Panasonic VariCam Pure Tabbed for Production of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

The Panasonic VariCam Pure was selected as the primary camera for Crazy Rich Asians, the romantic comedy-drama which has been a worldwide box office hit.

The Warner Bros film was released in the UK on September 14, after spending 3 weeks #1 at the US box office. To date, it has already grossed more than $150 million. Directed by Jon Chu and produced by Tim Coddington, it is the first Hollywood studio film to feature Asians in leading roles since director Wayne Wang‘s 1993 film, The Joy Luck Club.

Crazy Rich Asians was shot by cinematographer Vanja Černjul, ASC, HFC with VariCam Pure cinema cameras, with the decision to use the cameras cemented by the picture quality from the 4K S35 sensor and the camera’s robust design.

“I knew the VariCam was the right tool for the challenges of Crazy Rich Asians because of its versatility and robustness, especially with the Codex VRAW2 recorder for VariCam Pure, ” says Černjul.

The story was filmed in 38 locations around Asia in just 42 days, as such both cast and crew were under pressure to deliver in line with a strict deadline.

“Our director Jon was very passionate about the project and told me he wanted Crazy Rich Asians to be the most beautiful film he ever made. He is a visual director and I was excited by the challenge,” says Černjul.

“The color palette for New York had to be contrasted with the tropical megacity of Singapore,” reveals Černjul. “Within Singapore, there were different cultural and socio-economic environments that also needed visual distinction. I am very happy how coordinated we all were despite a very short prep. We looked at a lot of classic Hollywood romantic comedies from the genre’s heyday, specifically because we didn’t want Crazy Rich Asians to look anything like that. We wanted a timeless cinematic look for the film.”

Černjul had worked with the VariCam 35 on a previous project and was impressed by the dual native ISO settings on the camera which gave the DoP increased flexibility in order to meet the tight filming deadlines. “I felt comfortable mixing different ISO settings even inside a single scene. It was liberating not being held hostage by light levels from practical sources.”

“We are pleased to see the high-quality and versatility of VariCam Pure being realized by major production companies like Warner Bros,” says Sivashankar Kuppusamy, Panasonic. “We believe the VariCam range has the capability to free filmmakers to concentrate on telling the right story, safe in the knowledge that the technology will simply work.”

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters