to P2 cards. For lensing, Morgan shot the film in anamorphic using Cooke Xtal Express prime lenses. “They’re such beautiful lenses and they have so much character to them,” says Morgan. “It fit in with our textured painterly feel. We also



CAMERA: VARICAM 35 RESOLUTION: 4K (4096X2160) ORIGINAL CAPTURE FORMAT: 2-BIT 4:4:4 AVC INTRA LENSES: COOKE XTAL EXPRESS ANAMORPHIC PRIMES To watch 6 Balloons, visit (You will need a Netflix membership to view)

For more information on the VariCam 35, please visit

used a unique vintage 55mm macro lens which was of employed to create the feeling intimacy and claustrophobia.” They framed in the 2:1 aspect ratio because Morgan felt true anamorphic 2.39:1 would be restrictive in the small space of a car and so did a digital crop on the widescreen capture. 6 Balloons was graded at Local Hero by colorist Leandro Marini. According to Morgan, the grade was very similar to what the dailies looked like. “It was really about managing consistency,” reveals Morgan. “The look was created in camera. All of the varying color temperatures were maintained. The artificial and uncomfortable environments of downtown, or the pharmacy, compared with the safety and warmth of the incandescent light back at her house. We had done extensive tests and had good communication with Leo [Marini] throughout the shoot, so everything was in a pretty good place by the time we went in for the grade. “Overall, I’m pleased with how the film came out,” concludes Morgan. “I think that the manifesto for the cinematography, to keep it raw and naturalistic, to help the viewer connect and empathize with the characters, was the right approach and something all departments worked hard to achieve.”


BUST A MOVE DP Joaquin Sedillo, ASC Shoots YouTube Red’s Step Up: High Water with VariCam 35s {photos courtesy of YouTube}



Created by writer/director/producer Duane Adler, the Step Up film franchise, which consists of five films, has made over $650 million at the worldwide box office. The latest project, Step Up: High Water, is a dance drama series that is currently streaming on YouTube Red. Produced by Lionsgate Television, the show follows the students and faculty of High Water, Atlanta’s most competitive performing arts school. The ten-episode series was shot by cinematographer Joaquin Sedillo, ASC (Scream Queens, Glee, Veronica Mars) with Panasonic VariCam 35 cinema cameras. Sedillo got involved with the series after reaching out to one of the producers, Adam Shankman, who put him in touch with Step Up: High Water executive producer Holly Sorensen. In the interview, Sedillo admitted that he hadn’t seen any of the films and Sorensen explained to him that they wanted a completely different look. “The movies were very polished with a big-budget essence to them,” says Sedillo. “Holly wanted the series to have a completely different feel, something more organic, like Fame from 30 years ago – more real like an indie movie - so we kind of ran with the ball on that. I avoided watching Step Up 1, or 2 or 4. I was guided by her and Adam’s notes.” For Step Up: High Water, Sedillo had many challenges. The production had a large cast with a lot of short scenes and elaborate dance numbers. “It was similar to Glee – a large cast and complex logistics; but with Glee, it was mostly musical numbers rather than dance,” says Sedillo. “On this show, the challenge was shooting these powerful and moving dance numbers in an economically and logistically sound way for YouTube and Lionsgate, but while maintaining the same impact without making it look cheap with an indie feel. My crew really stepped up.”


When he first read the script, Sedillo was excited that the series would be shot Atlanta for Atlanta. According to the DP, Atlanta sunlight has a special quality to it. “Los


Angeles has such a heaviness to the air so it makes the light feel bluer gray. Atlanta doesn’t really have that. I think it has more of a golden quality and strangely, maybe a green essence due to the gorgeous greenery throughout the city. Aside from the aesthetics of the city, I also enjoy the people in Atlanta – so polite, kind, and helpful. It’s a very centering place to work.” For Step Up: High Water, Sedillo wanted to create a single source, or single essence light where the shot does not look lit and he wanted the series to feel real and organic. His A-camera operator, Spencer Hutchins, helped convince Sedillo to try out the VariCam since Hutchins had shot previously with the camera as a DP. Sedillo shot the entire series with VariCam 35 cinema cameras that were rented out of Panavision Atlanta. He shot the series in UHD (3840x2160) in AVC Intra 12-bit 4:4:4 at 23.98-fps in V-Log. His dailies timer from 16:9 Post, Pat Shewmaker, created proxy files for dailes and his D.I.T., Mark Gilmer, created viewing LUTs for specific day and night looks for the High Water dance studios, home sets and office spaces. “Mark is so knowledgeable – he came in knowing he was just going to do one episode and he was all in. He’s an artist and has such a well-rounded knowledge,” says Sedillo. For low light locations or high-speed sequences for dance scenes, Sedillo used the native 5,000 ISO setting but usually brought it down to 1,280 from 5,000 base. “I’m still old-school,” explains Sedillo, “and I still use my meter. In fact, when I pulled my meter out on Step Up: High Water, a couple of crewmembers walked up and asked, ‘What the hell is that?’ I think or hope they were joking. I don’t light to the monitors, I light to my eye. I key based on my meter and I can choose to go above or below that.” One of producer Adam Shankman’s mandates was the use of handheld camera, which is the main form of camera movement on the series. “As a viewer/DP, I personally find handheld distracting,” says Sedillo. “To me, it calls attention to itself, but I’m happy that Adam pushed me.

In this case, it worked because of the way the stories were told and the expertise of my operators, Spencer Hutchins and Brett Mayfield – both great artists in their own right. Spencer can watch a scene unfold in rehearsal and will go and tag details to tell a story, often without instruction from me, or the director. He’ll go to the back of someone’s head, wrap around and see a bit of one person’s eye, and not go back until the next person starts their dialogue.”


For lensing, Sedillo shot primarily with zooms, including two 11-1s, a 17.5-75 Primo zoom, a 28 - 76mm and 45 – 120mm Angenieux Optimo zooms. He only carried one prime – a 10mm Primo. “I also experimented with something new that Guy McVicker over at Panavision Hollywood came up with,” explains Sedillo. “It was an idea of optimizing their lenses by degrading the image a bit. They take the lenses apart and coat the inner elements with diffusion. It creates this beautiful effect where, when the lens is flared, the flare itself steps in slightly varied colors and shapes, which to me mimics how flares appeared on film as the light passed through layers of emulsion.” For instance, in the rehearsal space, we could blast this intense but soft light (12 light fixtures through sheers) while we were shooting dance numbers – often we’d shoot people in gorgeous silhouette. I must give a shout out to the Step Up editors. A lot of people tend to be more conventional and think, ‘Oh there’s a flare, we’ll cut around it,’ or ‘Oh, there’s a silhouette, we’ll cut around that.’ So much of the beauty of what we’re doing on purpose has been used in the cuts. They’ll go through a flare immediately right on a cut, or during somebody’s speech, a flare with go through with pools of purple and turquoise and this beautiful candy apple red. It’s just the way these lenses react with this optimizing from Panavision that looks really cool.”




Step Up: High Water was graded at The Foundation in Burbank, CA with colorist Gareth Cook. According to Sedillo, the grade remained very close to the LUTs that Gilmer created. “Gareth has been with me since day one,” says Sedillo. “He knows that I like rich colors. I don’t like things to pop. I like things that are rich and lush. I tend to stay on warmer skin tones. Speaking back to the heat and humidity of Atlanta and that warm golden light, he knows where I like to place daylight – morning compared to evening light. He knows the combinations of colors – half blue, quarter green, as my night colors. I tend to use chrome orange for streetlights. He basically knows all of my tricks.” Overall, Sedillo describes the look of Step Up: High Water as indie and artistic, “which I think is the point of the series. The kids want to be artists and want to express themselves. I think the creators of the show, YouTube Red, and Lionsgate allowed us to do that. To have fun and make this feel like an artsy movie. It was a blast.”

To watch Step Up: High Water, visit (You will need YouTube Red subscription to watch entire series)

For more information on the VariCam 35, please visit


MOTHERHOOD DP Judd Overton shoots The Letdown with VariCam LTs


[photos courtesy of Netflix]



Netflix and the Australian Broadcast Corporation have partnered to produce a new comedy series, The Letdown. Produced and written by Sarah Scheller and Alison Bell, the pilot and six half hour episodes follows Audrey, played by Bell, as she navigates the chaos of motherhood while still trying to balance a career-focused husband, a self-absorbed mother, and a care-free best friend. The series also stars Duncan Fellows, Sacha Horler, Noni Hazelhurst and Celeste Barber. The series was shot by cinematographer Judd Overton with VariCam LT cameras. Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Overton graduated from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) where he went on to shoot many features, documentaries, and television series. He has earned 25 Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) Gold and Silver Awards for his cinematography work. Overton shot the pilot for The Letdown over two years ago. (The show was part of a ABC pilot program in which six comedy pilots were produced.) “A lot of the comedies in Australia have a broad, skit-based attitude,” explains Overton. “Director Trent O’Donnell, who is the showrunner on (Fox TV’s) New Girl, and I approached The


Letdown as more of an international show, not just for the Australian television audience. We absolutely made it with an Australian voice, but we really wanted it to stand on its own two feet in an international market.” Overton’s first experience shooting with the VariCam LT was on a short film, Remembering Agatha, which premiered in October at the Adelaide Film Festival. “I’ve been a fan of the VariCam since the beginning,” reveals Overton, “so I was already sold on the look. For The Letdown, it was more about making sure the camera delivered on resolution and workability. On the show, we had a lot of mid 30s women and we wanted skin tones to look great, but not artificial or plastic looking. I wanted a naturalistic look and from my use of the camera on my short film, I knew VariCam could deliver that.” Because they are both mothers themselves, writer/creators Bell and Sarah Scheller had strong ideas about the look and style of the show. They watched several half hour comedies like HBO’s Girls and Netflix’s Love to see what to do… and what not to do. “We wanted The Letdown to have more of a raw and authentic look,” says Overton. “My challenge was to find a format that

could work in the schedule that we needed to work in, but also give them the results they desired. The VariCam LT is a light camera that can be quickly switched between production mode, handheld, or Steadicam easily, so it was great to work with.” Overton recorded 4K (4096×2160) files in both RAW (recording to a Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+) and 10-bit 422 AVC Intra to P2 cards in-camera. All shots were captured in 25p. For lenses and support, Overton chose Panavision Sydney. “On this show, the 11-1 Primo Zooms were a staple as a lot of the show is cross shooting,” he explains. “We also carried the 19-90 zoom and a hand full of Primo Prime lenses for night work and Steadicam. The Primos are fantastic lenses. It’s funny that a lot of the people who championed the newest, sharpest lenses are now challenging the sharpness of high resolution cameras by using older lenses. I found the Primos were the exactly the look I what I wanted for The Letdown. “I also saw [cinematographer] Andrij Parekh’s work on [Netflix series] 13 Reasons Why and the show really sold me on what could be delivered in low light with the VariCam,” continues Overton. “I spoke to Andrij about working with



For more information on the VariCam LT, please visit

the VariCam and he told me that because most of his show’s audience was going to be watching the show on iPhones, he went with the AVC Intra format. For The Letdown, I knew that the first two episodes would screen in a cinema in Australia and we have quite a bit of VFX and graphics work, which led to me choosing the RAW workflow. I think the internal codec is fantastic and delivers great results, but when you’re up to the edge and obviously anything with visual effects, I opted to shoot RAW. For more traditional dramatic coverage, we recorded internally to P2 cards.” In terms of the production, the most challenging sequences for Overton to shoot were the mothers support group meetings, which consisted of shooting six mothers with six crying babies in an open hall. Each episode contained a group meeting sequence. “That was my biggest challenge straight away with daylight flooding in and screaming babies,” explains Overton. “We rarely got second takes so we had three cameras constantly running on those sequences. We knew we had to shoot quickly and cross shoot to get coverage because the babies would usually not do what you wanted them to do, and we had to move very fast.” Overton worked closely with his gaffer, Russell Fewtrell, to build a lighting rig into the ceiling, which acted as a large soft source. Overton says they depended on the RAW files to obtain “extra wiggle room” with the VariCam’s 14+ stops of latitude. Overton’s colorist, Billy Wychgel, created LUTs, which were loaded on to the Odyssey 7Q+ and Teradek transmitters instead of in-camera. Per Overton, he found it more efficient to monitor footage on the Odyssey where he could easily switch the looks on or off while still sending the LUT to video village “We wanted to go away from a soapy television look,” he says. “The series starts with warm colors; there is hope about the possibilities of new motherhood. As the show progresses, some of the warmth and saturation dissipates and our audience gets to see life through sleep-deprived eye, as the challenging reality of raising a new born baby takes over. “Overall the look is slightly cool with inky blacks and neutral skin tones,” continues Overton. “The moments of warmth are added back in as Audrey and Jeremy’s relationship starts to rebuild. In the final parents group meeting, situated outside in a park, there is a shift and we see the mothers relaxed in the world having a glass of champagne and celebrating.” During testing, Overton discovered that he didn’t need to shoot with the VariCam LT’s native 5,000 ISO and found out that if he underrated it, the image performed better in post-production regarding noise. “I think we were at 4,000 ISO for one-night scene,” says Overton, “but most of it was kept at 2,500 ISO dialed down from 5,000 base. Everything with controlled lighting, I kept it at [native] 800 ISO.” The Letdown was posted at The Gingerbread Man in Sydney. Overton and Wychgel started from scratch but essentially based the final look on the original LUTs that they established on set. “My impression is that on set we have to show everyone in dailies what the show is going to look like the whole way through, so that was basically what we did. We established the look during pre-production and pushed that all the way through. Apart from a few small changes, that’s basically the look of the show.” The Letdown began airing on ABC in late 2017 and will move to worldwide streaming on Netflix in 2018.


NEO NOIR DP Adam Swica, CSC shoots indie feature Birdland with the VariCam 35 {photos courtesy of 108 Media}


Birdland, directed and co-written by Peter Lynch, is a Canadian feature that contains some of the most striking images you’ll see in an indie film this year. It tells the story of an ex-cop, Sheila Hood, who hides surveillance cameras in her home to spy on her husband’s affairs. The film was shot by cinematographer Adam Swica, CSC (The Art of the Steal, The Firm) with a single VariCam 35 camera. Swica studied painting and drawing at the

Ontario College of Art and then moved towards experimental film towards the end of his studies. His first move into the film industry was in the lighting department where he worked his way up to gaffer. After eight years working as a gaffer, he transitioned to DP, shooting several indie films. Swica met director Lynch through art circles and began to work together on art performance films before collaborating on Birdland. For Swica, the biggest challenge was Birdland’s small budget.

“Most of the film was set in urban locations at night and we didn’t have the capability to light everything,” reveals Swica. “The choice of the camera came from a discussion with Sim’s John DeBoer, who told me they had this new camera that shoots 5,000 ISO. Sim was very gracious to give us the camera package for free, which was a great gift to us.” Swica took the VariCam 35 out by Toronto’s dockyards and throughout the city to test it in


natural and low light environments. He then took the footage to The Rolling Picture Company in Toronto where they looked at the footage. “It looked spectacular,” says Swica. “Everybody was just shocked on what we were capturing. At that point, the VariCam also slashed our lighting package.” Swica shot Birdland in 2K ProRes (23.98fps) because the production couldn’t afford the added workflow costs of 4K capture. “I’m actually happy with the decision,” says Swica. “Resolution is important for different reasons, but I have no real problem with the lower resolution, and I know 2K can up res to 4K really well.” He captured in V-Log and monitored in Rec.709 on set. Swica shot the film with Zeiss Super Speed primes, which he uses for all his projects because the lenses are fast with low contrast. Director Lynch described the look of Birdland as “neo-noir” but according to Swica, much of the look came from music videos, which Swica used to shoot 30 years ago. There was no high-key lighting or heavy blacks but more of a clean mannered look throughout the movie. “There’s a sequence that you can see in the movie that’s a bondage sequence where the character ties herself up on a rig,” he explains. “That was inspired from a J. Lo video, which probably had a half a million-dollar budget. We covered the scene in a different way but used the same colors.” Since the lighting budget was already slashed, Swica knew he would have to rely on the VariCam 35’s native 5,000 ISO, which he used for interior or exterior night sequences. “I would say 90% of the film was lit with five [Rosco] 1x1 LED LitePads and a couple of small Tungsten lights,” explains Swica. “We had our lighting department simply hold the lamps so if somebody was walking, we were walking with them with the lamps on battery power. We didn’t have a fixture that was larger than a 2K, and that 2K was used maybe once. “I’d rather have a fatter stop at night,” continues Swica, on shooting at native 5,000 ISO. “The fact that I could be shooting at night between a T-3.2 and 5.6, depending on the location, and still see everything was amazing. I’ve done a lot of lighting where you have a big lamp and then you have to create an entire environment because you have to touch everything from that point. Shooting at 5,000 ISO is almost the inverse of that. It looks like a real street that’s happening all the way down the street. There are street lights, so you have to bow down to what’s happening naturally.” For a dinner party scene, the location was set in a condo on the 14th floor overlooking the city. Instead of lighting the interior, Swica let the ambient light coming from outside the windows light the scene. “It was a little weird for the actors because they thought they were shooting in the dark,” explains Swica. “We constantly had to show them what we were seeing after takes.” Because they could not afford a D.I.T., the production created a workflow that was more like a film shoot. They would shoot the first half of the day, and then send the P2 cards to The Rolling Picture Company, who created dailies for the production. “I’ve done more films than electronic work and because of the nature of a negative, which is low contrast, I still shoot digital that way and build the contrast in post,” says Swica. “It’s one of the reasons I don’t really create my own LUTs. I just use standard Rec.709 and then build my lighting from there. Although it has that ‘neo-noir’ look, I didn’t want it to look bombastic. It’s a slow-moving story and very mannered.” At The Rolling Picture Company, Swica worked with colorist Drake Conrad, whom he had collaborated with on several films. Both Swica and Conrad were really surprised at how the native 5,000 ISO performed. According to Swica, Conrad expected to have a lot of cleanup work, but they didn’t need to. “Because this was set in an urban environment, most of the light is motivated. It was more about fine tuning skin tones. We didn’t do a lot of power windows, which I usually have to do. “As much as he is a tech geek, Drake has a spectacular sensibility when it comes to grading,” continues Swica. “Also, when your eight pictures down the road, Drake already gets it and gets what I need. Birdland was an easy grade and it was a short two weeks.”



For more information on Birdland, visit

Official trailer for Birdland

For more information on the VariCam 35, please visit





BENDER DP Charles Papert Shoots Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television* with VariCam LTs [photos courtesy of YouTube]

From Rawson Marshall Thurber, the writer/ director of Central Intelligence and We’re the Millers, comes the YouTube Red comedy series, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television*. In the genre-bending show, the LAPD creates a task force that partners actors with detectives. The series, which stars Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars, Party Down) and Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale, Orange Is the New Black), pokes fun at Hollywood, as well as action movies, sitcoms, and crime procedural shows. The series was shot by cinematographer Charles Papert (Mary + Jane, Key and Peele) with VariCam LT cameras. “Yes, that’s the actual title,” says Papert, when asked about the asterisk in the show’s official title. “They always have something funny at the bottom of your computer, or your phone. It really sums up the show. It’s a comedy that’s very self-aware – essentially a show within a show.” With the pilot already shot and a visual style established by DP Jordan Valenti, Papert came in and expanded the number of cameras to create

different and unique looks. According to the DP, 80 to 90 percent of the show was shot with VariCam LTs. He recorded 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC Intra files in UHD (3840 x 2160) with two LTs that were rolling for most of the scenes. Shooting in V-LOG, Papert and his DIT, Freddy Fernandez, created a set of viewing LUTs that looked a little cooler and desaturated. The VariCam LT builds – rented out of The Camera Division – were essentially long and low to keep the cameras balanced for handheld shooting. Papert’s primary lens was a Fujinon 19-90mm Cabrio zoom, as well as ARRI Alura Lightweight zooms. “In an ultra-fast paced TV schedule, I find it very difficult not to have the flexibility of zooms,” explains Papert. “We would sometimes zoom within a shot, as well as reframe a shot for the director at given moments to get a tighter piece of coverage for certain lines.” For exteriors and well-lit interiors, Papert shot at native 800 ISO. Since the show didn’t have a lot of night exteriors, Papert only went

with high ISOs a few times during the run of the series. “There was a night interior that looked out a window at the city streets, so I took it to 3200 – 4000 (dialed down from 5,000 base) to get the downtown streets to pop,” says Papert. “Then we knocked down all of the levels in the interior to accommodate that.” Papert mainly used high ISOs to capture 45-degree shutter angles for sequences that needed an action-style look. “That effect comes with a two-stop cost,” explains Papert. “For interiors, that was very helpful because I could shoot the meat of the work with the set lit based on 800 ISO and when I needed to switch to the 45-degree angle, all I had to do was go to the 5,000 base, dial down to 3200, and we were right there.” For lighting, Papert had his usual package that mainly consist of smaller LED panels and LiteGear LiteMats for close-ups and interior work. He also made good use of traditional lighting sources such as HMIs, an ARRI




SkyPanel, Kino Flo Celebs, Source Fours, and Lekos. “There was a wide variety of looks we went with, which was part of the fun,” he explains. “When it went into the chase scenes, or some of the environments that were intended to be heightened, we got to play around with the visuals. The rest of it was fairly natural, inspired by procedural style lighting.” Perhaps the most challenging scene was an ambitious Steadicam sequence that was shot at LA’s Canter’s Deli, which was an homage to Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (shot by Michael Ballhaus, ASC). “It starts in the front section by the bakery counter, which is by the window with full daylight filling in,” explains Papert. “As we walk through the space, the exposure and color temperature levels change completely, and we had to light their paths from the takeout section through two dining rooms, the Kibitz room, which is a lounge area, through a corridor, and


then back into the kitchen. I only had a couple of hours to pre-rig, which was a big challenge to soften the transitions from the brighter areas and dark areas from one color temperature to another. The shot turned out well and it was a lot of fun to do. With my Steadicam background, the idea of doing an homage to one of the best Steadicam shots of all time was pretty exciting.” Post production for Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television* was done at Chainsaw (a division of Sim) and was graded by senior colorist Kris Santa Cruz. “The color process was an interesting one because the pilot had gone in one direction and we went back and revised that a bit,” explains Papert. “It really spoke more directly to the procedural look than what we ended up with the show. It was a little cooler and more desaturated than what we ultimately decided was more a pleasing balance between a comedy and procedural look.

“The joy of shooting RAW or LOG is it gives you more possibilities” continues Papert. “With a show like this, to be able to mold the different looks was super helpful and when using another camera, I always have to think about accommodating different exposure ranges. I don’t have to worry about that with VariCam, which has me covered with dual native ISOs. It’s a magic trick that I think is real special.”

Watch Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television*, visit (You will need YouTube Red subscription to watch entire series)

SUBTERRANEAN Lucky 8 TV shoots season two of Science Channel’s Secrets of the Underground with VariCam LTs

Production company Lucky 8 TV (60 Days In, The Real Story with María Elena Salinas) employed Panasonic VariCam LTs to shoot season two of Science Channel original series Secrets of the Underground. The series is hosted by biologist Rob Nelson and geophysicist Stefan Burns, who use cutting-edge technology – LIDAR, ground-penetrating radar and 3D imaging – and research to shed new light on famous subterranean mysteries. Isaac Mathes, visual director at Lucky 8 TV and cinematographer on Secrets of the Underground, reveals that two of the company’s six VariCam LTs were assigned as A and B cameras on the series. “Our

primary locations are caves, tunnels, caverns, cisterns – if it’s underground, we’ve probably been there,” says Mathes. “What characterizes all these sites is that there’s not much light, so the LT’s native 5,000 ISO was the deciding factor in switching up cameras this season. Now we have the option to either shoot at 5,000 ISO, or stay at 800 ISO. We’re able to shoot underground scenes lit solely by subjects’ flashlights or chinks in a wall, rarely deploying the battery-operated LED lights that we needed throughout season one.”

View full episodes of Secrets of the Underground


SELFIE Filmmaker Brian Luco Peña shoots indie art film Like with VariCam 35 [photos courtesy of Brian Luco Peña]


Like is a unique short film that deals with the influence that social media has on our lives. The film was written, directed, shot, and edited by Brian Luco Peña with the VariCam 35. Born and raised in Chile (now residing in Los Angeles) Luco Peña studied Audiovisual Communications at Duoc UC Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile where he got his start in still photography. “Because there is no film industry in Chile, the only way to earn money, or to have a career, is through commercials,” he explains. “I started to explore the fashion side of advertising and began directing television commercials. The rhythm of

advertising is very fast and was good training for narrative projects.” Like is a character driven story with a lyrical style, sparse dialogue, and long takes. According to Luco Peña, the characters are feeling something that the audience might not understand while still creating a special type of emotion for the viewer. “The type of cinema I enjoy the most is one that gives the audience more space to feel something,” says Luco Peña. “Filmmakers like Wong Kar Wai (Happy Together, Fallen Angels) and Michelangelo Antonioni (Blow-Up) have a style that is slower and gives you more tools

to interpret the story. Films that are based on the aesthetic and emotions of the character more than the story itself.” Because there were many night scenes, Luco Peña was inspired by Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love (shot by DP Christopher Doyle, HKSC) for its beautiful night scenes and use of practical lights. “Hot Rod Cameras’ Illya Friedman had mentioned the VariCam 35 to me,” explains Like producer Zubi Mohammed. “He gave me a demo of what the camera could do in lowlight, so it was always in my mind. When I saw the type of project that Brian was aiming for, I just






immediately thought of the VariCam. There is an organic sort of nature that Brian was trying to provoke from the project and just from the demo footage that I saw, I thought VariCam could definitely work.” During pre-production, Luco Peña also tested a Sony A7S but preferred the VariCam 35 due to its more filmic “grain”. “Even though you can work with a high ISO, it can still be very accurate,” he explains. “I think the A7S had some problems with the skin tones. I really enjoyed the grain the VariCam had. It didn’t feel ‘noisy’ like other cameras and had more of an organic look that I like. Especially in one shot where we’re filming our actress in a car passing through Hollywood, which eventually became the shot for our poster.” Luco Peña captured 12-bit 4:4:4 AVCIntra files in UHD at 23.98fps and framed for widescreen (2:39:1). For lenses, he employed Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon FF primes, as well as Mamiya 645N PL-mount primes. Luco Peña also used ProMist and SoftFX filters, which helped him create a more vintage look. Luco Peña approached the cinematography


in a stripped-down way like Italian neo-realist directors like Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini, who would light and shoot quickly using mainly available light. Due to the budget, the production did not carry a lighting package, mainly using practical bulbs set on dimmers. “For an interior hotel scene, we were scouting floors where we could see the bokeh in the background but at the same time, you could still see the reflection of the lamp in the window,” explains Luco Peña. “What is the color of the lamp and what kind of source could this be? Should we dim the practicals up or down? I was trying to manage the amount of light I was taking from my practical sources. Not using a lot of equipment made shooting the scene less complex.” For many of his exteriors, Luco Peña meticulously scouted his locations and picked the right time of the day to shoot more efficiently. For day scenes, he used silks and diffusion material to control sunlight coming through windows. Since completing the short, Like has been submitted to several film festivals and Luco Peña and Mohammed are looking to develop Like into a feature film. According to Mohammed,

it is not an easy road. “The indie filmmaking landscape has changed so drastically,” he says. “In the ‘90s, because of the lucrative home video market, filmmakers were selling their movies at film festivals for large amounts of money and they would get three picture deals. Now, we have Netflix and all these streaming services, but the middle class of filmmaking has really shrunk. There are just low budget movies and big tent pole films. For us, our goal is to manage the budget and make the feature for a low amount of money while still making it look great. Getting the support of organizations and friends who are technically savvy has been tremendously helpful in getting this short made. It’s been a long and difficult road but that’s not an unusual story.”

Official trailer for Like

For more information on VariCam 35, visit

FUTURE TECH Award-winning VoIP Provider Nextiva produces yearly business conference with VariCam LTs

Building on the success of the visual elements of its 2016 NextCon conference, Nextiva – one of the nation’s largest providers of cloud-based VoIP services – again decided to use a broad selection of Panasonic professional cameras, including VariCam LTs, as well as AK-UC3000 and AK-HC5000 studio camera packages. Marquee events at the sold-out NextCon 2017 included Nextiva CEO Tomas Gorny’s keynote presentation on the company’s new mission critical business communications platform, as well as motivational speeches by best-selling authors Neil Patel and Carol Roth. Four VariCam LT camera operators were assigned to cover group and breakout

sessions, interview attendees and speakers for day two and three recap videos. The trove of archival video was quickly edited for use on the company’s conference site ( and primed to attract a 2018 audience. “I have a real appreciation for the LT’s Super 35mm sensor and its extreme low light sensitivity,” says Nextiva video producer Tony Calvis. “With a choice of 800/5000 native ISOs, we were able to light for the audience and enjoy terrific flexibility in overall lighting decisions. A ProRes HD workflow was ideal for our purposes, and we also took advantage of the LT’s AVC-Intra 2K-LT codec to achieve some great cinematic off-speed effects.


EN 30

VOGUE Filmmaker Dane Hansen creates a stunning fashion short with the EVA1 [photos courtesy of Dane Hansen]


Available for only a few months, we’re already seeing visually impressive work shot with the AU-EVA1. The EVA1 is a compact cinema camera that contains a 5.7K Super 35 sensor that delivers 14-stops of dynamic range and Dual Native ISOs of 800 and 2,500. Brisbane-based director/cinematographer Dane Hansen is a self-taught filmmaker who has been shooting films and photography since childhood. “I am primarily a director and I went through university here in Australia (and partially in England) as a writer and director,” says Hansen. “I’ve made a few short films and started shooting more for myself once I started to get into the corporate/commercial space. Most of the projects I work on are fashion based at this point, but I’m heading more into the TV/commercial/film scene.” Hansen recently completed a short film, Hotel Mysteria, for BlackMilk Clothing. The film consists of beautiful models posing in colorful outfits against the backdrop of soft lighting, rich tapestries and staircases. “I have been working with BlackMilk as a recurring client for the past two years,” explains Hansen. “We have a good


working relationship and a good amount of trust between us. The shoots are usually very rushed and require a large amount of handheld, fast runand-gun camera work.” The main reason Hansen went with the EVA1 was because he needed a small and lightweight camera package that was maneuverable. “The EVA1 is so light and very easy to use on many different types of gimbals (GlideCam, Ronin MX, etc.) and then quickly switch over for handheld shots. It also has an EF mount and internal ND filters – both an absolute must for me.” According to Hansen, the Hotel Mysteria shoot was straightforward. “The nature of my shoots normally requires me to see the location the day that I turn up to set, so its normally a case of working to the strengths of the location, which generally influences the visual style/edit of the piece,” he says. Hansen shot most of the short at 4K, 8-bit 4:2:0 in LongGop 100Mbps. “The reason for this was that I could switch between varying frame rates quickly, from 25fps, through 33, and up to 50fps,” says Hansen. “At times, I switched over to 2K mode to shoot at 100fps.”

Hansen also shot at native 2,500 ISO for most of the shoot. “The place we shot at is a club, and it was a very large space and had very little available lighting,” explains Hansen. “I did not have a dedicated gaffer or a huge lighting kit, so I relied on increasing my ISO to get the ambient lighting I needed. I didn’t need to change it off 2,500, as the dynamic range and saturation was the same as it was at 800 and was providing a good enough exposure that I didn’t need to go higher.” Hansen used his Zeiss ZE prime lens kit, which gave him incredible sharpness, as well as an affordable price compared to typical cinema style lenses. “They don’t have AF or OIS but using the internal EIS was a good enough trade off, and I rarely have used AF in the past for video anyway. The Zeiss lenses also have a great focal ring throw.” For lighting, Hansen employs bi-color lighting kits. For moving shots, he used an Aladdin 2×1 LED panel on a boom pole powered by a V-lock battery to create a beauty light just above his models and out of frame as a soft source. To light a difficult shot of a model walking down a staircase, Hansen used a RAYZR 7 Fresnel



To watch Hotel Mysteria, visit

For more information on the EVA1, visit

light with a couple of LEDs as backlight. For post, Hansen did a minimal amount of grading, occasionally using power windows. “That’s one of the great things I’ve found with Panasonic colors – you can tweak a bit, but what you are getting straight out of camera is phenomenal,” reveals Hansen. “I used Panasonic’s Rec709 LUT and that did most of the work for me. I then took it through DaVinci to make a few tweaks here and there, but nothing major. “Shooting with the EVA1 has been a great experience,” continues Hansen. “The lightweight design really helps me in the way I shoot, which is more run-and-gun. The fact that the color is already great saves me a lot of time in post, and the 4K is super sharp. I love that I can shoot to SD cards and back up straight away to my laptop without additional card readers. I also like that I can shoot in a format that requires little space but retains a very healthy amount of data to keep a very high-quality image. I personal feel this camera has a very good balance between image quality and practicality, which is the reason I chose it, and will continue to do so for my future products.”


LOOK, NO WIRES Wireless Control of the AU-EVA1 Using the EVA ROP


The AU-EVA1 Compact Cinema Camera offers numerous functions and features. Controls for these functions can be accessed in numerous ways depending on how one chooses to operate the camera. A MENU button and scroll wheel on the side of the camera open a traditional menu tree. A HOME button reveals a shortcut display with quick access to commonly-adjusted settings. Menus can be navigated from the side handgrip so that one never has to look away from the image. And the LCD display is also a touch screen for direct menu access. But what if one wishes to control the EVA1 without physically touching it? What if the camera is on a gimbal, car rig, crane, or drone? The AU-EVA1 can be operated remotely. Above the camera’s battery compartment is a USB2.0 slot for the Panasonic AJ-WM50P Dual-Band Wireless Module. The EVA ROP is a free App available for iOS iPhones and iPads, as well as Android tablets. Once connected over Wi-Fi, the EVA ROP App allows full control over the EVA1’s electronic controls. The EVA ROP offers far more than Record Start/Stop. Every electronic control and function available on the camera is addressable from the EVA ROP. Status of main functions are actively displayed. ND filters can be switched in and out. All nine User Programmable Buttons are available, and the full Menu system can be navigated for complete control. While the EVA ROP is not the first Wi-Fi remote camera control from Panasonic, it is the most full-featured. Starting from the top left, a gear tab opens a short configuration menu for connecting to the camera. To the right of the SYSTEM indicates resolution and recording info. COLOR (V-Log/ V709 or Scene Files) notes the recording and video outputs. There are also status readouts for MEDIA (SDXC cards), BATTERY, TCG (Timecode) and ZOOM (on compatible lenses). On the top right a LOCK Switch prevents accidentally changing any settings and just below are buttons for Record Check to playback the last few seconds of the previous clip and the allimportant Record Start/Stop trigger button.

The center span of the EVA ROP is the largest and offers the most commonly adjusted controls. For the most part these are the same controls available on the EVA1’s HOME screen, but the EVA ROP offers even quicker and greater access for fast adjustment. Starting on the left, FPS (Frames Per Second) can be adjusted using up/down keys or by moving a slider. SHUTTER can be set in seconds or degrees. Under EI (Exposure Index), the sensitivity can be switched between the Dual Native ISOs (800 or 2,500 ISO), 800 Base (200 – 2,000 ISO), or 2,500 Base (1,000 – 25,600 ISO). Up/down keys perform the fine adjustments within each range. Note that a feature of this interface is that the EVA ROP remembers the settings for each sensitivity mode, so in a situation where the camera moves from a bright exterior day into a dark interior, a single tap could switch from 800 Base set at 200 ISO to 2,500 Base set at 5,000 ISO. WHITE (White Balance) can grab an AWB (Auto White Balance) or scroll through white balance presets. Lastly, IRIS can adjust aperture on supported lenses. Switch to Auto Iris or adjust Manual Iris with up/down keys or a slider. The bottom of the EVA ROP starts on the left with up/down keys to set the Neutral Density Filters. All nine User Programmable Switches are provided. REMOTE SW allows switching between the MENU tree, the HOME screen, the INFO display, and the LIVE video view. MENU DISP (Menu Display) controls sending the Menus or the Live video signal to either the SDI or HDMI outputs. With these controls, all functions of the AU-EVA1 camera can be accessed. Some of the controls are accessed faster and switched between more directly using the EVA ROP than on the camera. Having multiple ways to control the EVA1 camera allows for great freedom in choices of shots and styles of production. Having the option to control the camera remotely may be something that you don’t use, until it suddenly becomes invaluable. Panasonic’s goal is to make the AU-EVA1 as versatile a production tool as possible to all types of filmmakers.

To download EVA ROP for iOS, visit

To download EVA ROP for Android, visit



Ver. 6.0 firmware upgrade enables the VariCam LT for live multi-cam use for concerts, events, TV shows, and more.

Like all VariCam firmware upgrades, Ver. 6.0 for the VariCam LT is a free download For more information, visit


We recently announced a firmware upgrade to our VariCam LT 4K cinema camera that sets the camera up for live and “near live” multi-cam use for concerts, events, television shows, and corporate productions. Version 6.0 firmware upgrade enables a new shading mode, as well as tally and return video management. Full control of the cameras will be possible by using Panasonic’s AK-HRP1000 remote control panel. “Everyone marvels at the VariCam LT’s beautiful cinematic look,” said Mitch Gross, Panasonic Cinema Product Manager. “Now with the Version 6 firmware, the Super-35, wide dynamic range, high sensitivity image with those great VariCam colors can be seamlessly brought to live and near-live multi camera applications such as episodic TV, concerts, corporate events, and studio installations. The VariCam LT’s imaging capabilities can improve the look of any multi camera shoot while lowering costs. It’s a double-win.”


In the broadcast world, shading is a process that ensures all cameras will look consistent with each other and is executed with paint settings (black, white, chromas, iris, gain, etc.). In the cinema production world, grading is correcting colors, changing color space, or developing a specific look. The process is typically done with LUTs and CDLs. The new VariCam LT Ver.

6.0 update will allow the use of either broadcast shading or cinema grading workflows. Multi camera live productions will benefit from extended control from the RCP, which includes full paint features – from standard “shading” processes to LUT and CDL management – as well as scene file selection, remote REC control and call function. Additionally, a PC can be connected to allow the use of live grading software (e.g., Pomfort, Colorfront, FireFly, Codex, etc.) to remotely upload LUTs and manage the camera’s look from a user-friendly color grading interface. The new shading mode allows users the option to record V-Log in-camera, as well as performing live in-camera color correction. Because the VariCam LT has two separate SDI outputs for HD broadcast, it’s possible to output different video signals: one clean view for broadcasting or recording; and one monitoring view for status check, markers and menus. Fiber transmission is possible via transport systems from DTS, ERECA, Multidyne, Telecast, and more.


For “near live” production, users can record internally on each VariCam LT in 4K or HD 4:4:4 in AVC-Ultra or ProRes and match back to the live switch, allowing for adjustments in the edit as well as the option for precise final image grading in post-production. Near Live

productions include live shows (theater, concerts, stand-up comedy), fashion shows, and corporate events that are not broadcast live. Using a VariCam LT cinema camera offers several benefits over smaller sensor broadcast cameras that are typically used for live events.


• Create cinematic depth of field with VariCam’s award-winning Super 35mm sensor • Take advantage of the VariCam’s HDR-ready 14+ stops of dynamic range • VariCam image quality and color science • Capture low light shots using VariCam’s Dual Native 800/5,000 ISO feature • The 5,000 ISO function can compensate stop loss when using optical adaptors for 2/3” lenses or slower long zooms A new ’live mode’ fan setting reduces fan noise even when not recording, making it wellsuited for live environments. “The VariCam LT’s latest firmware upgrade will make it the best large sensor camera to use for live production applications such as TV shows, concerts and corporate events,” said Gross. “It perfectly matches the VariCam’s renowned look and takes advantage of our extensive expertise in broadcast camera systems. It makes the camera incredibly versatile.”



REVISITING HISTORY WUCF Central Florida PBS shoots documentary The Groveland Four with VariCam LTs


WUCF Central Florida PBS leveraged its investment in VariCam LT 4K cinema cameras to shoot a high-profile national documentary, The Groveland Four, which explores a historic episode in Central Florida’s mid-20th century race relations. The Groveland Four is slated for a June 28 premiere on WUCF, and then will be submitted to PBS and APT for possible national distribution. The incident it documents is that of a young Lake County farm wife, who in the summer of 1949, accused four young African-American men of rape. The case of The Groveland Four played out over several years, and led to a race riot, torture, multiple murders, two trials, a Supreme Court reversal and the assassination of a Florida civil rights leader. The Groveland Four’s writer/director/producer is Keith Salkowski, the cinematographer is Mark Hubatsek, camera operator Brian Hirten, and editor Laurel Ladevich. “This represented a big investment for us, and we conducted intense hands-on trials,” says WUCF Director of Production Duilio Mariola. “The LTs excelled in terms of image production, ergonomics and, crucially, low-light handling.” Manager of Technology/Production Engineer Ryan Retherford adds, “During the shoot-out, I shot with the LT in a dark hallway, but standing in bright sunlight in front of an open window. The LT had much better latitude, and seemingly sought out the bright spots, seeing all the way to the back of the hallway.” Two of WUCF’s three VariCam LTs were assigned to The Groveland Four, one outfitted with Zeiss primes, the second with Fujinon 20-120mm Cabrio lenses. The 90-minute documentary was shot and edited in 4K. “The production took full advantage of the dual native ISOs of 800/5000, as we were shooting several of the recreations at night, some lit only with car headlights,” notes Retherford. “Station management has been wowed by the camerawork, to the extent that our executive director would look at scenes and say, ‘That was shot with the LT, right?’” While production of The Groveland Four was the impetus for the VariCam LT purchase, the ultimate application for those cameras (as well as WUCF’s several AG-DVX200 4K handhelds) is for the station’s 12-person production team, responsible for shooting WUCF’s six local shows. While WUCF is capturing station IDs in 4K, its utility shooting format is AVCIntra 100/1080i. The editing platform for 4K and HD is Adobe Creative Cloud. WUCF-TV, operated by the University of Central Florida, is the region’s sole PBS member station, reaching an estimated population of 4.6 million people in its viewing area.

EVA 2.0 New updates to AU-EVA1 include RAW output, ALL-Intra recording, and more

At the end of March 2018, Panasonic released a free firmware upgrade for the AUEVA1 that enhances the camera’s recording capabilities, including ALL-Intra frame recording formats, RAW output, time-lapse recording, HD 4:2:2 interlaced formats, and more. “When the EVA1 was announced last summer, we promised a major expansion in its functionality in early 2018,” said Cinema Product Manager Mitch Gross. “EVA1 Version 2.0 fulfills that promise with features like RAW output and All-Intra recording, as well as with such unannounced, user-requested features as a 2K at 240fps RAW output and additional interlaced HD recording formats.”

EVA 2.0

Ver. 2.00, aka EVA 2.0, allows uncompressed RAW output via 6G SDI. Formats include 5.7K at 1fps to 30fps, 4K at 1fps to 60fps, and 2K at 1fps to 240fps. One of the key new features of EVA 2.0 is ALL-Intraframe (ALL-I) recordings, which offers 10-bit 4:2:2 at 400Mbps. Intraframe

recordings require less processing, enabling real-time editing on more cost-effective highperformance computers. And Version 2.0’s expanded recording capabilities include two additional interlaced codecs: 1920 x 1080, All-I, 10-bit 4:2:2, 59.94i/50i; and 1920 x 1080, LongGOP, 10-bit 4:2:2, 59.94i/50i. Other new features offered in EVA 2.0 include remote operation through 3rd party wired controllers that allows focus, iris and zoom control of Canon Compact Cine Servo zoom lenses (18-80mm and 70-200mm). Remote operation of these lenses will be available wirelessly through the EVA ROP application. Interval recording (time-lapse) is also now available for both LongGOP and ALL-I.

ProRes RAW

Panasonic recently announced that the EVA1 and the VariCam LT cameras will support ProRes RAW recording codecs through its RAW data output. Native support for ProRes RAW has been introduced in the latest edition of Final Cut Pro X, and Atomos has announced

that its Shogun Inferno and Sumo 19 monitor/ recorders will record in the new format. “Panasonic, Atomos and Apple have combined to deliver an astonishing set of features for endto-end RAW production – 5.7K30p, 4K60p, 2K240p in 10-bit V-Log recorded on SATA SSDs in ProRes RAW on our Shogun Inferno or Sumo 19,” said Jeromy Young, CEO of Atomos. “We primarily used the EVA1 for ProRes RAW launch testing - it’s the best RAW solution for the price point on the market today.”

Netflix Approved

In April, Netflix added the AU-EVA1 as an approved camera for Netflix original content. Under their strict “Specifications & Guides”, EVA1 joins the VariCam LT, VariCam 35, and VariCam Pure for cameras that meet Netflix’s requirements for image capture. Some of these requirements include having a true 4K sensor, a bit rate of at least 240Mbps, a minimum of 16bit Linear or 10-bit Log processing, and more. EVA1, with a $7,495 SLP, is an affordable tool for both high-end production and distribution.


Website: If you would like to subscribe to Shot On VariCam, please email us at To learn more about demoing a Panasonic cinema camera, email us at