Emmy Award-winning Director of Photography Jay Lafayette selected seven VariCam 35 4K cameras and two VariCam LT 4K camcorders for the live shoot of Steve Martin and Martin Short's upcoming Netflix special, An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, recorded at Greenville, SC's Peace Center Concert Hall earlier this year.
In the special, the longtime pals and comic icons share quips, musical numbers and conversations about their lives in show business. The Netflix original special begins airing this Friday, May 25.
For the past two years, the VariCam 35 has been Lafayette's camera of choice to shoot numerous Netflix comedy specials with such headliners as Dana Carvey, Tracy Morgan, Fred Armisen, Jim Jeffries, Norm Macdonald and many more. Late last year, the DP also used VariCam 35s for NBC's A Pentatonix Christmas Special, featuring the popular a capella singing group.
Lafayette's introduction to the VariCam 35 was through his colleagues at VER's Television and Cinema Division. “I was very curious about the 35's capabilities and, with several Netflix projects pending, I needed to shoot true 4K,” the DP recounted. “I loved the image right out of the box—it was much more cinematic than other 4K option.”
“Having the option of a native ISO 5000 is invaluable for these comedy specials, which are almost always shot in a live performance environment with paying audiences,” Lafayette said. “We can't make things brighter in the theatres and undermine the audiences' experience. Having such a clean image to work with at that exposure index is a game changer.”
Lafayette noted that he always hires a DIT on these live performance productions, and routinely performs a thorough first pass color grade on set. “Another incredibly useful asset of the camera is the Panasonic ROP, which enables the remote operation of each camera from a central location. This gives us full control of iris, roll, cut—every menu item—from the video village,” he said.
The DP typically uses between seven to 12 VariCam 35s to shoot a stand-up performance, and often adds one or two VariCam LT 4K camcorders for Steadicam work. His lensing selections vary from project to project, but his go-to choices are often Fujinon Premiere and Angenieux zoom lenses.
For more information about DP Jay Lafayette, visit http://www.jaylafayette.com/
About the VariCam 35
Panasonic’s VariCam 35 camera/recorder is an unparalleled tool for high-end filmmaking, commercials and episodic production as well as live 4K events. The camera provides superb image handling in multiple formats ranging from pristine 4K RAW to more practical AVC codecs for 4K, UHD, 2K, HD and HD ProRes capture. Several assets set the VariCam 35 apart from other high-end cinematography cameras, including dual native ISOs of 800 and 5000, allowing DPs to realize incredible image quality in extremely low light situations; its ability to record three simultaneous video formats (4K + 2K + Proxy, or UHD + HD + Proxy); an optional high-speed 4K uncompressed RAW recorder (CODEX) that will capture uncompressed 4K VariCam RAW (V-RAW) at up to 120fps; internal AVC-Intra 4K / 2K / HD recording to 120fps; support for an ACES workflow for full fidelity mastering of original source material; and in-camera Color-Grading via CDLs / 3D LUTs.
For more information about Panasonic VariCam cinema and high-speed cameras, visit us.panasonic.com/varicam, or contact Panasonic at tel:877-803-8492tel:877-803-8492.
About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Newark, NJ-based Panasonic Corporation of North America is a leading technology partner to businesses, government agencies and consumers across the region. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation, and leverages its strengths in immersive entertainment, sustainable energy, automated supply chains and connected mobility to provide integrated solutions for B2B customers. Panasonic was featured in Fortune Magazine’s 2016 ranking of 50 companies that are changing the world and doing well by doing good. Specifically cited were its smart and sustainable technologies, including its contributions to smart cities and the electric vehicle revolution. Learn more about Panasonic’s ideas and innovations at na.Panasonic.com.