Early in 2015, HDSLR Shooter had unprecedented access to the set of what was at the time the sixth feature film of Director Timothy Woodward Jr. The project, “4GOT10“, tells the story of a wounded man who wakes up in the desert surround by bodies, with no memory and with three million dollars in cash. The action thriller stars Johnny Messner, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo and Michael Paré.
We were excited for the opportunity to check out first hand some of the dramatic action sequences of the film, including actual gun battles with live rounds and explosions. However we were also excited to see first hand the Blackmagic URSA in action on a feature for the very first time.
In the video interview, Woodward explains that he used the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K on a previous production and was so impressed by its performance and quality that he pushed to get a Blackmagic URSA for 4GOT10. The Ursa was appealing because of its high frame rates which he wanted to take advantage of for the action sequences of the film.
It’s worth noting this is a huge vote of confidence in Blackmagic Design on the part of Woodward, especially when you consider the cost of using actual gunfire. One of the action sequences which feature a gun battle with seven stunt actors firing shotguns, pistols and assault rifles, grenades, special permits and insurance costs in the neighborhood of twenty thousand dollars.
It’s not like shooting a couple of actors in an apartment. The amount of preparation, rehearsal and care required make them extremely valuable. Not to mention, you really only get one take.
Of course, Woodward didn’t tackle this alone. He had veteran 2nd Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator Josh Tessier who conspired with Woodward to create a realistic and dramatic gun battle.
As good of a camera as the URSA is, to capture the spectacle like the gun battles in 4GOT10 requires a careful eye and the steady hands of a talented director of photography, and that’s just what Woodward found in DP Pablo Díez. Díez, along with his first AC Tania Espinosa, worked tirelessly to get the best out of the URSA and ensure every shot wasn’t just adequate, but a true work of art.
Of course, the proof that the URSA is feature worthy is in film itself, and of course people will have varying opinions. But when shot properly, the images are truly stunning. The URSA, coupled with Davinci Resolve gives filmmakers like Woodward everything they need to create beautiful images. To have the verbal endorsement of a filmmaker like Woodward is impressive, but let’s face it – talk is cheap. The true endorsement comes with his decision to use not one but two Blackmagic URSA’s on his seventh film, Weaponized. You can check out the trailer for it below.
For more information about Director Timothy Woodward Jr. and his company, Status Media and Entertainment, go to the website at: www.statusmedia-ent.com
For more information about the Blackmagic Design Ursa, go to their website at www.blackmagicdesign.com