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Jun 14, 2023

Did "The Creator" use the Sony FX3 as an "A" camera?

It appears the rumors are true. Behind-the-scenes footage confirms. If you need even more proof the camera you currently have packed away in a pelican or a case of your choice is good enough, then

It appears the rumors are true. Behind-the-scenes footage confirms. If you need even more proof the camera you currently have packed away in a pelican or a case of your choice is good enough, then look no further. Gareth Edward’s “The Creator” used the Sony FX3.

Yes, the Starwars-esque Industrial Light and Magic visual effects feature film by Writer, Producer, and Director Gareth Edwards used the Sony FX3, proving that it is not the camera that makes the storyteller.

Eagle-eyed viewers can see the Sony FX3 and a handful of reachable accessories in the latest behind-the-scenes video dropped not too long ago. Once I saw the camera and confirmed it was a Sony FX3, a camera I have reviewed here, I had a couple of thoughts.

Yes, it is cool to see a film of the scale as “The Creator” use gear we all can rent or buy. As a reminder, we have been here before with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, iPhone, and many other affordable cameras. However, it appears in the video that the Sony FX3 is the main camera for “The Creator.” I reserve the right to be wrong, as this post is full of wild speculation. Seeing a camera in a behind-the-scenes does not truly confirm it was the “A” Camera.

What are the benefits of using a camera the size of the Sony FX3? It is inexpensive, but the camera one uses on a film may also be the least expensive thing in the budget. In one of my past interviews, I even had an ASC member joke that the camera is the cheapest on a big-budget film. He joked because he thought I gave too much weight to which camera he used—a very valuable lesson.

Small cameras do afford less expensive equipment supporting the camera. I found the behind-the-scenes video even more interesting. Juicy details like monitors, jibs, gimbals, and sets stood out. What stood out more, though, was the production design. Good lord, it looked great.

First, I will say lenses can have a greater degree of delivering a “look” of a film than a camera. In the case of “The Creator,” the P+S Technic Evolution 2x anamorphic cine lenses, built to match Kowas, look absolutely gorgeous. I got to shoot on one of P+S Technic’s zoom lenses more than a few years ago. I could tell that company could make amazing glass back then.

DJI Ronin 2 is one of the most versatile gimbals out there. Need I say more? You also see that the rest of the camera grip gear was chosen to work with the DJI Ronin 2. One must recognize using equipment meant to take advantage of a gimbal like the DJI Ronin 2 is important. More important are the people operating.

GFM – Grip Factory Munich makes a ton of great gear. After a quick breeze through their website, I am already wondering who has this gear in my area and if I can rent it for my next shoot.

The Came-TV Accordion Electric Camera Crane is a brilliant idea that uses a gimbal like the DJI Ronin 2.

Then there is the Atomos Ninja V+ on the camera. I cannot tell if the monitor on the screen is also used as a recorder, but the feature is there. I also cannot imagine only using a 5″ monitor to shoot a large project, but maybe there is a lesson I need to learn here. And that is what we all should take away from this post.

Production Design, Actors, Director of Photography, and many other pieces of the producing pie will cost more through the length of production. The efforts of the professionals to get the look, tone, and everything else just right is the coolest thing about the video.

Filmmakers go-to destination for pre-production, production & post production equipment!

What is that shoulder rig with a Ronin attached to it?

Wish I knew. I couldn’t find it online, may be custom

Looks like it’s maybe this — https://youtu.be/S7u5zkPxyRs?si=0B0BUYWJrJtNhpuY — though it looks a bit smaller profile in this BTS featurette.

Camera itself is not expensive, the expensive part is the people that has to operate a camera. If you bring heavy equipment to a shoot, for example an Alexa XL on a technocrane you end up needing to bring 8 people to operate that equipment, if you bring two or three cameras that quickly adds up to transportation, hotels, salaries and catering costs. In this case we cannot forget that they are shooting on Japan, going lighter means bringing less people and spending money on more shooting days.So it’s not that unimportant at the end.

I’m still waiting to hear from either Gareth or Greig if there was another camera on set (or Oren, who seems to also be radio silent about it) but the one thing I WILL say is, seeing the trailer in IMAX before Oppenheimer… The image was *so* noisey. Not all the time, but the shadow areas were awash with chroma noise in the darker scenes, which (I suppose unfortunately) does lead me to believe it was a largely FX3 show.

I would easily believe that Gareth Edwarts would shoot a big movie entirely on any small camera…For those who don’t know his story: Gareth is a filmmaker like no other. His career actually took of with his first film “Monsters” that he back then shot with a crew of only a few people on a video-camera with a 35mm-Adapter (yes, the ones from the early days with a a rotating ground-glass that made it possible to use a 35mm photo-lens on a small-chip-videocamera) and did all the visual effects of that movie (it’s an alien-story) by himself on his laptop.That movie still holds up today and is one of my biggest inspirations as a filmmaker and Gareth just keeps on living that ethic even after having been discovered by the big studios and signing big budget projects.I can’t think of anyone else who is multi-talented to such a degree in our industry. And he is the living proof that filmmaking is foremost about passion and talent over anything else.