May 30, 2015

'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Was Shot Partly on Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras

Avengers: Age of Ultron Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
Blackmagic's diminutive pocket cameras are finding homes in the craziest places, including on the sets of massive Hollywood action flicks with budgets the size of the GDP of a small country.

As you would expect of a camera that costs less than a grand and has some very respectable image quality, independent filmmakers have taken advantage of the BMPCC in most every way imaginable. A pair of pocket cameras even landed roles as A-cams on a beautiful feature that ended up taking Sundance by storm. However, you probably wouldn't expect the BMPCC to be showing up on huge Hollywood sets. 

That's exactly where it found itself recently with Avengers: Age of Ultron, one of the biggest action flicks in recent memory. Check out the trailer below:

In a recent press release from Blackmagic Design, we got a few quotes from the film's DP, Ben Davis, who has shot loads of other features, both large and small, throughout the years. Here are a few choice excerpts about why the BMPCC found extensive use on the film's second unit, particularly during large action sequences.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Poster

"There are two large battle sequences in particular during the film, the first is at the beginning and the second features in the third act, and we very much wanted these to be shot as a war correspondent would cover news in a conflict zone. What we needed was a lightweight camera that we could then distribute around the set during the filming of battle sequences that would give us more than twelve frames of good quality HD material that we could match with our main camera package. For this we used eight Pocket Cinema Cameras paired with either a 14mm pancake lens or a 12-35mm zoom, which we then mounted to impact points around the set.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

Say for example a truck was being blown up and thrown through the air and we wanted to capture it landing on top of a car, we would put one of the Pocket Cinema Cameras in a small metal housing and put it in the car. Another instance involved mounting the Blackmagic camera to a tank, because we could literally strap it one on the end of a magic arm and bolt it to almost anywhere we wanted it to be on the tank.”

So there you have it. If you'd like to read more about how the BMPCC was used to capture unique perspectives in action-packed sequences, check out Blackmagic's press release as well as this more in-depth piece from Studio Daily.      

Your Comment

14 Comments

Too bad the movie was complete crap. The look of digital movies can get really bad sometimes. Mad Max proved that digital movies could still look very cinematic, but the Avengers was terrible..

May 30, 2015 at 5:22PM

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Franky Hill
Director - Writer - Producer
23

Mad Max also used Blackmagic Cameras so your comment is invalid....

May 30, 2015 at 6:57PM

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Zachary Will
Cinematographer
903

They also used a lot of 5Ds in MAD MAX as crash cams.

May 30, 2015 at 9:52PM

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Matias Rispau
Director
171

It has probably to do with the idea of coloring it like a comic ;-)

June 1, 2015 at 2:24AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8699

Probably, I wish they went more film like, like they did with Iron Man from '08

June 1, 2015 at 2:05PM

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Franky Hill
Director - Writer - Producer
23

I would love to actually see the behind the scenes of these setups.

May 30, 2015 at 5:22PM

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Dantly Wyatt
Musical Comedy & Content Creator.
719

Now Blackmagic gonna sell a little more
i think next could be the Ursa 4.6 ,15dr !...

May 30, 2015 at 6:54PM, Edited May 30, 6:54PM

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Multiflave
Director , Editor , Audio Engineer
159

I'm all for this. I'd much prefer filmmakers use crashcams that give them a cinematic-looking image with depth of field and color rendition that matches the main footage, instead of resorting to GoPros. GoPro shots in narrative films always stick out like a sore thumb to me, especially in action sequences, so I really hope we see more of this in the future!

May 30, 2015 at 8:15PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2056

Totally agree. The bmpcc has film like color spacing and looks great. Gopro footage in films almost makes me angry. They have $150 million... Don't use a gopro

June 1, 2015 at 2:26AM, Edited June 1, 2:26AM

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Caleb Price
Director
361

Seconded. With the new BMMCC with a global shutter, I expect more of these little guys picked over GoPro for any big budget film.

June 1, 2015 at 11:35AM

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Joseph Lindsay
Director of Photography/Motion Designer
190

The problem with big digital effects movies is that they will always struggle to look cinematic. This will improve over time, but that's why the argument here over Mad Max v. Avengers.

May 30, 2015 at 8:26PM

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Ian Nicholson
Head Tutor at Sydney Short Film School
116

"Partly shot": "We wanted more than 12 frames of good HD"

Used as crashcam would be a better fitting headline :-p

June 1, 2015 at 2:27AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8699

They used Canon 5Ds and 7Ds in the previous Avenger movie, so I guess they're simply updating to the latest small camera that can verse the same puposes

http://www.eoshd.com/2012/05/canon-5d-mark-ii-and-7d-used-to-shoot-actio...

June 1, 2015 at 12:22PM

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Dan Horne
314

If only the battery on the Blackmagic Pocket would last more than a few minutes.
I recently used one for the first time and after I had looked through the menu and had basically just checked it out, the battery was so empty that it literally lasted for one shot...

June 7, 2015 at 7:14PM

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