Rogue One director Gareth Edwards explains how he shot a first-person X-wing sequence which will be part of a space battle in the movie.
Rogue One will immerse audiences in its space battle in a whole new way by putting them right in the X-wing cockpit.
Rogue One director Gareth Edwards explained to Entertainment Weekly how he shot a portion of the space battle above Scarif from the cockpit of an X-wing. The scene will present the battle as a first-person experience.
The first step was to create a set for the X-wing and the actor inside.
"“When we were filming the X-wing footage in the film, we had the X-wing [cockpit] mounted to a gimbal so it could move around, like it was really flying,” Edwards says. “Then all around were the screens, in 180 degrees, that were projecting space and this pre-animated flight path as the X-wing was moving around, like it was really flying.”"
Next, Edwards climbed into the cockpit with a handheld camera and worked his magic, directing the camera to follow explosions and other details to mimic how a real pilot would reacting to them.
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"“I got inside this X-wing, put the camera on top of my shoulder and they closed the cockpit. Then the thing just started flying and we started going through space in a space battle. And I was filming it, trying to film everything and trying to get the shots as well as I could.”"
The cockpit setting, its motion, and the projection screens made Edwards forget he was filming.
"“The second it was over, I got so transported to a galaxy far, far away that I had forgotten I was in Pinewood [Studios], you know?” he says. “I had forgotten that I was just Gareth with a camera. I mean, I thought I was in this space battle.”"
Edwards was immersed in the scene without CGI effects and a huge theater around him. Imagine how we will feel when we see the fruits of Edwards’s first-person shoot on the big-screen next week.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premieres in theaters in the U.S. on December 16th.