If you haven’t noticed it by now or someone hasn’t mentioned it, one of Marvel’s big problems is the mere appearance of their movies. Many people, including me in that account, dislike the general look of MCU features simply because they look flat and dull. Most of this comes from the color grading, but the camera the film is shot with makes a huge difference as well. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is the first MCU movie to be shot with the brand new RED Weapon 8K Camera and many are wondering: is there are difference?
The color grading.
Let me visualize what I mean:
The picture above is shot from ‘Iron Man’ (not sure which one?) with just 10-second adjustment on the color grading. In my opinion, the lower visual looks far better, generally more exciting and vibrant. Some might argue that the ‘flat’ and ‘simple’ color grading of every MCU movie makes the film more realistic and thus, better. While I understand that point, I, personally, disagree with it. I like my colors popping and exciting.
Now that I’ve discussed the basics of how color grading affects MCU productions, let’s discuss the real point here: the camera. The first four MCU films were shot on film (‘Iron Man’, ‘Iron Man 2’, ‘Thor’, and ‘The Incredible Hulk’), after which ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ was shot on the digital Panavision Genesis Camera. After that, every single MCU movie has been shot on the ARRI ALEXA Camera. Combine that with the consistently dull color grading and you get 14 movies that all share a very similar look.
Is there a difference?
Very recently, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ came out. Many people were extremely excited for it and one of the reasons why is because it’s the first Marvel film to be shot with the brand new RED Weapon 8K camera. It’s a wide angle lens camera that makes extremely good quality shots. Thus, many were hoping that this might be the change we’ve been waiting for with Marvel flicks. Would this camera make ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ have a more exciting, vibrant, and overall better look than other MCU features?
Yes. It’s a huge improvement. Even for a bare eye, even for someone who hasn’t paid attention to color grading or the image quality before, the change is undeniably obvious. The RED Weapon 8K camera makes ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ look absolutely stunning. I saw the movie in IMAX and I can honestly say that besides ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’, I haven’t seen a better looking film in IMAX. We can’t know for sure that this is all because of the camera itself or the production team has tweaked up a bit the color grading as well, but one thing is for sure: whatever the change, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is the most beautiful MCU film to date.
It’s a small thing, that’s for sure. Very few people care about the color grading of films or on what camera they are shot at. However, I care. And I was anxious to find out if the RED Weapon 8K camera would make a difference. I’m so glad that it did and I absolutely adore the look of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’. I sincerely hope that this isn’t a one time thing and that Marvel continues to make their productions this beautiful.
By the way, if you are interested in Marvel’s color grading, you can click here to watch a very interesting video essay I found on the topic. Also, if you want to know some more about the specifics as to how exactly ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ was shot with the RED Weapon 8K Camera, click here to watch a very interesting video I found about that.
Did you enjoy this article? What do you think about the look of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’? Do you see the difference? Share you thoughts in the comments section below, please! Also, don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE this article if you enjoyed it.
Thanks for reading,