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DP Luke Sauer Shoots Upcoming ‘Rodeo Horror’ Flick Lasso With Panasonic VariCam 35 4K Cinema Camera/Recorders

Director of Photography Luke Sauer has completed shooting the upcoming feature Lasso with Panasonic VariCam 35 cinema camera/recorders. Currently in post-production, the film is slated for an early 2017 release.

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Lasso, a “survive the night” thriller directed by Evan Cecil, centers around senior community center workers Kit (Lindsey Morgan) and Simon (Andrew Jacobs), whose lives are turned upside when they find themselves fighting to stay alive against a group of bloodthirsty cowboys from the local rodeo. DP Sauer is a veteran of reality television production, including “Wives with Knives” and “I (Almost) Got Away with It.”  Lasso is his first feature project.

The movie was shot on location this spring on farm and ranch lands in northern California; the pro-duction rented a pair of VariCam 35s from Alternative Rentals (Los Angeles, CA).

Sauer is an experienced Panasonic camera shooter, having worked with previous generations of Panasonic HD camcorders, notably the AJ-HDX900 and original tape-based VariCam, which he praised for its “color representation and overall image.” 

“I was intrigued by the VariCam 35’s native 5000 ISO, specifically because we would do roughly 85% of our shooting after dark,” Sauer said. “Our schedule was very ambitious, and we would be shooting at night in woods, old barns and abandoned buildings: I wanted the confidence of having extra sensitivity at my disposal.”

“When I looked at the VariCam 35, the sensor technology seemed so much more advanced than other options; that in combination with the extreme low-light capability sold me,” he continued.

Sauer, who operated the A camera, shot in 4K AVC-Intra 4:4:4. Most of the shooting was done in ISO5000 rated at 2000-2500. Low-res HD proxies were captured in the sub-recorder, and used as rough cuts for dailies. The cameras were outfitted with a full complement of Leica Summicron prime lenses. 

“Overall, there was a very easy learning curve for me and our First AC: the ergonomics and layout of menus were all quite intuitive,” Sauer said. “The camera is well-balanced for handheld use—it never felt front-heavy.”

“We were especially impressed with the VariCam 35’s ability to handle mixed color temperatures: the natural representation of light was aesthetically very pleasing,” he added.

For more information about the DP, visit

About the VariCam 35

Panasonic’s VariCam 35 camera/recorder is an unparalleled tool for high-end filmmaking, commer-cials and episodic production as well as live 4K events. The camera provides superb image han-dling 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 cin-ematography cameras, including dual native ISOs of 800 and 5000, allowing DPs to realize incred-ible 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; in-ternal 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 professional video products, visit or contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492.

About Panasonic Corporation of North America

Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and solutions for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal 

North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In Interbrand’s 2014 annual “Best Global Green Brands” report, Panasonic ranked number five overall and the top electronics brand in the report. As part of continuing sustainability efforts, Panasonic Corporation of North America relocated its headquarters to a new facility, adjacent to Newark Penn Station in Newark, NJ.  It is the first newly constructed office tower in Newark to earn both LEED Platinum and Gold certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council. Learn more about Panasonic at


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