The second season of “GunnyTime with R.Lee Ermey,” premiering this evening on the Outdoor Channel, was shot with Panasonic VariCam 35 4K cinema camera/recorders. The fully immer-sive, host-driven television series focuses on vintage and exceptional weapons and related tech-nology, and exploits the outsized personality of Ermey, former U.S. Marine Corps staff NCO and drill instructor, Golden Globe nominee for his role in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and vet-eran of more than 60 feature films.
Director/Director of Photography Hal Long, a longtime user of Panasonic P2 cameras, explained that both seasons of “Gunny Time” have been shot and finished in 4K, and air in HD on the Out-door Channel. “The producers (including Bill Rogin and Cole Klapman) are committed to having a 4K master for residual use,” Long said. “And for season two, I wanted a 4K camera that would de-liver better color accuracy and separation.”
The DP had previous experience with both the VariCam 35 and new VariCam LT 4K cinema camcorder. “It was apparent that the VariCam’s unparalleled separation of skin tones and excel-lent response to HDR situations gave us the best option to handle the beauty of our Arizona desert locations, the bright sun, beautiful landscapes, and also be flattering to our talent in the arid flats.”
Long had two VariCam 35s on location in Arizona in March and April, when the majority of the ma-terial for season two’s 11 30-minute episodes was shot. The VariCam 35s were the primary cam-eras throughout, with Panasonic’s AG-DVX200s 4K handheld camcorders used for wider shots, and Lumix DMC-GH4s utilized for detail and downrange acquisition.
Long outfitted the VariCam 35s with Fujinon 19-90 and 85-300 lenses. He shot in AVC-Intra 10-bit 4:2:2 4K in the main recorder and LongG25mbps in the sub-recorder. The proxy files were used to ingest for editing in Avid Media Composer, and the show is finished in 4K in DaVinci Resolve.
“Because so much of our action footage was shot during bright sunlight, we had to push many guest interviews and wrap-ups to the ‘golden hour’ and beyond, and then we accessed the cam-era’s ISO5000 setting,” Long said. “We also had a location shoot on an aircraft carrier, and again using the ISO5000 extreme low-light setting, we got gorgeous footage of jets taking off at sunset and even later.”
“Several of the VariCam 35’s features were very beneficial during our location work: the built-in ND filters, the menu structure, the Focus Assist (so useful in bright environments),” the DP contin-ued. “Altogether, the VariCam 35 produces one of the most beautiful and usable images of any camera today--the combination of sheer quality and value is pretty amazing.”
The Outdoor Channel earlier this year named “GunnyTime” its “Best New Series of 2015.” For more information about the show, visit http://www.outdoorchannel.com/show.aspx?show-id=28254. For information on DP Hal Long, visit www.hal-long.com.
About the VariCam 35
Panasonic’s VariCam 35 camera/recorder is an unparalleled tool for high-end filmmaking, com-mercials 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 uncom-pressed 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 cinema camera products, visit us.panasonic.com/varicam, 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 us.panasonic.com/news.