Theo Van de Sande, ASC Shoots Bad Santa 2, Upcoming Holiday Comedy, With Panasonic VariCam 35 4K Cinema Camera/Recorder

Award-winning cinematographer Theo Van de Sande, ASC recently concluded shooting Bad Santa 2, the follow-up to the raucous comedy hit Bad Santa, with the Panasonic VariCam 35 cinema camera/recorder. He also used the new compact 4K VariCam LT cinema camcorder on select scenes.

Bad Santa 2, directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday), stars Billy Bob Thornton (television series “Fargo,” Sling Blade, Simple Plan, Bandits), who reprises his signature Golden Globe-nominated role as Willie Soke, and Golden Globe and Emmy winner Kathy Bates (Misery, Titanic, Dolores Claiborne), who plays Willie’s foul-mouthed, tough-as-nails mom Sunny. Miramax and Broad Green Pictures have partnered to co-finance and co-produce the film with Broad Green handling U.S. theatrical distribution, which is set for November 23, 2016.

Van de Sande has the distinction of being the first cinematographer to have shot a narrative project with the VariCam 35, and to date has used it on four television pilots and a feature film. Shortly after finishing principal photography on Bad Santa 2, he assumed the Director of Photography role in the ABC Freeform series “Guilt,” again shooting with the VariCam 35.

The cinematographer was awarded the Golden Calf (the Dutch Oscar) for Best Cinematography twice. Among his many U.S. feature productions are Blade, Crossing Delancey, Volcano, Tuesdays with Morrie, Wayne’s World and Big Daddy.

“The VariCam 35 has become my first and only choice for 4K digital cinema and UHD, even if the studio or network requests HD or 2K only,” Van de Sande said.  “At this moment, it is the best and most future-proof camera out there.” 

“I again was fortunate to be among the first to use the VariCam LT, which I employed for some action scenes in Bad Santa 2, which I never could have shot with my larger VariCam 35,” he added. “The LT fitted perfect into our existing 4K workflow without any correction, and with the ability to use the same lenses and accessories.”

“Apart from a tremendous dynamic range of 14-15 stops, 4:4:4 color space, an incredible native, almost noiseless 5000 ASA setting, real film-like color representation and skin tones, I discovered during our recent Bad Santa 2 shoot in Montreal that our uncovered Varicam 35 withstood more than 18 degrees below zero Fahrenheit while shooting exterior night scenes: most equipment fails under those circumstances,” Van de Sande noted.

“The VariCam 35 has the right combination of tools for the modern DP: easy interface, rugged sports/ENG heritage, extremely efficient data/memory handling with Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA codec, two native ISO settings 800/5000, ergonomic design, in-camera post-production ready (dual 4K /2K recording) and a timesaving ND wheel (3x2stops),” the cinematographer said.

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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.

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. 

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