Fujinon has released a BTS video showing how the air-to-air team behind Top Gun: Maverick pulled off making the groundbreaking film, including gear choices, challenges, victories, and more.
The BTS goes for almost 13 minutes and it features commentary from:
Claudio Miranda, ASC- Director of Photography
David B. Nowell, ASC- Aerial Cinematographer/Team5
Michael FitzMaurice- Aerial Cinematographer
Kevin LaRosa- Aerial Coordinator/ Lead Camera Pilot
0:00 – Background and Introduction
0:37 – The various types of aerial photography
1:23 – Using Long Lenses (Ground to Air and Air to Air)
2:30 – LaRosa’s L39 CineJet is born with SHOTOVER F1J
3:57 – Nowell, ASC reflects on working both Top Gun films
5:45 – Phenom 300 Jet with Two FUJINON Lenses
6:34 – Operating at the limit (Camera Operator Team)
8:04 – Tracking aerial targets as a team
9:09 – FitzMaurice pushes himself with 50-600mm
10:00 – Why Miranda, ASC loves Fujinon zooms
10:58 – Reliability requirements for Aerial Cinematography
11:54 – Aerial Team’s relationship with U.S. Navy
12:38 – Credits
It is truly incredible to see some of the shots Michael FitzMaurice was able to pull off, especially when shooting at 600mm on an S35 windowed part of the sensor from a moving jet and panning a gimbal. The amount of skill that requires is mind-blowing.
There is also an interview with the DP Claudio Miranda, ASC that you can also watch.
Top Gun: Maverick utilized the Fujinon 18-85mm T2.0 Premier PL Zoom, Fujinon 24-180mm T2.6 Premier PL Zoom, and Fujinon 75-400mm T2.8-3.8 Premier PL Zoom that were supplied by Keslow camera. The 75-400mm in particular was used for a lot of the ground shots of the fighter jets that you see in the movie. These lenses only cover S35-sized sensors so the team would have presumably been using the VENICE in its Super 35 24.3 × 12.8 mm, 4096 × 2160 pixel resolution (equivalent to 3-perforation motion picture film) mode.
What is really interesting is that in the Shotover F1J the team used the realatively affordable Fujinon XK20-120mm T3.5 Cabrio and the Fujinon ZK85-300mm T2.9-4.0 Lightweight Cabrio with a full-sized VENICE. These lenses both only cover S35-sized sensors.