Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras Used to Shoot Action Scenes for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Blackmagic Design has announced that DP Xavier Grobet used several Pocket Cinema Cameras to shoot select scenes for Paramount Pictures’ comedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” Grobet required a small form factor camera that delivered cinematic images for the film’s in-vehicle shots and several actions scenes.
This was Grobet’s third time working with Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and Grobet noted that given the nature of the film and the war zone setting, the Pocket Cinema Camera was a natural choice.
“I was looking for a very small camera for my specific needs. We shot in a lot of cars and Humvees, so the camera needed to be compact. We didn’t want to shoot off of a process trailer, mounting the car on a rolling platform. We wanted to do it practically,” said Grobet. “I found the Pocket Cinema Camera to be outstanding. The latitude and definition are great, and I was most impressed with the dynamic range.”
The Pocket Cinema Camera’s dynamic range was especially helpful when shooting inside the Humvees. Grobet explained: “Since it was a desert setting, it was super bright outside and super dark inside the Humvees, but I could always get all the detail in both the highlights and shadows with the Pocket Cinema Cameras. When we went into the DI, there was so much latitude to work with.”
Grobet used the Pocket Cinema Cameras both handheld and mounted depending on what the situation called for and noted how flexible the camera was. “I could grab the camera, shoot and get exactly what I needed,” he said. “We shot all the scenes in vehicles with the Pocket Cinema Camera, whether that meant me hand holding the camera in a car with another four actors, or mounted on a Ronin mount outside the car to capture the characters in the environment. The size and weight were perfect and allowed us to get shots otherwise tricky or unattainable with a larger camera.”
The Pocket Cinema Camera’s compact form factor also proved beneficial during several action scenes. In one scene, a convoy of Humvees comes to a stop, and as Tina Fey’s character gets out of the vehicle, gunfire erupts from enemy fighters. “Holding the Pocket in my hands, I was able to follow Tina very fast as she ran and jumped down on the ground to avoid the gunfire overhead,” said Grobet. “Since the Pocket is so small and I could carry it in my hand, I could be right there with Tina in the action.”
Grobet concluded, “Any shots that called for small size, extreme action or for me to be moving around and chasing people, I would be using the Pocket. We also used it to shoot footage from the perspective of the videographer who accompanies Tina’s character in the field to shoot news footage.”