Multiple Panasonic Cameras Help The University of Salford Educate Future Filmmakers

The University of Salford has invested in Panasonic camera technology to help educate the next generation of filmmakers. The students are using a range of Panasonic VariCam, Eva1, and Lumix GH5 cameras to enable them to produce their short films for the course, which aims to develop multi-disciplined filmmakers.

The University of Salford’s School of Arts and Media, partially located in the MediaCity UK campus and surrounding areas, is home to an international hub for technology, innovation, and creativity. It was an ideal location for the introduction of its BA (Hons) Film Production undergraduate course, set up three years ago to offer students hands-on filmmaking experience.

The university chose Panasonic to provide students with production cameras because they were already being readily used for high-end feature, drama, natural history, and documentary production, as well as popular Netflix Original series’ such as Ozark, After Life, and Orange is the New Black.

“The Film Production degree takes a holistic approach to learning, with the mixture of practice and theory intended to provide our graduates with all the skills they need to succeed in the production industry,” says Janan Yakula, Lecturer in Film Production at The University of Salford. “As the course is designed to lay the foundation for film making, we needed a professional filming tool that would also be an educational tool.”

“Panasonic’s line of cameras work very successfully as an educational tool from the students perspective because they can seamlessly intermix footage from the EVA1, VariCam LT, and 35 footage, particularly in 10-bit 2K modes,” says Steven Wyatt, Academic Fellow for Film Production. “The uniform color science and V-Log option allows students to adapt the lineup to a wide range of shooting conditions.”

The uniformity of the Panasonic menu system allows students to be familiar with the multitude of cameras, increasing their overall confidence when moving between the camera systems. Commenting on the benefits of the Panasonic range for editing and grading in post-production, Steven added, “The option for inputting Panasonic’s custom LUTs courtesy of its website allow in-class discussions on setting up looks for specific tasks. For example, the Hi-Con Black and White LUT has been a great tool for displaying and deconstructing lighting for Black and White in-class, as students can view the output of the camera in black and white, but still preserve the log signal for grading later.”

Another feature of the range is a dual native ISO of 800 and 5000. Yakula added, “Features such as dual-native ISO become a crucial aspect of the students final year projects when there is not necessarily any budget available to support further lighting.” This makes the kit highly compatible with conventional film workflows, so that students can easily adapt to the digital production cameras and maintain the fundamentals of film making.

The University of Salford concluded its first final-year undergraduate intake with an inaugural awards ceremony, where each team presented its short films. The majority of the films used a mixture of the Panasonic VariCam 35 and LT, and EVA1 cameras. Following the awards, many students are now pitching their films to film festivals, such as Edinburgh and Leeds, to continue their journeys into the world of film making.