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Swilly Girl promo gets Soho screening

Swilly Girl, a drama promo for a feature film by Peter Nicholson and Nick Dance BSC, was debuted at the Soho Hotel, on Monday 13th July.

The 4K test shoot for Swilly Girl was conducted on a Panasonic VariCam35, and was produced on a small budget in and around the Plymouth area.

The event, organised by the post-house OnSight, saw around 65 DOPs, producers and camera operators in attendance, from the BSC, ACO & GTC, to see the footage and ask questions about the 4K camera which Panasonic is aiming at drama and feature films, in addition to its more regular natural history and sports heritage.

Nick Dance, the Director of Photography, gave a running commentary of the shot selection, many of which used only available light and the VariCam’s secondary native 5,000 ISO. “We shot a running scene through the park at twilight which would normally be impossible to shoot with available light at that kind of time with any other camera. But the VariCam 35 has two native ISO settings, 800 and 5000, so I selected 5000.

“What was amazing about it was I could see more through the viewfinder than with my eye. I really don’t know how Panasonic achieve this. When we projected it at the grade we were astonished how clean it was with just a tiny amount of grain. It had a lovely texture too, perfect for the thriller. If you use the 800 ISO option and dial-in an ISO say of 4000, it’s very noisy, but as soon as you switch to the second native setting of 5000, the noise disappears.

“Peter deliberately chose scenes he thought would test the camera to its limits,” continued Nick Dance. “The promo includes exterior day and night, interior day and night and slow-mo. Going in to the grade was an exciting, but anxious moment. The images looked superb and incredibly filmic, not harsh at all. The VariCam is a very forgiving camera that reproduces skin tones faithfully and has a pleasing colour palette.”

Panasonic Group Manager Nigel Wilkes, said, “What Peter and Nick have produced looks superb. It was a great test for the camera and positions the VariCam perfectly for the drama market.”

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