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Can You Spot the HDSLR Shots in Lucasfilm's 'Red Tails' Trailer?

07.31.11 @ 1:26PM Tags : , , , ,

The trailer for Lucasfilm’s WWII fighter pilot drama Red Tails has been released, and the big budget, Sony F35-shot picture looks… well, not that enthralling, in my opinion. But there’s something of interest for low-budget DSLR shooters: at least five shots in the trailer were shot on a DSLR, according Philip Bloom, who was a second unit DSLR DP and camera operator on the film. Watch the trailer in HD and see if you can tell which shots were shot on DSLRs (specifically, the Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Canon 1D Mark IV):

Could you tell which shots originated on a DSLR? I couldn’t. Of course, it’s harder to evaluate the quality over the internet than it would be in a theater, so for a closer look download the 1080p version.

[via Philip Bloom, EOSHD]

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  • Andreas Lange on 07.31.11 @ 1:51PM

    The group shot at 1:18 is shot with dslr
    Most of the indoor shoots is with dslr, because of the depth of field and the excellent sharp and light image. bet most of those are shot with canon 1D Mark IV because of the extreme noise reduction during high iso values. wich would usually be the issue when shooting suc scenes.

  • This is going to be a wonderful film. The shot of Cuba at 1:08 is DSLR as well as the shot of Terrence Howard at 1:22. I love the fact that if this was never posted, the world would have never known just how well DSLR footage can cut in with footage from that of a Much Higher Priced Camera. I’m awaiting the day when I will go to the theatres to see a film fully shot on DSLR’s. I’m thinking about using DSLR’s for a film I will be Directing next year under Lakeshore Entertainment. Great post!

  • I Think the cockpit shots such as the one at 0:15 but honestly, I was so caught up in the story that I had to watch it 3 times to attempt to look for the dslr footage. I could be wrong though. Its definitely all about your story.

  • “This is going to be a wonderful film.”

    Famous last words. ;) Last good Cuba Gooding film was … when?

  • That quick glimpse of the messerschmidt 262 near the end was cool. I agree with all commenter above about how well the dslr footage splices in nicely.

  • Looks like a Nintendo 64 game….

  • im gonna friggin Love this movie!

  • For theatrical release, those DSLR footage will have to undergo a heavy and sophisticated “remastering” process, such as chroma upscaling, deblocking, dequantisize etc.

    also, adding fine grain will increase the perceived sharpness of the picture.

  • Hmmm, I can’t say I could see the differences between the DSLR and the F35. I suspect I would in the theatre though. But, permit me to cheat and use some logic.

    My first thought is they’d use the DSLR in a small space (a la House) or for low light. The small space here is the cockpit. However, there are SFX in all of those shots. I think the post house would prefer the consistency of a single camera. And, cockpit shots aren’t new…….they’ve been done with large film cameras in the past. Also, the lighting in the cockpit is similar to that of other green screen shots. Like the five pilots walking, which would definitley be shot on the F35.

    Now that leaves low-light. Are DSLRs better at low-light than the F35? I don’t actually know, but I doubt it. The scenes in the meeting room have more grain, but Cuba Gooding Jr. is big star and won’t have a “B” camera on him. Frankly, any shot with a close-up of actor with lines won’t be the “B” camera.

    So, nothing with stars in the shot, nothing with lines, nothing with green screen. So, that leaves the pilot’s meeting scene. I say the reaction shots to Gooding Jr’s speech are the DSLR shots…..with head nodding of several pilots. Of which, there happen to be five shots in the trailer.

  • Joseph Birch on 08.1.11 @ 5:32PM

    Here are the answers: http://youtu.be/H4xqrXcuTU0

    All close up stuff can be done with DSLR’s because the aliasing isn’t noticable in CU shots, but as you move to MS or LS the aliasing will kick in.

  • Alexander Miller on 08.2.11 @ 6:53AM

    How come no body makes a good WW1 movie? :/

  • @ alexander Miller: have you seen “A Very Long Engagement”?

  • AspectRatio235 on 08.4.11 @ 4:17PM

    The plane shots, while photoreal, look like toys or models to me. Hyperreal, like animation (which it is). Most likely a fault of the high-def format used for acquisition.

  • Most animated looking live action ever. For the computer game crowd!

  • Isn’t there already a film about the Tuskegee black squadron?

  • The trailer doesn’t give a real lot to go by, but I do think the low light scenes in the meeting room would give some indication of DSLRs ever increasing low light threshold. I think this movie is going to blow my socks off, about time someone acknowledged these pilots which first came to mind in ‘Hart’s War’

  • Shame that Star Wars looked more realistic.

  • George Rahmatoulin on 08.9.11 @ 6:00PM

    Philip Bloom wasn’t second unit camera operator and certainly wasn’t second unit DP.
    If you check the film credits he managed to sneak in as a DSLR advisor. Advise to who? The camera assistants…

    • HAHA! I love this comment, I fucking hate Phillip bloom, he makes himself out to be a DP. The guy gets sent to beautiful places and he happens to be there at golden hour with more than ridiculous setups and timed dollies. [edited, come on man]

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