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Production

A Breathtaking Ride with The Expendables

Spotlight_Expendables_04When you go to see The Expendables, make sure you’re in a movie theater with arm rests and don’t forget to hang on tight! The action-packed film is a breathtaking adventure directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, who also co-wrote the script. Also starring Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Eric Roberts and Bruce Willis, the film begins with six mercenaries led by Barney Ross (Stallone) who are on a mission to rescue hostages from a band of Somali pirates. Ross is a fearless warrior whose only emotional attachments are his pickup truck, seaplane and small band of fighting men. The role fits Stallone like a glove.

After the hostages are rescued, the mercenaries celebrate inside their down-and-dirty lair. When Mr. Church (Willis) offers to pay them to overthrow a dictator who rules a tropical island nation, the mercenaries are reluctant to take on what sounds like an impossible mission. But when Ross agrees, the men climb aboard his seaplane and follow their leader into battle. As they arrive on the island they meet Sandra, a freedom fighter Church has chosen to be their guide. Sandra guides the men through military strongholds and other strategic targets, but there’s a dramatic twist when she’s captured by the enemy. Ross and his gang are determined to rescue Sandra and complete their mission –– and that’s when the sparks begin to fly.

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DPs' Digital Diversification

There’s no question that digital technology has dramatically altered the world of the cinematographer, even when it’s still a film-based shoot. Digital technology not only includes actual cameras, it also extends to things like camera controls. This month, P3 Update takes a look at a group of products that take advantage of digital technology either directly or indirectly to make life easier for DPs and camera operators.

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Camera Companions

In recent years, the proliferation of new digital cameras has focused attention on resolution, workflow and image quality. While the RED, Vision Research Phantom, ARRI ALEXA and Canon 7D Mark II cameras all have their fans and uses, the advent of 3D stereoscopic moviemaking has upped the ante as filmmakers struggle to find the perfect cameras for the left/right-eye pair. Camera accessories — everything from lenses to 3D rigs — are the crucial gear components needed to support chosen cameras, and they can make the difference between a problem-plagued production and smooth sailing.

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On the Right Track

Last year, when the folks at NASCAR wanted to capture the feel of a racing environment for a special commercial, they turned to Fisher Technical Services, Inc. (FTSI) to get the goods at a track just outside of South Boston, Va.

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Lighting Up a Flavor Explosion

Cinematographer John Zilles has shot many commercials for such companies as Walmart, Toyota and Pizza Hut, and he describes his new $2 million Sprite commercial as “one of the biggest, most interesting and challenging jobs I’ve had to light and shoot in 20 years of doing commercials.”

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