Marvel sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be the first film ever shot using the RED 8K WEAPON digital video camera. The film’s director, James Gunn, discussed the decision on Facebook, revealing why he believes digital video give him an advantage over using traditional film stock; Gunn shot the previous Guardians of the Galaxy movie using the Alexa 65.
Gunn wrote on Facebook:
“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).”
The 8K WEAPON, priced around $70,000 for the basic unit, uses a Vista Vision-sized 8192×4320, 35-megapixel sensor, and can shoot 75 frames-per-second at 8K resolutions in RAW and ProRes formats simultaneously.