Flying People Stunt for “Chronicle”


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This promotional video for the upcoming movie “Chronicle” is neat. The marketing team built three remote controlled airplanes that were human-like enough in shape to fool the eye from a distance and flew them over the East River in New York City. The effect is surprisingly effective. Watch the video here.

While entertaining, the video is probably more interesting as an illustration of how to capture “super-human” feats believably on film. The motions in this video are seen from the ground, from the vantage point of a ‘normal’ person.

It’s always surprised me that I’ve never seen this perspective in any of the countless super-hero movies that Hollywood can’t stop making. The norm seems to be to shoot super-human leaps and flights from impossible and therefore intrinsically unbelievable angles, traversing vast distances at mechanically unfeasible speeds, and capitalizing on the limitless and often superfluous agility of the CG ‘camera.” As this video proves, shooting from the perspective of a regular person would be much more convincing.


One Comment

  1. I always felt that way about CG camera shots too… how the main thing that killed the suspension of disbelief was the impossible camera work. I came across this video a while back, though, which is kind of the opposite point of your post… apparently the price to build an RC helicopter camera rig has come down considerably (to like $3k!), and when I first saw this video I was blown away by how “CG” some of the shots look:

    Dedicam Show Reel

    it’s just a demo reel for a company that does filming with RC rigs, but there are some pretty cool shots, and it’s quite surprising to see cameras swooping around live action in a way that previously only CG cameras could have done.

    In any case, I totally agree that shooting from “real” perspectives would be more convincing, but perhaps if more live action is shot like the above it won’t matter quite so much.

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