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HomeGearPanavision 50th Anniversary: Allen Daviau interview

Panavision 50th Anniversary: Allen Daviau interview

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Allen Daviau, ASC
Interviewed by Carl Kozlowski

“I first went to Panavision for an equipment package in ’79 with my first TV movie for MTM Enterprises. I had just got into the union. We were going to Wisconsin for a TV movie and they helped me get a special lens for the picture. I was immediately attached to the people. Finding out what customers need and making them happy has always been their philosophy.
“I started with basic camera package systems, and continued to evolve from the original Panaflex, through Gold and now Platinum Panaflex. Plus other systems like Panastar, Millennium, Primo lenses. They talk to cinematographers, operators and assistants and ask them what they need, and then they develop the camera systems to make cinematographers and crews happy.
“The Primo lenses to me have been one of the great achievements of anything in cinematography—so resistant to flare that they change the way you conceive of photography for film. Since they were introduced in the ’80s they have continued to evolve into some of the best in the history of motion pictures.
“It’s also been great in recent years to see Panavision evolve with digital cameras. The fact that they’ve worked so hard with Sony to develop digital photography and be pioneers is great. I just shot a test with the Genesis digital camera system, and it’s certainly the best system I’ve seen.
“Panavision listens to people who make pictures, finds out what we need and then develops things accordingly.”

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