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