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Panavision 50th John Schwartzman interview

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John Schwartzman, ASC
Interviewed by Sam Molineaux
Cinematographer John Schwartzman, ASC, whose outstanding work on last year’s Seabiscuit won him top honors at the ASC awards and earned him an Oscar nomination, has been using Panavision his entire career.
“When I came out of film school Bob Harvey, my account guy, took me under his wing and treated me like I had won an Academy award, and that stuck with me,” says Schwartzman. “I feel part of their family, and that’s a wonderful feeling of security in this day and age.”
Schwartzman applauds the company for its open-mindedness and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty for its customers. “I can walk in and talk to any of them and say ‘Hey what about his idea?’ And their attitude is, ‘Yes, how can we help?’. To me it’s about service. If I’ve needed to change my schedule or make any kind of request, they’ve always been there for me.”
Although no one can actually own a Panavision camera, Schwartzman says he has used the exact same camera for the past eight years. It provides him with a level of security he likes.
“That kind of care is what I get from Panavision. And I know when I take the equipment onto the set it’s going to work and work right,” he says. “You can’t buy their equipment. It allows them to keep really good quality control.”
Schwartzman is currently shooting Meet The Parents sequel Meet The Fockers, directed by Jay Roach and featuring an all-star cast including Ben Stiller, Robert de Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand. Once again, Panavision gear is right there on the set with him.
“I have my set of tools that I’ve grown very familiar and comfortable with. I need those tools to be able to do the job,” he adds. “If someone said to me I couldn’t use Panavision equipment, I wouldn’t do the movie.”

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