Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 camera

Guardians of the Galaxy was shot on the Alexa XT, but director James Gunn will be trying out a new camera for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Gunn will shoot the sequel with the Red’s 8K Weapon, which was introduced last year, and the Marvel film will be the first movie ever shot on the camera.

Find out more about the digital camera — and Gunn’s enthusiasm for it — after the jump.

According to the press release, the 8K Weapon “captures 8K at 75 frames per second, 6K at 100 fps, or 4K at 150 fps with REDCODE® RAW,” with “interchangeable lens mounts, an intelligent OLPF system, and in-camera 3D-LUT outputs.” The lightweight camera provides many advantages.

On Facebook, here’s what Gunn had to say about Red’s 8K Weapon:

With the announcement that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be the first film to shoot on the RED Weapon 8K, I’ve received a lot of excitement from a lot of people. THANKS! However, I also get a lot of folks asking why we chose not to shoot on film, and it’s assumed we aren’t doing so because of the expense.

So, if you’re interested, here’s the deal.

When you’re shooting a film at the level of Guardians of the Galaxy, the cost of film vs. digital is negligible – for me it’s an aesthetic and creative choice.

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 every 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?

And, yes, most filmmakers who have shot digital have underutilized the format. But with these new cameras their advantages are easier to see for everyone.

You can read more of Gunn’s excitement for the camera over on his Facebook page. I remember talking to the writer-director for Super, and at the time, he discussed some of the problems he had shooting on the Red One, but the Red’s 8K weapon, clearly, is leaps and bounds more advanced.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in theaters on May 5, 2017.

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