James Gunn Explains Why He Choose To Film Digitally In 8K

Wednesday afternoon it was revealed that director James Gunn would film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 using the RED’s WEAPON 8K Vista Vision Camera.

The camera captures 8K at 75 frames per second (fps), 6K at 100 fps, or 4K at 150 fps; that is insane!

James Gunn

After 24-hours of fans debating the merits of film versus digital Gunn explained his reasoning for digital on Facebook. Quentin Tarantino filmed The Hateful Eight in Ultra Panavision 70, and held a roadshow to premiere the epic.

“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?” – said Gunn.

Gunn expanded on his statement with three reasons.

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).

What is this new technology that Gunn speaks of? Fans might have to wait till 2017 to find out.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 begins production in February with an expected released date of May 5, 2017.

The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana, and Pom Klementieff.

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.

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