Top Gun: Maverick might be capitalizing on our nostalgia for 80s action flicks, but its cinematography is from the future thanks to some amazing new cameras.
We’ve been waiting for a Top Gun sequel since 1986, so what’s waiting another year? The movie has been pushed until next summer, but in a recent interview, Joseph Kosinski spoke about finishing post-production and the revolutionary cameras they used to capture the crew in flight.
Kosinski told Collider, “The technology that allows filmmaking to be more practical is the stuff I get most excited about. On Top Gun, we worked with Sony to develop an IMAX quality camera that’s about this big. [gestures] And only like 2 inches deep. So we were able to mount six of them inside the cockpit, and four on the outside of the airplane. So in that case, we’re using technology to capture something real, rather than having to create it on a soundstage. So that, for me, was one of the things that I was excited about in jumping into the project in the first place.”
Obviously, we need to see this movie on the biggest screen possible to appreciate the level of artistry put into getting these audacious shots.
Does that footage from the trailer look sharp? It should, because they used a 6K camera to gather many of the shots. They also used a sensor not commonly used for Hollywood to show the speed of the jets.
Kosinski expanded, “It’s a 6K camera. So 6,000 pixels wide. It’s a large-format sensor, which is bigger than a 35mm sensor. It’s like Cinemascope, I think is the comparable film size. The real technology breakthrough is that the sensor can be separated from the recorder. When you’re looking at a digital camera, the only thing capturing the image is that first inch of the camera. Everything behind that is power and recording and cooling. So this Sony camera, which is called the Sony Venice, you can buy a version where those two pieces are connected via some fiber optic cable. So the sensor, with a very small lens, can sit in a very tight place, or right in front of the actor. We had four of them pointing at the actor on Top Gun, and the recorders could be hidden in storage spaces on the jet. So you’re able to put something that normally you’d only be able to fit a GoPro there, now you’re able to put an IMAX quality camera in that spot. And in this case six of them, so we have multi-camera coverage of these sequences that you can cut a whole scene just by working with those six angles. That, to me, was our technology breakthrough on this movie. It’s just a really fun way to work, when you’re getting it all in-camera.”
It really sucks to have to wait to watch this stuff. As much as I miss Tony Scott, I think Kosinski is a worthy successor who definitely has the style and vision to carry this franchise into the next century. Cruise reprising his role, this time as a teacher, makes me feel like we’re being set up for a change in the guard to continue to build this story.
It will be fun to see what other nuggets about the story and production are revealed over the next year.
Are you eagerly awaiting Top Gun: Maverick?
Let us know in the comments.