Picture Canning helps Britannia make history that stirs the soul

By 18th January 2019 No Comments

Leica Summilux-C, vintage Zeiss Superspeeds, Cooke Panchro/i Classics – All four blocks of Sky’s major hit show rent kit from Picture Canning

Playing our part in writer Jez Butterworth and the Britannia team’s dramatic retelling of British history – a perfect way to top off a memorable year for Picture Canning. One which included working on two other major dramas – the award-winning Peaky Blinders and an innovative dystopian story, The Feed.

Britannia’s second series is coming to Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV in 2019 and has been filming since April of 2018. It’s written by multi-award winning Jez Butterworth and stars David Morrissey, Zoë Wanamaker, and Mackenzie Crook.

DOPs on the show, including Si Bell, Ollie Downey, Frida Wendel, and Sam Heasman, have used kit from Picture Canning with stunning effect on the second series.

As well as Cooke Panchro/i Classics for the fourth block, Picture Canning has supplied Britannia with a wide range of other vital equipment throughout the shoot– including Leica Summilux-Cs and vintage Zeiss Superspeeds.

As Picture Canning’s Bookings Manager, Natasha Larkin, says, “The great thing about the Summilux set is it’s made of twelve lenses so they can easily split them between two cameras. They make it simple for DOPs to cover the action from different setups, in different ways, offering directors real variety and choice of action and angle when they get to the edit. Two RED Epic-W with 8K Helium Sensors were also supplied for a really impactful special effect. But you’ll have to watch the finished show to see how that turns out…”

Catherine Crawley, Digital Marketing Manager of Cooke Optics, told Picture Canning: “What better way to shoot history than, in part, with lenses that are inspired by it? Our new Panchro/i Classics recreate the same feel of the original with the advantage of modern glass and mounted for today’s cameras. The new lenses also come equipped with /i Technology for frame-by-frame digital information capture.”

The original Speed Panchros, designed by Horace W. Lee in the 1920s, were a cine prime lens that chromatically enhanced an image when filming under restricted illumination. The latest version comes with modern housing that makes them much lighter and more reliable.

Britannia series 1 launched early in 2018 to great critical acclaim. To date, that series has had more than 10 million downloads and views on demand through Sky set top boxes, the Sky Go app, and TV streaming service NOW TV. It’s also been the most downloaded Sky series in Ultra HD and has been sold in 206 territories worldwide.

Cameron Roach, the commissioning editor for drama at Sky, has commented: “Drama on Sky is about the unexpected, the visceral and the memorable, it’s about stories told in a way you won’t find anywhere else.”

Helping storytellers tell great stories. That, we like to think, is exactly what Picture Canning has always been about.


To discuss the hiring of Cooke Panchro/i Classics or any of your equipment needs, please contact our teams: Picture Canning Manchester, Picture Canning Newcastle or Picture Canning London: