Tag Archives: Panasonic

DP David Tattersall on shooting Netflix’s Death Note

Based on the manga series of the same name by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note stars Nat Wolff as Light Turner, a man who obtains a supernatural notebook that gives him the power to exterminate any living person by writing his or her name in the notebook. Willem Dafoe plays Ryuk, a demonic god of death and the creator of the Death Note. The stylized Netflix feature film was directed by Adam Wingard (V/H/S/, You’re Next) and shot by cinematographer David Tattersall (The Green Mile, Star Wars: Episode I, II and III) with VariCam 35s in 4K RAW with Codex VRAW recorders.

Tattersall had previously worked with Wingard on the horror television series, Outcast. Per Tattersall, he wasn’t aware of the manga series of books but during pre-production, he was able to go through a visual treasure trove of manga material that the art department compiled.

Instead of creating a “cartoony” look, Tattersall and Wingard were more influenced by classic horror films, as well as well-crafted movies by David Fincher and Stanley Kubrick. “Adam is a maestro of the horror genre, and he is very familiar with constructing scenes around scary moments and keeping tension,” explains Tattersall. “It wasn’t necessarily whole movies that influenced us — it was more about taking odd sequences that we thought might be relevant to what we were doing. We had a very cool extended foot chase that we referred to The French Connection and Se7en, both of which have a mix of handheld, extreme wides and long lens shots. Also, because of Adam’s love of Kubrick movies, we had compositions with composure and symmetry that are reminiscent of The Shining, or crazy wide-angle stuff from A Clockwork Orange. It sounds like a mish-mash, but we did have rules.”

Dialogue scenes were covered in a realistic non-flashy way and for Tattersall, one of his biggest challenges was dealing with the demon character, Ryuk, both physically and photographically. The team started with a huge puppet character with puppeteers operating it, but it wasn’t a practical approach since many of the scenes were shot in small spaces such as Light’s bedroom.

“Eventually, the practical issue led to us using a mime artist in full costume with the intention of doing face replacement later,” explains Tattersall. “From our testing, the approach of ‘less is more’ became a thing — less light, more shadow and mystery, less visible, more effective. It worked well for this character who is mostly seen hiding in the shadows. It’s similar to the first Jaws movie. The shark is strangely more scary and ominous when you only get a few glimpses in the frame here and there — a suggestion. And that was our approach for the first 75% of the film. You might get a brief lean out of the shadows and a quick lean back in. Often, we would just shoot him out of focus. We’d keep the focus in the foreground for the Light character and Ryuk would be an out-of-focus blob in the background. It’s not until the very end — the final murder sequence — that you get to see him in full head-to-toe clarity.”

Tattersall shot the film with two VariCam 35s as his A and B cameras and had a VariCam LT for backup. He shot in 4K DCI (4096 x 2160) capturing VRAW files to Codex VRAW recorders. For lensing, he shot with Zeiss Master primes with a 2:39:1 extraction. “This set has become a favorite of mine for the past few years and I’ve grown to love them,” says Tattersall. “They are a bit big and heavy, but they open to a T1.3 and they’re so velvety smooth. With this show having so much night work, that extra speed was very useful.”

In terms of RAW capture, Tattersall tried to keep it simple, using Fotokem’s nextLAB for on-set workflow. “It was almost like using a one light printing process,” he explains. “We had three basic looks — a fairly cool dingy look, one that sometimes falls back on the saturation or leans in the cold direction. I have a set of rules, but I occasionally break them. We tried as much as possible to shoot only in the shade — bringing in butterfly nets or shooting on the shady side of buildings during the day. It was Adam’s wish to keep this heavy, moody atmosphere.”

Tattersall used a few tools to capture unique visuals. To capture low angle shots, he used a P+S Skater Scope that lets you shoot low to the ground. “You can also incorporate floating Dutch angles with its motorized internal prism, so this was something we did throughout,” he says. “The horizon line would lean over to one side or the other.” He also used a remote rollover rig, which allowed the camera to roll 180-degrees when on a crane, giving Tattersall a dizzying visual.

“We also shot with a Phantom Flex to shoot 500fps,” continues Tattersall. “We would have low Dutch angles, an 8mm fish eye look and a Lensbaby to degrade the focus even more. The image could get quite wonky on occasion, which is counterpoint to the more classic coverage of the calmer dialogue moments.”

Although he did a lot of night work, Tattersall did not use the native 5,000 ISO. “I have warmed to a new range of LED lights — the Cineo Maverick, Matchbox and Matchstix. They’re all color balanced and they’re all multi-varied Daylight or Tungsten so it’s quick and easy to change the color temperature without the use of gels. We also made use of Arri Skypanels. Outside, we used tried and tested old school HMIs or 9-light or 12-light MaxiBrutes. There’s nothing quite like them in terms of powerful source lights.”

Death Note was finished at Technicolor by colorist Skip Kimball on Blackmagic Resolve. “The grade was mostly about smoothing out the bumps and tweaking the contrast” explains Tattersall. “Since it’s a dark feature, there was an emphasis on a heavy mood — keeping the blacks, with good contrast and saturated colors. But in the end, the photographic stylization came from the camera placement and lens choices working together with the action choreography.

At Cine Gear, Panasonic shows 5.7K Super 35mm cinema camera

During Cine Gear this past weekend, Panasonic previewed the AU-EVA1, a new 5.7K cinema camera positioned between the Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K mirrorless camera and the VariCam LT 4K cinema camera. Compact and lightweight, the AU-EVA1 is made for handheld shooting, but is also suited for documentaries, commercials and music videos.

“For cinema-style acquisition, we realized there was a space between the GH5 and the VariCam LT,” said Panasonic cinema product manager Mitch Gross. “With its compact size and new 5.7K sensor, the EVA1 fills that gap for a variety of filmmaking applications.”

The EVA1 contains a newly designed 5.7K Super 35mm-sized sensor for capturing true cinematic images. By starting at a higher native resolution, the 5.7K sensor yields a higher resolving image when down sampled to 4K, UHD, 2K and even 720p. The increased color information results in a finer, more accurate finished image.

One of the key features of the VariCam 35, VariCam LT and VariCam Pure is dual native ISO. Using a process that allows the sensor to be read in a fundamentally different way, Dual Native ISO extracts more information from the sensor without degrading the image. This results in a camera that can switch from a standard sensitivity to a high sensitivity without an increase in noise or other artifacts.

On the VariCams, dual native ISO has allowed cinematographers to use less light on set, saving time and money, as well as allowing for a great variety of artistic choices. The EVA1 will include dual native ISO, but the camera is currently being tested to determine final ISO specifications.

The ability to capture accurate colors and rich skin tones is a must for any filmmaker. Like the VariCam lineup of cinema cameras, the EVA1 contains V-Log/V-Gamut capture to deliver high dynamic range and broad colors. V-Log has log curve characteristics that are reminiscent of negative film and V-Gamut delivers a color space even larger than film. The EVA1 will also import the colorimetry of the VariCam line.

Weighing only 2.65 pounds (body only) with a compact form factor (6.69” x 5.31” x 5.23”) and a removable hand-grip, the EVA1 can be used for efficient handheld shooting and can also be mounted on a drone, gimbal rig or jib arm for complex yet smooth camera moves. There will also be numerous mounting points and Panasonic is currently working with top accessory makers to allow further customization with the EVA1.

Also suited for indie filmmakers, the EVA1 records to lower-cost SD cards. The camera can record in several formats and compression rates and offers up to 10-bit 4:2:2, even in 4K. For high-speed capture, the EVA1 offers 2K up to 240fps. In terms of bitrates, you can record up to 400Mbps for robust recording. A complete breakdown of recording formats will be available at the time of the EVA1’s release this fall.

In terms of lenses, the camera uses a native EF-mount, allowing shooters access to the broad EF lens ecosystem, including dozens of cinema-style prime and zoom lenses from numerous manufacturers. Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) is employed to compensate for camera shake and blurring, which will help smooth out handheld or shoulder-mount shots on documentary or run-and-gun projects. Behind the lens mount, an integrated ND filter wheel in 2, 4 and 6 stops allows for precise exposure control. The EVA1 also allows the IR Cut filter to be swung out of the path to the sensor at the push of a button. Photographic effects and night vision imagery are possible with this control over infrared.

The EVA1 offers dual balanced XLR audio inputs and 4K-capable video outputs in both HDMI and SDI. In a future firmware upgrade, the EVA1 will offer 5.7K RAW output to third-party recorders.

The EVA1 will ship for just under $8,000 (body only).

 

Panasonic and Codex team on VariCam Pure targeting episodic TV, features

At IBC in Amsterdam, Panasonic is showing its new cinema-ready version of the VariCam 35, featuring a jointly-developed Codex recorder capable of uncompressed, 4K RAW acquisition.

The VariCam Pure is the latest addition to the company’s family of pro cinematography products. A co-production between Panasonic and Codex, it couples the existing VariCam 35 camera head with a new Codex V-RAW 2.0 recorder, suited for episodic television shows and feature films.

The V-RAW 2.0 recorder attaches directly to the back of the VariCam 35 camera head. As a result, the camera retains the same Super 35 sensor, 14+ stops of latitude and dual native 800/5000 ISO as the original VariCam 35.

Panasonic VariCam Pure“The new VariCam Pure camera system records pure, uncompressed RAW up to 120 fps onto the industry-standard Codex Capture Drive 2.0 media, already widely used by many camera systems, post facilities and studios,” said Panasonic senior product manager Steven Cooperman. “There is significant demand for uncompressed RAW recording in the high-end market. The modular concept of the VariCam has enabled us to meet this demand. We’ve also listened to feedback from cinematographers and camera operators and ensured that the VariCam Pure is rugged, compact and lightweight, weighing just 11 pounds.”

Codex will provide a dailies and archiving workflow available through its Production Suite. In addition, the Codex Virtual File system means users can transfer many file formats, including Panasonic VRAW, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHR.

Along with the original camera negative, frame-accurate metadata (such as lens and CDL data) can also be captured, streamlining production and post, and delivering time and cost savings.

The V-RAW 2.0 recorder for VariCam Pure is scheduled for release in December 2016 with a suggested list price of $30,000.

Panasonic offers compact 4K Super 35 VariCam LT

At an event held in LA at the Directors Guild Theater, Panasonic introduced the VariCam LT, it’s next-gen of 4K cinema cameras. The lightweight The VariCam LT camcorder features the super 35mm sensor and imaging capabilities that its VariCam 35 offers, but with reductions in size, weight and price.

Incorporating this identical imaging “DNA” in a more compact rendition, the VariCam LT (model AU-V35LT1G) delivers 14+ stops of dynamic range with V-Log, and cinematic VariCam image quality and color science, as well as the VariCam 35’s dual native ISOs of 800/5000.

Weighing in at just at under six pounds, the VariCam LT is suited for handheld, SteadiCam, jib, crane, drone, gimbal and overall cinema verité work. The VariCam LT will also target owner/operators, independent filmmakers, documentary makers and corporate productions.

The VariCam LT will be available at the end of March in two packages, with a suggested list price of $18,000 (body only) and $24,000 (body + AU-VCVF10G viewfinder).

The VariCam LT handles formats ranging from 4K, UHD, 2K and HD, and like the VariCam 35, is fully capable of High Dynamic Range (HDR) field capture. The new 4K camcorder offers Apple ProRes 4444 (up to 30p) and ProRes 422 HQ (up to 60p) support for HD recording, as well as Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family of advanced video codecs.

New codecs introduced in the VariCam LT include AVC-Intra LT and AVC-Intra 2K-LT, both of which are designed to offer capture rates up to 240fps in imager crop mode, ideal for sports and other fast motion footage.

The new camera features color management capabilities along with VariCam’s extended color gamut and support for the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) workflow, which allows for full fidelity mastering of original source material. The VariCam LT offers in-camera color grading, with the ability to record an ungraded 4K master along with all on-set grading metadata. A new color-processing feature is V-Look, which acts as a blend of V-Log and video, and allows filmic documentary acquisition without the same need for intense color grading.

The VariCam LT differs from the VariCam 35 in being a one-piece, short-bodied camcorder versus a two-piece camera head plus recorder. While the VariCam LT does not feature parallel sub-recording, it does have an SD slot for high-resolution proxy recording. Proxy files can be wirelessly uploaded via FTP, which facilitates wireless color grading. Variable frame rates are available with LongG6 recording.

There is one expressP2 card for all formats, including high frame rate and HD/2K/UHD and 4K recording (the 256GB expressP2 card can record up to 90 minutes of 4K/4:2:2/23.98p content). RAW output from SDI will likely be supported by a firmware upgrade in early summer 2016.

The VariCam LT features an EF mount (vs. the VariCam 35’s PL mount), suitable for the wide array of lenses available for smaller cameras. The EF mount can be switched out to a robust standard PL mount, expanding the range of compatible lenses that can be used. The control panel can be separated from the camera body to facilitate realtime control and easy menu access. The camcorder has a production-tough magnesium body to assure durability and reliability in challenging shooting locations.

Other features new to the VariCam LT are power hot swap, IR shooting (further enhancing the camcorder’s extreme low-light capture at ISO 5000), 23.98 PsF output and image presets as scene files.

Among the camcorder’s top-level production assets are ND filters (CLEAR, 0.6, 1.2, 1.8), an optional OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with optical zoom functionality, 24-bit LPCM audio for in-camera audio master recording, Focus Assist, anamorphic lens de-squeeze, special REC functions (PreRec, interval, one-shot), IP control via Panasonic’s AK-HRP200 camera remote controller, and built-in GPS.

Pro interfaces include 3G-HD-SDI x 3 (SDI-OUT X 2 and VF), LAN, genlock in, timecode in/out, USB2.0 Host and USB2.0 Device (mini B) and three XLR inputs (one 5-pin, two 3-pin) to record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio. In addition, its flexible interfaces allow use of the Panasonic AU-VCVF10G viewfinder, as well as third-party viewfinder solutions.

IBC 2015 Blog: Rainy days but impressive displays, solutions

By Robert Keske

While I noted in my first post that we were treated to beautiful weather in Amsterdam during the first days of IBC 2015, the weather on day four was not quite as nice… it was full of rain and thunderstorms, the latter of which was heard eerily through the RAI Exhibition Centre.

CLIPSTER

The next-gen Clipster

I spent day three exploring content delivery and automation platforms.

Rohde & Schwarz’s next-gen Clipster is finally here and is a standout — built on an entirely new hardware platform. It’s seamless, simplified, faster and looks to have a hardware and software future that will not require a forklift upgrade. 

Colorfront, also a leader in on-set dailies solutions, has hit the mark with its Transkoder product. The new HDR mathematical node is nothing less than impressive, which is nothing less than expected from Colorfront engineering.

Colorfront Transkoder

Colorfront Transkoder

UHD and HDR were also forefront at the show as the need for higher quality content continues to grow, and I spent day four examining these emerging display and delivery technologies. Both governments and corporate entities are leading the global community towards delivery of UHD to households starting in 2015, so I was especially interested in seeing how display and content providers would be raising the standards in display tech.

Sony, Samsung and Panasonic (our main image) all showcased impressive results to support UHD and HDR, and I’m looking forward to seeing what further developments and improvements the industry has to offer for both professional and consumer adoption.

Overall, while its seemed like a smaller show this year, I’ve been impressed by the quality of technology on display. IBC never fails to deliver a showcase of imagination and innovation and this year was no different.  

New York-based Robert Keske is CIO/CTO at Nice Shoes (@NiceShoesOnline).

Atomos offering lightweight Ninja Assassin for 4K/UHD

Atomos, makers of the established and high-end Shogun, have added the Ninja Assassin to its product line. The Assassin records 4K UHD and 1080 60p and is a 10-bit 4:2:2 recording solution for Apple Final Cut X, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro workflows. Atomos describes it as a lightweight and affordable add-on to existing DSLR, mirrorless, video and cinema cameras. It’s available now.

The Ninja Assassin offers the screen size, screen resolution, advanced recording capability and scopes of the company’s premium Shogun model, but without the 12G/6G/3G-SDI connectivity, RAW recording functionality, in-built conversion, Genlock and balanced XLR audio connections. The main benefit — a 10 percent weight reduction to 430g and a $1,295 (US) price point, including soft case, SSD caddy and AC adaptor.

The Assassin targets 4K DSLM cameras such as the Sony a7S and a7R II, Canon XC10 and Panasonic GH4. The Ninja Assassin has HDMI focused audio/video connections and ships with a brand new red Armor Bumper for increased protection.

Key features include:
• Recording of more accurate, higher resolution colors (4:2:2, 10-bit) direct to visually lossless editing formats.
• No recording time limits.
• Professional shot setup on a calibrated high-resolution 7-inch monitor with more than 320 pixels per inch.
• Anamorphic de-squeeze — a good companion for Panasonic’s GH4 and affordable anamorphic lenses/adaptors.
• Easy to use pro monitoring tools, including focus peaking assist, 1:1 and 2:1 zoom with smooth image pan and scan, False Color (skin tones), Zebra and Waveform/Vectorscopes for in-depth image analysis.
• Pre-Roll cache recording up to 8 seconds of HD or 2 to 3 seconds of 4K.
• Video timelapse with up to 10 different sequences, speed ramp and scheduled start and end times over 24 hours.
• 3D LUTs allow creation of a specific signature look. The 50:50 split / LUT on / LUT off view allows users to compare effects and make creative decisions on the fly.
• Playback for instant review and editing on the fly with a choice of 10 tags in both record and playback mode.

NAB: sweet, sweet pictures

By Tim Spitzer

I had the very enjoyable experience of seeing footage captured on two of the newest large sensor camera’s being introduced to the marketplace: Panasonic’s Varicam 35 and Arri’s Arri 65.

Starting with the latter, a “for rental only” camera that captures 6.5K images only in ArriRaw — these are the most beautiful images I have seen captured on a digital sensor. In a brilliantly inspired demo, close-up images of the faces of Arri employees, shot without make-up as Continue reading

Panasonic intros its first 4K cinema camera, more

New York — At its annual pre-NAB press conference, Panasonic gave a glimpse at some of the products they will be showing at NAB this year, including the company’s first 4K cinema camera.

The VariCam 35 features a new super 35mm MOS sensor for native 4096 (17:9) 4K images, and AVC-Ultra in multiple formats, including 4K, UHD, 2K and HD, and 4K Raw.

The 4K camera head is separate but dockable to the recording module. It’s expandable with Continue reading

Panasonic’s LCD 4K/2K/HD monitor for cinema production available this month

Newark, New Jersey — Panasonic’s new BT-4LH310, a 31-inch 4096×2160 resolution LCD monitor for 4K/2K monitoring in the field, in an edit room or on set, is shipping this month with a suggested list price of $28K.

Other key applications for the 4LH310 include use in a video village for live viewing of 4K cameras and graphic devices, as well as of 4K or HD dailies. The 4LH310 is a good fit for post facilities to accept as well, says Panasonic (www.panasonic.com/broadcast), allowing them to take on more 4K work, including editing, screenings and dailies, since this 4K monitor offers an excellent size-to-price value, in contrast to using a much larger, more expensive 4K projector.

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