When director James Gunn revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 would be the first movie shot with Red’s 8K Weapon camera, he triggered a bit of speculation: what prompted the move beyond the incredibly high resolution? You might have a better answer today. Red has posted a behind-the-scenes look at the movie that, to no one’s surprise, talks a lot about why the Vol. 2 team shot with such relatively exotic gear. And no, it’s not just about that picture quality.
As director of photography Henry Braham summarizes: the Weapon is a “large format” camera that’s simultaneously “tiny.” That let the crew shoot very detailed imagery regardless of the shot — important for a CG-heavy movie, since it maintains a consistently sharp look. They could use the same cameras for handheld close-ups or unusual rigs, such as a spider rig that flies along a wire. In short, they didn’t have to switch cameras or resort to convoluted setups.
The behind-the-scenes video is undoubtedly a puff piece meant to sell you on both the camera and the movie. However, it’s also a hint as to where movie technology is going. You can expect 8K digital cameras to become more commonplace, of course, but they also promise more elaborate cinematography that might have been difficult just a few years ago.