The eye of a master

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For his upcoming Indo-american feature film, ‘Sin’, celebrated cinematographer-director-producer, Santosh Sivan, used Panasonic Varicam to capture cinematic storytelling in an engaging fashion

Noted cinematographer, film director and producer Santosh Sivan is known as a stickler for details. This is evident from the quality of his films – from Roja, Dil Se, Ravaan, Before the Rains to Lies We Tell, where he was the cinematographer. A founder member of the Indian Society of Cinematographers, Sivan is the only Indian cinematographer who is a member of American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). Sivan is also particular about the equipment he uses to capture the images for each of his movies. For his upcoming Indo-American tri-lingual movie, ‘Sin’, he chose the Panasonic Varicam Pure. This film will be released in India in Hindi and regional languages, and in English for the international markets.

Santosh Sivan Productions is co- producing this project with Los Angeles-based produ-ction house, Invar Studios. The latter specialises in augmented and virtual reality as well as related advanced technologies, and requested to work with Sivan because of the cult following he has in India, especially as an ace cinematographer and director.

While using the Varicam, Sivan was impressed with Panasonic’s 4K monitor which comes with higher resolution and accurate colour judgement with LUT import.

Sivan shot ‘Sin’ using Varicam’s unique strengths, which include its high dynamic range of 14+ stops, low light sensitivity due to dual native ISO and also ability to provide high speed shots at 4K at 120 fps. While using the camera at low-light conditions, he also found the sensor to be sensitive enough to capture beautiful images. This helps to complete the project within the timeline.

As with all his other movies, there is a lot of buzz attached to the visual imagery that will come out in Sin. But anyone who has watched Sivan’s movies will know that they will be spellbinding without a doubt, especially now that he has versatile camera in Panasonic Varicam with features which aid low light photography


Sivan is the only Indian cinematogra-pher who is a member of the Ameri-can Society of Cinematographers (ASC); he is also a recipient of the Padmashri Award, and the Kodak Crystal Award (USA).

In addition, Sivan has won the Na-tional Award for best Cinematogra-pher for the following movies:

• Perumthachan (Malayalam/1991)

• Kalapani (Malayalam / 1996)

• Mohiniyattam (Malayalam / 1991)

• Iruvar (Tamil/1998)

• Dil Se.. (Hindi/1999)

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