Friday, June 3, 2011

Red Tails - January 2012 release. nearly 3 years after the shoot.

Thank God. Lucasfilms latest project! No, it doesn't involve Jar Jar Binks being converted into 3D, it is the film Red Tails. This is a film that has been on our radar since early 2009 when it went into production - but it has been shrouded in secrecy ever since.
Red Rails tells the story of the WWII Tuskegee Airmen who were the first African American pilots in the US Air Force. Astonishingly the budget is believed to only be somewhere between US$25 - $35million

This being the same George Lucas who in recent years has the same relationship with the green screen that TIm Burton has with Johnny Depp. They go hand in hand and one can't seem to make a movie with out the other. Therefore, the mouse pushers at ILM got a major work out.
I got to see some of the footage back in February when B Camera operator and camera advisor Philip Bloom made the trip down to Australia.
George Lucas' minions and HDSLR guru Philip Bloom have had an ongoing relationship over the past few years - Discussing the pros and cons of cameras such as Canons 1DmkIV, 5DmkII, 7D and Nikons D3s, trying to reduce the physical size and weight of high end production cameras to make them more manoeuvrable, faster and easier to set-up for shots and light enough to throw onto your shoulder for easy handheld work without the ergonomic dramas associated with HDSLRs.
Lucasfilm has taken Canons 5D mkII as a starting point and are in the process of taking the high end camera technology that you find in the Panavision Genesis or Cinealta cameras and wrapping them up into a smaller package. I think we may end up seeing cameras like Sonys F3 evolving to become everything you want in a serious production camera.

A few years ago when i was working on a film called Accidents Happen,
I was chatting with DoP Ben Nott about where he thinks digital cinema acquisition is heading. He said to me "In a few years we will just be filming on a camera which is the sensor in a box and everything else will just be plugged into it. Cameras will just be a little black box hanging off the end of the lens"
...oh, how right he was.


Pictured above is Philip Bloom with his camera assistant. No this isn't a low budget short film... this is B camera on Red Tails. A satchler tripod supporting a tiny camera, and they both cost about as much as each other - a sight becoming more and more common.

Lucasfilm's "Red Tails" on set Timelapse from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

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