With the Sony Venice having been on the market for almost 18 months, it has already racked up some impressive credits under its belt. From being a favourite of digital streaming site Netflix, to big Hollywood blockbusters like James Cameron’s Avatar 2 currently filming on it, there are now a lot of cinematographers and DOPs using the Sony Venice. We take a look at a few of them and see what filmmakers think of filming with Sony Venice.
Sex Education, 2019 (Netflix)
DOP Jamie Cairney (In the Loop, The Thick of It) explains how he needed a camera capable of handling a specific colour scheme with access to a variety of different lens options.
“Being Netflix, this show was always going to be digital. I like to think of myself as ‘format agnostic’ in that I always take time to choose the right system for the job and happily flit between film and digital cameras. Obviously, whatever system and workflow we ultimately used would have to be approved by and adhere to the uncompromising Netflix standards. Some people bemoan this because it means they can’t use the most ubiquitous digital camera in the world, but I agree with the stance Netflix has taken – it has its eyes on the future, not the past.
Although the camera has a 6K Full-Frame sensor, I was more interested in capturing in 4K. The bonus was, in this mode, Venice allows the use of any 35mm lens out there. I didn’t need expensive and scarce large format lenses or unusual mounts. I could pick up anything PL and pop it on. This opened up all the lens options in the world and, using the X-OCN ST codec, kept the data far more manageable than any other system shooting Raw at this resolution.”
DOP Jamie Cairney, Interview with Definition Magazine
Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick is the first feature film to be filmed on the Sony Venice. Chilean award-winning DOP Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi, Oblivion), who has previously used the Sony Venice to film the camera’s promotional short film, The Dig, was helming cinematography on the film.
“They’ve gone with the Venice for a number of reasons. One being the detachable sensor block – which allowed them to squeeze a previously inconceivable amount of image quality into the cockpits of these fighter jets (think of it as the fanciest dash mount you’ve ever seen). Another being the effective global shutter of the Venice (I’m still confused as to how it’s not a “global shutter”, but also not a “rolling shutter”, but whatever weird techiness lies behind it, it’s effectively a global shutter. And when you’re using things called the ‘CineJet’ to capture air-to-air footage, that’s apparently useful!”
DOP Claudio Miranda, comments taken from DVXuser thread
Skam France S3 & S4, 2019 (France Télévisions)
When deciding on what camera to shoot Season 3 & 4 of Skam France, the French adaption of the Norwegian original, cinematographer Xavier Dolléans (Les Ombres Rouges, Animal) picked Sony Venice as his camera of choice.
“We chose the Sony Venice camera paired with Cooke Panchro/i Classic lenses. The high sensitivity of the Sony Venice would be ideal for the many night scenes we had, and it also allowed us to shoot S35 or full frame. We shot season three mainly on S35 and switched to full frame for those specific ‘lonely’ sequences, and around three-quarters of season four was shot full frame.
I tested a variety of lenses, including old Cooke Speed Panchros which give qualities like imperfections on the edges and delicate diffusion on the faces. Coupled with the Venice, they seemed perfect in terms of image rendering for the look we wanted for this show”
Cinematographer Xavier Dolléans, interview with British Cinematographer