August 18, 2017

Watch: The RED 8K Cinematography of 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 No film School Video Esssay No Film School Justin Morrow
The films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are known for their terrific cinematography, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is no different, as this supercut demonstrates. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the first feature film to be shot in 8K, using the RED 8K WEAPON camera. Capable of recording full 8K footage (8192 x 4320) at 75 frames per second, in 2.40:1 widescreen, the camera is, in the words of Wired U.K., "a beast."

Indeed. As this supercut from joshboy64 demonstrates, the film delivers quite a visual jolt, even on the (really) small screen. Though all that would mean nothing without an entertaining story to tell (and the critical consensus on this one is pretty good).

 

Set to the soundtrack's "Southern Nights" by recently deceased country megastar Glen Campbell, this supercut showcases the visual power of the film's cinematography. In an interview with Digital Trends, the film's D.P., Henry Braham, explained the aesthetic: "In terms of the visual style, the intent was to make a very rich, adventurous, colorful-looking movie that is really designed for the big screen....It's intended to be a theatrical event."

And since the RED 8K is a large-format camera with a small footprint, Engadget noted that the crew was able to "shoot very detailed imagery regardless of the shotimportant 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."

Though celluloid is far from moribund— Dunkirk is the most recent example of a blockbuster shot on 70mm— for VFX-heavy films like GOTG 2, it makes increasing sense to shoot in digital. It especially makes sense to shoot in 8K, even if 8K projection is not exactly ubiquitous as of yet

"If footage is captured at 8K," Engadget continues, "quality can be maintained at a high level through effects, post-production, and final color correction. When it's finally projected at 4K digital, it should be nearly as sharp as when it was shot. Film, on the other hand, has to be transferred to a digital format via a telecine machine before it can be used in a digital post process."

For a perspective on some of the amazing VFX work that went into Guardians, check out these pieces from fx guide, which highlight the work of VFX houses like Animal Logic and Lola VFX. And remember, of course, none of this would be worth writing about if all of the whiz-bangs weren't in service of a story people cared about.       

Your Comment

10 Comments

For those of you who think that beyond 4K is the futur. Please take a look a this great research on resolution from ASC Steve Yedlin.

https://theasc.com/articles/a-clear-look-at-the-issue-of-resolution

August 18, 2017 at 12:17PM, Edited August 18, 12:17PM

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Alexis Marcoux
Director of photography
396

Beyond 4K is absolutely the future for VFX heavy movies.

August 18, 2017 at 3:12PM

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Joshua Bowen
Editor
445

Beyond 4k, very strong codecs are as important for heavy VFX. Dynamic range, color space are also as important. We have enough resolution at 4k! Time to move on. Who really care about 8k? I just saw the next Blade Runner 2049 trailer in the theatre and it look totally amazing. It was shot in 3.4K and is to my opinion, looking way better then the Gardians of the galaxy. Time for camera company to concentrate on other part of the image quality. Great HDR would be one of them for exemple. You should check out the link I put. It very interesting.

August 19, 2017 at 1:49AM

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Alexis Marcoux
Director of photography
396

Marvel owns EVERY DROP of their success to the VFX people.

August 18, 2017 at 12:20PM

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Luc Beloix
Director Of Photography
133

"The films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are known for their terrific cinematography"

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

That was kind funny.

August 18, 2017 at 1:22PM, Edited August 18, 1:22PM

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Henry Barnill
Director of Photography
629

I may dig some of the MCU flicks, but cinematography is NOT their strong points. Digital photography through VFX to a degree, sure. However beyond that, it's polished, albeit not extraordinary.

August 18, 2017 at 3:27PM

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When the only real thing in the shot is an actor and maybe the floor, is it really cinematography? I don't know.

August 18, 2017 at 4:13PM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
956

There are still cinematography choices to be made with CG. In fact, it's the same as live action only physically easier to set up... I guess. You still need to construct the shot with all the same ways of thinking.

August 18, 2017 at 6:16PM

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bp
315

According to IMDB, this film had a 2K master...

August 19, 2017 at 12:40AM

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Marshall Rosales
Director of Photography
28

great cinema lost on the internet resolution, but the film ran out of script toward the end, oh well, the first was a classic

August 25, 2017 at 1:58PM

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emilio murillo
film/videomaker
79

"Engadget reported" "Engadget noted" "Engadget continues".... I miss when NFS had a perspective and opinion on subjects like this. Presumably the writers at NFS have more technical knowledge and experience than Engadget reporters? Or at least enough reporting prowess to also report an alternate view on the subject? - Maybe continue the Chris Nolan theme and articulate now be sticks with shooting to film while still implementing flawless vfx elements in his films.

August 28, 2017 at 8:10PM

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Jack W.
DP
16