Panavision’s Dan Sasaki talks customizing lenses for Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

In my newest interview for Filmmaker Magazine, Panavision Senior Vice President of Optical Engineering Dan Sasaki talks being a second-generation member of the Panavision family, the storied history of the C Series anamorphics, and personalizing lenses for cinematographer Robert Richardson for use on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.

Here’s an excerpt:

Filmmaker: Do you have a favorite set of lenses that you wish got rented out more?
Sasaki: Oddly enough, I cannot say that I have encountered a situation in which any particular series has gone unnoticed or underutilized. The amount of content [being made now] has created a bit of a renaissance in which the art of cinematography has evolved into an adventure that I have not seen the likes of in my history at Panavision. Cinematographers are figuring out ways to maintain their authorship and carry their intent throughout the entire imaging chain. That includes experimenting with every type of lens we carry.

The Shot Behind the Shot: Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019)

Behind the scenes of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

(Above, photo by Andrew Cooper) Shooting an action scene from a fictional Rick Dalton flick in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. The behind the scenes pic is featured in the August issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which includes interviews with DP Robert Richardson, colorist Yvan Lucas, and gaffer Ian Kincaid. The story is currently only accessible in the print edition, but if you’re interested in such things I highly recommend subscribing. A two-year digital subscription is only $50.

Here’s Richardson on the film – his sixth with Tarantino – from the American Cinematographer piece:

“It’s about mortality, about the recognition of when we slowly begin to fade from a place in the spotlight to somewhere else. [It’s also] a celebration of a time period in Hollywood that was shifting – as Quentin has said, it is his love letter Hollywood.”

Check out more in the Shot Behind the Shot series here.