Crank 3-D and a Moving Bullet-Time Camera Rig

CrankMark Neveldine has confirmed that Crank 3 will be shot in 3-D.

“We were actually thinking of trying to do RED 3-D for GAME for a while,” Brian Taylor revealed to Collider. “We think it’s the way things are going. The problem for us is that the rigs are still a little too cumbersome. They’re a bit too big. So for 3D you tend to have a lot of locked off shots, things on cranes, things that are very controlled. We just don’t shoot that way man, We like to just pick up the camera and run and go berserk and it doesn’t really lend itself to 3D right now.”

Not a day goes by where I don’t get into an argument with someone about the merits of 3D. Sure, it’s becoming an overused technology. But it does have a place in the right films. I think that Crank is the perfect type of movie/story to make use of the 3D technology.

Bullet-time

Mark Neveldine also revealed that they have built a moving bullet-time camera rig, which will see action in Crank 2, which begins shooting in six weeks.

“We’re pushing the limits…” explains Mark Neveldine. “We’re going to be creating a ‘moving bullet[-time] camera’ that has never been done before. We’re putting about 15 cameras onto a piece of speed rail, all these super lightweight cameras that I’ll be holding on rollerblades flying around people. So you’ll have that image that you’ve seen in the Matrix, where they stop motion and the cameras spin around, except for the fact that our cameras can spin around and move while the actor moves.”

I’m not quite sure what kind of result a camera rig like this could produce that a green screen bullet-time camera set-up couldn’t, but I’m very interested to see. My guess is that it will allow them to create the bullet-time effect on the fly, in a practical location, with minimal CG. The traditional Bullet-Time set-up requires an entire computer generated background, and an extensively planned set-up path for the cameras. Neveldine/Taylor have had a stance against using computer generated effects unless absolutely needed.

“We kind of want to go a little old school with our action and really literally put the camera, the lens, the actors, and the filmmakers in peril,” said Brian Taylor. “We don’t want to use CG, as a last resort we will to enhance a scene. But we’re really trying to do it real as much as possible. We think if it really was dangerous, it will feel dangerous to an audience. They will feel they aren’t being cheated. Because as soon as you know it was something generated on a computer, and that nobody was really in danger, a certain part of you sort of shuts off. It doesn’t seem as urgent, it doesn’t seem as exciting. That’s our theory.”

Also, as evidenced by the 3D quote above, these guys love to run and gun without limits. And this type of rig would allow them to film on the fly, without the extensive planning or restrictions of the traditional Bullet-time rig.

Neveldine/Taylor will begin shooting Crank 2 at the end of April. The team will appear at Comic Con in July to promote GAME (and the Crank sequel).

“The very first shot in [GAME] is a two minute take with nine explosions, Gerry Butler firing off 52 rounds – it’s unbelievable! We decided to stay with the character Cable. We follow him through this battlefield and we choreographed this whole scene with 250 extras.”

Sounds very cool. Up next after Crank 2, Neveldine/Taylor are planning to finally tackle their adaptation of Jonah Hex, a DC Comic Book (which Mark describes as “Western, Crazy, Sin City style”). Crank 3 would likely then follow (2011 release?).

You can watch Neveldine/Taylor’s full interviews at Collider.com.

Discuss: What do you think of this new “Moving Bullet-Time camera rig” and the fact that Crank 3 will be shot in 3D?

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