8K RED WEAPON Used For Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Image: Chuck Zlotnick (c) Marvel
Image: Chuck Zlotnick (c) Marvel

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

If you ask Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn what his motivation was to make the Quillian epic, he’ll tell you it’s all about creating memories for the next generation. And as some fans and critics call the Guardians series the new Star Wars, you’ve got the deliver the image. So Gunn turned to RED.

Thanks to the RED’s Vista Vision sensor, the 8K WEAPON was able to capture the epic scale of the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, and its storyline of Star-Lord finally meeting his father EGO. With sweeping space battles and grand alien landscapes, the WEAPON would have the fate of the series mounted on its cinematic shoulders.

Image Credit - DP Henry Braham
Image Credit – DP Henry Braham

But even with the larger sensor, cinematographer Henry Braham wasn’t bogged down by a large format size. In fact, he was able to set the WEAPON on a wide variety of mobile platforms and keep the camera moving. “[The RED WEAPON is] a large format camera, and yet it’s tiny,” Braham says. “the little, big camera. Perfectly counterintuitive.”

“When you’re shooting a film at the level of Guardians of the Galaxy, the cost of film vs. digital is negligible.” – Director James Gunn

Taking to his Facebook page in January 2016 to announce the decision to go digital with RED, Gunn wrote, “it’s an aesthetic and creative choice.” RED’s Jarred Land shared that feeling by saying that Marvel’s faith in the WEAPON 8K platform was, “a huge affirmation that RED’s investment in cutting edge technology continues to be justified.”

But even then, Gunn outlined three technical reasons why he chose to shoot on the RED WEAPON:

  1. Thanks to the large amount of data, the WEAPON workflow enables for a seamless incorporation of digital effects. And when you’re dealing with a film where the majority of the film has some sort of a digital component (including a living tree and a talking raccoon) that’s vital.
  2. It enables Gunn to shoot really long takes to capture the performances he’s looking for. Far longer than an 11 minute rebel of motion picture film. “I find this a better way to capture the energy and rawness in a performance,” Gunn said, “and we get better outtakes of me yelling at Michael Rooker off-screen.”
  3. Using newer technologies, Gunn needed a small footprint that still delivered the large screen image. The RED WEAPON is able to do that. “… for this technology, you need a camera the small size of the RED WEAPON – a film camera is too big, as is the Alexa 65.”

Gunn went on to outline how shooting in 8K provides so much data than film, that there’s plenty of room to manipulate the original image to dial in the exact look you want for any given image.

“That it gives you more freedom in production and post production to create exactly the film you want to create than actual film does,” Gunn wrote. “As anyone who has ever worked with me knows, I am a control freak. Such high resolution gives me the ability to control ever single bit of data.”

Gunn also says he never really felt the the temptation trying to make his movie look like it was shot on film.

“I believe that innovations in camera and shooting technologies as well as visual and practical effects gives us the ability to create a new aesthetic of film,” Gunn said, “one different from what the past has offered but equally beautiful – perhaps even more so.”

But at the end of the day the best part for me, after seeing it this weekend, was that the RED WEAPON was largely invisible. Often times as a fellow filmmaker, you watch a film thinking of how the camera captured it, but with Vol. 2, I was able to simply let the RED transport me to another galaxy, and simply enjoy the ride.

Source: Creative Cow

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