With the announcement that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be the first film to shoot on the RED Weapon 8K, I’ve received a lot of excitement from a lot of people. THANKS! However, I also get a lot of folks asking why we chose not to shoot on film, and it’s assumed we aren’t doing so because of the expense.
So, if you’re interested, here’s the deal.
When you’re shooting a film at the level of Guardians of the Galaxy, the cost of film vs. digital is negligible – for me it’s an aesthetic and creative choice.
Firstly, I believe when shooting on a format like the Red Weapon 8K or the Alexa 65, the amount of data is so massive – certainly more so than on a strip of film – that it gives you more freedom in production and post production to create exactly the film you want to create than actual film does. 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 (to do so would take a long time, but at least the knowledge comforts me). Many filmmakers look to essentially replicate the look of film, but I don’t share that interest. 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, one different from what the past has offered but equally beautiful – perhaps even more so. I respect many of the filmmakers who continue to shoot on film – and some of the most gorgeous movies of 2015 have been in that format. But I think sometimes that the love of actual film is based in nostalgia more than it is in objective beauty. Many filmmakers remember the films of their youth and want to replicate that magic. For me, I’m interested in being one of the many who help to create a new kind of magic that will usher the cinematic experience into the future. What will the children of today think of fondly with nostalgia?
And, yes, most filmmakers who have shot digital have underutilized the format. But with these new cameras their advantages are easier to see for everyone.
And there are three other reasons I chose this format:
1) It is easier to seamlessly incorporate massive amounts of visual, digital effects – including a digital tree and raccoon – into a digital base.
2) One of the ways I capture my actor’s performances is by doing massively long takes, over and over – sometimes up to an hour – much longer than your typical 11-minute reel of film. I find this a better way to capture the energy and rawness in a performance (and we get better outtakes of me yelling at Michael Rooker off-screen).
3) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be utilizing another new technologies I’m very excited about but can’t quite go into yet. But, 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 (which is also an amazing camera).
Have a wonderful day.
Personally I am happy that they are using new technology to deliver new shots that where not capable before. I think its a testament to Marvel Studios that they allow their Directors and Film crews to continue to push the limits on film technology. If every Marvel film was shot the same and looked the same we’d get bored of them.