Check out this cinema5D virtual interview with the LA-based cinematographer Kacper Skowron who recently filmed a short movie called “The Sit Down” for Panasonic with the LUMIX S1H paired with the Cooke Speeds Panchro S2 anamorphic lenses. What does he have to say about working with this camera?
Last year, Panasonic unveiled its flagship mirrorless camera for filmmakers – the LUMIX S1H. This full-frame camera is capable of recording in up to 6K resolution in 10-bit color depth and it offers some very useful features including the 3:2 mode for anamorphic lenses. To refresh the memory about this camera, make sure to check our articles – First Look with Full Specs & Details, S1H Lab Test, and the S1H Review.
Nino did a virtual interview with the cinematographer Kacper Skowron who is based in Los Angeles. Kacper recently filmed a short movie called “The Sit Down” for Panasonic with the LUMIX S1H. What does he have to say about working with this camera?
Shooting a Short Movie with the Panasonic LUMIX S1H
As Kacper told us, he mostly shoots full-length feature films and occasionally documentaries and short films. He never worked with Panasonic cameras before on a movie, but he heard many good things about their cinema cameras, like the Varicam line, so he was excited when Panasonic approached him to shoot a short movie with the S1H.
He shot “The Sit Down” together with the director David C. Smith during only six hours. It was a basic script featuring two men having a confrontational conversation sitting in a cafe – so there was only one location. As Kacper told Nino, the first two shots of the movie (exterior with the pool and the shot with the french fries) were the most difficult to execute.
Kacper decided to shoot this film with a vintage and unique glass set – the Cooke Speeds Panchro S2 anamorphic lenses. The vintage anamorphic lenses kind of suppressed the overly sharp and not forgiving look of such a modern camera like the LUMIX S1H.
He shot the film with a very high ISO of 3200 with the S1H and he was very surprised how clean the image was. The very clean output at high ISO enabled Kacper to work with fewer lights, use a smaller crew, and be more flexible and faster on set. It would not have been possible to shoot the film so fast and with such a small crew if they used another camera that is not so so light-sensitive.
When it comes to lighting, they used many tungsten practical bulbs – they can be easily replaced, do not create a lot of heat, and they are consistent. In addition to those, the crew used three additional lights:
- 1-by-1 Astra bi-color LED panel
- Quasar Q5, Q10, Q20 Li-Ion LED Light tube
- 2-by-4 flexible LED panel, which was the largest light source they used
Important thing was that all lights were battery-powered and easy to operate and attach, the Quasars have magnets, so they can easily be attached where necessary. Both characters in the movie are hairless, so the light design had to be adjusted to that.
Would Kacper use the Panasonic LUMIX S1H again for his movies? As we were told, he likes to have safety options on set and to have smaller B- and C-cameras to complement the main large cinema A-camera on set. They are very useful for situations, where a small camera is vital to get a certain shot or where the camera may get damaged (he mentioned a situation where he had to jump in a pool with a camera to get a certain shot). For these cases, he would certainly use the S1H again as its 4:2:2 color space makes it much easier to match it with other cameras while grading.
Last, but not least, Nino asked Kacper what he has been up to lately during the COVID-19 pandemic. He decided to start a Youtube channel called It’s a Blissful Day that is focused on kindness and positivity as he was always attracted to these topics from the eastern philosophy.
What do you think about the short film? Do you like the look of the S1H paired with the vintage Cooke anamorphic glass? Did you work with the Panasonic S1H already? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.
Full disclosure: This interview has been financially supported and promoted by Panasonic. cinema5D however retained full editorial control on the content of the interview.