Featuring an all-star ensemble of Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot, Netflix’s latest mega-production, Red Notice, has made history by scoring the streaming service’s biggest opening day. But in addition to the A-list trio, the movie also features an A-list star from the world of FPV drones, albeit he stays behind the camera.
Johnny FPV, born Johnny Schaer, was roped in by Netflix to introduce a new form of filmmaking technology in Red Notice. Attaching a 6K Komodo cinema camera from RED to a racing drone, Johnny made his Hollywood debut by flying in some of the most exotic locations across the planet and in some of the most expensive sets Netflix has ever built.
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Red Notice director Rawson Marshall Thurber and producer Hiram Garcia explain how they wanted to make the movie more immersive for the audience by using innovative drone technology. But in case you’ve yet to watch the film, below, you can see about two minutes of spoiler-free FPV drone sequences from Red Notice.
Incidentally, the tissue box-size 6K Komodo camera used for these shots was invented only six weeks before the crew used it. But the fact that FPV drone shots have never been used before in the history of mainstream cinema was what excited the team more. As Garcia tells ComicBook.com:
Our favorite phrase is, ‘It’s never been done before.’ It is catnip to us. And especially to Dwayne Johnson. Just loves things that have never been done. And a lot of the cool drone shots that we use, I mean, we use drones in a hybrid steady cam version in this movie, where during that chase at the top of the movie where DJ’s chasing Ryan, you see those awesome shots, you can tell it’s clearly not a steady cam guy following this dude running.
Also, you may not be able to tell it, but the opening shot of the film, where the camera goes over a bridge and straight into an eye-level shot of Johnson, was split between two very different locations. Thurber explains:
The first shot that opens the film, the exterior of Rome, that dives down through the cannon and ends up in a closeup, is a stitch between a steady cam and the drone shot. Steady cam in Atlanta and the drone shot in Rome.
Then, talking about the use of FPV drones in the later part of the film, Thurber adds, “In the mineshaft sequence that ends the film, we were about 400 feet underground in a mine in Northern Atlanta and we brought the drone down there and chased the cars through the mine shaft.”
FPV drones have truly been having their moment this year, popularized first by a viral bowling alley video and later being adopted by everyone from luxury car showrooms to football teams for providing an unprecedented, up-close look into their facilities. Recently, the world’s biggest drone manufacturer, DJI, also announced the opening of a new authorized retail store in South Korea with an FPV drone video.
But while we love coming across stellar FPV drone videos that tell a story on their own, we are certainly looking forward to watching more movie productions use FPV shots in their filmmaking process!
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