The director of Mad Max Fury Road, George Miller, is a massive fan of technology and used every device available to him to make the critically acclaimed movie. DSLR cameras and iPhones feature along the way, but the gadgets that he would've loved to but couldn't employ in the filming were drones. Healthy and safety issues meant their use during filming was prohibited at the time.
Speaking to Pocket-lint and other gathered journalists and fans at a screening in London to celebrate the Blu-ray release on 5 October, Miller said that he wanted to use quadcopters with cameras to capture some of the action. "I wanted to use drones, but they weren’t quite legal at that point – in terms of insurance," he explained.
He did, however, manage to utilise the devices in other ways.
"We did use drones to map the landscape though. All the canyons in Namibia were mapped by drones with iPhones on them for GPS. They defined exactly where we were in time and space."
Rather than drones, Miller and the crew used Canon DSLR cameras to ensure that nothing was missed during the stunt-heavy driving sequences. Thanks to advancements in their ability to record video, and their small size, they could fit inside cabins and on the cars themselves. They were also cheaper than full digital movie cameras, in case of mishaps. "There were a lot of cameras because we didn’t know which cameras would be damaged," he told us.
"In the old days, if you shot with a Panaflex camera and you smashed it, there goes a quarter of a million dollars. Nowadays, a lot of the cameras were simple Canon cameras. You could go to the airport in Africa [where the film was shot] and buy another one for $1,500."
They also captured moments that might otherwise have been missed. "We shot an enormous amount of footage. Because the battles on the eventual stage were essentially real, with many many vehicles, we just put cameras everywhere," said Miller.
"The principle cameras were basically three cameras, but the extra little cameras often gave us a moment to help us bridge the cut."
Of course, that came with its own problems.
"I dumped all this material on Margaret Sixel, the editor back in Australia, who also happens to be my life partner. She still hasn’t forgiven me. She had to take 480 hours of footage – three weeks of continuous viewing without sleep – and she had to get two hours out of it.
"They were the right two hours, though. The best two hours."
Mad Max Fury Road will be available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, a four-film anthology edition and DVD from Monday, 5 October.
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