The big challenge on the sci-fi blockbuster Jupiter Ascending was coming up with a way of producing high-resolution background plates of aerial shots racing through downtown Chicago at street level. We ultimately needed a way to fly and control multiple cameras, whose images would be stitched together later to produce an extremely high-res background plate for the visual effects team. I knew this would require a strong stabilizing gimbal with the ability to shoot straight down, which led me to the Pictorvision Eclipse helicopter mount. When we were done collaborating, we had developed the Eclipse Multicam Array.
Mila Kunis in
Tom Hallman and his Pictorvision crew built an assembly to position the six RED EPIC 5K cameras—three across and two high—as close to nodal as possible, resulting in a roughly 140-degree by 60-degree field of view. All six cameras in the array were synced together and remotely controlled by a seventh EPIC in the cockpit. Pictorvision engineer Grant Bieman was able to come up with a video feed that was a composite of the six EPICs so that the film’s aerial DP, Phil Pastuhov, could use it for his viewfinder. The array of EPIC cameras delivered images that were stitched together to produce a 12,000 x 5,000 pixel resolution picture for the VFX team.
Jim Mitchell is a producing partner at Door 44 Films.